a letter to my next pregnant self

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We (as in, my lover and I) would like to have a lot of babies. We both came from good-sized families, and I would be lying if I said my sister and brothers weren’t some of my favorite people. Lord willing we will be able to raise up a gaggle of young ‘uns ourselves.

So apparently in order to have lots of babies one has to go through lots of pregnancies. Seeing as how I am currently experiencing my first pregnancy I by no means feel qualified to give any advice; however, I would like to remind my future pregnant self of some things I’m enjoying and some things I am learning now, just in case I forget. This could also be a follow-up to my first post about random thoughts on pregnancy which you can read here.

Dear pregnant self,

Sit down, pour yourself a cup of decaf, and let’s talk.

Where should I begin?

Oh yes, with oatmeal. I’m having yet another bowl as I write this. Oatmeal is both your best friend and your worst enemy. It is your best friend because it’s a good way to start the morning, a healthy and neutrally-flavored bowl of warmth, and an integral part of a healthy & hearty breakfast. It becomes your worst enemy when you’re eating it for the fifth month in a row. Daily. But take my advice. Even on those mornings when the pop-tarts your husband toasted smell like a french bakery to you the oatmeal is the better choice. You will be so much happier with yourself.

Since we’re talking food, let’s talk cravings. Sweet future pregnant self, it is just fine to indulge every once in a while. Now, I would not recommend buying a bag of Little Debbie powdered donuts just because you saw a commercial, then eating the entire bag on the hour-long drive home and promptly hiding the empty bag in the bottom of the trash can to hide your shame. Just eat the recommended serving size of 5, maybe one extra (since you are eating for two anyway) and have your husband lock the rest of them in a safe. That way you can spread the thousand calories of Little Debbie goodness over a few days and when you’re done you can throw the empty bag away like a normal person.

Speaking of your husband, that feeling you get of wanting to give him a black eye is just hormones. It will go away. He might forget to bring you something chocolatey and delicious from the store when you ask but he’s really a sweet guy who will do things like arrange all the furniture in the house the way you want it while you are comatose on whatever piece of furniture you were closest to at the time. Trust me on this, whenever you’re on the brink of a complete meltdown he’ll be there to either help bring you back to a calm state or he’ll push you over the edge really quickly so you get it over with. 🙂

Enjoy your second trimester because it’s FABULOUS! I don’t know if you remember, future self, but the second trimester was your best friend. Most days you felt better than when you aren’t pregnant. Just remember that when you can no longer see your feet and the stories about labor and delivery make you wish you were born a man.

Nesting is for real. And keeping the nursery door closed so you can’t see the knee-high pile of a.d.o.r.a.b.l.e. clothes does not help. The urge to make something pretty will overwhelm you.

Oh, and one last thing, future pregnant self. Surround yourself with truly great friends. It helps if one or two of them is also pregnant, and has fun stories of weird cravings that you can relate to, but really just anyone who encourages and prays for you qualifies. They will make you feel less crazy. They will give the really good advice. They will cheer you on when you’re still wearing heels because you just can’t give them up. They will ask you how you’re doing and really care about the answer, but won’t let you wallow in self-pity. I hope you still have friends like this, future self. They are priceless.

Remember, future self, this day. This day when you say the greatest advice you could give an expecting mommy is to enjoy pregnancy. Remember how much you love it when that tiny little life is kicking up a storm. Remember the expectancy. Remember how your lover can’t keep his hands off your belly. Remember, and then go rock pregnancy like it’s nothing.

P.S.- Girl, you better wear that Palmer’s lotion like it’s a life vest and you are getting dropped in the middle of the Pacific. Just a little free advice.

just another reason i love new mexico

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Did you know that New Mexico is home to one of the largest (or maybe the largest, I can’t remember) hot air balloon gatherings in the world?!?!

True story.

It’s called Balloon Fiesta. You could read all the details here or I could just give you my recap. 🙂

This little family of two and a half (baby on the way!) left for Albuquerque on Saturday morning. You know you live in small town America when the 2+ hour drive to a big city seems easy. Which it does. Just a hop, skip, and jump over to traffic lights and hundreds of Starbucks. I already feel claustrophobic there. Too many people. Not enough cattle ranches. Anyways that’s not the point. We headed over to ABQ in the morning and piddled around for a bit. Ate lunch. Shopped at Lowes. Shopped at Kohl’s. I think my lover was a bit, um, overwhelmed, when half the dressing room at Kohl’s starting slacks-shopping for him. Who says city-slickers aren’t friendly?

