Friday, April 10, 2009

Pregnancy Shorts

Not the shorts you wear. Shorts as in snippets, briefs, little stories or thoughts. It occurs to me that I tend to write really long narratives (at least when I'm feeling myself). Sometimes, I just want to tell short stories, but they often turn into long ones (like this paragraph is already). So, I'm going to occasionally do shorts. Today's will be some lighter, brighter snippets about pregnancy.

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A few weeks ago, when my dad was over to help get the Pumpkin's new room ready and we were just organizing things, I was sitting on the steps waiting for something. My dad looked at me and asked if I needed something to do.

I responded that I was doing something. I was always doing something. I was gestating. And it's hard work.

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One aspect of pregnancy that I don't mind at all is the weight gain. I know plenty of other women who hated that part, but not me! I think it's hysterical that I weigh so much or that my stomach, boobs, butt and thighs are all much plumper.

In fact, I was so amazed at how much more my butt was jingling, I had to show my husband! He just laughed at me, knowing how funny I thought it was.

See? I don't hate everything about it!

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The Joanna Cole book I'm a Big Sister is a big hit with the Pumpkin. Thank you to all who recommended it. The first time I read it to her, she started out not really wanting to read it and trying to just flip pages, but then she realized what it was about and what it was saying. By halfway through, she was enthralled. Now, she loves to help tell me what's going on in each page.

I also bought a book about mommy being pregnant and bringing home the baby by the Sears. They've got really good stuff in them, but they are much too long and have way to many words per page for my won't-sit-still toddler. But the mommy being pregnant one has a great drawing of the baby in mommy's belly and of mommy breastfeeding the baby. I think I'll try it again but make up my own brief description of each page, which we've done with other books.

Thursday, April 9, 2009

Quick Thinking with Long-Term Results

I mentioned yesterday (and probably earlier also) that I really do love the toddler/pre-schooler age. I find it so rewarding and exciting. And I deal with the tantrums surprisingly well. I know my daughter really well by now, and I know that she doesn't tantrum to get what she wants (for a great conversation about this, check out a recent Ask Moxie post, with a fantastic answer from Sharon, Mommy Mentor, and great discussion from the commenter). Heck, half the time she has no idea what she wants. We get a lot of "I wan milk!" and a second later "No milk!" for pretty much everything. I know she is mostly frustrated about something and overwhelmed with emotions that she doesn't know how to deal with.

We are working on helping her develop skills to deal with her emotions, tools to use instead of whining and having melt downs. But sometimes, it's just about appeasing the beast so we can move on to whatever needs to be done. Especially at bedtime, which seems to be especially difficult for my child.

The Pumpkin often has trouble settling down and getting comfortable, and I often offered to sing her a song. It usually seems to help her calm down and focus on something besides the fact that she can't get her body comfortable or her mind to stop going at a fast speed. The problem is often finding a song that's acceptable.

caramama: How 'bout Twinkle Twinkle Little Star?
Pumpkin: No tinkle tinkle lillel star!
caramama: How 'bout ABCs?
Pumpkin: No ABCs!

And so on until I can find one acceptable, which often goes like this:
caramama: How 'bout Mary Had a Little Lamb?
Pumpkin: No lillel lamb!
(pause while I'm thinking of another song to offer...)
Pumpkin: How bout lillel lamb?
caramama: Okay! That's a great idea!

But one night a couple months ago, it didn't go so smoothly. I offered a song she wanted, but it wasn't the song she wanted.
caramama: How 'bout Leaving on a Jet Plane (she used to especially love it when I sang the John Denver song)?
Pumpkin: No jet plane!
caramama: How 'bout Twinkle Twinkle Little Star?
Pumpkin: No tinkle tinkle lillel star! (pause) How bout jet plane?
caramama: Sure! I'll sing Jet Plane.
caramama singing: All my bags are packed, I'm ready to go--
Pumpkin: No No No!!! How bout jet plane?
caramama: Sweetheart, that is the jet plane song.
Pumpkin: No No! Jet plane!!!

This back and forth went on for a little while. Logic and reason does not work on a toddler, or at least this toddler. Finally, in a quick-thinking moment of genius, I just made up a song with the words jet plane in it. I'm going to write it down now, so I never forget it. Too bad I can't also record the tune here--I'll have to get it on video or audio sometime.

caramama's Jet Plane Song, dedicated to the fussy Pumpkin:
A plane, a plane, a big jet plane
flying so very high.
A plane, a plane, a big jet plane
way up in the blue sky.
A plane, a plane, a big jet plane
flying through the clouds into the sun.
A plane, a plane, a big jet plane
carrying the people, everyone!

Not my best work, but not bad considering the circumstances.

Anyway, in the ensuing months, during her fussy bedtimes, I still offer to sing. She often requests Jet Plane or I suggest it, since it is often the only song that she wants to hear at night. And she wants to hear it again and again and again. I've been considering making up more verses so I can have more variety during the constant repeatings, but that would require more creativeness and memory than I have after 30-60 minutes of tossing, turning, tantrums and tiredness (both mine and hers).

