I'm officially 36 weeks, now. Hooo-rah! No picture quite yet, but I should have one to post tonight if I can remember to have Jeffrey take it. The hot, hot heat is back as of tomorrow so I'm REALLY glad the countdown is officially on. And also REALLY glad about all the ceiling fans that are installed now. Our house stays pretty cool, but 3 days in the mid-90's can push even it over the edge. Today's midwife appointment was as chill has all the other ones have been this time around. I'm still measuring exactly where I "should" be (technically the same number of centimeters as weeks along) and the baby, according to the skilled touch of a woman birthing babies for 20-plus years, feels about 6 to 6.5 pounds, so by her birthday she could be another 8.5-er like Penelope, or (even better) a bit smaller. I'm not worried either way, I've already birthed a large-ish baby naturally, but she feels so small in comparison. Another good thing? I'm definitely not going to break 200 pounds this time--not unless I gain at least another 20, and if anything I've already started to lose the pregnancy appetite. Other than fresh fruit, cold salads, and ice-cream, food has lost some of its appeal, unfortunately.
One other date to mark--tomorrow is the 2nd anniversary of my little blog. So...Happy Anniversary to me! I never set out to do anything more than just keep track of my new life as someone who one day woke up 7 months pregnant, and then proceeded to give up a comfortable salary, full benefits and paid vacations. The very beginning was just little notes to myself, as I completely suck at obsessively filling out the blank spaces in baby books (or any other generic, lifeless form). I never really intended to use this place to meet people or make new connections. And here I am, two years later, with quite a few regular readers (though they're almost as bad at leaving comments as I am!) and several new and much-appreciated friends. It's awfully nice of you to keep stopping by, even though most days I'm quite sure that there's much more interesting stuff to read elsewhere.
Things that are NOT my favorite, at present. Because it's not ALL flowers and rainbows over here, you know.
The width of my hips and how loose and dis-jointed they feel (I KNOW this is the stage of pregnancy I'm at--I'm just saying...)
How sitting down can make my feet swell more than standing
How much sleep I need just to feel able to make through the day, much less be productive
The small-but-incredibly-noisy, unlicensed scooter that's been been tearing around our corner at odd hours (I dream of spike strips)
Itchy eyes and nose and eyes and nose and eyes and nose...world without end, amen, amen
How almost every time I've been out this week, a police motorcycle with flashing lights pulls in behind me and just as I'm starting to pull over (oh shit, oh shit), he suddenly swerves left and pulls over the person to the side. NOT funny.
Word verification for Blogger comments--suddenly I am completely dyslexic
Safety-Cop moms on the playground: harass your own kids, if you must, but leave everyone else's ALONE. And FYI? THAT'S HOW THEY LEARN. (Why not just dress them up in bubble wrap, already?)
My sieve of a brain
The way Baby A kicks the bottom of my esophagus and the every-morning sore throat I have as a result
Posted by Annagrace at 4:55 PM
Having four hours all to myself today
Having a new book to read
Tiny, baby pajamas
The new living room fan Jeffrey just installed (it's pretty easy on the eyes)
Feeling Baby A move and squirm every hour or so
Water for Elephants (I didn't expect to like something that's on every book list right now just this much)
Having time to daydream
Drinking an icy-cold latte uninterrupted
Candy-pink and calypso-coral roses
Being all alone
The flat of dark-red, sweet, local strawberries I brought home
Coming home to my little family, including one 37" tall naked girl running around the front lawn with the hose and a watering can
Looking through the little dressing table full of baby things, some with memories of a Baby Pea, some waiting
Penelope asking me to sing to her before bed, and then softly singing along with me
The scent of cake in the oven
The cool breeze, coming in through the open windows after a hot day
The way she looks when she's asleep
Posted by Annagrace at 10:30 PM
I know that life and love are complicated, complex things.
I know that people change, and not always for the better.
I firmly believe that no one should ever stay in a marriage or relationship that is abusive or worse. I also believe that healthy relationships have clear boundaries in place, where each partner is allowed to have their own identity and voice.
I know that human beings are breakable things and must be handled tenderly in order to grow and thrive. I also know that human hearts are capable of healing and rebirth and that the frustrations and challenges of relationship are important parts of the process.
I believe that sometimes we leave the difficult too easily.
I believe that loving someone is a choice made every single day--a choice that requires a willingness to not demand immediate results, but instead to savor the process. To live with each other in the moment and let the moments happen as they will.
