Monday, May 30, 2011

Jurassic Park or Woodland Park?

For future reference: 2-year-olds are afraid of life-sized dinosaurs.


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Save me, Daddy!


Also worth noting: going to the zoo on a day forecasted to be rainy, but which you know in your heart will be glorious, is a GREAT IDEA.  I’ve never parked so close to the entrance of a zoo in my life.


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Feeding the birds…

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And at the opposite spectrum of the animal kingdom, feeding an elephant…

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Birthday Belly!!!  (36 weeks)

Thursday, May 26, 2011

35 Weeks and Change, Can the Days Go Any Slower?

Oh boy, oh boy, it’s the third trimester and it is AWESOME.  Not.


What’s going on lately?  Why haven’t I kept up with posting this past week?  AM I OKAY? 


Yes, yes, we’re all fine here.  Hmm, except for the fact that I now have a distinctive waddle.  And that Charles is throwing tantrum after tantrum that Tony suspects are caused by 60% new molars and 40% SOMETHING’S WRONG WITH MOM, NOOOOOO!  He’s clingy and obstinate, and I had to call Tony to come rescue me from his wrath at preschool yesterday because instead of sitting in his carseat like normal, he wanted to wail and scream and thrash about on the floor of the car for half an hour.  HALF AN HOUR PLEASE FORGIVE THE ALL CAPS BUT HOLY GOD, I CAN’T TAKE ANOTHER EPISODE LIKE THIS HAVE YOU ANY IDEA WHAT HALF AN HOUR OF SCREAMING IS LIKE?  Tony took him to swimming lessons, I picked up a pizza and sat on the couch.


In fact, I do a lot of couch sitting/napping these days.  My tremendous will to exercise regularly has waned mightily in the past week, and I haven’t been to the gym in about 10 days.  Which is probably fine, since more exercising did NOT equal less weight gain this time, and if this baby doesn’t come early like Charles did, I will surpass my 1st pregnancy weight gain.  Maybe I’ll surpass it by next week, who knows?  I told myself that anything under 50 pounds of weight gain this time was a win, but now that I am almost there, I feel like I lose.  But really, my friends and family lose, because they have to look at my fat ass all summer.  Sigh… an entirely new wardrobe to accommodate post-birth body.  Oh, sure, I have fat jeans from last time, but nothing that will do in 80+ degrees all summer long.


Also, and if you’ve been pregnant you know what I’m talking about here, I have reached that point where I feel like if I stretch too much, I might permanently dislocate something.  Or if I lift too much weight, my joints might irreparably freak out or SOMETHING BAD, I don’t know what, but it doesn’t feel great to be this loosey-goosey all the time.  No more weights, only cardio at the gym from this point forward.  35 weeks and change and I am ready to be done.


My couch time has been augmented by an early birthday gift from my dad and father-in-law, a Kindle.  I have been downloading e-books like crazy, which might turn into a pretty expensive habit.  I downloaded a bunch of free (since they’re public domain) classics that I have never read, but then I got into this mystery series, and every time I finish a book, which takes on average 2 days, I feel I simply MUST purchase the next in the series to find out what adventures lie ahead.  Also, the Kindle is just so damn convenient.  I take it everywhere, which has made waiting in doctor’s offices so much more relaxing and feeling somehow productive (yes, I know reading mystery novels is not productive in that I am not producing anything, but it is recreation, which is something I don’t get to do very often, so it is productive in that it produces feelings of relaxation, thus keeping my blood pressure from creeping up) and I get to read a lot more than I used to.


My birthday is on Monday, the dreaded 30, and we are doing a game night in a local restaurant.  I have some really awesome friends who have worked hard to plan a fun night for this oh-so-pregnant lady who can’t drink and can’t dance and can’t stay awake very late, and for that I am quite grateful.  I plan to enjoy myself with Italian food and good dessert and try not to cry when people say nice things (see how I am assuming nice things will be said I AM AN OPTIMIST).  We are also going to the zoo on Saturday morning, and I’m pretty sure I’ll need all day Sunday to recover, so pray for my sanity because I took a toddler to the zoo a couple months ago and it was fantastic but also exhausting and I am much more waddle-y and tired now than I was then.


