Tuesday, March 29, 2011

20 weeks

Oh little boy, 

We'll be celebrating our halfway point together in Belize. Halfway! Can you believe it?

Your 20-week update is kind of unflattering so I'll breeze through it. Your body, now the length of a banana and the size of a small melon, is producing meconium, a black gooey substance having to do with digestion. There are some other things going on with your testicles but that seems rather inappropriate to discuss in public. So we'll leave it at that.

Your mama is feeling really awesome - sometimes to the point of feeling drugged. At least that's what I am blaming for the absentmindedness and the fact I forget things like my own email address. 

Last week we found out you're breech, which is totally fine for now. Enjoy not hanging upside down. But anytime you feel like you might want to give my pelvis a break and flip around, I'd be ever so grateful. Sitting is my least favorite but most common activity these days. And the fact my midsection is separating and expanding seems rather science fiction and quite painful. As long as meeting you at the end is the reward, I'll stick it out :)

We love you so much little boy. We're praying that the second half of this pregnancy is just as wonderful and uneventful as the first.


Saturday, March 26, 2011

peace out

Oh hello sweet vacation!

First stop, Atlanta for 24 hours to wait for our flight, rehydrate and sightsee. Because of my incessant need to tour every media outlet in the country, our first stop is CNN Headquarters. Then we're off to the Martin Luther King, Jr. historic site since my second favorite travel stop is really old stuff. I think Shea has resigned himself that our family vacations will always consist of newsroom tours or important people's graves. And this time he's smartly wearing his running shoes because he's become accustomed to my "OMG we have to see everything in case we don't come back!" style. As if this baby belly will slow me down! (Note to my mother: I packed Gatorade packets for my bottled water. I'm being responsible and hydrated.) Then it's dinner at the Varsity, the world's largest drive-in.

Then we're off to Belize for nine days! We have our hotels arranged and our shuttle from the airport to San Ignacio. After that, we're winging it. We have no idea how we're getting to Placencia for the second half of our trip but what fun would it be if we did? I know I want to see a howler monkey, not get bit by a scorpion, see the Tikal ruins in Guatemala, lay on a beach, not get sick from the water and enjoy every single second of the last time we vacation as a family of two. At least for a really long time.

And in case you forgot, while it's snowing here in KC, this is where we'll be:

See you in 10 days!

Friday, March 25, 2011

learning to share

18 weeks and 19 weeks + 2 days.

I'll be honest. This visual part of the pregnancy is taking some getting used to. For the first four months, my pregnancy was very personal. I shared the fun stuff in my blogs but the emotional parts, the icky feelings, the fear and the joy were mostly private. I was the one who felt sick, who felt better, who decided what to eat and drink, and the only one who could feel him kicking. I had the real bond. Sure, the hubs could bond when we heard the heartbeat or saw the sonogram but not in the same way. It was all MINE.

Now that I'm showing more, there are emotions I didn't see coming. Everybody has a comment or piece of advice. The first thing people look at is my belly. It's either "ooh baby!" or "wow, you're really small." But there are days when I feel really big and fat and frankly, I don't want to talk about it. And now that we have cool pictures, the little boy is no longer just mine. He belongs to a lot of people who love him very much already. We are amazingly blessed, but the sharing is an adjustment.

I'll get used to the attention, the comments, the advice and the comparisons. Sometimes though, I feel like slapping a "Keep Out" sign on my belly and slamming the door so I can go sulk in MY room with MY son. 

And seriously, can someone bring me MY chocolate milk?

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

a real boy!

Alternate post title: Um, do you see those guns on my son?

This morning was anatomy scan, take II. And oh my friends, it was the highlight of the last 19 weeks. We saw his feet with 10 identifiable toes. Two kidneys. One bladder and stomach. A long spine. Brain. Everything!

He was sleeping the whole time except for a few leg stretches and one yawn. He's breech right now with is head right above my belly button and feet at my cervix. He'll most likely flip before we need him to so nothing to worry about. My midwife did say this is the cause of my hip pain as my pelvis is working to accommodate a baby butt instead of a baby head. At 11 ounces and a heartbeat of 148, he's right on track!

