Sunday, September 30, 2012

25 weeks

baby is the size of: a rutabaga
how far along are you: 25 weeks 3 days
what's happening with baby: Baby is beginning to exchange the long and lean look for some baby at.  As this happens, wrinkled skin will smooth out and he will start to look more and more like a newborn.  Baby's also growing more hair - if we could see it, we'd be able to discern its color and texture!
due date: jan 10
maternity clothes: everything i wear is maternity, at this point, with the exception of a few open-front cardigans and a couple dresses.    
sleep: not going well.
best moment this week: baby went to his first concert last saturday.  we went to see farm aid in hershey.  it was so much fun.  baby was pretty quiet, but that's probably because mommy was up dancing quite a bit.
what are you looking forward to: we have one more ultrasound on monday.  this will be our last look at baby boy until he makes his grand entrance! 
food cravings: nothing in particular this week.
food/smell aversions: nothing.
what do you miss:  normal sleep. not worrying about whether or not i have gestational diabetes.
symptoms: big belly.  back pain in the middle of the night.  heartburn.  and still this issue with processing sugar.
gender: baby boy!! 
belly button: in. but it's definitely stretching, and if i stretch the skin around my belly button, it starts to pop up a little. 
rings: on, and for most of this week it was ok.

Monday, September 24, 2012

dr. karp versus mom

i just finished reading the happiest baby on the block and i have to say, it really resonated with me.  dr. karp's ideas about calming a fussy baby make a shit-ton of sense, if you ask me.  his theory, after years of being a pediatrician and doing research on colicky infants, is that babies are simply born too early.  what they really need is another 3 months in the womb, but since women cannot be physically split in half and sewn back together in order to birth a 15-pound child, we evict them at 40 weeks.  when they are still woefully underdeveloped, emotionally.

dr. karp says that in order to calm a crying infant, you need to recreate the womb for him.  this is where baby felt safest, and in order to calm down, he needs to feel that sense of security again.  dr. karp has come up with the 5 s's of quieting a screaming baby - swaddle, stomach/side position, shush, swing, and suck.  by doing these 5 things for baby, it helps to recreate that feeling of being securely wrapped in your uterus, and suddenly he's able to calm down again and - hopefully - fall asleep.  but i'm not here to talk about the 5 s's.  maybe another post.

i'm here to talk about dr. karp's insistence that constantly holding/carrying/picking up your infant when he cries will not spoil him.  i don't know about you, but i was always told that you shouldn't pick a child up every time he cries because he'll get spoiled and start to expect it.  it's what my mom always said.  she also always said, "if you don't raise them, they'll raise you."  her theory was that you have to let them figure out how to fend for and entertain themselves.   it was the way my parents (i'm assuming) raised me, and i turned out ok, so i always figured it's gotta be right, right?  why not?  it makes sense.  the sooner baby learns to entertain himself, the better.  as my friends started having babies, i began parroting that advice to them (which, as i now understand, must have been so obnoxious).  after reading dr. karp, i'm not so sure anymore.

dr. karp says that in a baby's first 3-4 months, all he understands is that he's uncomfortable/cold/hungry/scared/whatever, and suddenly there's this person, making it better.  he isn't capable of putting two and two together to figure out that a) he's actually crying when he's feeling any of the above and b) that his crying brings us to him.  all he knows is that he has a need and it's being met.  and that makes him feel safe.  that makes a lot of sense to me.  by the time baby is 4-5 months old, he is now capable of self-soothing, and will not need you to come and rescue him from himself.  and this is when you can let him sit and cry in his crib for a few minutes.  he'll figure out how to get his fingers in his mouth and calm himself down.  

of course, matt hasn't read the book yet, but in describing it to him, he thinks it sounds like a good idea.  i think i'm going to get the happiest baby on the block dvd so that we can both get a good visual on what the 5 s's look like.  it's a novel approach in my family, but one that i think i'd like to take.  i want to make sure our baby feels safe and secure.  but i don't want to spoil him.  after reading dr. karp's theories, i feel this can be achieved. 

did you read happiest baby on the block?  have you tested any of his theories on your infant?  