Also?  Also?  I am not ready for this baby.  I don’t have newborn clothes, I loaned everything to a friend whose baby was extra-small (or within the range of normal, while Charles was extra-large) and I have yet to get them back.  The crib needs a bit of repairing (it is one of the recalled drop-down cribs that I bought NEW when Charles was born and instead of replacing the crib, the company sent out little parts that have to be screwed on somewhere, I’m not sure where, Tony knows, he just hasn’t done it yet and OHMYGOD WHAT IF THE BABY COMES EARLY AND HE/SHE CAN’T SLEEP IN THE CRIB FOR FEAR OF SUFFOCATION GET ON THAT TONY).  I haven’t switched all the diapers over to newborn size yet, I don’t have a bring-baby-home-from-the-hospital outfit yet, I don’t have my bag packed yet, I haven’t sterilized my pump yet, I haven’t brought the swing or bassinet down from storage and cleaned them yet, I haven’t washed the car seat or the stroller yet, I haven’t bought a humidifier yet, AAAAAHHHH PANIC ATTACK.


Ugh.  Time for a nap.  Who’s with me?  Oh, wait, I need to iron some shirts this afternoon, lest Tony go to work naked tomorrow.  Shirts, then nap.

Sunday, May 22, 2011

35 Weeks and Stuff

I am so stinkin’ proud of Charles, and I probably have been bragging to random people on the street a bit too much these past few days, but I can’t help it.  Charlie has been moved up to PRESCHOOL.


Okay, yeah, it’s preschool.  But!  The daycare center where Charles has gone since he was a baby has a toddler program until age 3 and then a preschool program that is truly meant to be a preparation for kindergarten for ages 3-5.  According to the daycare/preschool professionals there, Charles is not getting enough stimulation in the toddler area and he’s so developmentally advanced, that he now NEEDS to be in preschool in order to keep on truckin’ at an awesome pace.  Wow.


I’ll tell you something, the art projects he’s bringing home are way more recognizable now than they were a week ago, so that’s a bonus.  Also, he’s exhausted come bedtime, so he’s been sleeping a bit better. 


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Time flies, you know?



A friend, who owns JB Expressions, took some maternity photos of us last weekend.  Except for my double chins and the fact that photographic evidence totally makes me realize just how large I am (side note, every time I see a very pregnant woman who has clearly stayed within the boundaries of “recommended weight gain”, I seethe with rage at my genetics), they turned out pretty well.  Though I would have liked to do some outdoors, it was raining that day :-(


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We’re the hunchback family.  I can’t believe she didn’t tell us to sit up!


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Once again, barefoot and pregnant.


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Monday, May 16, 2011

Wherein We Renege on Our Public Declaration to Not Engage in Any Remodels During This Pregnancy

I said, at one point, right here in this ol’ blog, that we would not be doing any major remodels in anticipation of this baby.  Painting?  Sure.  Landscaping?  Well, that needed to be done anyhow.  Bathroom remodel?  Not until next year or the year after that. 


But!  Then, I got to thinking about how unfortunately sized our garage is.  I mean, it’s a two-car garage that only ever fit two cars once, and neither of us could open our doors to get in or out.  But that isn’t the biggest issue (because now we have too much stuff to fit another car in there, even if we had an extra foot on either side).  The problem is this:



Do you see that big, ugly, awfully-placed post right next to my car?  I can’t open the back door to get groceries or packages or, you know, a baby out of there.  Someone once said that maybe when the house was built, cars were smaller.  In 1978.  I don’t think so.


So, the post has to go.  The workmen were here today, measuring and calculating, and it will take them about 2 weeks to gear up for the project so, yes, we will be having major remodeling work done while I am 36 weeks pregnant.  Good planning or what!?!  This, my friends, is the epitome of The Crazy.