His mother is healthy at 19 weeks and 1 day. I've gained nine pounds and have excellently low blood pressure.

There was something about today - seeing his face, picking out Shea's nose and my lips. He's really in there! A real, live boy that I can't stop staring at.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

19 weeks

Good morning sweet boy,

We've been together 19 weeks now. You're six inches long - the size of a mango or a large softball. I don't think I could even pick out a mango at the grocery store. You have your five senses now, and all of your body parts are finally in the right proportions. Your kidneys are functioning, and you're getting hair on your little head. Now that all your parts are in place, you'll be getting longer and heavier.

Your mama is sick with a cold which is even less fun when I can't take my usual drugs. Instead we've been taking really long naps together. Daddy reminds us to get our sleep and keeps bringing water and good food. I can't wait for you to meet him - we're so lucky.

I love feeling you everyday. Mid morning you always say hello and let me know you're ready for a snack (you seem to prefer apples). Around dinner time, you say hi again and now sometimes even as we're heading to bed. Daddy can't feel you yet but the kicks are getting stronger and more defined so I know it'll be soon.

Tomorrow we'll get to see you again and with our luck, get another adjusted due date. We're praying that all the right pieces are in all the right places.

Keep growing little buddy. Love you,


Monday, March 21, 2011

i'm putting my kid in a bubble

So as to overwhelm me even more, the American Academy of Pediatrics and National Highway Traffic Safety Administration are now recommending stricter guidelines for children car seats. These are the news stories I used to ignore.

The new guidelines include:
- Rear-facing seat until the age of 2.
- Forward-facing with harness until child maxes out height/weight restrictions for seat
- Booster seat with seatbelt until child is 4'9" tall, possibly to age 12.

Under these guidelines, I am only three inches shy of needing my own booster seat.

I love reading the comments on these stories. The parents who would rather sacrifice the safety of their child so they aren't being called a "baby" by their peers. Or the reluctance to go rear-facing because it takes two minutes longer to get them out of the car.

On the other hand, between BPA-free bottles, drop-side cribs, booster seats and bumpers it's going to be hard to keep up. Especially when I'm still trying to figure out why a three-month-old wears six-month-old clothing.

Friday, March 18, 2011

five things friday

1. The best thing about my weekend is going to be a haircut. I get a cut ever four months much to the dismay of anyone who is unlucky enough to have me as a customer. But the whole pregnancy thing has made my hair even thicker and exceptionally dry. It's stunning, really.

2. We played the game Wits and Wagers with some friends a couple of weeks ago. Highly recommended.

3. I'm waiting for these shoes to come in the mail. The hubs says he'll love me more not less if I wear them, which is good considering most of my shoes resemble a four-year-old's. This is why we work.

{via Real Mom Kitchen}
4. I'm going to try these parmesan knots this weekend. I haven't made bread in a long time, not that these really count.

5. Guess how many people read this blog on average daily? 150. Less if I write something really boring, a lot more if I post a picture of my belly. Weird right? Anyway, you should follow me if you aren't already. Because it makes me feel nice inside plus it's less creepy than being an underground reader who can't admit it. The button is up there, on the right side under "Follow Me." Do it!

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

lenten update

I told you about our Lenten season goals. Now on week 2, we've done pretty well.

Give $5 away
Week 1: Shea gave his first $5 to a homeless man who was helping a woman with a flat tire at the gas station. He asked for a tire gauge so Shea helped him out, and when the man asked for a $1, Shea gave him $5.

Week 2: Shea donated $5 to boy's basketball team raising money for uniforms. As a reward he fills out a bracket. I'd argue if he wins any of the small pool money he has to give that away, too.

I combined Week 1 and Week 2 monies and donated them to the Red Cross for Japanese disaster relief. Want to donate, too? Click here.

Pray together every night
We missed a few nights at the beginning but now we're in a rhythm. On our prayer lists:

- The baby boy. That he is growing healthy and strong. That God is working in his little heart so that he'll come to to know his heavenly father is the one that will always loves him the most.

- Gratefulness for the wonderfully kind and loving people we've met in Kansas City. It's only been a year since we've moved here but we have some pretty awesome friends who are there when we need them.