Sunday, September 23, 2012

24 weeks

baby is the size of: an ear of corn
how far along are you: 24 weeks 3 days
what's happening with baby: baby gained about 4 oz since last week, putting him a just over a pound.  his brain is growing rapidly now, and his taste buds are continuing to develop.  his lungs are growing branches of the respiratory tree, as well as cells that produce surfactant, a substance that will help his lungs inflate when he hits the outside world.  his skin is still thin and translucent.
due date: jan 10
maternity clothes: everything i wear is maternity, at this point, with the exception of a few open-front cardigans and a couple dresses.    
sleep: not going well.
best moment this week: matt finally got to feel baby boy!  and i've been feeling him much more often lately.  i know eventually i'll be cursing him kicking my ribs or standing on my bladder, but for now, i absolutely love it.      
what are you looking forward to: 24-week appointment on thursday.  i am having some concerns about my ability to process sugar these days.  i also want to ask the doctor about these red marks i have all over my upper body.
food cravings: cinnabon.  i have not given into the cravings, though, because i am sensing that my body is not processing sugar well.  every time i eat something moderately sugary, i get the shakes and i feel like i'm having palpitations.  
food/smell aversions: nothing.
what do you miss: sleep.  and being able to eat a normal meal without feeling uncomfortable for 2 hours afterwards. 
symptoms: thankfully, the tailbone pain is either getting better or i'm getting used to it.  but as i said, i'm having this weird reaction to sugar.  and my back hurts.  and i'm definitely feeling more emotional and hormonal.
gender: baby boy!! 
belly button: in. but it's definitely stretching, and if i stretch the skin around my belly button, it starts to pop up a little. 
rings: on, but had to remove them the past couple of days.  

Thursday, September 20, 2012

news notes

airlines 'playing chicken' with passengers, charging 'you-get-to-sit-with-your-kid' fee - this is so infuriating.  if i were those parents, i'd refuse to pay, then make a big scene at the airport.  i'm not one for making scenes, usually, but this is outrageous.  i'd be so pissed if they tried to split me from my child on a flight!

mitt romney, secretly taped, tells his truths at a fundraiser -  he may as well gift-wrap the presidency for obama.

at voter-id hearing, pa justices have tough questions and a surprise - to vote in this country is a right, not a privilege. it should not be only those who have access to the dmv to obtain this "voter id" who get to exercise their right, but all citizens. i guess "limited government" only means limited oversight of corporations and big business taxes, but total control over our rights to vote and our bodies.

board of pardons to hear case of philly prisoner sentenced to die oct. 3 - "we feel that waiting a few more months to make sure that we're doing it right, that we're doing it fairly, that it is worth doing, all of these things, is a reasonable approach to take." shouldn't the same care and caution be taken for the voter id law, before you strip ordinary citizens of their right to vote?

whooping cough vaccine vital for adults, too - this is why it's so important to get your children vaccinated.  i got the pertussis vaccine both when i started working at shriners and again when i started at my current job.  i told matt that he needs to go to his primary doctor soon and get all of his vaccines updated, including asking for the pertussis vaccine. 

pa natives will be able to get same-day voter id from penndot - well, i suppose it's a step in the right direction, but still not good enough.  it still requires people to figure out a way to get to penndot and then stand in line for what could be hours. 

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

nyc babymoon - part 2

ok, so i got us covered up through saturday night., right?

sunday morning, we woke up and ordered room service.  it was outrageously expensive (we paid more for our breakfast in bed than we do for most of our dinners out), but it was so lovely to relax in our bed and just have breakfast brought to us.  not to mention, it was delicious.  i had cinnamon raisin challah french toast with a mixed berry mascarpone.  it was heavenly.  after we finished our breakfast, matt got in the shower and i lounged around a bit more.  finally, i got in the (rain) shower and then we headed out to catch the subway up to 72nd street.  the subway was right outside our hotel, so it was really easy.  we took the c train north and got off at 72nd street.

i have been in new york city what feels like a gazillion times and have never once seen the dakota building or the john lennon memorial in central park.  so we decided we'd stop there on our way up to the american museum of natural history.  standing in the place where john lennon once lived and where he was shot and killed was an odd feeling.  i have been a beatles fan for as long as i can remember, and john was by far my favorite.  after the beatles split, he became such an outspoken advocate for peace and understanding, and everything he wrote, spoke, and sang about has always deeply resonated with me.  after standing there and admiring the dakota for a few minutes, we crossed the street and walked into central park to strawberry fields, the section of the park dedicated to the memory of john lennon.  we stopped very briefly at the memorial and took a few pictures and then walked through the park up to 77th street to the museum.

