Friday, January 28, 2011

I Don’t Think You’re Ready for This Belly

18.5 ish weeks:


January 2011 017


So, in other news, I have been doing a new skin-care regimen for several weeks and boy, oh boy, are you going to think I am crazy.  The regimen is described here.  Basically, I bought a year’s supply of grapeseed, castor, and tea tree oil (it might be more like 3 years supply of the tea tree oil) and I rub a combo of the three into my face every night and then wipe it off with a steaming wet washcloth.  My blackheads are gone, my breakout-prone areas are all cleared up, and my pores are much smaller than they were before.  I still deal with some pattern dryness, but I attribute that to the weather more than anything.  If your skin needs an intervention, I highly recommend it.


It seems like I am going more natural and dirty hippie all the time.  Cloth diapers, oil cleaning, no HFCS… what’s next?

Monday, January 24, 2011

The Return of The Crazy? AND The Return of My Camera

Those of you who have been pregnant know that “nesting” is real, and doesn’t deserve the quotes I put around it in this sentence.  It is NOT something that women made up to get their husbands to do work while we are pregnant.  It is real, and so is its cousin, extreme nesting, or, The Crazy. 


The Crazy involves major remodels, the kind that should ideally be subcontracted out.


The Crazy will not be allowed in the Cook household this year.  We can’t afford it, and I am not sure our dog would survive it (he barely made it the last time we remodeled).  However, I am fully embracing my nesting instincts and getting shit together around here because, man, we really need it. 


First, Charles has a new room.  But it still has old office stuff in it!  It’s not much of a new room at all!  What will we do?  Oh, believe me, I have plans.  The bookcase currently in his room has all sorts of my and Tony’s junk in it.  It will move downstairs.  We bought a new TV, thanks to a monetary gift from my parents who mistakenly believe that they should get their children Christmas gifts of matching value, and Leland got a rather nice (and much needed) tool chest this year, so, voila!  New 42”plasma to be delivered this week, after much hemming and hawing and researching and price-shopping and blah, blah, blah.  The old TV will go because no one in the family wants it, so perhaps someone on craigslist will pick it up cheap.  Then!  A new bookcase that I have been storing at the office and has since become superfluous due to the arrival of a nice, secondhand, locking filing cabinet will move to Charles room to be filled with the millions upon millions of books currently littering our entire house. 


A side note: don’t you love generous friends?  A great friend of mine recently cleaned out her six-year-old son’s room and her garage and has given us two boxes of books and all sorts of clothes that will likely fit Charles next winter, including two winter coats!  Some of the books will go to the two grandparents’ houses so that bedtime stories are readily available, but the vast majority of them will live here, and even today, Charles is discovering new, great stories.


And Then!  I am thinking about moving the futon to the office for use as an office couch until we someday don’t need a crib and changing table and the children share a room so we can move it back home.  But I don’t know – it’s a nice idea that anyone who comes to visit us could have a spot to sleep, but with that “spot” being in Charles room, and not really having enough room to fold it out into a bed anyway, it’s sort of useless.  I think it’s gonna go.  There.  I just made up my mind while blogging.


Finally, the garage is going to be de-cluttered.  We will purchase another rack and make room for things to be stacked on shelves rather than the floor (which will save me tripping all over the place trying to reach something that is on the current shelves).  Some of our stuff, like the Christmas decorations, will go to the office to be placed high up on the loft above the bathroom.  The new shelf will also have room to serve as a makeshift pantry, holding backup boxes of macaroni-n-cheese and Costco-sized boxes of cereal, since I do not have room for these things in my kitchen. 


I am so excited for all of this to start, I can hardly contain myself.  And it starts soon!  This week we get the TV and then everything sets in motion!  Whee!


Okay, yeah, my camera was in my car (hey, the camera case is black, the interior of the car is black, and I don’t bend over well.  No judgment on me losing things in my car!).  So here are some photos of a delighted Charles when we had snow a few weeks back and he got to sled and sled and sled in the front yard.


