Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Pregnancy Dreams

As a tossing/turning, blanket-hogging, snoring sleeper, I often remember my dreams. As a general rule, even though I know who the people are in the dreams, their faces are blurred so I can't really see them. And while I've had some pretty hot ones about my husband, since we've been together, I haven't had any steamy dreams starring anyone else.

Until I got pregnant this time.

It's weird because I remember having vivid dreams when I was expecting before, but not like the ones I've had the last couple of weeks. With my first pregnancy, the dreams were mostly baby-related. And while I did notice they were more detailed, I still didn't see faces. I don't think I've dreamt about the baby directly this time, but I have started seeing faces.

Last night I had a dream about a doctor appointment I had this morning. In the dream, I woke up late and a friend was driving me to the appointment for some reason. We had to stop at another friend's house on the way. When we got there, her kids were wearing boxing gloves and practicing punching through a hole they had cut out in the front door. Odd enough in itself, but the strangest part for me was that their faces were so clear in my mind - I'm talking, crisp, HDTV-quality. Her husband told us his wife had gone to Bed, Bath and Beyond, so we were talking to him about coming back to see her later, when I asked what time it was. It was 10 minutes after my appointment was scheduled. Right then I woke up.

Supposedly we can all decipher our dreams ourselves. I guess I can understand why I had that dream about being late, then. Our toddler had woken up around 6:00 am, so I had gone in to try to get her back to sleep for another hour and ended up falling asleep myself. Subconsciously I knew I couldn't hear my alarm in her room, so I had no idea what time it was. Therefore, the panicked end to my dream.

But the one I had last week, I can honestly say, I have no idea what its origins are. I had my first sex dream about another man since I've been married. I dreamt I was getting in the shower with this incredibly hot Latin guy. He sort of reminded me of Enrique Iglesias, but with less bushy eyebrows and even sexier. He was definitely not someone who exists in real life. And I was just me, 8 months pregnant, but not all that self-conscious about it considering I was naked with some man I don't know. Ironically, our shower is a stall shower that I can barely fit into with my big belly, yet there was enough room for both of us, and the love-making was off the charts. I remember thinking, though, that he was a terrible kisser! And I knew he wasn't my husband, but I didn't think there was anything wrong with us being together. I woke up very freaked out, but also incredibly in the mood and wishing my husband was still home.

Having been pregnant once before, and reading everything in print and on the web I could to prep for that delivery, I knew there are studies showing how dreams are more intense and stranger than usual during pregnancy. Our hormones cause us to dream more often and for those dreams to be more graphic. And waking up even more frequently due to typical discomforts help us remember them better than when we aren't pregnant. But since the first time around my dreams were vivid in a different way, I find myself feeling out of my element again. I don't think I'm alone in my experiences (am I??), but it still takes some getting used to. I still feel a little guilty about my new-found Latin friend, but not so much that I would mind if he showed up again…

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

More Blood Tests and Funny S Stories

Well, I went to get the results of my blood tests today from the hematologist, and there was only one minor thing that showed up. There's a generic antibody that is affecting my platelets, but it sounds like it is definitely related to being pregnant. The lab failed to do one of the tests she ordered though, so I had to have more blood drawn - ugh! They took some when I first got there to check my levels again, and then I went back to wait for the doctor and when she was flipping through the results, she noticed the test that was missing. She apologized and said maybe they had taken enough that they wouldn't need to draw more, but they needed three vials for this test! She only got one vial worth before my vein gave out, so she had to try again on my other arm (that had already been stuck the first time). I was sooo not happy. Now I have a sore arm and a lovely bruise. Had to remind myself to be thankful that while I was at the cancer center, I was only there for something so minor. Anyway, the test that was missing was for a disease that's hereditary, and based on my history, she's pretty sure it will come back negative. So I go back in a month to check my levels (unless the results of this last test show something). My platelet count had dropped to 128,000 when I was there last time, but has bounced back to 134,000 which is another reason she's confident it's nothing serious. Yea!

Yesterday I talked to the sitter about S going potty. I knew she had been taking the kids as the other two are training, so I wanted to try to get us on the same plan. She's just been incorporating it into their routine. After breakfast they go, before lunch they go, before nap time they go - if they want to. So I think that's what we'll do as well for now.

When DH picked S up yesterday afternoon, apparently she told him that she wants to work at Hy-Vee. On the one hand, this does not surprise me as she is enamored with the grocery store. But I did think it was funny that she wants to work there now, not just go there. But apparently her bigger goal she told him is that she wants to be a mower when she grows up. Also completely understandable given her love of everything lawnmower related - watching Dad mow, using her toy mower to mow, watching the lawn service at Grandma and Papa's, taking her mower with us on wagon rides. She's so much fun!

Last night we were snuggling in bed, and she was gently punching me and making noises like "chickapow". I asked her she was doing. Then she said, "Fist bump, Mama!" I was cracking up. We had just started teaching her to fist bump at the housewarming party. So we had to tell her, no, you fist bump with your fists, not by punching me in the chest.