- Preparation for being parents. That although we cannot keep our apartment clean or our plants alive that we can not only keep another human being alive but teach him morals, faith and baseball.

- Other people. A friend who needs rest. A little sis who needs direction. Other soon-to-be parents that need preparation.

-Thankfulness for spring weather. 78 degrees tomorrow, people. That's worth a thousand prayers.

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

18 weeks

Baby boy,

You've been going through a growth spurt, and are now the size of a sweet potato or seven ounces. You are super active especially after I eat an apple or drink cold water or milk. Sometimes it's little flutters, other times more obvious kicks or punches. It's a nice reminder that you're there.

Your little ears are starting to be able to hear your soon-to-be world. You've been hearing our voices, Mac's barking, and probably a lot of NPR. We're going to start reading to you soon. Just remember, books are fun! Unless you have to read 11 of them in eight weeks for grad school. Then, and only then, can you declare them  un-fun.

I've been going through some changes this week. My hips, thighs and lower back are increasingly sore, and I've had to start sleeping on folded up blankets. I wish I would just sleep in a tub of warm cotton balls. Last night we had a little scare, but all seems to be back to normal this morning. I've been SO hungry though I am feeling skinny again as I have switched to all maternity pants. Sweet relief. We found $7 Gap maternity jeans this past weekend - WIN!

I am running out of breath more often again, especially when daddy tries to wrestle with me. I'm sorry your parents are so weird.

I promise this week will be less stressful, and I will remember to drink more water. Less than two weeks and you'll travel internationally for the first time!

Love you so much,

Monday, March 14, 2011

a scary monday

Until I reached 12 weeks of pregnancy, I was scared at every little twinge or ache. It's the magic week when the risk of losing the baby goes way down. So we didn't post our news on Facebook or write about it here. We talked guardedly, even with each other.

And then we sighed with relief, and the little baby started bumping around to let me know he was OK. But as I was driving home from work, just two weeks shy of halfway done, my usual hip and back pain seemed more than the usual stretching. Quite intense pain, actually. Instead of panicking all night, I called the doctor's office before they closed. It seems if you want to avoid the staff and nurses all you have to say is "cramping" and suddenly my midwife's comforting voice is there.

After a long list of questions, she told me to drink four glasses of water, get off my feet and take Tylenol. And if it wasn't better in 90 minutes, call and they would meet me at the hospital. I hung up, got myself water and broke down. Because now that we're so far along I only think about life with the little guy, not without him. I cried, rubbed my belly saying his name and willing him to be OK.

It's been three hours (and five glasses of water later), and my body hurts but back to the normal stretching feelings. I was so busy at work today that I didn't get even drink close to my 10 glasses of water, which can apparently cause bad cramping and mild contractions. Plus the normal round ligament pain I've been having can go through periods of intensity.

As scary as it was, I realized how much I love him. How much I need him. How much his future is in someone else's hands.

And how I will drink my 10 glasses of water every single day until I meet him face to face.

Friday, March 11, 2011

things i love today

spring weather

a new recipe
We made this orange chicken recipe this week. Just like a Chinese restaurant except no oil, MSG and way less sodium. I used Smart Chicken, which always tastes better and brown rice. And no orange zest because I don't have a zester or the time to zest anything.

retro kitchen
Our son will have a play kitchen. And if we win the lottery, it'll be this one. I'm thinking we should buy him a toy iron, too, because heaven knows we need someone who enjoys ironing in our house.

little boy clothes that don't say "all star" or "moms dig me"
It's possible. I've given a reprieve to animal clothing - some of it's cute. Luckily we have a Carters and OshKosh b'Gosh outlet within 20 minutes.

new baby blogs
I have my people blogs, my cooking blogs, my decorating on a budget blogs. Now it's baby blogs. My everyday reads now include:

pregnancy calendars
Because I love reading what's happening to my body and the baby boy's body. Except, you know, when the doctor tells you your life is a fantasy and really you're almost two weeks behind. But this Alpha Mom calendar is the best. Nice and sarcastic, just the way I like it. From 17 weeks: "I want to stab the world in the eyeballs with a fork right now, a little bit."

orange pillows
When we move to our new house we want to spruce up our old blue couches with bits of orange. I love these pillows from etsy. This one, too.