I have a feeling I'm going to need to use a lot of quick thinking in the years to come, much of which I'll have to remember because it will be requested again and again and it will be the ONLY THING that will work. Thank goodness for blogging and the ability to write it all down!

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Here's Where I Rant About Being Pregnant

There was an evening function last night that many of my coworkers went to. I didn't go, as I'm too tired and had just gotten back from my trip. But one of my coworkers told me this morning about a conversation they had during the dinner portion of the evening, a conversation in which I played a prominent role.

Of the four women I work with, three have been pregnant at least once. But the fourth is fresh out of college and does not have kids. The topic of pregnancy came up, since one of the three women with kids is pregnant again. The fourth woman mentioned that she is nervous about ever getting pregnant because it does not sound like a good experience. Pretty much everyone there said that's because she was talking to me too much (she and I often walk to the deli together because we eat at the same time of day). They assured her that not all pregnacies are as rough as mine, and that I particularly don't enjoy being pregnant.

It's so true. In fact, it's more than dislike. I realized this time that I hate being pregnant. It's hard for me to get pregnant and be pregnant. I also don't love the infant/baby stage. But I do LOVE the toddler and young kids stage. I really think I'll even enjoy the older kid, preteen and teen stages. And I really do love being a mom and having a family. But the pregnancy? Notsomuch.

Considering how long it took us to get pregnant with the Pumpkin, what we had to go through to get pregnant each time and how badly I wanted to BE pregnant, I really thought I would be a happy, excited pregnant woman who enjoyed even all the difficults of being pregnant. But I didn't and don't. Fortunately, I'm okay with that.

Because the goal for Londo and me was never to BE pregnant or to have a BABY. It was to have a CHILD(REN), to RAISE a child(ren). So I try to focus on that and remember that pregnancy is just a means to an end. I am going to try to stop complaining too much in front of my coworkers, although I always tell them it's just me and I don't like being pregnant and I'm having a rough pregnancy and that I know plenty of other people who had easy pregnacies and enjoyed being pregnant.

Instead, I'm going to list out a bunch of complaints here and hope that I can get it out of my system. I'm not sure I can get it all out of my system, considering I still have a little over 2 months to go. But if you all don't want to hear me complain, you can click away. Although I'd rather have you join in so I don't feel like such a miserable person who hates the beauty of being the vessel of the child.

1. After 6 months of nausea, I'm finally mostly over it. I was lucky in that I didn't constantly throw up, but the constant nauseousness and smells bothering me and difficulty eating foods was pretty miserable. I love food! With the Pumpkin, I was really only nauseous in my first trimester. This time, it went on and on. It really sucked.

2. A fun game my husband likes to play is asking whether or not I peed my pants after I've sneezed, laughed hard, coughed, gaged (especially when brushing my teeth--isn't that fun?), who know's what else! Maybe I did, or maybe I was able to hold my legs together in time for the sneeze. I'm just saying: Thank goodness for pantiliners.

3. I ache everywhere, all the time. I ache when I sit, stand, walk, lie down, move, stay still. I can't kneel at all, and I can barely bend over to do my shoes and socks or wash my feet in the shower or even put on pants! My joints have never been that great (bad knee, bad hip, TMJ, etc.), but with the extra weight and loosening of joints and muscles, I am not in good shape. Ugh.

4. The glucous screen test sucked. I love sugary foods and drinks, but that orange crap is disgusting! It was especially hard to drink (within 5 minutes) while I was so nauseous, too! Luckily, I've not gotten a message that says I didn't pass.

5. Although my hair seems to have stopped it's normal falling out, it does not shine or glow or look rich and luxurious. It's still frizzy and full of split ends. Of course, this may be due more to the fact that I'm way overdue for a hair cut (I'm embarrassed to say how long it's been). Hmmm. I think I'll make an appointment right now, now that I'm not too nauseous to stand the smells of a salon. (Wooo hooo! Appointment next Tuesday!)

6. My skin did not get magically beautiful with pregnancy. I still break out, and now I'm getting weird bumps in different places on my body. I hate bumps. They really bother me, but what can you do?

7. Oh, pregnancy insomnia! How I hate thee! It's hard enough to get good sleep in my house, what with the existing child who doesn't sleep well. Thank goodness for Tylenol PM, which helps with the aches and pains at night and helps me get a really good chunk of sleep and helps me fall back asleep when I wake up to roll over or to go to the bathroom.

8. Speaking of the bathroom, I'm now at the point where I have to pee every hour or two. I find this exceptionally annoying, since I have been called a camel for how long I can wait to use the bathroom--especially on car trips. The 4 legs of the car trip down to Atlanta which should have been 5 hours each? Turned into 6 hours each with a minimum of 3 stops on each leg for me to use the restroom! And recently? There have been times when I'll use the bathroom, go do something for 5 minutes or so (like brush my teeth), and then I have to GO AGAIN! It's insane!