We are also moving ahead on Charles’ room, turning it from a sterile spare bedroom into a kids’ room in baby steps.  This weekend, Tony finished painting, and I put up stickers:


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I think his bed-cubby looks great, personally.  I plan to get some star-shaped mirrors and a dresser for the other side in a couple of weeks, which should round out the rest of the decor.  He also gets a Van Gogh print and a plant in a yellow pot that he picked out himself:

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The bedside table will eventually move to Uncle Leland’s spare room, and the rocker will move closer to the bed.


It’s fun to decorate and remodel, but oh, it is exhausting.  Particularly because Charles slept with Tony this weekend while I slept on the couch (let’s be fair, I might end up on the couch permanently if this heartburn doesn’t subside… ugh).  I look forward to not doing the bathrooms anytime soon.

Friday, May 13, 2011

Don’t Get Mad, Get Naked

Note: I posted this yesterday, but blogger crashed and removed posts – so I lost any comments!  Sorry!

In the midst of our hour-long battle over bedtime with Charles last night, Tony mentioned to me that it will be pretty amazing to see what that kid can do when he puts his force of will to something positive.  In short, he is stubborn.  Which is why we try to exhaust him every day.  Unfortunately, just like conditioning for a race or playing on a basketball team for an entire season, Charles is in great shape and what wore him out a few months ago doesn’t seem to make a dent in his overall energy level now.

As you might recall from the first 21 months of Charles life, he has always been a horrible sleeper.  He wakes up in the middle of the night, lately with nightmares and a need to go potty.  And he fights going to bed, I think because he assumes we throw a party as soon as he dozes off.  He rarely naps on the weekends (he always naps at daycare, but so do the other kids, hence, no while-you-were-sleeping party).  He tries everything he can think of to keep from having the lights turned off: “Mommy story.  Potty, mommy!  Daddy’s turn stories.  Potty, daddy.”  Then, when we have each read two stories and told him in no uncertain terms that it is time for bed, he cries those pathetic, fake-cries of frustration and anger (as opposed to pain, hunger, or sadness) that allow me to easily slip out of the dark room and ignore him. 

Last night he was still going at 9:30.  Ugh.  We got him settled one more time (“nose wipe, mommy!”) and went downstairs to veg on the couch for 45 minutes before we turned in. 

Now, I always give Charles a kiss before I go to bed.  I love his sleep-sweet breath right after he drops off (before he develops morning breath – seriously, that kid could kill a small animal with his morning breath), I love his sweaty head, and I love the way he contorts his tiny body over his covers.  But last night was good, better than usual.  Last night, the goodnight kiss rewarded me with this sight:

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Oh, yes.  He was so angry with us at leaving him to sleep that he took off his pajamas and his night diaper.  Also, he was snoring.  We managed to get him re-diapered and re-clothed without even waking him up, laughing the whole time. 

Oh, kid.  I couldn’t possibly love you more.

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

The Awesome Week Got Awesomer

Forgive my endless complaints, but geez, I have been killed with misfortune over the past week.  Some of it is my own anxiety over my continued increase in girth, not only in my belly (see last post), and my increasing exhaustion, and my ever-present feelings of being NOT READY while simultaneously being too wan to prepare for… something.  What is that we are supposed to do?  Oh yeah, a baby.  This thing kicking my ribs all the time.


But okay, then I went and got into a car accident and had an extremely busy (yet nice, as I love my family, but still busy, as I am 8ish months pregnant and exhausted all the time) weekend. 


So, the car accident.  No one was hurt.  It was not my fault.  As in, clearly not my fault, and the claims representative even said so, as did the police officer.  But!  Because of the layout of the street and the fact that I was leaving a parking lot while the other driver was entering a parking lot and still on the street, she apparently had the right-of-way, even though she zipped around a corner, didn’t see me, and tried to occupy the same space I was occupying at that very moment.  In broad daylight.  I had my lights on.  She didn’t see me.  I am still baffled.


