September 25, 2013

Pregnancy: The Good Stuff

To combat the horrific amount of negative posts I have had about this pregnancy, I thought it might be time to do one that had some of the good stuff, in addition to some hints and tips for things to make preggo life better.

The Good Stuff:

Pregnancy Dreams
Another online preggo friend posted recently about the dreams she had been having. Since she is waiting to find out the gender until her baby's birthday, her dreams have revolved around whether or not it is a boy or a girl. My dreams? Completely and utterly fucked up on so many levels. Here are my top 5 preggo dreams that I remember as if I had them yesterday:

  • I had a dream that my 5 year old was smoking. As we were walking along, his little hand holding my hand and the other puffing on a cig. He threw the cigarette in the grass and went to stomp it out but it started a huge grass fire.
  • I had a dream that my best friend had died and her ghost came back to talk to me. (Seriously. WTF?)
  • I had a dream that my sweet newborn baby girl was crawling and walking all within the first week of bringing her home and because she was so small I kept losing her.
  • I had a dream that I lost my 5 year old. We got separated at a school function (and he was weirdly going to a Kindergarten that was seemingly bigger than my high school) and I wasn't able to find him. Que my terror. And waking up sweating. And checking to make sure he was tucked away safe and peaceful in his room.
  • This one is my favorite- I had a dream that Enrique Eglasias chose me to come up on stage to sing to me. He kissed me and then I got to go hang backstage. It was awesome. I'm pretty sure this dream would have put my sister-in-law into a jealous rage. LOL
  • Last night's dream- Jackson, his best friend and I were trapped in a series of tornadoes. First, like the apparently super smart mom that I am, dragged them outside to lay on the grass. THEN we tried to drive away from it and at a stoplight, the tornado picked the car up and spun us around like we were on the Gravitron with me (unbuckled) turned around to hold the hands of these little boys and pray for their safety. Good god! Do I need to read up on weather safety? Did my dream brain EVER consider just GOING IN THE BASEMENT?? Now that I'm traumatized for another day... I digress. 

No Period
Not to get all TMI, but it is really fucking awesome not to get my period and be in agonizing pain every month.

Baby Kicks
I have said all along that I adore feeling her move. Her little kicks reminding me that she is there. Her big kicks making me flinch and bringing stares from my nearby co-workers. I love that when I am driving home at night with my radio cranked that I can feel her moving and grooving- I just know she is having a dance party.

Perks
Some ladies took pity on me when I saw the extensive line to the ladies room at the MN Viking's game this past Sunday and let me cut in line. For as many who stare awkwardly at my belly, there are just as many who open doors, let me go first and give me extra food.

Some Tips and Hints:

Maternity Underwear
This seems to be a debate on many of my mama boards mostly being: what is the point? Can't I just buy bigger underwear? Well, as I discovered, the amazing thing about maternity underwear is that is made to fit perfectly for big pregnant bellies and asses. It doesn't slide halfway down my ass by the end of the day or ride up my butt (and if you are wearing thongs while you are pregnant? Well... I just flipped you off). My personal favorites are the Thyme Maternity undies- you can buy them in the maternity section at Babies R Us. They are amazing. They are lacy enough to be a little sexy, because hey, just because I'm hugely pregnant doesn't mean I don't want to be pretty and they are so, so soft. I love them. Best purchase ever.

Pregnancy Pillow
My sister asked me if my husband feels the baby kick when we snuggle at night. I chucked for a number of reasons. Firstly, he doesn't come to bed with me at 9:30 (or even earlier these days with anemia kicking my ass). Secondly, he's been replaced. By my Boppy full body pillow. I am able to wrap myself around this thing and it has produced some of the better sleep I've been able to get in weeks (which frankly isn't saying much, but hey, I'll take it).

Maternity Yoga Pants
I had some sweats from my "fat" days that I had been wearing throughout my pregnancy. I found that no matter how tight you try to tie those puppies below the belly, they still feel like they are perpetually falling down. In a recent excursion to Macy's to escape from the office (and to buy a sweater because my office is liking living in the North Pole), I decided to try on some maternity yoga pants. Holy sweet Jesus! Amazing, most comfortable pants ever. I was tempted to change into them for the rest of the work day. Seriously, I will wear them so much over the next 3 months they will be falling apart by the time Mackenzie arrives!

