Thursday, July 29, 2010

Excitement- a first in months!

So last night was a horrible night of sleep. My hips were spreading (although if they spread any more the baby will just fall out!) and I had to pee constantly. But in the midst of all this waking up and falling asleep, I dreamed many dreams. And to my surprise and delight, each of them was about bringing our baby home! This is a welcome change from the standard dreams I have had that are full of fear of the baby coming before he's due and having health issues or not making it all.

The first was that I went into labor at home and it went so fast that the doctor had to deliver in our room! Each other dream was about bringing him home, how big he was, breast feeding, introducing him to our family & friends. All of it was really normal stuff. Normal. There's something we haven't experienced this whole pregnancy.

But as we get closer to the end (a place we didn't prepare for) I think my subconscious is allowing me to feel something I have been scared to feel up until now. Excitement. I literally woke up excited about our baby for the first time this morning! No hesitancy. Just pure excitement! Again, I know it sounds strange to most people that you wouldn't be excited or prepared for a baby until the last few weeks of your pregnancy but our situation didn't lend itself to a lot of joy these past 6 months or so. Fear was our driving factor. So now as we close in on the finish line and things are starting to feel normal we can begin to feel normal feelings associated with the birth of a child!

I feel August will be a great month. Our baby hits 36 weeks and achieves full lung development! Final goal achieved! Also, our 14 yr old, who has been all over the country this summer visiting family, returns to us so he can be here for the birth! And my sister and her family are moving to Washington just in time for baby! It will be the first time in 12 years that we have family living near us and the timing couldn't be better! PLUS when I go into labor my mommy will be flying up from California! She has never missed a single one of her grand children's births. I have missed my mommy this pregnancy. I can't tell you how many times I have just wanted my mommy during this dark and scary time. So it will be so great to finally have her by my side!

I feel that I am getting to a place to finally process everything that has happened to us over the last few months. I feel the need to post a blog about the day that I went to the ER and our lives changed forever. I feel it would be cathartic. I am getting closer to a place where I can put it all in words. This whole situation has been something that I never pictured for us. It was a nightmare that's hard to put into words. But I will try. Soon.

I praise God in all this for bringing us through a really difficult situation. I know He has a plan and we will follow. He has been an awesome provider for us when things have looked their bleakest. I know He gave us this baby to make some major changes in our life that needed to take place. To point us in new directions and refocus us on what is important in life. Our family and our faith.

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Holy cow! We're having a baby!

So obviously we all know I am pregnant. Our whole world has revolved around this pregnancy for the last 33 weeks. But up until now it's been very functional. We haven't been able to daydream, plan, set things up and bring things out of storage. We have been on a day to day and week to week basis just trying to reach one goal or another. All of the normal things that go along with expecting a new baby have been lost on us. It's not to say that I am not grateful. I am grateful and amazed beyond words to have each week. We never thought we'd even make it this far into the pregnancy. We didn't dream about bringing a baby home. We imagined how we would cope with visits to the NICU. And now as the weeks go by and we get closer we are able to breathe a bit. If our baby were to arrive right now it would be a matter of days that he would be in the NICU as opposed to weeks or months. While it's no parent's dream, it's a great relief!

So with so so much of the fear behind us, it's starting to hit me that I'm not just pregnant... I'm having a baby! I know to most people the two are the same. But to those of us who have had a traumatic pregnancy, the two are very separate. My husband and I haven't allowed ourselves to imagine what life will be like when we have our new baby home with us just in case that never happened. And even though I have felt him kick and move for months, it feels different now. I feel more connected to him. I can allow myself to enjoy the movements as opposed to simply feeling relief that he's still alive.

Last night my husband and I went shopping for the first time for the baby. It was surreal to pick out things we will need for him. There was still a hesitancy about it. A fear in the back of my mind that if we set things up and get ready that something will happen. But it felt good. It felt normal. This is what we should be doing! Today we will begin moving things around in our 3yr old's room to make room for his brother. I think that will really make it real for me. When we are creating a space in our home for our newest family member. There will be spaces reserved in drawers and on shelves for our little one as opposed to a pile of baby loot on the dining room table from the baby shower! He will have a room. A space that's his to share with his brother.

And while I know that we need to keep him in at LEAST until 36 weeks...and while I am so excited to finally meet this baby we have sacrificed so much for...I kinda don't want to have him just yet. I feel like I just now found out that I am having a baby and I need to enjoy my pregnancy for the first time! I can finally leave the house and I am enjoying having people ask when I'm due and what the baby's sex is. All the normal things that come along with having a baby. We went to dinner last night and when I slid into the booth I got stuck! My belly was too big! But the learning curve of adjusting to a belly was lost during this ordeal. None the less, it delighted me to not fit into that booth! These are the experiences I should be having. This will be our last baby (unless God creates a miracle that can reverse medical intervention!) so I NEED these last few weeks. To start to celebrate. To start to bond. And to live as though we are having a baby!