Recently she's started singing "Baa, Baa, Black Sheep", kind of. She doesn't really know all the words, but I can tell that's what it is. Usually it incorporates words like baa, baa, yes sir, yes sir, full. So this morning she was singing in the car, and she said, "Yes sir, Yessirree, Bob!" I did a double take. It was pretty funny to hear her say that.

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Pee Pee in the Potty!

Last night S asked to sit on the potty chair before bed. Low and behold, she went pee pee! I was so proud of her. DH has a BBQ contest this weekend, so he was out running errands for that and had to miss bedtime, so we called to tell him the good news. I know not to kid myself that her potty training will be this easy, but she definitely understands what to do and how to do it, so that's one step we've got under our belts. Getting the timing down will be trickier, but we're on the right track. Woo hoo!

Monday, September 21, 2009


Life has finally settled down for us now that we our housewarming party over the weekend. It was mostly a success. I was exhausted and not ready when it started, but I think everyone enjoyed themselves, and we had fun, so it was fine. So this post is to catch up on a few things I've wanted to make note of the last several weeks but haven't had time.

S has really gotten into making her bed. While I'm sure it will be short-lived, I'm trying to encourage it. It's difficult because we inevitably are running late in the mornings, so that's the one thing I end up skipping. But if we don't make the beds, she says, "It's a mess!"

Something she's been fond of for almost a year is crawling into the pantry and hiding. She started at my parents' house - Dad calls it her office. So when we moved into our house, she was excited to discover we have a pantry now. Ours is a little different and doesn't really have the space for her to sit in it, though, so she's only gotten in it a couple of times. One of those times I was sitting at the kitchen table and she wanted me to get in the pantry with her. I told her, "Oh honey, Mama's too big." She said in a matter-of-fact way, "Get small, Mama!" I told her that's my plan after we have this baby...

I had a day where two funny things happened in the morning. As I was in the turn lane waiting to get on the highway, I saw one of those signs in the median that people advertise on, usually for garage sales or lawn mowing. But that day the one I saw read: "Backed up like traffic? Call us about the benefits of colon cleansing." I had to laugh out loud. Then I got to work and was checking my email when I had my second laugh. I get tons of email forwards a day, lots of great ones, but one that I saw that morning just really tickled me. It said: "If you receive an email from the Department of Health telling you not to eat canned pork because of swine flu, ignore it. It's just Spam."

Patrick Swayze passed away last week. Of course everyone knows him from "Dirty Dancing", but I think my favorite role of his was in "North & South". Back when the mini-series was popular on TV, that was a huge hit. He had been fighting pancreatic cancer for the last year, so it didn't come as a complete surprise, but still sad. He spent a fair amount of time pinned up on my wall with River Phoenix, Johnny Depp and Jon Bon Jovi, among others.

Last week was hectic with trying to get ready for the party Saturday. I had tried to keep the to-do list at a reasonable level for each day so I wouldn't be stressed or worn out. And had I been able to do the list each day, it would have been fine. But a 3 ft. munchkin was not on the same page. She didn't go to bed til 9:30pm three of the nights. Ugh! I ended up staying up til midnight a couple of nights, so Saturday I was tired and stressed - the exact opposite of my goal. S had a bday party to go to at 10am so my DH took her - hallelujah! My mom came over and helped me get stuff ready. The bday party was a blast. It was at a park and a fire truck came, and S just had a great time playing at the park and on the truck. I was sorry to have missed it. Plus I forgot to send the camera with DH!

The hope had been that after the party, he could take her to get some lunch and then she'd fall asleep on the way home and could nap before the party started at 3pm. She actually fell asleep on the way to lunch, so DH just brought her home. Unfortunately, she woke up when they came inside. So after lunch I told her she and Mommy needed to take a nap. I was really stressing at this point. There was only an hour and a half til the party started - I needed that nap time for finishing things up. Of course she didn't want to nap, nor did she want to change her diaper. I was so tired and stressed and impatient with her, and she was throwing one of her colossal tantrums. I told her she would get spanked if she didn't let me change her diaper, and that's exactly what happened. She laid still long enough for me to get the one off, but started bucking before I could get the new one on. My mom was helping me, and I finally asked her to just hold her down, she was so out of control. I was getting out of control, too, and yelling at her. She was turning purple, she was so enraged. By the time I finally got her diaper on, I was crying, and she kicked me when she was flailing, and my mom was worried about the baby, so she was crying. It was a complete disaster. I have felt like a bad mom before, but this was the worst. At this point, DH came upstairs and I had to walk away, I just couldn't take it. I went downstairs and my mom came with me and gave me a big hug. This was an hour before the party was to start. She still needed to go home to get cleaned up. So she and my dad got ready to leave, and DH had brought S downstairs. She was in her half-calmed down phase where she sniffles and can answer yes or no, but if she starts to try to say anything, her little voice gets so squeaky we can't understand her and she gets mad all over again and starts to cry. She finally got out that she wanted to go with Grandma and Papa. I asked them if that was ok and hoped that she'd fall asleep on the way there. They were wonderful and took her, and she did fall asleep, and she did take a nice long nap, thank goodness!