So if you’re packing up the family and heading to the Balloon Fiesta I highly suggest Park-N-Ride. It simplifies life. Basically you pay to park at a location far (15-20 minutes) away from the event and they run buses to and from the park. We were so happy with our experience. No traffic, minimal crowds, and easy access to the interstate. Plus, if you were homeschooled you get the experience of riding on a school bus for only the second time in your life. Good stuff.

Sometimes going to things like this with my penny-pinching fits-jokes-about-tightwad-Jews-better-than-most-Jews husband can be anti-climactic. He does this thing where he slowly wilts until released from the clutches of over-priced everything. It’s very dramatic. But he wanted to see the balloons more than I did, so he was on his best behavior. In fact, he was having such a good time he splurged on a bag of those ever-delicious-and-oh-so-tempting candied almonds. Which got eaten in about 2.2 seconds. But not before I snapped this photo:

john with his almondsI don’t know why I find it so funny, but I just love the way he is clutching those candied almonds to his chest. Like at any moment they might be snatched away from him.

Well this is getting long and wordy, and if you’re anything like me you’re just here for the pictures. I promise they are coming. Maybe this long post full of text is me sub-consciously making you wait for the balloons like we had to wait for the balloons. You see, the hot air balloons can only inflate if the weather conditions are perfect. Perfect conditions mean no wind. No wind is an oxymoron in New Mexico. We waited an hour past when the balloons were originally supposed to inflate. In fact, we were just about to leave when we saw this:

Unfolding BalloonY’all, we instantaneously turned into 5-year-olds. The kind that clap at nothing and squeal and do little half-jumps. It was a balloon. A real-life, filling with air, big yellow balloon. In a word, WOAH!

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It’s up!! It’s up!!

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The Fiesta Balloon.

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Another balloon goes up! After each balloon became fully inflated the group gathered around watching applauded.

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So excited to see yet another balloon inflate!

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So. Many. Balloons. I almost couldn’t handle it by this point.

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Because of their long history of safety, Balloon Fiesta is one of the few hot air balloon gatherings where people are allowed to approach the balloons while they are inflated. I was afraid to go too close, but there were some balloons who had people standing right up against the basket. It truly makes the experience all the more exciting.

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Several times the emcee of the evening would count down and then call out “all burn.” Every balloon in the park would then light up. Lover thinks this may have been one of the coolest things we’ve done. He may be right.

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And since I’m baking a bun in my oven, here’s the gratuitous bump shot:

belly shot

All baby-ness aside, just look at the view in the background. Balloons or no balloons how could you not love New Mexico?

 

a compilation of random thoughts on pregnancy

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***I jotted down these thoughts a week ago and already I think I could write another 10 things. Sheesh.***

I am totally blaming some of these thoughts on pregnancy brain. Which I whole-heartedly believe to be scientific fact. WebMD says it’s not but the answer to every symptom is cancer so can they really be trusted?  My friends, the next sentences are a dumping of the things I’ve learned about pregnancy in the last 22 weeks.

1. People suddenly have no interest in you and yet seem to ask more personal questions than ever before. All somehow pertaining to the baby.

2. You are suddenly okay with this because all you want to do is talk about the baby.

3. It becomes impossible to discern between things that actually upset you and raging hormones. Which isn’t quite fair because now that you’re responsible for both your life and the life growing on your insides more things upset you. But you’re also a cesspool of hormones. Hormones that are a result of the growing life inside you. Which makes you legitimately upset about more things because you’re responsible for said life. And that life causes more hormones. And you get the picture. It’s a cycle.

4. Oh and there is the out-of-control feeling. That’s pleasant. I wish sarcasm translated better through text. Because I am just dripping with it right now.

5. Imagine with me the feeling of being constipated after a big Thanksgiving meal. For nine months. That’s what pregnancy feels like.

6. One of the changes that I wasn’t prepared for but is really freaking me out is watching my belly button slowly go from an inny to an outy. Seriously. It doesn’t poke out yet but it’s getting shallower every day.

7. I want to know how prego gals can accomplish this thing called “eating for two?” I can barely consume the same amount of food I ate as one. There’s just no room! Sometimes I’m hungry but the idea of shoving any food into my stomach ends those thoughts of indulging. That and the fact that I have to follow any food consumption with a shot of prune juice and at least three Tums.

8. The above applies to all foods except soft, warm, salty mall pretzels. I could eat my body weight in those. I tried to while I was on vacation. Got pretty dang close.