Zulily.com
Shop here for all cute and adorable things baby and maternity related. No, I'm not getting compensated in the least for saying this, but we got wall decals for like 60% off and the cutest little outfits for less than $10 each. Halo swaddle sleep sacks? Dirt cheap. I haven't forgotten my little boy either- I got a $150 winter coat for the kiddo for $45. Sign up to receive your Zulily sale notifications NOW mamas!

Prenatal Gummies
I encountered very serious issues with swallowing and taking regular prenatal vitamins. They made me gag not to mention increased my nausea. I decided to give the gummies a try. Not only were they hella tasty but they got the job done... that was until anemia took over. Word to the wise... the prenatal gummies do not contain iron which means if you become iron deficient and therefore anemic like me, you have to go back to the regular ones anyway *sigh*. These are great if you are able to get away with it though!

Weekly Preggo Update
26 Weeks now! Wow. I'm just 2 weeks from my 3rd trimester!!! YIPPEE!!! At this point we still have a lot of nesting to do- things like cleaning out a cupboard for bottles and bibs for example. The only piece of "equipment" we feel we are missing at this point is a new pack 'n play. We picked up a new video monitor and I LOVE IT. I can't believe how much better these things have gotten in 4+ years! I will say that I find the microphone "Talk to Baby" feature is somewhat scary. I can see my husband using it to scare the shit out of me during late night feedings. In other news, I ate a strawberry walnut salad today without gagging on it for the first time in like 5 months. That's progress, right? As you can see, I'm trying to keep this post as positive as possible this week without any mention of my horrific heartburn that has begun to plague my soul.

26 Week Belly Pic
I'm obsessed with this skirt. FYI- maternity compression tights are hilarious to try and put on! 

My kiddo took this pic of me and my pup (aka, stalker dog who won't leave me alone. Ever.)

My gorgeous son. Just because. 

Baby Mackenzie!





September 20, 2013

Secret Revealed: 25 Weeks and Counting

Despite my due date of December 31, it is pretty much common knowledge with my doctor and within my family that this baby will make an early appearance. I am feeling at 25 weeks that I can say that I am nearing the home stretch with just 12 (maybe 13 if I'm lucky) weeks to go.

As you all know, I am very anxious to get this baby out of my belly and into my life.

I feel like I have grown tremendously in the last few weeks, going from adorable baby bump to, holy shit that chick is super preggers. My discomforts have increased- nausea, digestive, insomnia, pelvic pain, fatigue... (I'm sure I can think of more). My emotions are a roller coaster and nobody is safe- I have just endured a 2 day sad-fest and I'm not sure how to pull myself out of this emotional hole I dug myself into. I am very ready to get back to just being me again. The old Joanne just feels lost somewhere. I want her back! She was awesome!

I had my 1 hour glucose challenge test a week ago. Blah! Yuck! Okay, the drink itself doesn't taste that bad (I chose fruit punch), but the after affects?? Ugh. I nearly fell asleep in the waiting room and suffered from a hellacious headache and nausea for the remainder of the day. I'm SO glad I chose to take the day off! The good news is that I passed it with flying colors! They wanted to see a level of less than 130 and mine was at 89. Not even close!! Yes! One less thing to worry about with this pregnancy. There was some bad news though- my iron levels are low and I am borderline anemic. It does explain a lot of my fatigue, dizziness and issues with concentration lately and thankfully, being iron anemic, there is a way to fix it. It means more iron in my diet (not to mention more tummy trouble). I am hoping that this resolves itself by my next checkup in October, because I REALLY don't want to have to take iron supplements. Yuck. The baby girl is doing fantastic though. She is VERY busy- kicking me all the time. Some of the kicks are so sudden and so strong that they make me flinch! The husband still has yet to feel her kicking. Little stubborn girl likes to stop moving when he comes along. Hilariously, her big brother did the same thing. I think I was close to 35 weeks before he finally was able to feel him moving around.