I pulled myself together and tried to finish getting things set up, but I didn't quite ever get done before people got there. So it was a little disorganized and chaotic in the beginning, but I think everyone ended up enjoying it for the most part. My friends from Iowa were in town and stayed in our guest room that night, so that was great to get to use it right away. :) My parents brought S back with them, and she was a little discombobulated at first - she'd left an empty house and returned to a full one - but once she settled in, she had fun playing with the kids. I was so relieved.

Yesterday morning we had breakfast with my friends, and then they left to do some househunting (they are planning to move back from IA - yea!). My DH went to a friend's house to watch football all day, and S and I just chilled out. After our nap we were getting ready to go to the park when our neighbors on the north side stopped by. They had been out of town when we first moved in and had been sick the last few weeks but wanted to bring us something to welcome us (pumpkin bread - yum!). They were really nice. I knew that the woman who had lived in our house before us had only been there a year, but the couple who owned the house before her were the original owners. They are the ones who put in all the nice extra touches. I just love our neighborhood - everyone is very friendly!

Last night when we were getting ready for bed, I had just put her Pull-Up on (We started using those at night last week because she soaked through her regular diaper all over the bedspread and sheets two nights in a row.), when she said she had to poop. I said that it was ok, she could go in her Pull-Up. She said she wanted to sit on the potty. I said ok we'll get it out of the box then! So DH got it out and we set it up and she sat down like a big girl. I really didn't expect anything to happen, but she did manage to toot a couple of times. After a few minutes, I told her it was ok, we'd just try again tomorrow, but she really wanted to be successful last night. She kept wanting to try more. I think part of it is just her determined spirit, but I know some of it was her way of delaying bed time. But I was glad to finally be able to have the potty chair out for her so she can use it when she wants for now.

This morning, I asked S what she wanted for breakfast. Here is how that conversation went:
Me: Do you want some fruit?
S: No.
Me: Some cereal?
S: No.
Me: Some pumpkin bread?
S: No.

We looked in the fridge.

S: I want this!" (hot sauce)
Me: (sigh) Honey, what are you going to put that on?
S: Chicken.
Me: We don't have any chicken. (thinking) Oh, but we do have turkey. Do you want some turkey?
S: Yes!

She ended up wanting BBQ sauce instead of the hot sauce, so I went ahead and put the chicken and BBQ sauce on a plate and got myself some pumpkin bread. Then of course she wanted some pumpkin bread, too. So I got the half-eaten slice we'd saved in a sandwich bag from yesterday. There was also half a cookie in there. She wanted the cookie. At this point, I just didn't care. Plus she was eating turkey which is big because she's not much of a meat-eater. So she picked up the cookie and said, "Dip it?" I said, "Ew, no. Well, try it if you want to, but I don't think you'll like it." She did, and I cringed, and she said, "It's good!" And continued to eat the remainder of the chocolate chip cookie by dipping it in BBQ sauce before each bite. Blech! In the meantime, I was putting together my lunch, and she wanted some of the grapes, so I gave those to her as well. Which she also dipped....

The mealtime process is a mess right now. She has decided she doesn't want to sit on her booster chair any more. Which doesn't bother me except she's started getting down out of her chair before she's done eating. She knows she's not allowed to get down til she's done, so I'll ask her if she's sure she doesn't want any more to eat, and she'll say, "No. Save it in the fridge." Ok, fine. But then two minutes later, she'll want something to eat. I'm not playing this game. Going to have to figure out a good way to get her to stay put until she really is done eating.

I'm excited that tonight I have nothing that I have to get done. I need to finish tidying up from the party, but I'm going to let it wait until tomorrow. The season premiers for "How I Met Your Mother," "Big Bang Theory," and "Heroes" are on tonight. Funny to think that just a few years ago, I didn't watch tv - didn't even have cable....

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Blood Tests

When my husband and I started talking about getting pregnant the first time, I was, of course, excited, but also somewhat apprehensive like most people. The biggest drawback for me wasn't labor since I didn't really know what that would be like. It was the knowledge that there would be blood tests, an IV, an epidural (my low pain tolerance supercedes my fear of needles), and possibly other ways in which the medical professionals would find to wield their pointy little objects of torture at me.

I know no one likes having blood drawn. I mean, I've heard people say they don't mind it, but that's as close as it gets to enjoying it. But I would say I have a higher than average aversion to it. On a scale of 1-10, 1 being people who actually watch the procedure and think "Cool!", and 10 being people who get hysterical and pass out, I'm about an 8.5. I've never actually passed out, but I have had my vision turn into a black tunnel and narrow down to about a two-inch circle, until they laid me down and gave me some juice. I don't like needles in general, but a blood draw is the paramount. That said, here's a list of 10 things I'd rather do than have my blood taken:

10. Get a filling at the dentist.
9. Work overtime.
8. Be stuck in a plane on the runway for an hour. (Did I mention I'm somewhat claustrophobic?)
7. Have an annual well-woman exam.
6. Be a bridesmaid who has to wear a hideous dress with shoes that give me blisters for the whole day and evening.
5. Be woken up by my toddler every two hours in the night.
4. The day after aforementioned sleepless night, be forced to watch "Ben-Hur" and "Lawrence of Arabia" back to back and not be able to sleep during them.
3. Clean all 3 three of our bathrooms.
2. Deal with a mouse that's been caught in a trap. And isn't dead, yet.
1. Get a tetanus shot.