9. The tiredness does not end for me. I'm so constantly tired, but I don't get to nap during work days. There was no burst of energy for me, and as I've mentioned, the winter was particularly rough for me. I'm just so freaking tired all the time. There is no way I can keep up with my toddler. Luckily, I'm getting good at coming up with games to play with her where I get to sit. Lately, she LOVES to color, which suits me perfectly.

10. My stomach is totally in the way. I have trouble reaching sinks, which makes it hard to do dishes (and kills my back), washing my face, and just cleaning things off in a sink. I can't reach things that used to be in my reach (and I'm short, so I barely reach much anyway). It's harder and harder to hold my (34.5 pound) toddler, who is a great cuddler and often wants to be held.

11. I miss my high heels and rings. I had to ditch the heels for flat, sensible (but still nice looking) shoes pretty early on. My beautiful, cute, 3-4 inch heels! I miss you! And I also haven't been able to wear my wedding rings. Before we left for Atlanta last week, I tried one last time to put them on so I could look like a married pregnant woman at the wedding. After trying to jam them on my finger, I held up my hand to show my husband what I was doing, pout on my face, and he noted that my finger was turning purple. They hadn't been on more than a minute, and I never did get them on all the way. Last pregnancy, I bought a fake band to wear, but this time I'm not bothering. I love my rings, and I just miss them.

Well, that's all I'll complain about for now. I do think it's so funny how big my belly is and how my butt jiggles now. I also really like how nice everyone is to me when pregnant. People really go out of their way to help me or just be nice to me. It's really a great part of this experience. I can eat all sorts of good stuff (now that I'm not nauseous) that I would limit myself on when not pregnant. And there are other good parts, but I'm currently too tired and achy to think about them.

Tonight, I'm going to take a nice, long bath in which I hope to forget how uncomfortable I am and enjoy a good romance novel. Too bad I can't get a nap in right now...

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Question of the Week - Favorite Time of Day

We are back home now. On Sunday, we drove from Atlanta to my inlaws and spent the night there. Yesterday, we drove back home. It was a long time in the car, especially for a seven-months pregnant woman. But we made it, and a good time was had by all.

I'm happy to say that the Pumpkin had a wonderful time at her grandparents and didn't seem to miss us at all. I consider that a very good thing at this age. I know she loves us and probably did miss us, but it didn't stop her from playing with her cousin and uncle and aunt or from snuggling her grandma and grandpa or from enjoying the new places to play and different toys to play with.

I'm even more happy to say that the greeting Londo and I got when we saw her again was wonderful! She light completely up and just about squealed with delight. She let us hug and kiss all over her, and she gave us some back. Then she wanted to get down and show us some of the new-to-her things she was playing with--afterall, she is 2 and easily distracted.

It reminded me so much of my favorite time of day. Cloud once wrote about the same time of day, but that was before I was really experiencing the same type of scenario. However, shortly after, the Pumpkin began to have a similar reaction.

My favorite time of day is when I get home from work. The Pumpkin hears me come in and yells, "It's... Mommy!!"* Londo opens the baby gate that blocks the family room from the hallway that leads to the front door, and the Pumpkin (and dog) comes bounding out and running to me. I swoop her up into my arms and getting a big hug and kiss. (I also pet the dog, who is wiggling around my legs.) I also get warm greetings from my husband.

It's the best feeling in the world to come home to those you love and get welcomed so joyously.

So this week's Question of the Week is:
What is your favorite time of day?

It doesn't have to be kid related. If you really enjoy that quiet time after the kids have gone to bed, I don't blame you a bit. That's high on my list, especially when the Pumpkin goes to bed easily and I don't fall asleep in her room. Also high on my list are Sunday mornings, when Londo takes the Pumpkin out for breakfast and playtime with my brother and his twins. Those mornings are blissful!

But my second favorite time of the day is also kid-related. In the mornings, once the Pumpkin gets over the fact that Daddy is going/has gone to work and she's stuck with me, we have snuggle time. I put on Noggin, and she watches a show while cuddled up against me and my 5 pillows** in bed. Or in the evenings after dinner, when it's time to calm down a bit, and we watch a show while snuggling on the couch. Basically, I love snuggling her, and of course the only time she's sit still for that for long is if she's watching a show. Whatareyagonnado.

How about you? What's your favorite time of the day? Is it related to the kids? The partner? Work? Time for yourself? Do share!

*This used to be, "It's a... Mommy!" which was super cute. She also would say, "It's a... Daddy!" She applied this to coming in the door or walking downstairs. It felt a little like living on The Price Is Right, but being introduced as a generic Mommy/Daddy.

**I'm pregnant. Don't make fun. I NEED them. And I'm about to add a sixth.