Sunday, July 18, 2010

The funny of 3

As a mother of 2 1/2 boys, I have to say that my absolute favorite age is 3. Boys run a little behind girls in their intellectual thinking. So at 2 while girls are growing their imaginations and playing dolls, tea party, etc., boys are "physically inquisitive". Let me break that one down. I never referred to either of my boys' 2nd year as the "terrible 2's" but rather I called them the
"inquisitive 2's". Boys are just physically inquisitive. This often translates into climbing this, breaking that, swallowing who knows what just to see what it tastes like, and flushing any small item in the "magic bowl". It doesn't take the stress off the 2nd year to view it as inquisitive over terrible. Don't get me wrong! But when you understand it that way there is less anger added to the frustration. In addition to this physical need to explore their world, boys are often stuck in an eternal state of frustration. Their minds are going, their bodies are going, but their speech often falls behind their female counterparts (a trend that continues throughout life). So they get frustrated more often at not being able to communicate their feelings, needs, or thoughts and we end up with the inevitable and notorious temper tantrum. We always acknowledge how hard year 2 is for the parents but seldom think about how frustrated our toddlers are.

But then 3 comes along! And the language light switch turns on! (Enter angels singing from on high) Now, my two boys learned to speak at different rates. My oldest, being an only child, had less of a need to speak until later as I understood his toddler speak. Whereas our 3yr old spoke much earlier because whatever big brother was doing he wanted to do! But let me be very clear that speaking and communicating are two very different things to a small child! Knowing words is impressive but being able to clearly translate your thoughts into words is where the world really changes for little boys. And it gets entertaining for parents.

The first thing I love about 3 is their ability to discover things and TELL you about it! When my nephew was 3 we were walking through a parking garage and there was a red directional arrow on the ground. This type of thing is something we, as adults, typically overlook. But to my nephew it was the coolest thing he had discovered all day and he had to share the excitement! 3 is also when parents of little boys start hearing this several times over each day- "AIRPLANE! MOMMY! IT'S AN AIRPLANE! I FOUND ANOTHER ONE!". Everything is new an exciting and our boys are ready to share it all with us! I love it!

Then comes the story telling and the ability to translate their thoughts! The things that come out of a 3 yr old's mouth are priceless! It's like getting little glimpses of who they are and who they will be! Example: when my oldest was 3 we used to call his farts "froggies" because his bottom croaked when he farted. It was our cute and dainty way of addressing a stinky topic in our house. We didn't stop to think of how this translates in the mind of a 3 yr old. Then one day he was running around the living room naked after a bath and he stopped, dropped, and stuck his finger in his bottom! We immediately freaked out and told him to stop then asked what he was doing. His response, "I'm touchin' the froggies!". We no longer referred to his farts as froggies again. Age of discovery for parents and toddlers! And now we are once again going through the 3's with our next one. I love listening to him speak, play with his action figures (for which he creates the most elaborate story lines), and hold full conversations with me. For both my boys the ability to conversate and express things calmed the temper tantrums quite a bit.

Being a seasoned parent I am well aware that the temper tantrums will continue for my 3 yr old. The ability to communicate feelings is now lost on my 14 yr old. And that each age is precious in its own ways. The best parenting advice I ever got was to enjoy each stage they go through (good or bad) because they only go through it once and you can't get it back. This is true of 3 or 14. And now with a new baby on the way we have another set of years and discoveries at our finger tips! We are blessed and excited to see what things our boys discover!

Saturday, July 17, 2010

Belly Baby Update

So it's been 2 weeks since my 30 week ultrasound and 1 week since my OB's determination as to whether I stay on bed rest or not. Sorry for not updating but I had family in town. Lots of family. I haven't been that busy in 5 months!

Let's start with our ultrasound. The ultrasound revealed that the Placenta Previa had corrected itself and is no longer an issue! YEAH! It also revealed that little Belly Baby is a line backer! Apparently I am TOO good at bed rest. An average 30 week baby weighs in at roughly 3lbs. My super baby was weighing in at 4lbs 4oz! He is also measuring in the 95% for height, weight, and head. So the Perinatologist was concerned that I had Gestational Diabetes. Why not. Nothing surprises me at this point. Luckily I had just done my glucose testing that morning. The next day the results were in and I do not have Gestational Diabetes! I just make giant babies! My hubby was so relieved that the Previa was resolved and asked me if I was relieved. My answer? "NO! Now I have to figure out how to push that giant head out of me!"