On another note, we decided after a bit of deliberation that it was time to tell everyone baby girl's name. We want to be able to talk about her freely and openly, especially around Jack (who we knew would NEVER be able to keep the secret). So at Jackson's birthday party last weekend, he marched our family up the stairs one by one to show them the baby's finished nursery, complete with her name decal. To my surprise and happiness, everyone loved her name (not that they would dare to criticize it otherwise unless they want to feel the wrath of my pregnant rage).

Haha- the name decal- before we decided to divulge the secret. And yes. Please. Someone buy me the matching changing table for the crib! 

Why do these decals always look so much taller on the websites?  It's still perfect though and I love it. 

Her name is:
Mackenzie Marie.

I wish I had some big story for why I chose that name. There's no grand meaning to it. Not even a hint of ancestry (it is a Scottish name which we are not). It just came to me one day and I couldn't stop thinking about it. I thought for sure my husband would give it the big veto, but to my surprise, he really liked it too and it just kind of stuck. I love being able to give her an identity before she is here with us. I talk to her every day, sing to her in the car and rock with her in the nursery telling her about allllll the time we are going to be spending together in there. I love that we have everything ready for her to come home to and feel like she is already so much a part of my world.

Here are some new belly pics!

24 Weeks- Cute Preggers

25 Weeks- Suddenly huge preggers
AND a little about Baby Mackenzie (who is measuring a little bigger than this):


I'm also SUPER DUPER excited that my mom is throwing me a baby shower! I know, I know... 2nd kid... bad etiquette to have another shower but hey- it's been 5 years since I've had a baby around AND it is a different gender. I hope some ladies are able to show up!


September 19, 2013

My Child Is Overweight? Really?

I knew it was coming. And even though I knew it was coming, I was still mad.

They told me my gorgeous rough and tumble little boy was overweight.


Does this look like the picture of childhood obesity to you?


I say that I knew it was coming because since about age 1 he has been in the 90th percentile for weight (which is a far cry from the tiny little being he was at months). He is 50% for height, so we can no longer blame the "overweight" thing on him being short. Thing is, as you look at this kid, the last thing I think is that he is overweight. He is rock solid. Six pack abs. So my question is? When are doctors going to start accounting for factors OTHER than BMI to determine obesity risk factors? We were lectured about his eating habits, despite the fact that his school serves a very balanced diet every day. He rarely eats candy. He told the doctor he hated chocolate. He rarely eats chips. Fruit juice gives him the runs. So, doc, go ahead and just TRY to tell us we are doing something wrong here. I dare you.

Our very athletic-built family will NEVER get out of the "overweight" range unless other factors are taken into account. As a pregnant woman, I've been getting DRILLED about being "overweight". Yeah... my weight gain has exploded, but to be honest? I don't know why. My eating habits are not all that different from where I was prior. Sure, I have had some aversions to my usual favorite vegetables, but I haven't been THAT bad. Either the sins of my 1st trimester have caught up with me or gaining weight is just what my body does when its pregnant.

I have preached many times over why I loved Medifast so much. They looked at the big picture. Muscle Mass. Body Water. They looked at the body's total composition before making their final assessment on my final "goal" weight. While BMI was factored in, it wasn't the be all end all of my overall health. They readjusted my goals to a reasonable place that was RIGHT for my body. Weight Watchers certainly doesn't do that. So I ask, why can't a doctor's office perform these assessments?? I don't give them enough money already? They can't afford this equipment? Tell me why?!!

Beyond the "overweight" analysis that I got for my son, they have verified that he is a healthy, vibrant 5 year old boy. His vision and hearing is perfect. He has already blown away 95% of the developmental and physical milestones that he should have reached (or will reach) during age 5. We only have to work on tying shoes :) As anticipated, he had to get 3 vaccines which pretty much knocked him down for the night and earned him a little extra TV time and snuggles from mom.

As always, I feel beyond blessed that my son is healthy and happy. There could be SO many worse things to worry about than my son weighing "more than average".

September 18, 2013

A Special Week

The past week (or so) has been a special week.

My first miracle, my Jackson, turned 5 on September 11! While I know so many who are saddened by this date, I feel insanely blessed that he was born on this date because it is now that happiest day ever for me. I'm sure he will learn as he grows up what a dark day this was in our American history; however, I want him to know that because of him being born on Patriot Day, it has become a celebration of life. He's a miracle.