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January 2011 007

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Friday, January 21, 2011

A Day in the Life

Charles wants to wear underwear all the time, but does not understand the feeling of having to pee… he just goes.  We have experienced (or rather, I have experienced, as Tony has been working late) a lot of accidents.  He made it all the way from preschool to the gas station and then home before he had an accident in the garage.  And then he was mad that I made him take off the pants and his train (choo-choo!) underwear and put on a diaper.  Except he didn’t put on a diaper, he ran around buck nekkid until Tony came home and coerced him into a diaper so we could go to Costco.  He’s ready to potty train, but he’s not quite ready.


I’ve never seen a kid eat so much as Charles can eat at Costco.  Last night, he definitely ate more than I did (which might be an unfair comparison, as I was feeling distinctly awful and only had about a third of Tony’s Polish Dog).  Charles will eat an ENTIRE Chicken Bake on his own, in addition to an entire soda-cup full of root beer or lemonade and several bites of frozen yogurt.  He’s got a hollow leg or something.


This morning, Charles woke up, wandered out of his room, and asked me to go back to bed.  “Of course you can go back to bed, honey, it’s only 7am!  Go!”  But no, he wanted me to go back to bed with him.  I snuggled (well, I held on while he tried to go back to sleep ON TOP OF ME, which is pretty tough since I have to be on my side because, lemme tell you, this is gonna be another BIG BABY, and my heart rate goes up and my blood pressure freaks out if I lie on my back) for as long as I could before insisting on

getting up and eating my breakfast.  Then, Charles proceeded to eat all my breakfast.  He then helped me feed Buster, we changed his diaper, and he wanted to crawl back in bed, this time my bed, with me.  I know I won’t get many chances to snuggle when he’s older, so I indulged him.


When we finally got coats and hats on to go to the car (my coat barely zips now), he demanded to carry my to-go mug of (decaf) coffee.  “Mommy’s Coffee!  Mommy’s Coffee!  Mommy’s Coffee!”  “Yes, honey, that’s my coffee.”  “No.  Charles’ Coffee!”  “*Sigh* Do you want your own coffee?”  “Dah.”  So I got him a to-go mug and filled it with Omega-3 enhanced chocolate milk, and off we went.  He wouldn’t put it down once he got to preschool (and he called it coffee to anyone who would listen), so when I asked him to come give me a kiss goodbye, he ran with his cup in his hands, all the way across the room, lips out and ready to go.  But he didn’t stop.  The top-speed kiss resulted in him landing smack on his ass.  But his coffee didn’t spill!


The little snot has a cold, and I think he gave me pinkeye.  Thanks, son.  He’s getting to be a bit more than I can handle in my compromised state, but I am hoping to find some more activities for the two of us that involve me sitting down.  Or, even, some activities that he can do on his own.  And I think I am going to make calzones this weekend because that will be enough like the Chicken Bake that maybe he’ll just eat it and not dissect it.

Thursday, January 20, 2011


It is the bane of the pregnant woman to obsess over that which she has little or no control.  Is the baby moving enough?  Will the baby be okay or have some sort of problem?  Am I equipped to deal with a child who has a disorder or is down syndrome or some other life sentence?  Will I make it to 40 weeks or will I deliver pre-term?  Will I have to have a cesarean?  Will breastfeeding go smoothly?  Will it be a girl or a boy?  Did I zap that sliced turkey I ate the other day long enough in the microwave to kill the listeria?


This time, this week, I am obsessing about weight gain.  My doctor during Charles’ pregnancy was incredibly cool about the whole thing.  I gather he had seen thousands of pregnant women and knew I was doing just fine.  Even at the 50-lb mark, the only person who said anything was his associate doctor, a woman, who told me at 32 weeks that I was “getting fat” and needed to essentially knock it off. 