So for the first time this entire pregnancy both baby and I are healthy! I don't even know what to do with that! So with this good news under our belts we headed to the OB the following week. He reviewed the report from the Perinatologist and decided to release me from full bed rest to modified bed rest. This means that I can leave the house! JOY! But I am still restricted. No long term walking, heavy lifting, work, and I still have to stay resting most of the time. Due to all the issues we've had with this pregnancy, we all want to play it safe.

This was so exciting at first! But then I learned that readjusting to the "outside world" is not as easy as it seemed. Stimulation, even in small doses, overwhelms me. Short trips anywhere exhaust me. And after a week with family visiting doubled with my baby shower, I was left with 2 days of contractions as my body doesn't know how to carry this baby. My body is used to being in a resting state and having to hold the baby in an upright position is just too much still. So we will rest as much as possible for the next 4-8 weeks. Once I am 36 weeks I am free to do anything and just let the baby come. Both my other boys were born healthy in their 37th week and with this one growing and gaining at an overly healthy rate, 36 weeks should be safe!

It seems weird to me that this crazy life changing/ life challenging journey is almost over. Just a few more weeks until we meet our Belly Baby! Last night I had my first good dream about the baby. My dreams about him until now were riddled with anxiety and scenes of early delivery and loss. But last night I dreamt that he was home with me, my husband and our other 2 boys. We were all snuggled into bed and cuddling. I dreamed of kissing his head while he slept in my arms. It's almost like my subconscious can finally allow the reality of him being here to set in. It's strange to start planning for baby just 4 weeks before his potential arrival. It's something we couldn't allow until now. But now that it's here and we can exhale, I am so excited! I can't wait to meet my little man!

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Are imaginations imaginary in 2010?

My 3yr old has really taken off with his imagination lately! He runs around the house pretending to be a Jedi. He'll even sit in his room for an hour making his Star Wars figures converse with his Rescue Heroes about the safety of the galaxy! And the stories he tells are priceless!

The thing he does that has really brought me to blog is his recent affinity for hangers- er, bows and arrows. For the last week or so he has been running about with a plastic hanger in one hand and a wooden spoon or any other long object in the other hand ready to be used as a bow. And for the last few days I have been telling my husband that we need to go to the dollar store and get him a little bow and arrow set. But today I was watching him again with his hanger, proudly running about and declaring that he found his bow, it occurred to me that he doesn't need for us to run out and but him anything. To him, that hanger and spoon ARE his bow and arrow.

Now this got my little brain going. About consumerism, capitalism, marketing ploys, and mostly how we got to a place as a nation that our kids don't need their own imaginations to play. When I was a kid my sisters and I ran about with sticks pretending to be Charlie's Angels. We opened stores in our rooms and grocery shopped for imaginary items. We played mermaid by diving under our beds and "swimming" out the other side. In my memory we were really gun toting crime fighters, store clerks, and mermaids. This despite the fact that we didn't have plastic guns, play food for our store, or mermaid costumes.

So when did we get to a point where anything that can be imagined can also be purchased? When did an Ipad become more fun than a mud puddle? When did climbing levels on your video games become a preference over climbing trees? At what point do our kids stop seeing a bow and arrow and start seeing a hanger and wooden spoon? I'm going to refrain from rushing to the dollar store for that bow and arrow set and let my little boy run amok with his hanger. I'll turn the giant box we just got the baby's bassinet in into a fort for him. And I will continue to encourage him to be outside every chance he gets! He will build up an incredible imagination (just like the old days) and it won't cost me a penny!

Monday, July 5, 2010

Rediscovering my sisters

I have 2 sisters that I was raised with. We were not close growing up. Quite to the contrary. We fought like the dickens! When we were little we got along better. The three of us ran around the yard playing Charlie's Angels and making witches brew in the puddles in our gravel driveway. But all three of us were born within 4 years of each other (hail mom!) so once the teen years hit.... the hormones took over and the hatred set in. It didn't help that there was an odd number of us too. I am sure if you asked any one of us, we would tell you that the other two "always" ganged up on us. But in reality I think it was fair rotation. Now, I know that when people use the phrase "tried to kill each other" they use it in jest. I use it in a matter of fact, actual, physical, really mean to do it type of way. There was blood drawn, bruises left, hair pulled, and too many holes in the walls and doors to count. We didn't say "I love you" to each other and apologies only came when prompted by our mother. And being teenage girls our tounges were our sharpest weapon of all. The hormones and desire to be individuals when we were all so close in age drove a wedge between the crime fighting trio of Angels. And one by one as we each turned 18, we moved out and drove the wedge further. We didn't make a concentrated effort to hang with each other. My oldest sister was the first to move out and she ended up across country- a few times. Then it was me. I was caught up in the San Fransisco night life and partied hard regularly. My friends were my family now. By the time my little sister moved out I can't even tell you what she was up to as we were both out doing our thing.