We held his first ever "friend" birthday a few days before his birthday. We discovered that his birthday is actually at an awkward point in the school year- he moved on from Pre-K to K and left some buddies behind, but we needed all the RSVP's before he left that class, so what do you do? We did have to cap the number (which annoyed some of the other moms that their child was "forgotten"... seriously??) so we just proceeded with a WTH attitude and made it the best we could for Jackson. We had the party at Pump It Up and despite the choke-able cost, it was great. We didn't have to do anything except pretty much show up with a cake (which was our choice to bring- they would have done one for us had we asked them to). Jackson does get a little overwhelmed at being the center of attention and seemed a bit frustrated at gift opening time with the kids clamoring around him. Otherwise, it was perfect. He had a great time with his friends and loved every moment of it. Here is some video footage from the day:
video
Singing Happy Birthday

video
Yes... the girls were chasing the boys... 

On Wednesday, his actual birthday, we went out for a dinner of his choice, just the 3 of us. He has become obsessed with Chili's (which is great for this preggo mama because their menu is expansive). Unfortunately, he had swimming that night, so that was pretty much the extent of that birthday night.

Then to cap off all of the celebrating we had a family party for him. Nothing over the top, just grandmas, grandpas, aunts, uncles and cousins. We ate (and for the first time EVER did not have any leftovers!), opened presents and had birthday cake. He LOVED all his presents and loved even more spending time with his family.

What can I say about my little boy. He's not so little anymore. He is independent and so, so smart. He's athletic and tough yet a video game nerd at the same time. He's sweet and sensitive. My favorite? He's a mama's boy. He still gives me big hugs and kisses me on the cheek. He always wants to snuggle before bedtime and sit with me to watch a movie. He wants to tag along with me wherever I go. He gets sad if I am gone before he wakes up in the morning.

I know these things won't last forever, although, I secretly hope they do.
Even when he's too embarrassed to give his old mom a hug, I will still love him the same.

Oh my little boy how you have rocked my world. I may not have had any clue what to do with you the day you entered this world, but we have figured things out together over the years. I'm so proud of you. Proud that you are smart and funny. Proud that you are excited to be a big brother and share your world with a new little person. You are my heart and soul.

I love you to the moon and back my sweet boy.


September 06, 2013

Starting Kindergarten

I can't believe it. My precious baby boy started Kindergarten this week!

I feel very lucky that this transition is such an easy one for us. He is attending Private Kindergarten at the same school he has been at since he was 3 months old. He knows his teacher (her son is about 6 months younger than Jackson and they have been in preschool and Pre-K together). No big scary bus. No new kids. Same place, just a different room. We are very strong advocates for Primrose Schools and have often told the former owners that Primrose needs to expand it's program to include Elementary Education. We are believers that this school is one of the primary reasons for Jackson's intelligence and manners. We are so sad that this is his last school year there but excited to start our baby girl there next March.

The first day of Kindergarten was not without it's tantrums. Primrose Pre-K & K students are required to wear school uniforms. After 3 months of summer camp? He was not thrilled to put on the brown Merrill dress shoes. It was a fight and one that he lost.

You can see his disdain over the shoe fight in this photo
Ready for his 1st day! 

He quickly recovered and we got ready to go. He was excited that BOTH his mommy and daddy were bringing him to school for once. We said our goodbyes and off he went all grown up and independent. Nothing but a wave and a smile.

All day at work, I thought about him. How was his day going? Was he able to keep up with the work? Was he getting along with his friends? Was he listening to his teacher? I couldn't leave fast enough at 4:00p to get to him and hear about his day.

His first day of Kindergarten was good. When I picked him up, he barely even noticed me walking into the room he was having so much fun with his friends, playing CHESS (WHA??). He said the work was hard and he had trouble with one center and that he couldn't "solve the problem". Being a very excitable little boy, he had some trouble listening which we will keep an eye on. He said the best part of his day was "Playing tag." So, as suspected, recess is still the best time of the day.

