Five on Friday

I feel like I do a lot of whining and complaining about being pregnant, and while it’s no picnic, I am incredibly grateful that it finally happened. I do know how blessed I am. I try to post as honestly as possible about what I’m feeling because those are the posts that I always appreciate reading – I don’t want some rainbows and sunshine smokescreen, I want to know the ugly truth about what something’s like! 

How about we do a Friday Five about what I’m looking forward to and excited about? 

1. Continuing family traditions and starting new ones. My parents, especially my mom, always went above and beyond to make holidays and birthdays special. The house was decked out from top to bottom, all kinds of goodies and treats were baked and/or bought, and presents were numerous, even if they were small or simple. I can’t wait to do this for my child. I want to give my son/daughter the same happy, loving memories that I have from my own childhood. 

2. Snuggling. I’ve never really been around babies, aside from my nieces and nephew, but I’ve seen and heard other parents with their snuggly, warm, sweet-smelling babies curled up together. There is a picture of me and my dad from when I was a few months old. I was asleep on his chest and he had his head back, passed out, in the chair he was sitting in. I want that. And I want a picture like that of my husband and the baby together.

3. Teaching him/her new things and watching him/her experience things for the first time. There is something so amazing about seeing a child understand a new concept for the very first time. I especially can’t wait to read books together.

4. Going on family vacations. I really, really can’t wait to take the baby to Disney as a family. Ideally, I would love to do this next summer, but I don’t know how that will play out. Even if we don’t get there, I’m super excited for family road trips and local adventures! My family went camping every weekend between May and September when I was growing up, and although it wasn’t anything fancy, those weekends are some of my best memories. 

5. Going for walks around the neighborhood. I have this vision in my head of bundling baby up and strapping him/her in the stroller for a walk. The crisp fall air, the crunchy leaves underfoot… I can’t wait! 

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Bumpdate: 25 weeks!

IMG_7151Only 15(ish) weeks to go! Now that I’m on the downhill slope of this journey, and since I’ve been feeling a bit better, I can’t believe how fast it’s going.

I’m exhausted almost constantly. I either need to take a nap most days, or else I start dozing off around 8:30 pm. I love how some of the pregnancy books and websites recommend putting your head down on your desk at work for 15 minutes, or finding a quiet conference room to take a quick nap in. Where do these people work?? There’s no way that would fly in my office.

My food aversions are decreasing, and I feel like I’ve been eating more “normally” lately. I still can’t eat much at a time, however, so I find myself eating a lot of small snacks during the day and then a slightly bigger (still small compared to pre-pregnancy) dinner. I’m still favoring things like cereal, bagels, fruit (grapes and blueberries, yum!), and chicken (Perdue chicken nuggets with “real” cheddar cheese – horrible for me, but deee-licious!). Chocolate has made a major comeback. I haven’t had any cravings, per se, although there are times when a certain food sounds better than anything else. It’s not the OMG-I-have-to-have-it-now kind of thing that is portrayed in movies, and I haven’t desired anything weird… it’s more like, “A salad from Panera sounds really good today. I think I’ll get one for lunch.” Hubby keeps waiting for me to send him out on some middle of the night run for donuts and pickles. The closest we came to that was the other day when we were having leftover pizza for dinner and I needed to have a glass of Coke to go with it! I don’t even consider that a pregnancy thing – you just HAVE to have Coke with pizza.

My sense of smell is still in overdrive, as expected. Normally I love the smell of carpet powder before vacuuming, but now it literally smells like garbage to me. I was going nuts crawling around the room thinking something had died under the sofa or the cat had gone to the bathroom somewhere, and then I just shoved my nose in the carpet and realized it’s the stupid powder! I made my poor hubby take half-full bags of garbage from the kitchen outside because I swore it was coming from there originally. Oops.

Getting off the couch and out of the car is now a two-step process: sort of shimmy to the edge of the cushion and then push myself up. Even getting up from my desk chair at work requires focus and purposeful movement. I find myself moving a lot slower in general, being careful not to turn too quickly or get up too fast.

The bathroom breaks are still going strong, as expected. I’m waking up a few times a night, which is super fun, and I’m pretty sure I spend more time in the bathroom at work than I do at my desk.