Because of this, when I failed my glucose test with the first pregnancy and then had to do the three hour test where they took my blood, not just once, but FOUR TIMES in one day, I was determined to pass with this second pregnancy. Unfortunately, things were a little crazy in our household this spring and summer, so I was a little distracted and didn't manage to monitor my food intake to the degree I knew it would require to ensure passing the test. So I prepared myself for the inevitable call letting me know I'd failed. What I didn't expect was to find out that in addition to my glucose being high, I had a low platelet count. The nurse just mentioned it in passing and said they'd check it again with the three hour test, so I didn't think too much of it at the time. But when they called with the final glucose results, I found out I passed the three hour test again, just like with the first pregnancy, but my platelet count was still down, so they wanted me to see a hematologist. This was a bit disconcerting.

Disconcerting? Ok, let's be honest, I was having a pregnant/hormonal/emotional day, and freaked myself out to the point that I had to walk out of the office to the parking lot where I bawled like a baby on the phone to one of my closest friends. Thoughts were flying through my head, "Platelets? Quick think - what do those do? Something with clotting I think. I already know I have to have a C-section - I'm going to hemorrhage and die on the operating table! We haven't finished our wills - I have to make sure to get that done ASAP. I'll never get to meet our sweet baby girl! I'll miss seeing our toddler grow up! What a burden this will be on my poor husband..." Oh, good grief! The funny thing about having these kinds of nutty moments that can happen during pregnancy and postpartum, is that sometimes you have a surreal out-of-body experience where you can see yourself saying or thinking all of these things and think, "Why are you being such an idiot?", but you can't stop yourself from doing it either.

After I had my outburst and my friend helped calm me down, I pulled myself together, went back inside to work, and finished out the day. By the time I got home and told my husband, I was able to do so calmly. I know he appreciated my forethought in having my breakdown with a girlfriend instead of him - he's dealt with his fair share of these hormone-induced, crazy tirades. This week I went to the hematologist and found out that low platelets are not uncommon during pregnancy. They need to be monitored, but rarely end up being cause for much concern. Oh, ok. Whew.

Wait a minute... monitored... meaning more blood tests? Oh, brother...

Monday, September 14, 2009

A Two-Year-Old's Favorite Place

I know, you're thinking, it's probably the park, or Chick-Fil-A, or Grandma and Papa's. Oftentimes it is. But if you want to know where her absolute favorite place to go is, it's our local grocery store, Hy-Vee. She LOVES Hy-Vee. I mean, with a capital "L". She sings songs about it, will randomly tell me that she likes it, and asks if we are going to go there There's one by my parents' house and one by ours, so when we drive by them, she says, "My Hy-Vee" or "Papa's Hy-Vee". I guess I can understand the draw to a certain extent - they have free cookies for kids (thank you Daddy for introducing her to that!), and samples, which helps me steer her away from the cookies to the healthier fruits and veggies. There are fun carts to ride in that look like a school bus (another of her favorite things), a police car, or a race car, and now they even have little miniature carts for kids to push themselves. That is her preference which is ok when we only have a couple of things to get.

It's great because I actually like Hy-Vee the best out of the stores available because they have "New and Expectant Mom" parking spots, and the best overall products and prices. Other stores are better for certain things, and if that's all I need, I'll go to them, but if I've got my big list for the week, Hy-Vee is where I head.

I've decided I need to try to catch her singing about Hy-Vee and videotape it, and send it to them. She'd make a great commercial.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

The Forgotten Holiday

No, I'm not talking about Labor Day which just passed. It's Thanksgiving, one of my favorite holidays. I love Christmas and Halloween, too, just like most people, but those two have gotten so ridiculously commercialized and out of proportion that Thanksgiving is flat-out ignored which irritates me. I listen to Christmas music occasionally throughout the year, and I was ok with it when they started playing it the day after Thanksgiving. But now there are some stations that start the day after Halloween! Are you kidding me?

On the other hand, it's kind of nice that Thanksgiving hasn't gotten as out of control as those other two end-of-the-year holidays. I know some people who just turn off their lights and hide or go to the movies on Halloween so they don't have to mess with it. And so many people dread Christmas, there are a slew of books and movies about it like "Skipping Christmas". Thanksgiving has at least managed to avoid that negativity so far. Here are some of the reasons I love it:

1. It's message isn't completely lost.
Granted, a lot of people focus on the food and the football and the big sale the next day, but most people still remember, if not always acknowledge, the point behind it. Maybe it's easier since it's all in the name - it's a time to give thanks, count our blessings, be grateful. And in tough economic times like these, I think the purpose actually gets more attention and isn't overshadowed by concerns about having to spend a lot of money to make it a big celebration like Christmas can be.