In the same way that I see my house and my yard, choosing to see the person you love in terms of possibilities, time, distance, the future, is much harder than seeing the obvious--what needs to be changed or fixed immediately.
But when I look at my neighbor's yard and see everything that's grown and evolved over 40-plus years--the huge trees that were planted as tiny saplings, the birdhouses in them that are now as high as my house, the gardens, the deep and springy lawn, all the places countless children have played and grown up...well, it doesn't just look like work.
Posted by Annagrace at 6:01 PM
It's Monday. Again. Already. I'm glad the days aren't dragging, in terms of waiting for baby, but I'm also feeling a little anxious about just how fast time is rushing on and on and on. Pea is asleep (I think...I hope) and I'm trying to do the planning for the week that I normally do Sunday evenings. Yesterday we were at my mom's house most of the day and when we got home I was just too tired to put words/items together in any sort of order.
Penelope has been showing signs of either allergies and moderate to severe sinus issues, or something viral (sorry, everyone we hung out with Saturday night, didn't even think about the second option till this morning) and so I took her in to see the doctor/naturopath this morning. At this point it's either/or, with no way of knowing till it either progresses beyond 5 days (allergies/sinus) or becomes a full-blown ear infection (viral). The good news is that I now know just how much vitamin C I can give her safely, I've restocked our probiotics (at the very least these will help her body fight this better and faster), and I have drops to give her to help break up the congestion. She's been herself part of the time and very cranky and sad the rest, and it fluctuates by the half-hour. Especially today. I wouldn't have taken her anywhere this weekend if she'd been acting like she has so far today. I felt so bad for her, and for having to drag her out of bed, where she wanted to stay in her pajamas and watch Elmo, and through the store and the 25 minute ride each way to the doctor, that when we were at the store I actually bought her some new toys. I don't do this sort of thing very often (or ever, since I usually feel that she has plenty of stuff), but she's starting to really get into playing with her babies, so I got them some new clothes and accessories. Nothing fancy, but it made her so happy and it was nice to give her something else to think about for a couple of hours besides how miserable she feels.
Jeffrey and I have both had very, very bad seasonal allergies since we were quite young. He had bi-weekly shots for years, I was mostly given over the counter medication. I'm not opposed to eventually giving her pharmaceuticals, if it will really and truly help, but I'm not a fan of shooting kids up that regularly unless there's some hard and fast documented proof that it works, and works with little to no long-term impact on immunity and health in general. And of course that's not the sort of research and development that gets all the funds, since big drug companies would rather guarantee themselves life-long patients. Don't get me started on this sort of thing. I'm not against medicine or progress at ALL--I just get incredibly irritated that something that should be about health and wellness, especially where children and the elderly are concerned, is instead a huge game of money, advertising, red-tape, half-truths, and MONEY. And I know what I'm talking about. My brother, for instance is on a new drug that is specifically aimed at managing a condition instead of curing it. Cause there's no profit in actually curing people. Awesome, no?
Let's talk about something a little bit happier, shall we? I don't think I've shown you Pea's new bed. You'll have to cut me some slack here, as she doesn't yet have a quilt or spread that actually fits these proportions, yet, so it looks a bit half-finished. I'm just waiting till I find the perfect thing.
We set it up a couple of Saturdays ago, when she was staying at my mom's for the night, and when we took her upstairs the next day and told her we had a surprise for her she wasn't surprised at all--she just looked at us like Hellooo, and said, "Pea's new bed." And we said, "Um, really? You think?" She ran up the stairs, saw her crib in the baby's room, said, "Baby Adideen sleep in crib now", and then ran into her room. After she climbed up into it, though, is when she got really excited. She wanted all her babies and animals in there with her, and kept saying "Pea big girl now. Pea sleep in big, cozy bed all byaself."
It's been the easiest transition ever.
Back to my list, now. Got to figure out this week's menu, shopping list, chores, and what sort of fun things Pea and I are going to do if she starts feeling better. I'm hoping that for both of our sakes we're not stuck in the house too much this week...
Posted by Annagrace at 3:34 PM
My friend Andrea's recipe. Something else Penelope will eat bowls and bowls of. It tastes exactly like summer (at least to me) and it's so easy to make.
The recipe calls for diced tomatoes but I like to use heirloom cherry tomatoes sliced in half, as they're so colorful and sweet. Also, I've been known to cheat and use block mozzarella, when that's what I have in the fridge--I just dice it and soak it in some olive oil so that it softens up a bit.