guard tower outside the dakota
the gate and driveway where john lennon was shot
the  memorial
in central park
i have been at the american museum of natural history once, and thought it was really incredible.  i wanted to take matt there and he'd never seen actual dinosaur fossils, so he was looking forward to going.  the first thing i did, though, was take a picture of the building. 

almost 16 years ago, 3 of my very best friends and i sat, huddled with about 700 other cheerleaders, on those front steps, waiting for the 1996 macy's thanksgiving day parade to begin.  it was 18-degrees out, freezing drizzle, and we could not have been more cold.  but it was one of the most exciting days of my life, and i wouldn't trade it for the world.  we marched in that parade, cheering our hearts out, and then performed out dance at herald's square like it was the last dance we'd ever do.  i will never ever forget that day.  it has such a special place in my heart.

anyway, after i got my fill of nostalgia, we headed into the museum.  we only really had about an hour, so we headed straight up to the 4th floor to check out the dinosaurs.  you guys, dinosaurs are so cool.  once we finally finished gawking at the fossils and bones and marveling at their size, we went down to the african mammals exhibit.  if you ever get a chance to see the museum of natural history, please take more time to wander through all the animal exhibits.  they are just amazng, and i really wish we'd had more time. 

huge prehistoric turtle
matt calls me cheetah and padfoot is little cheetah.  i know, he's weird

unfortunately, we had a bus to catch, so we caught the subway back to the hotel, hopped in a cab, and got back on the bus to head home. 

it was a short weekend, but i'm so glad we got the chance to get a way for a bit. 

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

nyc babymoon

this past saturday, matt and i spent the night in new york city as a combination anniversary trip and babymoon.  one of the many things i love about living in philadelphia is that we are a mere 90 minutes from new york city.  it is a relatively easy drive, but it's even easier to hop an amtrak or a megabus to get us there.  it makes it a great one-night getaway, and that is just what we needed.

matt had to work saturday morning, so i met him at the train station around 1:30 to catch our megabus to the city.  we opted for megabus over amtrak because it saved us $130.  amtrak is lovely, but megabus is actually rather comfortable and only 30 minutes slower.  we got a great deal at the intercontinental times square on hotwire.  it ended up being the perfect location, at just 2 blocks from times square, and there was a subway station right outside the front doors.  not to mention, it was beautiful.

our bus was actually a little late getting into the city (we've taken megabus 6 times and this is the first time this ever happened - usually they are right on time, if not early).  we were a little time crunched, so we decided to take a cab to the hotel.  cabs in new york city are an adventure in and of themselves, and as long as you don't get carsick, it's definitely something you should experience at least once in your life.  we got to the hotel around 4:45, checked in, dropped off our luggage, and headed right back out to walk over to the tkts booth in times square.

this was my first time actually using the tkts booth, and i had absolutely no idea what to expect.  i had prepared myself for an hour-long wait, and was very pleasantly surprised when our wait was no more than about 15 minutes, if that.  if you are relatively flexible in what you want to see, i definitely recommend going this route.  on our walk over, we talked about what we'd like to see.  our first choice was once and our 2nd choice was rock of ages.  i also suggested chaplin because i'd read some good reviews, but mostly because a girl i grew up with is in it and i thought it would be so cool to see her perform on broadway!  unfortunately by the time we got there, they did not have any tickets for once available.  for rock of ages, all they had left for that were partial-view seats.  we were actually ok with that, but then they also only had single seats.  we were not ok with that.  and even though we had already talked about what our third choice would be, suddenly, standing there having to make a decision, i panicked.  i looked at matt and just blurted out, "ok, um, phantom of the opera?"  matt said ok, and we had ourselves 2 tickets to phantom of the opera at 50% off.  as we walked away, i thought, "i'm such an idiot...why didn't i ask for chaplin?"  i mentioned this to matt and he said, "yeah, i said that to you, but i guess you didn't hear me."  darn it.