2. I get to see all my family without as much stress as Christmas.
I actually don't get stressed about Christmas. I love it and try to remember the reason for the season. But others do get stressed, and it makes it more difficult for them to relax and enjoy the time we're together. That isn't the case with Thanksgiving. In fact, because there aren't really enough of us on my side of the family to warrant an entire turkey feast, last year we decided to buy a pre-made one at the local grocery store. A traditionalist at heart, I cringed at the idea initially, but since we've had to celebrate at my parents' house in the past because ours was too small, I let it go. We still made some favorite family side dishes, and I was pleasantly surprised about how well everything turned out. And so it was even less stressful than usual because no one was getting up at the crack of dawn to start cooking.

3. Ok, fine, you got me - the food!
I LOVE Thanksgiving food! What's not to like? Turkey, stuffing, potatoes, green bean casserole, and, of course, pumpkin pie! Granted, in this day and age, you can pretty much get that kind of meal any time of year. But I never actually have it any other time. It's still special.

4. The games
Not the football. Well, some of it is ok. I like football - but one game a day is plenty for me. I don't mind having it on in the background. Kind of like starting the day with the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade. To watch the entire thing is a bit much, but it's nice to have it on while preparing food and getting ready. The same is true for the football games. After dinner, my side of the family likes to play board games, and we'll have football on the TV. The board games are what I look forward to. It's nostalgic and fun, and also not something I do much during the rest of the year.

And this year, I'm looking forward to celebrating at our house for the first time. Since we moved, we now actually have a dining room. Although, I will probably go with the pre-made meal again just this once since we'll have an extra special reason to celebrate, the birth of our second daughter. I'm scheduled to have a C-section on November 10th, so we'll be even more thankful on the 26th when we sit down to dinner and say Grace.

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Catch Up

Things have been so hectic lately that even when I've posted, I've forgotten stuff. So here's a quick rundown of things I've been meaning to make note of:

S has been saying "I love you" lately. It's not the first time she's said it, but it's really become something she understands and lavishes on me. My heart goes pitter-pat...

She is really good at art. We went to my half-sister's pottery shop the other day and she was using two brushes in different colors, and she would think before dipping them and keep the colors separate. My sis said it's very unusual for a kid that young to be that sophisticated with the paint. She also draws horizontal lines, circles, vertical lines, and "words" - the mwmwm-shaped scribbles that we all use to indicate text. The cute part is she'll say what she's writing, and say it slowly as if she's really spelling it out. And she'll giggle at herself as she does it, which just makes me laugh.

She still loves "talking" on the phone, but has actually really done it now. One evening a couple of weeks ago I had taken her for our nightly wagon ride we've started since moving to the new house. DH had to work late so he wasn't there , but called to tell her goodnight. She actually talked to him! At one point in the conversation, she pulled the phone away from her ear and looked at and said in amazement, "I talking to Dada!" It was like the light bulb came on. Not to say she doesn't still have pretend conversations with her Aunt N. If you ever want to know what she's been up to, give her a phone and tell her to call Aunt N. You'll get a rundown of her day. Monday's went something like this "Hi N! Yeah, went to Hy-Vee. Going to Target. Yeah. Mommy going potty." I'll stop there and spare you the details, but I was SOOO relieved she wasn't really on the phone with my sister when she let her know all about my time on the toilet. As any mom knows, you forfeit all personal potty time when you have a child. My DH gets frustrated when she barges in on him occasionally, but I have to remind him that's just my life all the time now. Anyway, we need to have a chat about boundaries on the phone....

Regarding the potty issue, I'm feeling terribly guilty. In the spring when she was expressing interest, we had the house on the market, and I didn't want to have the potty chair sitting out. Then we moved in with my in-laws, and there was so much in limbo, I didn't think it would be a good time to start trying. Now we are in the new house, but she's still adjusting. I think she'll be fine by the end of the month, but then baby R will be here five week later, and her world will be topsy turvy again. After R is born, Thanksgiving and Christmas will happen. So I've decided to postpone training til the first of the year. I feel terribly guilty. I never wanted to push her, but isn't it just as bad to delay her? Unfortuately, I just don't see another option at this point. Chalk up another point in the bad mommy column...

It's been really muggy/humid/foggy the last few days. So this morning when I was leaving her at my parents' house, she turned to my mom and said, "It's kinda muggy." Certainly not the standard meteorological observation of a two-year-old.

We got licorice as part of a housewarming present from DH's best friend, so we had given a piece to S. She has since been asking for it for breakfast every day. Sigh...

She started tickling us a month or so ago which doesn't really tickle most of the time, so we pretend it does, and she gets such a kick out of it. The other day she tickled my tummy and said "Tickle R?" Very cute. She's excited to meet her I think. As are we. DH and I were talking about her before bed last night. Will she be as challenging as S can be? Will she be more laid-back? Will she look like S did? It's a great big surprise we can't wait to discover.

I have two friends from church with kids close to S's age so we get together for playdates from time to time. Because it was fairly centrally located, we often go to Chick Fil A so after we eat, the kids can play and we girls can chat. Now whenever we drive past there, S says the kids names and asks if she can play there with them. This morning she mentioned them to me at breakfast - no prompting by going past Chick Fil A - so I told her she was right, it's about time to plan another get together with the boys.

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

I Said I'm Proud, To Be, a CSU Ram!

