28 March 2011

the grey zone

The Engineer and I were out on our Sunday evening walk, which just happened to pass by the Salvation Army bin (for those too lazy to go to the real store...which happens to work well for all our donations).  Anyway, on this day we were not there to donate, just merely walking by. 

This little gem was just sitting by the bin (probably wouldn't fit in the slot).  I immediately decided our Little Engineer had to have it. 

Me: Look, babe!  This will be perfect for her to ride around our condo! 
The Engineer: We are not taking from the salvation army pile.
Me: But it's free, and it's in good condition.
The Engineer: (Gives me his 'you're ridiculous' look).
Me: This thing is probably worth $45 and every kid has one by their first birthday.  (if we've learned one thing, it's that numbers speak to the Engineer)
The Engineer: Fine.
Me: Will you carry it, please?

As we continued our walk, baby car dangling from the Engineer's arm, I started to panic.  "We just stole from Salvation Army."  The Engineer apparently thought this was stealing all along and was wondering what was wrong with me...while I was thinking someone's junk had just become my treasure.  He refused to walk back to the bin to return it and said I had to do it myself.  Finally, after what seemed like a long discussion on our moral dilemma, we agreed we would return it to the Salvation Army when we're finished with it...along with all the other toys and stuff we will not need any longer. 

One of my co-workers always says that she "begged, borrowed, and stole" her baby stuff.  I always wondered what "stealing" looked liked?  I mean she's a good person and I didn't think she meant breaking into Babies 'R' Us. 

Now I understand, I too am begging, borrowing, and stealing...
(Lesson #1 for becoming a stay at home mom.  Maybe coupons will be my Lesson #2 - I did see TLC is going to have a new show on coupons.) 

24 March 2011

my baby's besties

Pure sweetness.  Ada and Lily.

The Engineer gets to visit the nieces this Saturday and I'm quite jealous, especially since I'm stuck here working.  Although I do get to have a baby shower with Church folks, so I can't complain too much.  I'm so excited for the Little Engineer to meet these two, aka her best friends.  I suppose I can decide who is her favorite or bestie, for a little while at least.

30 weeks. 

My Little Engineer, who likes to kick and flip all night.  It's ok though, I guess, since at least I know you are alive and well in there.  And at least the Engineer and I know what our night times are going to look like a in a couple of months, to mentally prepare...as much as one can do that.  I've been taught to be very grateful for my babycakes this week.  Not every story ends happy, so I am thankful that I have a sweet baby to keep me up at night and to make my heartburn (when someone can't resist the chocolate). 

I love getting to know you from the outside.  Feeling your little fist bumps and stretches and what I can only imagine is your adorable bum.  Aren't baby bums the cutest?  I can't wait to see hers and put a little cloth diaper on it. 

So much love and we've only begun.

23 March 2011

free the belly

I out grew my speedo.  It just plan as day isn't going to fit anymore.  This left me with three choices, buy a maternity swimsuit, buy a bigger speedo, or make do with something I already have.  I picked the last option, as you can all imagine, and this left me going to the pool in a bikini.  I'm normally completely against lap swimming in a non-speedo style suit, but hey I'm pregnant, right?  It actually feels so much better to just let my belly be free.  And for now it's the closest I'm going to get to being on a beach in a bikini insanely pregnant.  Although, I'm pretty sure I made the young male lifeguard feel uncomfortable as he completely avoided any eye contact.

On another pregnancy note...  Am I terribly sensitive or shall we consider it rude to comment on the growth of one's cheeks?  "I can tell you've gained weight, in your face."  "Your cheeks look so much fuller."  "Your face is getting rounder...in a good way."  Seriously...my other set of cheeks are getting a few extra lbs too, would you care to comment?  Just call me fat face.  Or if you want to be my favorite keep your comments localized to my uterus region.  I will love you forever if you do.

22 March 2011

these are a few of my favorite (pregnancy) things

Well there are the stretch marks.  I have to say praise Jesus that so far I'm stretch mark free, although, I know the scary big stretchy stages are still to come...EEEK..  I've been using this oil faithfully on both belly and boobs (yes, boobs can get stretch marks, too) since the beginning.  I started with the lotion until my friend, Kristen, recommended this.  It's double or triple the price, but I like it better than the lotion and it smells a little better too.  I'm also the same girl who started using anti-aging eye cream at 17...you can't wait until you see the damage to start fixing it - you've got to prevent it!  Public Health 101.

Red Raspberry Leaf Tea (talk to your health care provider about this one...they all have differing opinions).  This tea is caffeine free and known to help tone the uterus.  This uterus of mine is about to run a marathon in a couple of months, so this one makes sense to me.  Susan Weed, author of Wise Woman Herbal during the Childbearing Years highly recommends Red Raspberry Tea throughout pregnancy.  I just began it with the 3rd trimester.

Ouch the heartburn.  I happen to hate Tums...the chalkiness makes me want to vomit.  I'll chew one if I'm desperate, but definitely couldn't be my heartburn go to.  I started eating papaya, which is a little expensive and hard to find one ripe enough this time of year.  My midwife recommended Papaya Enzymes - a concentrated pill version of papaya.  Picked these up at Whole Foods.  I think they help some...nothing is magical.  The thing that has helped the most is cutting out all tomato products, coffees, and trying my absolute hardest to cut out chocolate (but I fail daily...just failed 5 minutes ago and it's not even lunch time).  Fresh squeezed lemon in water also seems to be taking the edge off at meal times.  However, ultimately for me figuring out my trigger foods and eliminating them from diet has made the biggest difference.