anyway, we rushed back to the hotel and got ready for our night out.  i had rented a dress from mine for nine, and would absolutely do it again.  for $40, i got a dress (actually, 2, since you get to get two sizes of each item so that you can be sure to get a good fit) for 2 weeks.  they send it to you with all the stuff you need to mail it back (return postage included). so i got into my fancy dress and matt put on his shirt and tie and we headed out for dinner.  we had made reservations at a restaurant called strand bistro.  our reservations were for 6:30, but i wasn't worried because it rarely takes us more than hour to eat a meal.  strand bistro was this cool little place, set up a bit like a library lounge.  it had old books lining the walls, and the seating was soft cushy chairs.  matt gave me the "sofa" side of the table so that i could use the pillows they had to prop myself up.  he's so thoughtful.  the food was delicious, but the service was slllooooww.  by the end, we had to ask for our dessert and for our check to be brought with our dessert.  we left there at 7:45, walked as quickly as my 5.5-months-pregnant-ass-in-heels could carry me until we were able to flag down a cab.  we only had to go about 7 blocks, but we were in a hurry and i couldn't walk very quickly.

we got to the theater at about 5 of 8, and walked in.  as we showed our tickets to the usher, she looked at the tickets and then looked at me and said "you're all the way at the top of the stairs.  like, you're literally in the last row of the theater.  are you ok to use the stairs?"  i thought it was very sweet, but i decided to tackle it.  we went slowly and i did fine, but i did not leave our seats until the end of the show.

i am terrible at taking selfies
Gorgeous theater

the show was fantastic.  i've seen phantom before and it's a beautiful show and the music is great.  and i think matt enjoyed it.  but i really wish we had seen chaplin instead.  i think it would have been a more fun show and i would have really loved seeing sara up on a broadway stage.  i have known her since she was 4 or 5, so it just would have been super cool.  oh well.  next time.  baby loved the show, that's for sure.  he was kicking like crazy throughout the entire show.  we're going to have a cultured little guy!  matt finally got to feel him kick, and his reaction was just, "wow, that's so weird!"  ack, men.

after the show, we walked over to a bar where matt had a few drinks and i watched some college football.  around midnight, i finally threw in the towel and said it was time to go.  luckly, the bar was directly across the street from our hotel, so we headed over, up to our room, and fell into bed.

that was pretty long for saturday, so i'll come back with sunday's happs tomorrow.

Monday, September 17, 2012

23 weeks

baby is the size of: a mango
how far along are you: 23 weeks 3 days
what's happening with baby: baby's sense of movement is well-developed and he can feel me moving about.  blood vessels in his lungs are developing to prepare for breathing, and his hearing is becoming more clear.
due date: jan 10
maternity clothes: all maternity.  old navy just had a big maternity sale, so i ordered a few more items.  i think at this point i'm all set for the remainder of the pregnancy.   
sleep: i am definitely waking up early due to getting uncomfortable.  they recommend lying on your left side to improve circulation, but i am much more comfortable on my right.  sleep is not my favorite these days, and that really sucks.
best moment this week: matt finished painting the nursery on wednesday.  we still need to do touch-ups on the orange wall, but it looks awesome!  
what are you looking forward to: well, had i done this update on time, it would have been our babymoon in nyc on saturday.
food cravings: nothing in particular.
food/smell aversions: nothing.
what do you miss: being able to stand up without my tailbone yelling in pain. sleeping comfortably. 
symptoms: tailbone pain.  big belly.  back pain.  and my feet and hands are definitely swollen by the end of the day.
gender: baby boy!! 
belly button: in. but it's definitely stretching, and if i stretch the skin around my belly button, it starts to pop up a little. 
rings: on. still having a hard time by the end of the day.  hoping it gets better.

the picture this week is from our babymoon.  i'll do a post about it soon. 