My back hurts, my fingers and toes tingle from time to time, my nose is still bloody every time I blow it, and although my fingers don’t look swollen, I feel like my knuckles have spread because it’s hard to get my rings on and off now.

I feel the baby kicking and moving around almost constantly now. S/he is especially active in the morning at work, after dinner, and again when I lie down for the night in bed. I can see my belly move from the outside now, although it’s hard to catch because it’s still subtle and baby seems to know when I’m watching! Just like when I want to get hubby to feel a kick – suddenly our little acrobat gets really shy and halts all movement.

We’re really starting to get serious about what needs to get done before baby’s arrival. I still don’t like having to be a bystander to most of it, but it is what it is. I know that there are certain things I just can’t do right now, and luckily we have lots of support and offers of help.

Staycation Success

I somehow acquired 21 sick/vacation days at work this year, and I realized there is no way I will be able to use them all before July when I go on maternity leave – they’re giving me five months after the baby’s born, so I won’t be going back until next year and I can only carry over three days. Since hubby had off this week for Spring Break, I figured I might as well take a week and stay home with him and rest. I had grand plans of getting all kinds of stuff done around the house: cleaning out what will be the nursery, cleaning out the spare bedroom that will one day be an office, rearranging the furniture in our room so that I can get in and out of bed more easily, putting a bunch of stuff in the attic, treating the lawn, raking the remaining leaves, buying and putting down mulch, washing the windows and curtains, fixing the broken window screens, etc. I was in way over my head and I should have known it.

It rained on and off all week, so my outside plans were shot. I figured we could still do lots of stuff inside the house, though. What I underestimated was my lack of energy, hubby’s ability to get sick, and our preference for reading and watching movies over actually doing grown up things that need to get done.

I am happy to say that we did do some stuff that makes me feel slightly productive:

  • Put away all of the Christmas boxes in the attic (and in the process we have possibly discovered a new problem up there that needs to be addressed)
  • Washed the windows
  • Cleaned out the washing machine
  • We both got long overdue haircuts
  • We found time to go to our favorite Mexican restaurant that we haven’t been to in probably close to a year
  • Bought concrete caulk to patch some cracks in the steps
  • Bought plumbing tape to install our new shower head
  • Went through hundreds and hundreds of pictures on our hard drive and picked out some to print and frame
  • Narrowed down our laptop choices for hubby
  • Narrowed down our car choices for me
  • Picked out a definite boy baby name, and agreed on some girl choices

I managed to read Tina Fey’s Bossypants, which was a long time coming. It’s been checked out of the library every time I look, but they finally had it on Monday and I read it in one day. It was a little heavy on the TV stuff, but I really enjoyed it. I think she’s hilarious, and it was fun getting to read more about her personal life and how she got her start.

I also read A Walk to Remember by Nicholas Sparks. I picked this up at a huge used book sale at a nearby library (fill a paper grocery bag for $8!) and although I saw the movie when it came out and thought it was OK, I thought the book was so much better. Isn’t that always the case?

I’ve read about 100 pages of A Million Little Pieces (also snagged at the used book sale) and I think I’m done. I am having a very hard time getting through it. I don’t know if it’s the fact that I’m reading it now, after all the hoopla, and I know that a lot of it (most of it? all of it?) was fabricated, but I just CANNOT get into it. His writing style is horrific – the fact that there are no quotes around the dialog really throws me. I am constantly re-reading sections to make sure that I understand who is saying what to whom. It’s exhausting. I think this one is going to get thrown into my Donate pile and taken over to Goodwill one of these days.

We tried out DVD Express at our grocery store (like Redbox) and watched Big Hero 6The Imitation Game, and Mockingjay. All really good and highly recommended. It’s been a long time since I finished the Hunger Games series, which is probably the only reason I liked the movie – I couldn’t remember if they stuck close to the book or not!

