Thursday, October 28, 2010

Trunk or treat!

Trick or treating is this weekend here, and we still plan on taking Lucy around the neighborhood, but we decided it would be fun to take her to "trunk or treat" at Brett's church as well.

By the time we had finished circling the parking lot, Lucy had it pretty much figured out. She'd pick out a piece of candy, either dump it in her bucket or stick it in her mouth (still in the wrapper!), and then play with that piece until we came to the next stop.

She is walking so well now!

Lucy tried to sit down a few times and eat her stash before we made it around.

What happened when I took away the Snickers she was trying to suck through the wrapper.....

We finally gave her some M&Ms-her first candy (that I know about, anyway!)

I was sort of disappointed that she didn't get to wear her black tights and red onesie- but it was just too hot (think 80 degrees!) It's supposed to cool down this weekend, though, so hopefully I will be able to snag a picture of the entire ensemble- including antennae.

Monday, October 25, 2010

33 weeks.

Since Saturday, I’ve been 33 weeks preggo, which means that if I deliver the Deuce at the same time as Lucy, I have just under 5 weeks to go. I’m not gonna lie- 5 weeks sounds a lot more appealing at this point than 7 or, heaven help me, 9.

The good:

- I’m up roughly 10 pounds from my non-pregnancy weight. I’m guessing that I’ll end up gaining about 15 or so total- that would put me about the same as with Lucy. I’m fine with this, because it means that after I deliver this little one, I will be on the fast track to “back-to-normal.” Being practically continuously pregnant for the past 2 years has not been good to my self-image.

- I have (KNOCK KNOCK KNOCK ON WOOD) no stretch marks yet. I’m going to credit my daily application of shea and coco butter for this. That and drinking tons of water. And great genes (thanks, Mama!)

- My hair looks fabulous. My skin is pretty clear.

- I’m sleeping pretty well. Lucy is napping in HER crib in HER room now, and at least starts out the night there. She still ends up in our room between 4:30-5:30 most nights, but that’s fine because I get up around 5:45 every morning, and she nurses before work.

- This baby is a mover! I seldom worry about whether he/she is doing okay because there’s so much movement.

- I’m still in nesting mode and getting a lot accomplished. Realistically, the baby could come at any time and we’d be ready. Diapers and covers are washed, I have some ‘sposies, we already have wipes in the warmer for Lucy…clothes are all sorted and washed. Diapers, boobs, some sleepers…that’s all you really need (oh, and a carseat if you want to come home!)

The bad:

- I have SO MANY Braxton-Hicks (BH) contractions. I have a couple every hour during the day, and then when I get home at night…WHAM! I actually ended up in Labor and Delivery last week to be monitored because I was having near-continuous, super-uncomfortable, borderline-painful BH. Luckily the baby is handling the BH fine, and there is no cervical change so far. Stay put, baby- at least for 5 more weeks!

- Just about everything sets off the BH. Walking too fast, peeing, bending the wrong way, baby movement….all turn my uterus rock hard. I’m hoping that because of all the practicing, this labor will be even quicker and easier than mine with Lucy was. I’m supposed to call L&D if I have more than 6 BH in an hour…but….that is practically every day. My strategy now is to simply lay down, drink *more* water, eat protein, and see what happens- if that doesn’t stop ‘em, then I’ll call.

- I’m starting to get a little nervous about tandem-nursing. Don’t get me wrong- I didn’t push through all the nipple-soreness, nursing strikes, etc. to give up now. Plus Lucy is nursing as enthusiastically as ever, so I don’t foresee her giving up in the next few weeks. I actually pumped the other day out of curiosity and got an ounce easily, so I know I still have milk. I guess I’m more wondering how it will all work…nursing both before work, both before bed….how much I will be able to pump…is it true that you produce as if you had twins…so many questions! I guess I will just have to wait and see.

- Even though I’ve not gained that much weight, I’m quickly outgrowing all my clothes- including my maternity stuff. I think I’m down to 2 pairs of jeans and a pair of capris that fit. However, I’m not up to buying more stuff, so I think I’ll just suck it up for now…especially since I wear a uniform to work anyways.

Friday, October 22, 2010

Where the Blue Ridge yawns its greatness....