Fresh Mozzarella Tomato and Basil Quinoa Salad
2 cups diced fresh tomatoes
8 oz diced fresh mozzarella
3 TBSP minced shallots
2 tsp extra virgin olive oil
1/2 tsp salt (I use more, and sea salt)
1/2 tsp pepper (I use more, and freshly cracked)*
1 garlic clove, minced
2 cups water
1 cup quinoa
1/2 cup fresh basil
Combine the first 7 ingredients in a large bowl, cover, and marinate in refrigerator for 30 minutes.
Wash quinoa until water runs clear and then put into medium saucepan with the 2 cups of water and bring to a boil. Once boiling, turn down to low and simmer gently around 10 minutes or until water is absorbed. Remove from heat and cool. Add quinoa to the tomato mixture and add basil. Toss gently. At this point you can increase salt, pepper, and olive oil if you think it needs it.
Excellent with barbecue or grilled main course and keeps really well in the fridge for a few days. Also great on its own--eaten straight out of the bowl with a big spoon...
*Big thanks to Christina, who noticed that I'd originally written 12 tsp of pepper...
The weekend is over. It's always a little sad to have our time with Jeffrey over with for another few days.
Lots to do this week--I believe I've already mentioned... Mostly preparations for the birth of Baby A. Just 7 more weeks or so.
Saw Baby Lamb (Liam) yesterday, my friend Kelly's baby, and oh my, he is beautiful and sweet. Big, dark blue eyes and already a cute little nose and chin and eyebrows. Made me so happy to think about holding my own tiny baby very soon, though I'm still feeling overwhelmed at the thought of managing a newborn AND Miss Pea. My first days and weeks with Pea were so calm and slow (the pace, not every minute of the newborn thing, of course) and how I'm going to replicate any of that this time around beats me. Pea can barely handle the 20 minutes a day total (if I'm lucky!) that I spend checking my email, calendar, loading photos, returning phone calls, and trying desperately to blog.
Speaking of Adeleine, guess who danced around ALL NIGHT last night? I love feeling her move and kick and wriggle around, but ALL night, in my belly? I could hardly sleep more than a few hours and it's not the start to today I was hoping for.
Thankfully, this week is nicely open, with very few things actually scheduled. First time in a very long time. And hopefully this grey, cold weather, that descended again in the night, will really and truly give way to sun in the next few days. Pea and I are sick, sick, sick of being stuck at home. It's June, for goodness sake! Would be happy to split the difference with Blackbird, or another East Coaster. The rumor is that Wednesday it all begins to change...we'll see.
Look what I recently discovered--more ways to waste time on the internet! And laugh! The post on the Beckhams just might be the funniest of the lot.
I guess if we're going to get anywhere today I should probably change me and Pea out of our pajamas. So I'm off to start the week...wish me luck.
Posted by Annagrace at 10:19 AM
The shower was a success. A nice amount of people showed, my lovely friend got many lovely and fun things for her baby-to-be, and everyone seemed to enjoy themselves and enjoy the relaxed atmosphere. My friend is not a games sort of person, and though I've seen some baby shower games that were actually fun and that all in attendance actually seemed to enjoy, it was a relief to not have to put together anything like that. You know what I know how to do? Food. I like to feed people and make them feel welcome and comfortable and keep their glasses full. Entertainment is not my thing.
So everything went well and there was tons of food and my house she is spotless (um, the ground floor, anyway) as I got up early and washed windows and scrubbed floors and vacuumed. Another friend came over early to help, mostly by settling my last-minute nerves and answering the door for me since Jeffrey usually takes care of that during parties (it kind of freaks me out, but let's not list ALL my phobias in one post).
I made punch. And you know what? It was pretty tasty, if I do say so myself. Would have been tastier with some alkeehaul, but alas, it was only noon and there were 4 pregnant peoples in attendance. I have no pictures of it, but it was peach nectar, soda, and orange sherbet, aka Corn Syrup in a Bowl. You know how our moms all had that sort of weird/sort of good/what are the weird crunchy things/Jello salad recipe they would pull out for potlucks and other special occasions? Punch could become my thing.
Here is a shot of the table before all the food was even on it. There was also cheese plates,cheesecake, brownies, candy, lemonade and the aforementioned punch.
Bet you want to know what THAT is--that thing over on the left...
Ah, here it is. Close up.