Woo hoo! We beat CU - at Folsom Field! I only saw the last quarter of the game, but it was pretty awesome. Wish I could have been out there. Maybe next year.

I was planning to post this weekend, but it just didn't happen. Something I've discovered about being a mom is that you get beat up a lot. I should have known - it starts in the womb. R's not as active as S was (I don't think - it's been awhile!), but she can pack a punch. Last night while watching tv, she got me with a double hit and my shirt was fluttering. I don't remember S doing that. But when we put S to bed last night, I thought I was in wrestlemania. We were all laying down and then she grabbed me to pull herself up, and her little hand wrenched my nipple so hard I thought it was going to be bleeding. I cried out, but told her not to worry about it - I knew she didn't mean to - but man did that hurt. I had finally gotten over the worst of the pain and was left with a dull throbbing when she rolled over and popped me in the nose with her elbow. This was followed by her head to my nose almost immediately. They should hand out padding when you take them in for their 2-yr checkup.

We had a nice Labor Day weekend. Very productive. We rearranged the furniture in the living room and it flows much better, thanks to DH's brilliance. He finally agreed to put the tv on the fireplace mantel. Yes! Now the living room, kitchen, main bath, formal dining room and half bath are all put together. So exciting! All I have left to do is the office/playroom, guest room, master bedroom and bath. Plus I need to clean the whole house and do just a couple of little things in the girls' rooms, but they are done for the most part. I see the light at the end of the tunnel! Which is good since I just have 10 days til I need it all ready for the housewarming party. :)

The other thing I did a lot of this weekend was cook actual meals for dinner which was exciting. I finally got to use my Rachel Ray cookbook I got for Christmas. Loved all three recipes, although, 30-min. my ass! I discovered that's not including prep work, which is always the most time-consuming part. Saturday I made Chicken a la King (different than how I've made it before - served over biscuits - delish!). Sunday I made mini meatloaves and macaroni. Mini is the way to go with meatloaf - it only takes about 20 min to bake instead of an hour or so. They were pretty good! Someday I will make macaroni that tastes cheesy enough, but it has yet to happen. I know part of it was I couldn't find the exact cheeses I was looking for. And I overcooked the noodles because my timing was off, so it was a little mushy. Not bad, but could have been better. Then yesterday I made crab-stuffed flounder. DH doesn't like fish, so I'm always trying to find different recipes that aren't too fishy. This was really good (I thought), and it got an "eh" reaction from him which is as good as it gets. The only problem is that I'm pretty sure the recipe means fresh, whole flounder, but being in the midwest, tiny frozen fillets is my only option. But on the plus side, they only took 5 minutes to bake instead of 20. It was nice to be able to make dinner three nights in a row. But it was a little heavy, too, and all the recipes had onions and/or garlic in them which is wreaking havoc on our stomachs. :) I need to keep that in mind next time I plan my menu.

DH had a good weekend - got a lot done Saturday and Sunday. Then Sunday night his friend came over and they sat out on the patio and had some drinks. Bacardi came out with flavored mojitos, so he got the raspberry one and had a little more of it than he realized. He came to bed and said the room was spinning. Yikes! The next morning (or should I say afternoon?) he said he really didn't think he'd had that much to drink. His hangover lasted all day. We used to be able to get over it by early afternoon. I was thinking about him this morning, because really, I felt badly for him, but it was kind of funny. We are definitely getting old! For some reason it reminded me of when I got sick in his dorm room in college. I sooooo should have known he loved me then! It was awful. I will spare everyone the details, but suffice it to say that it started out seeming like it was just a night of too much alcohol that turned out to be the stomach flu. He took good care of me.

Friday, September 4, 2009

When the Child Becomes the Parent

My dad has had some major health issues for most of my life. He had his first heart attack when I was 14, triple bypass when I was 16, stents put in when I was in college, developed Type II diabetes before I got married, and in the last few years they discovered that his hemoglobin levels have dropped inexplicably, so he has to have injections and infusions every 6 months or so to maintain them. And at the first of this year, he had to have surgery on his eye for leaking blood vessels. Because it’s been like this for so long, it kind of becomes part of you, and isn’t something we dwell on except when it’s brought to the forefront by another development or a relapse or hospital visit.

For my mother, though, changes in her life have made it more of a focal point through the years. When Dad first had heart problems, she was busy with work and dealing with two teenage daughters. Then we left for college, so things slowed down a bit, but she was still working. A few years ago, she got laid off. About six months later, Dad started running out of energy. It got to the point where he literally could not get out of the chair one day. Mom thought he was going to die right there in the living room. Initially I thought it was good that she wasn’t working then because it gave her time to really take care of him. But soon he was back to work. And she was left at home with nothing to do all day but think. And worry. She started having problems with her short-term memory.