Happy weekend!

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

giving it up

Usually I give up something consumable for Lent. Chocolate, desserts, caffeine, candy, junk food. Being pregnant this year, I've already given up caffeine, alcohol, sushi, cold deli meat, most junk food, my beloved migraine drugs and my weekly portion of shark meat. If I give up more food (or drugs), I'll surely die.

We're not Catholic (yay meat on Fridays!) but I still love the tradition of remembering the Lenten season. We thought about giving up eating out but we're going on a 10-day vacation where cooking isn't an option. And really, how much am I growing in my faith when I mindlessly give up brownies or chicken fingers?

So here's our plan:
1. Add to our schedule the act of praying together every night. We do it sometimes when things are bad. Or one of us is six inches from the ledge or our tenants are smoking/jumping on the oven/refusing to pay rent. But unless it's meal time, it can be awkward. We tell each other everything but somehow laying it all out before God with the other person listening makes me squirm.

2. Sacrifice a portion of our monthly eating out budget for something better than high-sodium meals. We'll each have $5 week to either give away to someone who needs it or buy something for someone else that they need. I'll give you a report every Friday on how we've done. Teaser: Shea already gave his $5 away this morning. Overachiever. I don't even have cash.

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

four months done, more food needed

Hello there little boy,

We're 17 weeks, for real this time. You are doubling in size, and I am STARVING. Not just sorta hungry. S-T-A-R-V-I-N-G. Probably similar to how you'll eat as a teenager. I have had a pretty normal appetite the last four months, but the last three days, my appetite has exploded. Like, I've never been this hungry in my entire life. I've read it's normal, and that it will ebb and flow as you go through growth spurts. Luckily, we're headed to the grocery store tonight because those taco baked potatoes and waffle with peanut butter did nothing for me last night.

My hips, thighs and pelvis area are getting ready for your arrival but that means I've had trouble falling asleep because it feels like my pelvis is getting the flu. You've probably heard me whining to daddy about this. Don't pick up any bad habits, otherwise I'll have to buy one of those ridiculous "No Whining Allowed" signs.

You've been kicking me every so often. Or maybe it's punching. Or rolling over. Or chest bumping. Regardless, I know you're there in a teeny tiny way. Especially when I drink a gulp of cold water. Everybody has been trying to guess your name and daddy always has to talk slowly so he doesn't let it slip.

What's that? You want some chocolate soy milk at the grocery store tonight? Not a problem, little man.

Love you so very much,

Monday, March 7, 2011

registering for the fetus

In the next installment of "Sarah is going to be a mom (to a boy, no less!) and has no idea what she is doing," we registered this weekend. And brought my mom.

Except we're kind of weird and different. And though Target is great, they have three aisles of disposable diapers and wipes. And we're not doing disposable anything. Side rant: do you know they have disposable changing pads? What's wrong with the cloth one and a plastic bag? Why is everything so disposable?!

Plus we're kind of snobby and don't like baby stuff that looks like baby stuff. There are no swings with nice little stripes, checks or dots. Or plain colors. It all has to be big orange squirrels, a goofy-grinning cow or of course, jungle, jungle, jungle! The normal looking ones are online one, which if I am registering at an actual store, I want the stuff to be in the actual store.

I found plenty at Target we need like a car seat, crib sheets and a Moby Wrap. And then a bunch of stuff I don't need but want like a Bumbo seat in K-State purple and the hooded duck towel.

On Amazon, we registered for the stuff I really actually DO need. Like a dual flush system for the toilet, a diaper sprayer, prefold newborn diapers, breast pump, wet bags and the Bob Revolution jogging stroller (my most coveted item). It's free shipping so it works.

And then we're registered at Happybottomus, a local (but online, too!) natural parenting store. We have FuzziBunz and bumGenius cloth diapers (more on this soon). Lots of 'em. It's super boring but it's my favorite registry.