There goes $1000 for the deductible because we will end up paying for some (not all, because, again, NOT MY FAULT) of the damage to her car and (obviously) all of the damage to my car.  Grrr.  So that put me into a tailspin mood on Friday about finances, which is probably everyone’s favorite hypertension-inducing subject.  It turns out we are able to absorb the blow, no huge deal worth getting worked up about, but still, would I have rather spent that $1000 another way?  Yes, preferably by saving it for an additional cushion for when I go on maternity leave and for the hospital bills, etc, etc, blah, blah, blah.  Or maybe on chocolate.  Either way.


It just galls me, and I could go on about this for days, that this had to happen and that I am being held partially responsible.  I’d like to paint you a diagram of what happened, but I am not sure how to do an acceptable computer-rendering of the accident scene, so let me just say that EVERYONE, including police and insurance agents, I have talked to about this completely agrees that it was her fault and not mine, and I don’t know why I am still saying that, except that, seriously, it pisses me off.  IF IT IS HER FAULT WHY AM I PAYING???  At least I have moved beyond melancholy into anger and frustration, right?


So, yeah, big weekend, taking care of lots and lots of family, eating badly, lots of dishes and cleaning, not enough attention given to Buster, impending doctor’s appointment tonight, I’ve started to waddle, I can no longer cross my legs when I’m sitting, and no Mother’s Day celebration for me, boo-hoo.  I’m over it now, I guess.  A new week, a new start, and my house gets cleaned today.  Also, I think I’ll go to Target and buy myself something for the baby to make myself feel even better.  At least until I start thinking about all the things I need to do over the next 7-plus-or-minus-2 weeks before baby, like train my work replacement who can’t start until June 13 (oh, God, that is cutting it close, what if this baby is early?), or my big, huge, ginormous, milestone birthday at the end of the month, or more family in town (who would say “don’t clean for my sake!” but how can I not?  Like I’m going to put the air mattress on a floor that is strewn with nursery things or not do the dishes so you have no clean forks?), or what in the world I should wear for my maternity photos next weekend… oh, I think I need to lie down now.

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Some Days are Better than Others

For a few weeks, I have been in denial about just how fat I’ve become.  Partly, I’m sure, because when I’m looking for affirmation and fishing for compliments, my husband and brother always oblige.  “You’re not fat, you’re pregnant!” they’ll, say.  Neither of them really say that I look good, they just try to imply that I shouldn’t worry. 


Impossible.  How can a girl in our society not worry about her weight?


I tore my jeans this morning.  I wiggled into the jeans that I wore without trouble just this past weekend (they had been newly washed yesterday, so the part of my brain that specializes in denial has been telling me all morning that jeans always shrink back in the wash and get bigger after you wear them awhile), and just as I got them to my hips, R-I-I-I-I-P!  I am too fat IN MY HIPS for them anymore.  My thighs, my butt… all are getting larger by the day. 


Yes, I know I am supposed to gain weight, but I am already 40 lbs up from pre-pregnancy (5 lbs over the recommended weight gain range and 10 lbs over where my doctor said he wanted to see me) and I have, at minimum, 6 weeks to go (to gain more, that is).  And the weight gain is not in my belly, it is in my thighs, my butt, my hips, my arms, my face, my feet, my legs.  Oh, and my under-belly, that part that becomes that hideous mom-belly, highlighted by mom-jeans, just above your pelvic bone.  Gross!


So yeah, with six weeks to go, I need to go shopping.  Again.  Because, as I sit here in my other size-M maternity jeans, I am unwilling to kid myself about fit any longer.  These alternative jeans are tight as well.  Time to go up to a size Large, something I swore I wouldn’t do. 