That, my friends, is a Tuna Baby. You probably don't even want to know, but this is my friend's mom's baby shower special. Sort of like my punch and your mom's Jello salad. It's a baby made out of cheese balls and tuna and it has a cabbage head, olive eyes and belly button, and real diaper pins. Frightening, no? She made it a couple of times when my friend (the one the shower was for) was small and, needless to say, it made a pretty big (and slightly scary) impression on her. So by special request, her mother brought one to the shower. We were all in awe of it, and a few were even brave enough to eat some of it. It just might be the funniest thing I've ever seen at a baby shower. (Apparently her mom sent the recipe to a few women's magazines back in the day, but she never heard anything...)
While I was running around the house with the vacuum and making salads and worrying about the bird shit all over the deck (the downside to feeding the neighborhood's baby sparrows), Jeffrey got Pea up, fed her yogurt and blueberries, dressed her, packed a bunch of snacks, and took her out for the day. She was so excited, as we'd given her a few clues about what they were going to do today, and could hardly wait to go. They rode the big, old-fashioned carousel, went out for brunch at our favorite breakfast place (the three of us can eat breakfast any time of the day, as long as it's good and there's plenty of potatoes), rode the light-rail train (Pea is obsessed with trains right now), and stopped by the U of O store downtown, where Pea got to pick out a new sweatshirt. She is really into yellow right now, and her father, U of O alumnus that he is, is happy to indulge this.
And there was one other special purchase for the day...
Her first pair of Chucks.
They're already her new favorite thing. She was SO excited to open the box and show me what her Daddoo got her and then immediately show me how she could RUN in them and FAST and how she could DANCE in them and JUMP.
I might be just the teensiest bit biased...
but I think I have the cutest little rock star girl ever.
Now Pea is with her Gabbi (what she calls her Grammi), the house is still amazingly clean, this week is over (over!), nothing left to worry about for now, and everything is peaceful and dark and still.
Have I mentioned how much I would love a drink right now? Just some good quality whiskey and a little soda, nothing special...
Tomorrow I get to have breakfast with Jeffrey, just the two of us, and then see Baby Lamb and his mama for a bit.
Since I recently powered through 3 books I think I'm going to go upstairs and watch some guilt-free television. And I'm going to put my legs up. I'm tired. No--I'm exhausted.
Posted by Annagrace at 9:11 PM
Listening to The Frames, "Say it to Me Now".
Checking off list for the baby shower I'm throwing tomorrow.
Final errands run.
Flowers are in dishes, candy is in bowls.
One salad is made and in the fridge and I'm prepping the other to finish in the morning. Friends bringing fruit, cake, bread and cheese.
Cups, plates, napkins, pitchers, punch bowl, dishes for rest of food located and decided upon.
Living room straightened.
Gave myself a pedicure. Better than nothing.
Bathroom about to be cleaned.
Desk cleared to make room for gifts. I have to say that I hope my friend gets some really good stuff. I'm much more concerned about what my friends are given than I ever am about myself (not sure about that sentence but you get my drift).
Had an amazing massage this evening before dinner. Deep tissue work in my hips to hopefully work out some of the severe pain I've been having.
Tonight Pea looked out the sliding doors onto the deck, to where she'd thrown bread for the sparrows earlier, and said, "Good DOB, birdies!"
I'm making punch tomorrow for the first time. I'm feeling optimistic, for some reason.
Figured out what needs to happen in the living room in terms of art and display. Whew. The thinking part is the hardest. Now to make it all happen.
Just need to vacuum and mop first thing tomorrow, finish cooking, and have an early shower so I have time to straighten my hair. And figure out what I'm going to wear. I had it all figured out until this weather...so.
Jeffrey's putting Pea to bed. She's finally sleeping better again. I honestly think her new bed can take some of the credit for that.
Thinking about everything I didn't get done this week in preparation for the birth. Need to finish music mix for iPod (hospital has pretty nice speakers to plug in to), birth plan to turn in at next week's midwife appointment, get pre-registration paperwork filled in and mailed, call someone in Labor and Delivery about our vaccination preferences and make sure I'm not fighting any battles immediately post-birth, and call our insurance and see what's changed in terms of birth coverage/hospital stay...etc. Next week is all about getting this stuff done. Finally.
Going to kiss Pea goodnight and then finish the last couple things before an early(ish) night and some Brothers and Sisters from Netflix.
Our kitchen sink disposal just decided to freak out. Nice. The night before my last, big social event for a few months. Perfect.
Have I shown this to you? It's me, about 8 months pregnant with Penelope, and one of my very favorite things.
Posted by Annagrace at 9:21 PM