I feel terribly because I didn’t take it that seriously at the beginning. I was pregnant with our first daughter and busy with work and caring for my own husband and home. After our daughter was born, Mom and Dad were able to watch her for us while I worked – what a blessing! I thought that would help since it would give Mom something else to think about. It did, a little. But because both of my parents are older – almost 70 – neither of them have the greatest memories. Since Mom has this issue, Dad always assumes she’s wrong about things, even though sometimes she’s right, and he’s wrong. (Typical man!) This has badly shaken her confidence. I thought to rebuild it, she needed to do something outside the house – get a part time job, volunteer, join a bridge club – to build her back up. But they only had one car until a couple of weeks ago, so when Dad was working at his part time job, Mom didn’t have any way to go anywhere. And it’s become clear that her memory problems have gotten worse. Not only do I tell her something that she immediately forgets, and I have to repeat several times, but she’s starting to lose her common sense about things.

We are expecting again and just moved into a new home, so she and my sister painted the nursery for us. My parents flipped houses when I was growing up, so painting is something Mom is quite used to, though it’s been awhile since she’s done it. Because the plan was to do the top third of the walls in white and the bottom part in green, I had told my sister that she would probably have to monitor Mom, or she’d forget what went where, but both of us thought it wouldn’t be that big of a deal. So what if she goes over the line and we have to repaint a couple of spots? Mom will feel good about herself for helping. And it did happen a few times - no big deal. What did concern me was one time when my sister left for a few minutes, she came back to find that below the green part of the wall, Mom had painted the baseboard green as well.

The latest incident happened this week. When they got a second vehicle a couple of weeks ago, they decided to move our daughter’s car seat into it since it was a van and easier to get her in and out of than their car. So Wednesday, Dad drove the van to the police station, and Mom followed him with our daughter in the car. After they got done switching the seat, they started back home. Since Mom hasn’t driven in some time, she’s not very good at directions. Dad lost her at a stoplight, and then he couldn’t find her. She wasn’t at home. He called me in a panic asking me to come get our daughter from him so he could go find Mom. I was a little worried, but figured, she’s still got her long-term memory – she knows their address. I thought she’d probably be able to find her way home, but with the recent painting issue, I started to doubt her, too. Dad was beside himself. About ten minutes later, before I could get there to get our daughter, he called back saying she’d gotten home ok. What a relief for all of us.

It’s weird feeling like I need to monitor everything my parents do like I do our toddler. As a man, Dad’s way of reacting to his fear is to get upset with her. She’s starting to get sick of it, so she argues back. With their bickering, I feel like a referee at times – how they must have felt when we were kids and fought. And I worry about their health, as I know they worried about mine – I was only 4lbs 5ozs when I was born. I’ve started going to their doctor appointments when there are issues. I worry when they drive anywhere. Dad’s eyesight isn’t great, even with the surgery he had, and Mom clearly has problems getting lost. I know they always worried about me being on the roads as a teen, or when I would drive back and forth between Kansas City and Colorado for college. I know that the day is coming when one of them will be gone and the other will not be able to live in their house alone. But they also won’t be ready for a nursing home, so I’ve already talked to my husband about the probability that they’ll need to stay with us. We joke about it being like on “The King of Queens”.

We are at that stage in life when we’re starting to transition to another new relationship with our parents. First, they were the guardians, and we were their dependents. As we grew into adults, we became peers. And now we’re beginning that shift to us being responsible for them. It’s challenging, but being a new(ish) mom, I have a deeper understanding of the sacrifices they made for me, and want to take care of them as well as they did me. What better way to thank them for all they have done?

Update On Life

S is getting better at playing pretend. She likes to hold "food" in the palm of her hand and use the other one to pinch some of it and hand it to me to eat. Her newest fascination is with chewing gum. When she sees DH or me with it, she opens her mouth and wiggles her tongue indicating she wants to see what we have in there. The other night before bed she was smacking her lips and clicking her tongue. I asked her what she was doing. "Chewing gum. Mama chew gum. Dada chew gum. Me chew gum." Then this morning she asked if she could have some gum, so I pretended to give her some, and she pretended to put it in her mouth and chew. She said she wanted more so I asked her what happened to what I'd given her, and she said it was all gone. I told her we don't swallow the gum; if we are done with it, we spit it out and put in the trash. I gave her some more to "chew" a few more times. Then I told her she should be careful not to get too much because it gets hard to chew it, and I pretended like I was chewing a huge wad which made her laugh.

The house is starting to come together. I'm trying to get some decorating done before the housewarming party in two weeks. I got the letters for S's name put up on her bedroom wall yesterday. They turned out pretty well, but it looks a little plain. I need to finish the rest of the decor in there and see if they will need anything else. I got some ideas for our bathroom, and picked up a few things at Michael's today. I'm looking forward to getting a lot of stuff done over the long weekend! (Hopefully.)

Only 9 weeks left til baby R's debut. I made an appointment with a hematologist, so next week I see the OB, the week after that the hematologist, and the week after that the dentist. I need to make an appointment to get S's hair cut (and mine). October is starting to look busy - DH is catering a couple of things, we have a bridal shower to go to, my great-aunt will be in town, DH is having a party for the softball team, and I'm hosting the Party of the Month I have with my high school girls.