This time around, things are different, unknown.  I have a new doctor, our family doctor, who is reasonably chill but was still emphatic at my first appointment that I he’d “like to see me gain about 30 lbs.”  You guys.  I think I am more than halfway there already.  The downside to only having appointments every six weeks is that, without a scale in the house, I am relying on inaccurate scales at my in-laws’ house, the YMCA, and the office (we use that one for packages, of course).  They could all be a few pounds off.  But which direction?  And how much?


And while I am mostly sure that the baby is fine with this weight gain (after all, Charles turned out okay), I am panicking at the thought of chastisement from my doctor in a couple of weeks.  What’s he going to say?  It is so easy to make me feel horrible about myself on a normal day, but I am pregnant now!  It’s the easiest thing in the world to get me to burst into tears!


And then I start to think, what if it’s not good for the baby?  What if all Charles’ problems during his first 18 months could have been avoided if I had just stuck to a reasonable diet and kept the weight down?  Except, what is a reasonable diet?  Because here is how I eat:

-Bowl of cereal at 7 am, with a couple tablespoons of peanut butter eaten right from the jar because it’s my jar and otherwise I can’t choke my prenatal vitamin down

-Apple at 9:30 am

-Lunch at 10:30 am, usually a portion of leftovers from the night before

-snack at 2 pm, a granola bar or yogurt or chips and salsa

-another snack at 4 pm

-Dinner at 5:30 pm


I don’t usually snack after dinner because I am full and the evening is when I feel sick.  I drink lots of water and watered-down juice, and every meal has some sort of vegetable accompanying it.  And I just look at this list and think, wow, that’s a really reasonable diet.  For someone who isn’t pregnant!  Maybe I eat lunch too early, which causes me to have an extra snack in the afternoon, but overall, I think I do pretty well.  I avoid sweets (mostly because they just don’t interest me) (except for last night when I asked Tony to get vanilla ice cream on his way home from work so I could have a milkshake) (but I only made one, and a milkshake once in awhile isn’t excessive, right?).  Oh, God.  What if I get gestational diabetes?  I don’t know if I can handle it!


I am starting to exercise more – I just made a promise to myself that I would either take a walk or go to the gym every afternoon.  Today is looking like a gym day because it’s raining.  That’s got to help, right?  Right?


Oh, wow, I just feel like I suck at this whole pregnancy thing.  Not only and I super sick and cranky because of it, but I am tired and mega fat, too.  How does a person gain so much – perhaps 10 lbs – in a month?  I didn’t eat enough in the past month to make this happen!  I swear!

Wednesday, January 19, 2011


When I don’t have photos to rely on for blog fodder (I’m not sure our camera made it back from Second-Christmas last weekend), I feel compelled to let the world in on my thoughts, such as they are.  Which might not be all that fun for you, but is somewhat cathartic for me.


I wanted to be a writer when I was young, and I had all the dramatic, fantastic stories swimming in my head about ghosts and time travel and parents dying (oh, God, I can’t even think of how horrible that would be) and so on.  Heady stuff for a young kid, but I was consumed by the thought that I could write the Great American Novel, you know, for kids.  I know now that my style of writing is not so much dramatic as academic, and that probably makes blog days without photos pretty boring for my audience (but it was good for all those papers I wrote in college).  Also, while I was fascinated by stories about triumph through untold horror (mass destruction, abandonment, etc) when I was young, I would rather not read those stories now. 


I think those kinds of stories played into my fears and hopes pretty well.  I have always wanted to be somebody extraordinary, to find myself in extremely trying circumstances and be the girl who survived.  Now, I want to be somebody extraordinary, but with much less drama, you know?  I’d settle for my kids thinking I am their hero, for growing a successful business, and for doing good things for my community.  I’d also like to adopt all the dogs in the world.  But Tony won’t let me, even if I can give them love and save them from being beaten and left in the cold and starved, etc.  Sigh.  And the children!  Starving in Africa!  Abandoned by their parents who have AIDS and can’t raise them!  Don’t get me started.  I am a bleeding heart and I want to save the world. 