Thursday, September 13, 2012

news notes

i know, it's been all baby-baby-baby around here.  sorry about that, but this little guy has been a little all-consuming.  i'm sure you understand.

here are the headlines and stuff that caught my eye recently:

the nazis and thalidomide: the worst drug scandal of all time - ok, so i have to confess that the only thing i knew about thalidomide was that billy joel sang about it in "we didn't start the fire," so it must've been a big deal.  i had no idea until very recently (right before reading this article) that it caused such horrible birth defects.  and that the company failed to acknowledge these issues and pull it from shelves.  awful.  nice to see that the company has finally - 50 years later - issued an apology.  sad to see that the owner/ceo who ran the company at the time of the scandal still isn't speaking, though.

us adds cancer to list of illnesses linked to 9/11 terror attacks - my first reaction to this article was "duh."  i did it take them this long?

judge lectures sexual abuse victim, sparks outrage - as a sexual assault victim myself, nothing infuriates me more than blaming the victim in a sexual assault.  the first counselor i went to see did the same thing - asked me what i was wearing the night i was raped.  seriously??  i never went back after that first session.  anyway, this judge should be ashamed of herself and promptly fired.  what woman says this to another woman?  i pray she does not have children that she's teaching this warped way of thinking to.

white house beer recipe revealed - i cannot wait for matt to brew a batch of white house honey ale.  that could be his spring beer next year, just in time for me to be able to enjoy it!

6 things cheaper than the cost of child care - this makes me want to kill myself.  or at least wish that i was rich enough to stay home with our son, at least part time.

'sweet caroline' is no longer welcome at penn state football games - i mean, the whole thing is a bit silly.  but really, this song is terrible and should be banned at all sporting events.  pitt plays it, too, and i hate it.

advocacy organization aims to end 'gay conversion therapy'- so this counseling agency outside of phiadelphia is still practicing with the belief that being gay is something that can be cured.  not surprisingly, this is a "faith-based" counseling agency.  ugh.  it's things like this that make me so uninterested in finding a church for our family.

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

11 years

is it just me, or does 9/11 feel a little different this year with bin ladin rotting in hell?  not that it's any less sad, just...different.

i wrote this post last year on my wedding blog, and i don't really think i could say it any better this year...

My last semester of college.  About to graduate.  About to go out into the world.  So excited.

I woke up and took a shower.  In my towel, I went down into our living room to turn on the tv and check the weather forecast.  My usual Tuesday routine.  Only this time, I turned on the weather channel to a quick local report, then "But we'll get you back to New York, now, since we know you're all wondering about that"  Wondering about what?  They switched over.  The first tower was on fire.  What the...?  Put on CNN.  The second I found CNN, the second tower exploded.  In that instant, I knew - our country was under attack.  A gut feeling.  I just sensed it.  One plane is an accident.  But two?  That's pure malice.

I was glued.  I missed my first class while I watched the towers fall.  Finally, I got dressed and drove to campus.  Went to class.  No one could pay attention.  Professor dismissed us in 20 minutes.  I went back home.  My roommates were there.  We sat, together, in our little house, watching the news all day.  I called my sister - she's fine.  I called my dad - he's fine.  I couldn't get through to my mom, who was traveling.  She finally called me.  She's fine, just "worried about my little social worker and her big heart."  It was true.  I was devastated.  All that loss.  All that fear.  All those poor families.  I burst into tears.  My roommates and I cried together.

The days that followed were sad.  Scary.

The weeks that followed were confusing.

The years that followed have been sad.  Scary.  Confusing.

10 years later, and the images have no less affect on me than they did that day.  I weep for the families who still mourn.  My heart swells with pride in the policemen and firefighters who drove in while everyone else ran out.

9/11/01. our hearts are always with you.

Sunday, September 9, 2012

22 weeks

i wasn't feeling very photogenic last week, and was also feeling too lazy to do a 21-week update.  sue me.  still not feeling very photogenic, but matt insisted we not skip another week.  so here you go.

baby is the size of: a spaghetti squash
how far along are you: 22 weeks 3 days
what's happening with baby: baby's eyes, eyelids, and eyebrows are now more distinct.  he even has tooth buds forming under his gums!  his eyes have formed, but his irises still have no pigment.
due date: jan 10
maternity clothes: all maternity pants.  mostly maternity shirts.  and dresses.   
sleep: once i'm asleep, i sleep through the night.  but my back hurts on waking up.    
best moment this week:  finally started feeling movement!  a few times i even felt him from the outside, but so far matt hasn't felt him yet. 
what are you looking forward to: painting the nursery (started yesterday...debating a third coat on the orange accent wall).
food cravings: tuna?  i normally rarely eat tuna, but i've had it 3 times in the past 10 days.  i don't go out of my way to find it, but every time i'm looking at a menu or something, i gravitate to it. 
food/smell aversions: nothing.
what do you miss: being able to stand up without my tailbone yelling in pain. 
symptoms: tailbone pain.  big belly.  back pain.  and my feet and hands are definitely swollen by the end of the day.
gender: baby boy!! 
belly button: in.
rings: on.  definitely uncomfortable by the end of the day.  hopefully now that the weather should start cooling off, this won't be a problem anymore.