Last weekend Brett and I decided to haul our happy butts up to Clemson. It had only been a month since we’d visited last, but as my due date approaches, we realized that it was probably our last opportunity to go before no. 2 gets here. Besides, it was a home-game weekend, the weather was supposed to be beautiful, and my mama and aunt said they would be interested in driving down as well- Clemson is about a 12 hour drive for them, an 8 hour drive for us.

Anyway, Brett managed to pack the car while I was at work while simultaneously keeping Lucy distracted from her morning nap. That way, when I got home around lunch, we could hit the road- and Lucy would sleep. All went to plan and the trip went pretty smoothly. I only wish we didn’t have the time-change to deal with- we lose an hour moving from Central to Eastern.

Oh, and before I go any further, I want to give a shout out to our latest purchase- a hitch-mounted cargo carrier and bag. We spent MONTHS debating a new, more generously-sized car (even going so far as to get a loan application and test-drive a beautiful *used* Excursion), but could simply not commit to a car payment (Brett’s truck is paid off, and we’re looking forward to paying off the Honda in a few months). While we both would have loved the Excursion, it wasn’t “fiscally responsible”- aka not fun. Anyway, we spent only $200 for the carrier and bag (which is both HUGE and waterproof, btw), and that’s solved our space issue for now. We’re up front, Lucy’s in the middle (as will be the new baby), and the cargo area is, as usual, occupied by Savannah and Chuck. My, what we sacrifice for our canine babies! Bonus: because the bag is BEHIND the car and not ON TOP of it, it doesn’t hurt gas mileage, and it’s easy to get to.

Back to the story….so Friday night was spent with family. On Saturday, Brett, two of our friends from UGA, my mom, my aunt, and I headed to the Clemson game. Even though we were in the upper UPPER deck, we had a great time. I managed to get what may be the worst sunburn of my life- on my feet! Leave it to me to live in Florida and get burned after a few hours of October sun. As of right now, it still looks as though I have on red socks.

After the game, we returned to Brett's parents' house, where we enjoyed a yummy barbecue. Tons of delicious food, lots of friends, great time! I was especially glad to get to see the Mertens family and finally meet Ms. Abigail in person. Abigail and Lucy are only a few weeks apart in age, and will have siblings very close in age as well- too cute :-)

Sunday was a day for church and relaxation, and I was sad to say goodbye to my mama. The next time I will see her is when the Deuce arrives, so hopefully it won't be too long! We headed back home on Monday, and had a relatively uneventful trip. We managed to make the trip with only one stop, and Lucy behaved very well for the vast majority of it. However, I'm still grateful that I won't have to cram myself in the back seat next to her for quite a while.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Saturday, October 9, 2010


With both of my pregnancies, I was very sick for the first 24 weeks or so, experiencing terrible nausea and vomiting and losing 15+ lbs. Thank goodness for the wonder-drug that is Zofran, or I'd probably be a lot worse off. Even after 24 weeks, about the time when I managed to wean myself off Zofran, I still had occasional bouts of the same symptoms, as well as fatigue. I consider myself one of the least productive pregnant women around- I just don't have the energy to do much, even when it involves baby-related things.

Lucy's Clemson tutu, still in progress.

So you can imagine my surprise when I was about 30 weeks pregnant with Lucy and discovered my "nesting" instincts. I woke up one morning and went from feeling really crappy and wanting to lay in bed all day to wanting to clean the grout in the bathroom with a toothbrush (not an exaggeration, by the way). No, not wanting, NEEDING to clean the grout.

Shirt for Lucy- I had to buy an iron-on, because they don't make "big sister" shirts for babies!
The smallest size I could find was I whipped up one for her.

Up until that point, I had always thought that nesting was a cutesy term for mamas getting ready for birth, more of an overall desire to get things ready for baby than a mental state. It wasn't until I experienced it myself that I recognized that, for me anyway, nesting should be classified as a legitimate medical condition.

The first knitting project I've stuck with- it's starting to come a little easier, though.

Last week (again, around 30 weeks), the nesting craziness began again. It started Friday night, when I laid in bed, daydreaming about all of the things I could be doing instead of sleeping. Cleaning, baking, and reorganizing the garage all came to mind. When I woke up Saturday morning at about 5:30, I got to work. By the time the weekend was over, in addition to my normal chores, I had managed to cook up 2 gallons of chicken soup, bake 4 dozen pumpkin-chocolate chip cookies, sew a pillowcase dress for Lucy, nearly complete her tutu and a smaller version of it (for who, I didn't stop to consider- it was just cute!), scrapbook several pages for Lucy's book.......During the week, I spent a lot of time knitting, scoping out gender-neutral baby clothing (as if I don't have enough from when Lucy was born), and continuing a long list of chores I'd come up with.