I know that my story will be somewhat less sensational than that, but I will do a little and it will make a difference. 


I had a dream the other night, though, in which I travelled back in time and I really missed my family.  Also, I kept making all these blunders that got me in trouble because I wasn’t used to it being 1950 or whatever, and the social norms were different, and it sucked.  So, no more stories about time travel.  Maybe I should limit my TV-viewing to kid’s movies.  Except that Charles and I watched Toy Story 3 on Monday and I bawled like crazy at the end.  You know, where Andy says goodbye to his favorite toys because he is going to college?  And then I grabbed Charles and implored him to take me with him to college and be my little boy forever and Charles was scared.  Sigh.


Do you ever think that if you had known how much your parents loved you when you were a child that you would have behaved so much differently?  Well, maybe not that much differently, but some.


In the meantime, I am trying to make Charles understand that it is precisely because I love him so much that he has to go to bed at a reasonable hour.  And also, I love this new baby, too, so he can’t climb on me.  He has become so clingy, I fear that it will be a back-achingly long tax season this year.


This morning proved the exception, however, when my brother came over to babysit for an hour while I went to Rotary (Tony is out of town at a conference today).  Charles immediately climbed down from my arms and ran to Leland to give him a hug.  I then suggested that Uncle Leland might make him eggs, and he said “Daaah!  Ee-an ehzzzz!”  Which means, of course, “Yeah!  Leland eggs!”  And then the little stinker turned to me and said “Bye mommy!”  After spending the previous 45 minutes crying and whining in my arms (except when I put him down to brush my teeth, and then it was more like shrieking and wailing).  Little stinker.


So, who wants a crazy pregnant lady and a Terrible Two-Year-Old to come visit them this tax season?  Huh?  Bueller?

Friday, January 14, 2011

The following is me complaining and being depressed. Those of you who don’t want an insight into my funk, leave now.

Do you know what today is?  Today is the day I am officially OVER this pregnancy.  The first day of real frustration.  I’m fed up.  I’ve had enough.  This is some sort of retribution, I’m sure, for me having such a divine experience with my first pregnancy.


Am I romanticizing my pregnancy with Charles?  Probably, but it truthfully was so much better than this.  There are photos of me smiling at 17 weeks because my uterus had popped out from behind my pelvis and I look pregnant.  I remember going to an after-hours event when this happened and eating well and happily, sampling foodstuffs and drinking water.  My skin looked glowy and pink.  People commented on my belly and how cute it was.  I felt good, I felt energetic.


I am no longer so sick that I beg God for mercy every night (which I did, for a few months there).  But I am still sick.  Not really sick enough for me to justify taking my anti-nausea medication every day (but I still do some days), but sick enough that I can’t eat normally, and I feel like sh*t most days.  I hate drinking water, juice, milk, or any other beverage, but I do it because I have to.  I am tired and my skin is pale and waxy.  I have bouts of violent vomiting if I don’t keep something in my stomach at all times, but as long as I eat, I feel sick and have horrible heartburn and gas.  And I look fat.  Just plain fat.  Not pregnant.  Fat.


And it seems like it mostly is fat and guts that are pushed out of my abdomen to rest over the elastic waistband of my maternity jeans, instead of rock-hard uterus that makes people want to touch and coo over the impending baby.  I think my uterus is still hiding in my pelvis because all my bones relaxed so much this time and my hips spread instantly and my ab muscles gave into the pregnancy stretch right away – there’s more room down there.  After all, my body has done this before, it’s like it snapped back to where it was at 30 weeks pregnant last time… except, I’m not that pregnant yet, so I just look bloated and gross.  Too many nachos and too much beer, that’s how I look.


But the sickness.  If only I could get over the gut-wrenching sickness, I think I could laugh the paunch off.  I could go to the gym and feel good about breaking a sweat once in awhile, instead of lying on the couch, moaning and belching.