Friday, September 7, 2012

i'm having panic attacks

i am 22 weeks pregnant, and i realize that means we still have 18 weeks till d-day.  but the fall always seems to go by so quickly what-with football games, fall parties, and the holidays.  i always feel like it's labor day and then i blink and it's christmas eve.  with baby anticipation thrown in, i have a feeling things will really fly by!  our schedule is so jam-packed already, and it's only september 7th!  ready....?

september 8-9 - painting the nursery.  hoping to get it all done on saturday, then going to finish our registry on sunday.

september 15-16 - babyanniversimoon in nyc.  we're spending one night in new york city.  got a great deal on the intercontinental hotel on hotwire.  taking the megabus.  hoping to get tickets to see once at the tkts booth.  and finally taking matt to the museum of natural history.

september 22-23 - going to hershey to go to the farm aid concert with my mom, step-dad, sister, and brother-in-law.  so excited, but truthfully a little worried about getting a contact high from all the weed that will inevitably be being smoked around me.  i mean, dave matthews, willie nelson, neil young, john mellencamp.  stoner heaven.

september 29-30 - going back to hershey for nephew's birthday party

october 6-9 - trip to outer banks for my college roommate's wedding.  we're driving to delaware friday night to pick up/stay with one of my college roommates.  then on saturday the 4 of us (me, matt, denise, and karl) are driving down to avon, nc.  wedding is on sunday.  we'll spend monday hanging out, and then make the whole drive back on tuesday.

october 13-14 - FREE!

october 20-21 - matt will be in maryland for his friend's 40th birthday.  not sure what i'll do with my time.  maybe hang the paper lantern mobile?

october 27-28 - FREE!

november 3-4 - going to hershey for high school friend's wedding

november 10-11 - FREE!

november 17-18 - saturday is our all-day childbirth preparation class.  looks like sunday may be my baby shower.

november 24-25 - thanksgiving weekend.  saturday is my 15-year high school reunion.  whaaatttt?  and if my shower isn't on the 18th, it will be on the 25th.

december 1-2 - back to hershey for a party at my friend's house

december 8-9 - possibly hosting our families for christmas?

december 15-16 - i'm on-call for work.

december 22-23 - possibly hosting our families for christmas, if not done on the 8th?

december 29-30 - FREE!

after that, it's pretty much a waiting game.

so basically, between now and d-day, we have 4 free weekends.  4 weekends to get the nursery ready.  wash baby clothes.  wash cloth diapers.  wash all the linens for the crib and pack and play and all the fabrics on the various toys/rockers/swings.  sterilize all the bottles and breastpump supplies.

every time matt would try to make plans for something in the past couple of weeks, i would go into full panic mode.  like, sitting at my desk with tears streaming down my face.  i am freaking.out. that we won't get everything done.  matt keeps telling me we will, and deep down i know he's right.  and actually, seeing it all written out like that somehow makes me feel better.  like i have some order to my life.  or maybe it's the big capital letters yelling out "FREE!"  maybe that's all i need in my life - capital letters and exclamation points.  i should try that more often. 

Monday, September 3, 2012

pregnancy progress - the first 20 weeks

i was looking back through all of my bump pictures the other day, and it is amazing to see how much i've grown.  and hysterical to look at pictures from when i thought i was "showing" and i so totally wasn't!  so i thought i'd put a little photo collage together! 

 first row: 6-8 weeks
second row: 9-11 weeks
third row: 12-14 weeks
fourth row: 15-17 weeks
fifth row: 18-20 weeks

i remember really thinking i was showing around 11 weeks.  looking at the pictures, i wasn't really showing much of anything till 14 weeks and then really became obviously pregnant and not one-too-many-beers chubby around 16 or 17 weeks.  i love having these as a memento, though, and have been putting them together in a pregnancy photobook for baby boy so he can follow our journey through this pregnancy.  i'm sure he won't care about it as much as i will, but that's ok.