9. There are two types of story-telling people in the world. The truly helpful ones and the truly terrifying ones. For example:

Truly helpful: “Sure your third trimester will be more challenging. But you’ll be so cute then!”

Truly terrifying: “Oh just you wait. Things get worse before they get better.”

Truly helpful: “Make sure you find a doctor you can trust. You’ll be seeing them a lot the next nine months.”

Truly terrifying: “All docs are quacks. Mine cussed like a sailor and drank like a fish.”

Truly helpful: “Don’t worry dear. You forget everything once the baby’s here.”

Truly terrifying: “Worst nine months of my life. If it weren’t for pregnancy I’d have more children.”

Truly helpful: “If you need anything or have any questions just let me know.”

Truly terrifying: “Wanna hear my horror story?”

10. Carrying a child is a blessing. It may, quite possibly, be the hardest blessing of your entire life but I am convinced it will turn out to be the most precious blessing of all. It’s true, people tell horror stories, your belly button morphs, and everything is just a little bit harder when you’re pregnant, but I wouldn’t trade this experience for anything. I just thank God for this baby’s life and take another Tums.

🙂

the bump.

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Sometimes I like to pretend that I have lots of readers who randomly came across my blog and think I’m hilariously funny and just can’t get enough. These people only know me through cyber-land. They don’t ever see me face-to-face and we aren’t facebook friends. So they are totally surprised when I say…

WE’RE PREGNANT!!!

Woo-hoo!!

For the people who really do read my blog (all two of you!) just hang here with me. I promise pictures.

So let’s back up just a little. At the beginning of the year we lost our first baby. You can read about that here if you want. We were very sad, but encouraged because we knew it was possible for us to become pregnant.

And then four months later it happened. The weekend my lover graduated I started feeling weird in the afternoons. I wasn’t outright sick, but my mouth would water (like it does when you’re nauseated) and I lost my appetite. Friends, I do NOT just randomly lose my appetite. I knew something was up. I can’t even tell you how many times I peed on a stick that weekend. I wanted so badly to get a positive reading so we could tell our families in person. But I just could not get a single one of those tests to cooperate, darn it.

I did not, however, give up. So you won’t blame me for getting a positive reading Tuesday morning before work after taking what seemed like the 50th test. You also won’t blame me for waking up lover 2 hours before his alarm to share the good news. And I guess you won’t be able to blame him for his less-than-over-the-top reaction. He probably couldn’t even tell if he was dreaming or not.

I on the other hand immediately jumped on pinterest. That’s totally normal right? I had to start planning, only nine months and counting!

We shared with our families just a few days later. We waited until a clinic confirmed the pregnancy before sharing with everyone else. One of the most fun times we were able to share was with our new church. My lover (and now baby daddy) told them the day the church voted to bring him as pastor. He accepted the call, and then said, “I usually don’t like to start things out this way, but I haven’t been completely honest. You all think you’ve called two of us, but actually there are three.” And then there was applause. I almost exploded from happiness. Exploded. John was graduating, we were heading to this amazing church, and expecting our first baby. This, friends, is what you call a time of abundance.

Pregnancy has been fun. Seriously. It’s been challenging, for sure, but I have thoroughly enjoyed this time of expecting a bundle of joy.

First picY’all have no idea how huge I thought I already was at this point. If only I knew.

Second photoI l.o.v.e maternity clothes. Mainly stretchy pants. I may never take them off.

Third picI didn’t feel so terrible during my first trimester. Mainly just some afternoon queasiness, and exhaustion. My lover told one of his friends I slept so much it was like being a bachelor all over again. Uh, my bad.

Second TrimesterWe moved at the end of the first trimester, so there are several weeks of no pictures. By the time this photo was taken I was in my second trimester and I feel GREAT. Second trimester has been wonderful. Other than the steady diet of Tums, I’ve had almost no symptoms to deal with. Everything I do is twice as hard and twice as tiring, but at least I feel like doing things.

Feeling GoodOne thing I flatly REFUSE to give up are my shoes. One day I had a moment of I-will-never-buy-anything-for-myself-ever-again and bought like 5 new pairs of shoes. I wear them with pride defiance.

It's a girl!And we’re far enough along for this! Baby girl is healthy, strong, and likes to kick and swat at her mother. We are so very excited. And here she is:

BABY GIRL_9We are just overwhelmed with joy and gratitude. The Lord has truly blessed us. I’m due January 20th, so hang in there you’re about to be bombarded with all things tiny and pink. 🙂