We registered at three stores for the same amount (if not less) that people register for at one store. But we want to be as environmentally and cost friendly as possible. Plus we will have a small house, small nursery and don't want to end up taking a huge load to Salvation Army in six months. Because we do that a lot. We're hoping to get lucky at a local consignment sale, too, so instead of $60 for a swing we'll use a few months, we can buy a used one for less.

In a year from now, I promise to blog again if my aversion toward pacifiers, crib bumpers, disposable changing and nursing pads, pack n plays (at least brand new ones), bouncy seats, infant car seats and monstrous swings turns out to be misguided.

Because as previously mentioned, I don't know what I'm doing. I'm just pretending.

Curious? Judgmental? Generous? Here are our registries:
Happybottomus (password: shea)

Saturday, March 5, 2011

oatmeal: more sugar than a Snickers bar?

Drive through Mickey D's and instead of your usual egg-sausage-lard muffin, you opt for a healthier option and choose the new oatmeal. Yay for you.
But sadly, what you're really eating is basically the same calories as a cheeseburger or Egg McMuffin. And more sugar than a Snickers bar! (source) A typical McDonald's fruit and maple oatmeal includes 290 calories and 32 grams of sugar (source). That's with light cream and no brown sugar (which you know you'll get).

In comparison, this morning I had old fashioned oats. (Boil water, add in half cup of real oats, cook for like three minutes, eat.) I add 1/4 cup of skim milk and a sprinkling of brown sugar (about 1 teaspoon). Total calories = 220 and 4 grams of sugar. And the huge box of oats that lasts me a month costs less than $3. Plus, none of the ingredients in my version include "natural flavoring."

I would argue my version is faster than a drive thru, too. Eating healthy - it's just not that hard!

Thursday, March 3, 2011

and there's a bump

Before you comment about how this looks like I just had one too many donuts, know this:

1. I do not eat donuts.

2. I used to have fairly good abs and a flat stomach from running.

That said, I know I haven't gained that much. At my 10-week appointment, I had gained zero pounds. At 15 weeks, five pounds. I can technically still button my pants but then I drink half a glass of water or eat an apple, and it's a sad, uncomfortable story. In the last week or so, it's definitely gone from bloated to pregnant.

My body mass index was 21 before I got pregnant, which means this girl has to pack on 25-35 pounds. The pizza slice and Yogurtini I had after class tonight will probably help.

P.S. I feel like I should comment on the fact I wear a lot of crazy pants. And yes, I wear them in public.

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

counting the days

In 23 days I will be on a plane to this:

Belize! We're headed to the Cayo District (jungle) and then the beaches of Placencia for 10 days! I'm going to eat rice and beans, enchiladas and seafood. And gelato. We'll be cave tubing, traveling to Guatemala for Mayan ruins and going on a boat tour looking for monkeys. Then I will relax and show off my baby bump in all its bathing suit glory.

No website launches, grad school literature reviews, taking the dog out, cooking dinner or checking my email.

Just me and Shea. And the bump.

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

16 weeks...again

Dear baby boy,

Gosh what a week. First, we found out that you're not quite as big as we thought. This scared us at first, but we figured out that really you're just 12 days younger than first calculated. The bonus is we get to see you again in four weeks so we can measure all your parts. So, sorry I lied about you being the size of an onion. Today you're the size of an avocado, and about to embark on that doubling-in-size growth spurt we talked about.

Then, we found out you're a boy! It was my mission this weekend to find clothes for you that don't include the words "all star" on them. Success, but we just won't be shopping at Target much. Daddy can't stop talking about how you're going to love baseball. We even got you baseball uniform footie pajamas. He's ready to throw you a ball in the backyard and teach you everything he knows (get ready...) But if you're into chemistry instead, that's OK too.

You're way more real to us now. We know your name, and call you by that when we're at home. We love you so much already!

My tummy has popped a bit, and the belly band is no longer an optional accessory. Buttoning my pants is torturous so I just don't do it anymore! I bought maternity jeans this weekend and feel like I've discovered the best thing in the world. Too bad I can't wear them to work.

My belly is itchy, and fiber is still an extremely vital part of my diet. But other than that, this part is pretty awesome!

Love you,