Work is picking up a bit, and I'm trying to make notes for people for while I'm on maternity leave. One of the women here found out yesterday that she probably has H1N1 (Swine Flu). Praying I don't get it, athough to a certain extent, I don't believe the hype. If I wasn't pregnant and had a toddler, I'd completely ignore it, but that's just one of the ways being a mom changes you! Of course, DH thinks it's a good excuse to avoid having to smooch and snuggle me. :) One of his aunts has a friend who is in the hospital with West Nile Virus, too. Crazy. A guy at work made a comment about all the bad diseases appearing when I'm pregnant. When I was expecting S, his son got the mumps which is highly contagious and dangerous for pregnant women to be exposed to. Just hoping to get through the winter without anything major happening to the kiddos.

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

To Tattoo or Not To Tattoo?

For me this was a question with an easy answer – heck no. I have a major fear of needles and a low pain tolerance. It has never once sounded like a good idea to me to get a tattoo. I think they can be pretty, and I understand why some people would want one, but my fears have prevented me from ever seriously considering it.

I do, however, have several friends who have them. I have gone with a couple of them to get their ink done. Which has prompted me to ponder what I would get and where I would get it if I were ever to resolve my issues. Here I stumble upon more roadblocks. First, what? Tattoos are forever. (At least without incurring a lot of cost and even more pain to have them lasered off.) What symbol could I get that I would still want as part of my saggy 80-year-old body? My loves in life have changed a lot over the years. What if I’d gotten a Superman symbol when I was obsessed with Jon Bon Jovi? Or a pointe shoe for dance? Or my first boyfriend’s name (who I just knew I was going to marry)? Or even the more permanent figures in my life, my husband’s or our daughters’ initials? So the image itself isn’t even something I can decide on, at least at this point in my life.

As for where, yikes, that’s an even scarier question. Even when I was younger and skinny, I knew to avoid my midsection since I wanted to have children. I’m pretty modest, so I wouldn’t want it near any of my privates, either. And they say it hurts the most close to the bone, so my back didn’t seem like a good option. Plus you couldn’t see it. And what’s the point of getting one you can’t see? Ok, so the torso is out. Head? No way to hide it when I want to be discreet. Back of the neck? Same problems as the back. Hands and feet? Too bony and too hard to conceal when need be. What about arms? Again with needing a discreet option, I would need it to be able to be covered by a shirt – not just long sleeves, either, because in the summer, that would be really obvious, not to mention hot. So upper arms/shoulders. A reasonable possibility! Although it seems a little too manly to have one on my bicep. What about the legs? Back to the same issue of needing to be able to be covered, the thighs would have to be the choice. Let me just say that if I had chosen to get a tattoo on either my upper arm or my thigh, it would now be stretched out. I would never have anticipated the weight fluctuations I experienced in the last decade when I was younger and in the mindset of considering a tattoo. In retrospect, it’s a good thing I have those fears to keep me from making what could have been a huge mistake.

So why is this even a topic of discussion for me when I clearly have decided opinions about it? Because the other day, my boss’s daughter got a tattoo, and it reminded me that someday, I’ll have to have this discussion with our daughters. My boss’s daughter is a senior in high school, and because she’s technically old enough to get the tattoo without his permission, there’s not really anything he could have done to stop her. However, they have a good relationship and had dialogued about it for several months before she got it. On one hand, I think, that’s so cool! On the other, I think, no WAY would I allow one of our daughters to get a tattoo! Of course, the key is that she talked to him about it. She could have just run off and done it secretly. I’d like to think that when our girls are big enough to contemplate these kinds of things, we will have taught them to make good decisions and provided a safe haven of open communication so they know they can (and should) come to us about these kinds of things. That’s not to say I wouldn’t advise against it. But at the very least, I could recommend the thigh/upper arm locale!

Test Results

Yesterday I got my test results and it turns out, no gestational diabetes - yea! Unfortunately, my platelet count is low, so they want me to see a hematologist. I initially had an emotional hormonal reaction (Platelets affect clotting! I'm going to hemhorrage during my C-section and die!). Then I settled down and decided it probably wasn't too big of a deal since the nurse didn't seem overly concerned about it when she called. I was going to Google it, but I was afraid that might freak me out more.

So I pulled the list of dr's covered by my insurance and started going through them. I asked my friends in the medical field for recommendations one of them said she's heard of low platelets being something that can happen during pregnancy. So I was a little less concerned and decided to (selectively) Google it:

Low platelet count (below 150,000), means that the blood possesses too few thrombocytes or specialized blood cells called platelets that help to aid in blood clotting. This condition is also called thrombocytopenia, and it can be mild to highly serious, depending on the platelet count and on the underlying cause. Treatment of low platelet count usually depends on these two factors: cause and severity. There are several treatments possible including “watch and wait,” medications, blood transfusions or platelet transfusions, and surgery.

Very common conditions may result in low platelet count, like pregnancy. The reduction in platelet amounts is usually not huge, and doctors tend to opt not to treat this condition, though they may take a wait and watch approach. Most women do recover from thrombocytopenia caused by pregnancy after the pregnancy ends. Another time this approach could be favored is when people have just had a virus, especially kids, and have mild thrombocytopenia. Children are particularly good at recovering from low counts because their bone marrow tends to produce platelets rapidly.

Haven't gotten ahold of a dr. yet, but it sounds like it's probably not a big deal. Whew!
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