I try to eat well, I really do.  Cereal with yogurt and herbal tea for breakfast… and then I go off the rails.  By 9:30, I am hungry again, so I eat an apple, and then a muffin, and then a granola bar, and then by 11 or 11:30, I am hungry for lunch.  Lunch is often leftovers.  Then I slow down a bit, and snack after I do my workout (yes, I still go to the gym 3 times a week and do a workout video at home the other days – the weight gain is in spite of the working out!), and then eat a smallish dinner, and then snack again before bedtime.  I am hungry ALWAYS.  My only hope now is that this incredible, ever-present, gnawing hunger disappears somewhat after I give birth. 


That, however, is the hard part about all of this.  I can do something about this weight, but not until 6 weeks post-partum.  Do you know how far away that is?  I have to endure at least 6 more weeks (could be 10!) of getting steadily fatter, and then 6 weeks of sitting around, not exercising, waiting for my body to recover.  I don’t want to be fat over the summer.  I don’t want to have my thigh chub rub together and give me a rash under sundresses.  I don’t want to cringe when I look at photos of me in a tank top with a new baby.  I don’t want my face to continue to look like my new driver license photo, large and round, my eyes sunken behind fat deposits, making them look even smaller. 


Pregnancy is supposed to be beautiful?  Pregnancy is fat an ugly on this girl, and I die a little bit every time I see another pregnant woman who has somehow pulled it off and kept her legs and arms and hips and butt relatively thin while her belly pops out like a cute basketball.  Not I.  I’ve even got a photo of me (taken by someone else) from last weekend that clearly indicates that I have back fat for the first time in my life. 


I guess all I can do is spend money on new clothes and pray that I will be able to lose all of this weight, instead of ending permanently higher on the scale as I did after Charles.  And cry.  I can do that, and do it well.

Monday, May 2, 2011

Super Weekend

I won’t lie, our lives mainly consist of trying to exhaust Charles by any means possible.  Oh, sure, those means are usually somewhat “character building,” as they say, but nonetheless, the end result is a tired (hopefully napping/sleeping through the night) toddler. 


Some of you might think this is bad parenting.  After all, shouldn’t we be working to expand his horizons, engaging him a variety of “downtime” activities like puzzles and books and crafts?  As it turns out, Tony and I (regardless of my ever-increasing bulk) are pretty active people, so I like to think of our parenting method as “training” for future activity in this family.  Also, as Kelli recently pointed out to me, some kids are sleepers, in the way that other kids are eaters or talkers.  Well, Charles is not a sleeper, a struggle I have documented extensively and one we still battle today.  If our activities are sufficiently stimulating, Charles sleeps more and I sleep more, end of story.


But also, we do play with puzzles and read lots of books.  Just so you know.


This weekend, our activities were perhaps a bit over-the-top.  I don’t think I have ever seen that child so tired as I did on Saturday and Sunday nights.  After all, he got to meet Santa in the off-season.  And Santa rides a giant tricycle.  Who knew?


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They’re a bit scary in person, as you can see…


And then, he got to ride on Grandpa’s boat (well, the boat that Grandpa is running for the summer, at any rate):


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Thumbs up!

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Charlie’s turn to drive (I think they were still in port)

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Ahh, the open ocean.  This boy is definitely a Cook.

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It’s tough work, running around like this all day.


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We’re starting the musical education young… can you see me as a Tiger Mom, cracking the whip to keep him practicing?  No?  Me, neither.

And then came one of those things that only happens in small towns… a Fire Truck Ride.  Capitalized because this is a Big Deal.  I can’t imagine how many rules were broken and insurance violations were made when the Ilwaco Fire Department (it’s volunteer) took group after group of small children on 15-minute engine rides, but it must’ve been more than a few. 


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Charles and Tony got to sit in the front seat without seatbelts and work the airhorn for the whole ride.  None of the kids were belted in, for that matter.


And then came the parade.  During which I didn’t take any photos because, really, they would not have been that great.  Charles had a minor meltdown as he got too tired towards the end, but we stuck it out and he rallied, and then slept halfway home. 


Oh.  And?  We all got sunburns.  Hooray May!