Pumpkin cheesecake- observe the beautiful layers. Delicious- and hey, you gotta feed the nester!

Finally, last night, Brett and I accomplished one of my major nesting goals, one that paves the way for future nesting activities: we re-arranged the nursery to squeeze in an extra crib and dresser. Now that we've figured that out, I can nest to my heart's delight, moving Lucy's clothes to the bigger dresser, sorting through newborn clothes to go in the old one, putting the crib padding and accessories on the new crib (which is pretty ridiculous, since Lucy didn't sleep in a crib until she was over a year old- but I like to use the crib for changing baby's clothes, a place to play while I'm putting clothes away, etc), and decorating. It was hard to sleep last night, thinking of all the possibilities!

Second attempt at a pillowcase dress- peanut butter jelly time!

Of course, it didn't help matters that I bought some half-and-half yesterday at the grocery store that has an expiration date AFTER my due date (yes, it was ultra-pasteurized, but still!)

My mama is crazyyy!

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Mommy jealousy and mommy guilt.

I think all of us experience it at one time or another. Humans are, I believe, rather competitive by nature; we judge our accomplishments according to what our peers have also achieved. As mothers, we often compare the development of our children to those of our friends or family members. Further, we sometimes view our children’s accomplishments as some kind of barometer by which to measure our own success as mothers.

I’ll give you an example. At 13 months, Lucy frequently babbles, hums, and even sings. However, her words are limited to mama, dada, baba, and yeah. Further, even though we’ve worked extensively with her on signing for 6 months now, Lucy only uses a handful of signs, and still somewhat irregularly.

The daughter of a friend is only a little older than the Goose, but is incredibly verbal. Not only does she speak many words, but she speaks them clearly. Additionally, she can sign. Overall she has an incredible grasp of language for a child of her age.

Am I jealous? TOTALLY!

I know I shouldn’t be. I know it’s ridiculous. But I feel the same way when I hear about a child who sleeps through the night, or practically runs through the house, or has hit any number of milestones Lucy hasn’t yet. I know it’s not fair to compare Lucy to other children. I should be satisfied that she is healthy and happy and developing well-within the spectrum of “normal”- who determines what is normal, by the way?

Also, because I work outside of the home, my “mommy guilt” is intense. I’ll bare my soul here: I often wonder if Lucy would be developing differently if I were a stay-at-home mom. Would she be signing more by now? Could she speak more clearly? I feel a great deal of guilt for not being able to spend more time with her during the week.

Please don’t get me wrong- Brett is a fabulous father and does an amazing job with Lucy during the day. He takes her on little trips to the library and the pool, builds pillow forts in the yard, bakes cookies….. I’m immeasurably grateful that not only have we avoided putting Lucy in daycare, but that she gets to spend every day with her Daddy.

I do my best to make the time I get to spend with Lucy quality time, mainly through attachment parenting techniques like extended breastfeeding, babywearing, and, until recently, bedsharing. Still, the daily separation from my daughter is difficult. The guilt that I feel from having to work every day (and yes, for the record, I HAVE to work- my military service commitment wasn’t up yet when Lucy was born) makes it hard for me to justify spending time away from her at all when I’m not working. For heaven’s sake, I felt terrible for *one time* leaving her at home with Brett instead of taking her grocery shopping with me on a Saturday morning. I have a gift certificate for a massage sitting on my office desk that’s been there since Mother’s Day- how could I possibly justify spending one of the two mornings I have off during the week at the spa?

I can’t help but look forward to the day when I’ll get the chance to stay home with Lucy and her little brother or sister. I can’t wait until I can guiltlessly take some time for myself because I “earned” it, having taken care of the kids all week. I’m anxious for when I can take them to the library, go on play dates, etc- at which point Lucy will probably be old enough to say, “Why can’t Daddy stay home with me?”


Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Wordless Wednesday.

This WW is brought to you by my first attempt at a pillowcase-style dress for Miss Lucy.

Saturday, October 2, 2010

30 weeks.

I'm 30 weeks today, and it's October now, which means.....that if I have this baby at 38 weeks like I did Lucy, I could have a baby NEXT MONTH! Wahoooooo!