Maternity jeans from Forever 21.  They're the boot cut ones and like $13 and they feel like heaven.  Can't beat that!

Lots of pillows.  I'm now up to 5 pillows.  I build a fortress around myself, isolating the poor Engineer to his quarter of the bed that is left.  I also used a comforter rolled up long ways and tied to make a body pillow during the later part of my 2nd trimester.

Hypnobirthing relaxation/affirmation C.D.s.  And yoga mixes.  One of my yoga instructors is amazing and made me copies of all her class play lists.  And for that matter yoga....AMAZING for pregnancy.  I feel a big difference if I miss just one session due to this ever changing body of mine.

Ok, I better stop.  My list probably could go on and on. 

Happy pregnancy to all you out there!

20 March 2011

trash can delights

The Engineer and I were waiting for the elevator to head back to our shoebox condo when he spotted a box from dunkin donuts on top of the trash can.  He looked in and said Hey there's donuts in here!  I tried my best not to pee myself and replied No, we're not taking food from the trash.  We're about to have a baby, we've got to get it together here.  This has been making me giggle to myself all day.  It's probably a 'you had to be there' sort of thing, but still...it's a little funny, right?  What makes this funnier is that normally I'm looking for sweets like nobodies business, but since we just had cookies I wasn't desperate.  Desperate Julie combined with the Engineer probably would have ended with dumpster donuts...

29 weeks.

I know what you're thinking...finally a picture taken by someone else and not another pathetic self photo in front of the same mirror!

11 March 2011

barefoot, pregnant, and in the kitchen: turkey burgers

Turkey Burgers

Mix ground turkey with some veggies to add a healthy twist!  I added diced red pepper, onion, zucchini, and garlic.  Also mixed in is steak spice.  Here the cooked burger was placed on Naan (an Indian bread) and topped with mayo and lettuce.

28 weeks.

My jacket isn't quite fitting like it did last Fall...

09 March 2011

double birthday girls

I have been neglecting to share with you two very important birthdays...

Ada, the birthday girl, who is now 3, with her parents (note momma is still sporting her bump here).

Bitting at the bit to get into those presents.  I do believe she's lost her toddler look and has a kid look to her now, don't you think?  The theme of her presents: ART.  As she would say, she likes "arting."  I have to brag and say that she can color inside the lines at the age of 3!

2 days after Ada's birthday, another birthday happened...

Welcome to the world Lily Mae, the most adorable snuggle bug baby niece in the world!

02 March 2011

once you go midwife

You ain't ever going to go back.  Well at least that's my experience....

The lobby isn't much to look at, completely outdated and a little tattered, but it's comfortable and complete with toys and a library (that uses the honor system for checking out books).  Reception is mostly self led.  You sign yourself in, like any other medical appointment, but you get to indicate which midwife you'd like to see that day.  They encourage you to rotate through all of them to get to know everyone, since it could be any midwife on duty when you go into labor.  The receptionist gives you your file.  Next, you weigh yourself and take your own blood pressure and record it in your chart.  At this point you're free to review all the notes that have been written by the midwives, keeping you completely in the loop on your care.  The midwife greets you and takes you to her office, where she remains with you throughout your entire 30-60 minute appointment (no sitting naked in a white paper gown waiting for a doctor to knock on your door).  She begins by asking you what questions you have.  My experience has been this is their teaching moment, they often pull out textbooks or some sort of diagram to help you understand whatever concept is being discussed.  During the exam they explain what they are doing, if you'd like they'll give you a mirror to watch an internal exam, and for an external exam they may teach dad how to figure out where the uterus is in relation to the belly button or some little tid bit along those lines.   The best yet, 24 hour phone service.  Not directly to the midwife, but one can be paged at any time if needed. 

I always leave feeling empowered and more familiar with how my body and baby works.  With my midwife practice I feel like an active participant in my care, rather than violated and flustered by the generic answers to my questions that I always got with the OBs I worked with (not that you can't have great care with OBs, because I know there are some amazing ones out there!).

In addition to having a midwife at our home birth we will also be having a birth assistant.  She's responsible for helping the midwife in case of an emergency, but she also doubles as a doula.  I'm a big fan of doulas.  It's someone there to advocate for you and to refer to your birth plan.  She also helps support dad and teaches him ways to make you more comfortable or gives him a chance to take a break.  I'm looking forward to having two amazing women by my side throughout my delivery, in addition to my wonderful birth partner....aka the Engineer.

Just in case 2 amazing women by my side isn't enough, BFF Sarah is planning to come down from NYC as soon as she gets the call.  She's a farm girl, so I think she'll be good to have around in this situation.  My question to know if she's ready for all of this was "How do you feel about seeing me poop?"  And since she didn't realize you often poop during delivery I've been giving her homework assignments...books to read, videos to watch.   And you know what?  I think I've converted her, the girl has been talking about her own home birth.  I'd like to convert the whole world..., but I've come to realize we each have our own path and the most important thing is that you're completely comfortable and relaxed in your path.  It's been fun to watch Sarah and Marques #2 have the conversation the Engineer and I had several years ago when were just dating.  Marques #2 looked slightly, ok dreadfully, terrified after watching the first video on natural births (with nothing left to the imagination).  I looked over at my Engineer who has seen it so many times now he doesn't even flinch. 

Lately I've been extra excited for all the stages ahead of us - me getting ginormous, the delivery, the sleepless nights immediately after with my Little Engineer.  I can't wait to experience it all, but at the same time want to slowmo it all down, you know to better soak it in.  Can you believe next week is 3rd trimester?