And I’m trying to keep a positive attitude about this.  I really am.  I shut up and cook and clean and play with my son and rub my dog’s belly until Tony comes home from work and I can flop into bed and beg some quiet time from my family.  But I am just so dang tired and frustrated.  I want to look cute.  I want to smile and dream happily about this next child.  I want to be hopeful for the future.  Instead, I dread every day and can only hope that the next five and a half months go quickly because I am just not sure how I can endure.  I am losing hope that the morning (all day) sickness will ever go away.  I am beginning to resent this pregnancy for turning me into a zombie.  I’m supposed to feel all fertile and maternal and instead I am miserable.  It’s starting to make me think that something is horribly, horribly wrong with the baby.


It’s just not fair, you guys.  I wish I could hibernate until June.  But Charles wouldn’t understand, and Tony would run out of clean shirts. 

Monday, January 3, 2011


Is it the NEW YEAR?  Already?  Well, then it’s time for the resolutions, plans, etc.  It’s sort of a cleansing thing, in my opinion, to make plans, hopes, and resolutions and write them down.  It starts things off on a positive note and has me looking forward to fun stuff when the weather is dreary and the days are short and I am tired, and that’s a good thing.


So, anyway, I looked over last year’s list, and here is the 2010 recap:


We enrolled Charles in a baby swim class, and it was fun, but I’d like to do it again.  That story last year about the entire family’s worth of kids that drowned because they had never had swim lessons really got to me, and I also think one good way to avoid any future water fears is to keep him enrolled a few times a year.  Plus, he’s getting big enough that this time next year he’ll get close to actual lessons, which will be fun.


We did not do a baby gym class, though it is on the list again for this year.


We did not put Buster in an agility class, but I would sure like to, if I could only find the time.


We didn’t go to Hawaii, but we went to Mexico, so that was a good trade: tropical for more tropical.


Goodwinds has certainly grown, and along with three new employees and the acquisition of our largest competitor has come much stress.


I didn’t lose the last ten pounds, but I did lose five.  Yay me.


I didn’t plant new flowers or fix the flower beds in the front yard, but I did fix the fence-to-sidewalk strip out back, and then we did a giant backyard project that turned out beautifully.


And now, for the 2011 list:


That baby gym class is back on the list, as is swimming.  The tumbling can only help Charles to burn off some of the crazy energy he has during tax season, and I have a feeling the pool will be very enticing to me come April and May.


I want to visit more out-of-state friends, if I can.  I am going to take Charles to Phoenix this spring, which will hopefully help my mid-winter Vitamin D deficiency, which doctors now say really affects unborn children.  Awesome.  This fall, we would like to go to California, maybe do Disneyland.


I want to deliver a healthy baby with no complications.  And then promptly lose all the pregnancy weight.


I’d like to figure out how to separate our garbage a bit further.  We recycle everything that can be recycled, and we compost.  But!  Our local yard-waste program will also take pizza boxes, napkins, used kleenex, paper towels, etc, so I’d like to collect those separately.  Another garbage can under the sink?  Also, do you think I might try cloth napkins?  Will this be too much hassle?  I don’t think it will increase laundry significantly, as we don’t always use napkins, and it would be less waste.


Oh, I have really let the scrapbooking go.  I haven’t finished up the year before we conceived Charles, so I need to do that before the scrapbooking trip in March so that I can then start on Charles’ baby book and hopefully finish it (or get close) before we have a new baby to document.


I’d like to pretty-up the front yard, but that seems rather ambitious for someone who will have a baby in June.  Perhaps we’ll put that one in the long-shot category.


I want to be a better wife and mother.  I do a pretty good job, most of the time, but does “pretty good” really count?  I love my family, and I could be more creative about how I show them (i.e., doing the laundry and dishes all the time might say “love,” but they don’t say it well).


So there you have it.  Tell me, what are your resolutions?