The start of this school year marked some new routines in our household. After a summer of relaxed routines and rules, we laid the hammer down. No more TV during dinner. No more eating dinner at the center island- but sitting down at the dining room table and having dinner as a family and talking about our days. Homework, when that starts, will be done after dinner and before any playtime. Bedtime is now a quiet bedtime snack and maybe one episode of a cartoon (preferably a more educational one) instead of a full-blown movie. We are now reading a couple books (he reads one to us (!!) and we read one to him) before laying down to sleep by no later than 8pm. We are working hard on getting him to go to bed independently before the baby comes.

I am so blown away at how awesome this kid is. I am such a proud mama this week!


September 05, 2013

This Time Is Different

I had an interesting conversation with my husband last week about all of our upcoming life changes, and he mentioned that he's scared to death about this new baby. Not so much about how to be a parent, finances or anything like that, but more along the lines of our age and how to keep ourselves healthy for our children.

While 36 and 37 years old doesn't really seem all that old, in parent years? We are pretty much ancient. In the obstetrics world, I am considered AMA: Advanced Maternal Age which we all seem to chuckle at every time I go in for an appointment. At 37 I am about a thousand times healthier than I was 5 years ago when I was pregnant with Jackson. Despite my morphed sense of reality (a.k.a, I feel as big as a house right now) comparing pictures from my first pregnancy to now helps a great deal. Even though I don't feel like it, I am much smaller this pregnancy. With Jackson I threw up almost daily for 25 weeks, this time (and perhaps it is thanks to my good friend Zofran) it has been nausea. My tummy seems more rounded, high and pointy this time around and she is definitely positioned differently than I remember with Jack. Her kicks are low resulting in the most delightful jabs to my cervix and bladder. I also have zero issues sleeping. I had some major insomnia with Jack. Not the case this time. As a matter of fact, I could sleep anytime. Anywhere. I don't think I even moved last night.

It is no secret that I haven't enjoyed being pregnant. Frankly, I'm a disaster. I feel so limited in what I can do. Exhaustion following my 9 hour work days are taking their toll on my home life. All day, I have to find a way to "live with" my limitations (i.e. nausea, sheer exhaustion, discomforts). When I get home, I need a break. I need to let go and not have anyone expect anything of me. I want help without having to ask. I want to be babied and pampered.

Is this too much to ask? LOL

Besides the physical differences in my pregnancies, I have a completely different mindset this time around. With Jackson, I wanted to keep him in my belly as long as possible. Yes, there were a number of logistical reasons for this, but I was also kind of scared. I had zero idea what to do with a baby. I read every book, attended prenatal classes but was completely clueless the day I took him home. With all the lessons I learned the first time around, I feel so at ease with bringing my little princess into the world. I feel like I know what I need. I know what I'm doing. I remember feeling super overwhelmed when I started my baby registry for Jackson. Which bottles? Breastfeeding? Do I need that Pack N Play? What about a bottle warmer? This time around, piece of cake. I easily picked out everything I know I will want and need.

Probably the most important of differences, and one we didn't have any control of with Jackson, is that we are in our home. We will not be in the process of moving and living out of boxes. We will have her nursery ready and her crib built. We will have a real home filled with love and memories to bring her into.

I'm not living in fantasyland. I know that a newborn is not all rosy and beautiful. I am aware that I will have sleepless nights and unnecessary trips to the ER. It will be a major adjustment going from one kid to two. Our very scheduled existence will be a disaster. Bickering will be at an all time high. PPD will likely rear its ugly face.

However, this time is different. I'm ready. I know what to expect. I'm not afraid.

With that said, we have had a very busy Labor Day weekend filled with plenty of labor and nesting. Baby Girl's room was painted and new curtains hung. We made a couple of large purchases including her bedding set (the adorable Daniella by CoCaLo Collection) and the Graco Fast Action Fold Jogger Click Connect stroller and carseat (which by the way, Target is having a HUGE baby sale including 25% off strollers right now that I think ends on the 7th). We cleaned the house from top to bottom.


I also cheered one of my dearest friends on at the finish line for her first ever 10K which she rocked with a time of 1:07. I WILL be joining her for next year's Women Rock 10K!


I am 23 weeks along this week! Just 3 1/2 months to go until my little princess arrives. Jackson says she is the best Christmas gift ever. Love him. Hey also likes to say, "Hey pregnant girl. I bet I can beat you up the stairs!" Yup. Pretty sure you can, buddy.


Is it December yet? I'm so excited!

 
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