IMG_7143Baby-wise, we are doing well. Hubby felt the baby kick for the first time yesterday and he was thrilled! I’ve felt him/her squirming around in there since week 17, but the kicks and jabs have gotten a lot more frequent and pronounced lately. My nosebleeds are at an all-time high, and I’ve been having what I think are Braxton Hicks contractions for a couple of weeks. At first I thought it was just some kind of cramping or stretching, but I read the definition of BH and realized it fits me to a T. Other than that, I’ve just been really, really tired and uncomfortable. I get cramp-y pretty easily, so I’ve been resting a lot and trying to limit how much walking I do – unfortunately. I had high hopes of being able to go outside for walks like we used to do after work every evening, but the fact that I can’t even walk around the grocery store for long without feeling yucky leads me to believe our walks will have to wait until the fall.

I think I am finally starting to look a little more pregnant instead of just fat. As much as I was not looking forward to getting bigger (and I’m still not, if I’m being honest), I’m anxious for that bump to grow and be more obvious. Thankfully no strangers have yet asked me if I’m pregnant or tried to touch me – I am dreading that day! I think I might put off enough of a Don’t talk to me vibe to avoid it, though.

Bumpdate! 22 Weeks

Trying to look peppy after being kicked in the cervix all night

Trying to look peppy after being kicked in the cervix all night

I am more than halfway done, a bump has finally appeared, and the nausea and vomiting have been replaced with complete exhaustion and round ligament pain. However, I will take the body aches and cramping ANY DAY over the constant puke-y feeling and the fire-y torture of daily acid reflux! The reflux is still there, but it’s subsided a lot – enough so that Tums is actually able to combat it a bit now. Woohoo progress!

I am now in maternity clothes full time when I’m out of the house. I got away with the hairtie-looped-through-my-jeans for about 20.5 weeks before I had to submit to wearing yoga pants to work, and then finally broke down and ordered some full-panel stretchy jeans. While not especially attractive, maternity jeans are SUPER comfy. I may never wear real pants again. Most of my non-maternity shirts still fit, but they’re a little short and don’t cover the panel completely, which is not really a look I’m going for. I was lucky and grabbed a few simple t-shirts from Old Navy on sale for $6 each, but I’m going to need a lot more unless I want to wash these every weekend and repeat.

I remember being super tired in the beginning – so tired that I took naps in my car sometimes during my lunch break. I’m able to make it through the work day now, but by the time I get home I am just absolutely mentally and physically drained. I’ve been crashing every night for about an hour and a half before dinner just so I can stay up past eight o’clock. I don’t always fall asleep, but even just lying down in bed and closing my eyes really helps.

Now that the nausea is gone (fingers crossed I didn’t just jinx myself), and the reflux is a little tamer, my appetite is slowly coming back, along with my sweet tooth! I still can’t eat anywhere near a normal sized meal, but at least I am able to stomach more than just cereal and bagels. I try to keep it pretty simple during the day just in case (don’t want to end up sick at work – yuck), so I stick to bagels for lunch with fruit and yogurt and pretzels and cheese (and chocolate…) throughout the day. I try to be a little more adventurous at dinner, attempting to eat some real food, but that doesn’t always end well.

As I mentioned in my last post, I started a registry, but that’s about as far as we’ve gotten in terms of getting ready. Although it felt like we had FOREVER to get everything done, we were just talking the other night that August is going to be here before we know it! In addition to buying all of the necessary equipment to take care of a newborn, we also have several house projects that would best be done before baby arrives. Even though s/he will be sleeping in our room for the first few months, I still want the nursery painted and set up just in case. And while we’re painting that room and refinishing the floors in there, we might as well do the entire upstairs, right? Because it will be easier to do it now than with a screaming, crying infant in the house while we are all cranky and sleep-deprived. How quickly something simple turns into a huge to-do.

I’ve been finding time on the weekends for reading, and I am really enjoying Sarah Dessen’s books. Turns out she really is the YA genius everyone has told me she is! I picked up three of her novels at a used book sale recently, and I started reading Just Listen last week. I didn’t have any idea what it was about before I started, so I had no preconceived notions, other than I know people rave about her. I devoured the book in a few days and immediately started in on Lock and Key, which I will hopefully finish up this weekend. I love her characters, the plots, the relationships – it’s all right up my alley. If I had to find one criticism, it would be that her characters use the phrase, “Really” far too often. Maybe I am just very attuned to it so it stands out to me each time I see it, but I feel like it’s on almost every page, as part of every dialogue. While this does get said often in real life conversations, I’m tired of reading it over and over. However, that is really nitpicky – everything else has been great!