Then at the age of 19 another Angel came into my life. I had my first son. My family rallied around me and we all prepped for this new addition. They were an amazing source of support. We had all moved back in with my mom and were under the same roof but still living separate lives. We loved and doted on the baby but not on each other. Then by the time my son was 9 months, we were all on our separate ways again. Shortly after, my little sister was preparing for her own Angel. Once again we all got excited and celebrated our newest family member. But it wasn't long before all three of us were in separate states. My oldest sister was across the country in Ohio and my son and I moved to Washington, leaving all three of us sisters in 3 different states.

Once my youngest sister and I were both moms, I have to say that I started to see her in a new light. She was an amazing mother and we finally had something in common that drew us together. But I met my husband shortly after moving and got busy setting up life and family in Washington while she was in California meeting her husband and setting up her life and family. Our older sister's life in Ohio was a mystery. I can't speak for them, but I didn't make the effort I could have to stay in touch with either of them. I was focused on my family and what we were doing.

Here we are now all well into our 30's. My oldest sister is back in the Bay Area attending culinary school. My husband and I are expecting our 3rd little boy and my youngest sister and her husband are the proud parents of 4 beautiful and amazing kids. I am not sure why, but I feel like in the last year we have all gotten closer. It's easy to explain for my youngest sister and I as we are parents and can relate to a myriad of issues. All we had to do was make the effort with each other. I admire the way she handles her family. They are super lucky to have her. I always tell her she is a swan. She was a little quiet and awkward growing up but once she hit adulthood she blossomed into this beautiful and amazing woman. I am just sorry I missed so much of it. And my older sister (who was really lost to me for years after she moved to the Midwest) is a kind, nurturing, silly, sassy woman with an amazing future in the palm of her hands! I am also sorry I missed out on who she was for so long.

So I feel like I am rediscovering my sisters for the first time since we were Charlies Angels running around the yard using sticks as guns and taking down imaginary bad guys. We call each other regularly. We talk openly. And yes, we even say I love you. The beauty is, after decades of emotional distance, we truly mean it.

Friday, July 2, 2010

A little update for the curious

It was brought to my attention by one of my readers that I haven't posted in a while and I wanted to update you all as to why. Sitting at home on bed rest was driving me bonkers! So I did some research and ended up registering as an Independent Contractor on a site where employers contract short term or long term projects. Well I was lucky enough to get a job writing week by week pregnancy articles for a company. How perfect is that?! It's been really great to be productive again and I'm almost done with the project. But it has demanded the spare time that I have. So I fear I have neglected you. But I am nearing the end of the project so my postings will become more regular. I promise! Until then, go make some peanut butter pizza. You'll thank me!

Peanut Butter Pizza

One of my very favorite resteraunts in when I lived in the Bay Area was a place on Lakeshore Avenue in Oakland called Spettro. They served an eclectic menu and atmosphere. They served wine while you waited for a seat (and there was always a line!) and the room was decorated in skulls, white Christmas lights, and intriguing artwork. They served a variety of pizzas as well as semi formal fare such as pomegranite marinated whole hens and a Boo Berry salad that boasted berries, greens, feta, and candied walnuts. But my go to dish was usually the Peanut Butter Pizza. So when I moved to Washington 12 years ago, I began going through withdrawls. I set off on the task of learning to make the pizza myself. It's an odd mix of salty/sweet, chewy/crunchy. Getting people to try it usually takes some coaxing but once they try it they are hooked! So I thought I'd share mt recipe with the world. I am not sure if it is the exact way that they do it at Spettro but it has worked for me for the past 12 years. Enjoy!


Boboli Pizza Crust
Crunchy peanut butter (about 1 cup)
1 cup shredded mozzarella
1 cup shredded parmesean
1 tomatoe
1/3 cup chopped bacon

1) Preheat oven to 450 degrees
2) Spread peanut butter over crust as you would sauce, should this be any ordinary pie- but it's not! Feel free to add more or less peanut butter if you like.
3) Mix chesses together and spread 1cup of the cheese mixture over peanut butter.
4) Spread tomatoes and bacon over pizza
5) Distribute the remaining cheese over pizza. Oh. It's gonna be good.
6) Bake on cookie sheet for 10-12 minutes or until cheese is cooked and slightly browned.
I would ove it if you left comments after trying the recipe! Let me know if you enjoyed it as much as I do!