Tuesday, July 17, 2012


2012 is an Olympic year.  Specifically, it is a summer olympics year.  I am  going to be delivering a summer baby soon.  So in honor of these two events,  I figured I would share the events of the "I'm nine months pregnant in the middle of the summer" Olympics!

First up is the toddler dash-  You have a very active and curious toddler who hasn't mastered certain safety concepts yet.  You must keep her safe at all costs and this involves moving your pregnant, swollen, sore self at high speeds frequently throughout the day.  

Next event is the roll over.  You perform this event while lying down in bed on  either your left or right side to start.  You need to roll from one side to the other.  You lose points for grunting or pausing at the halfway point.  You are disqualified from earning a medal if you come to a full standing position in order to re-position yourself.

Then there is the walk around the neighborhood.  You know exercise is good and that walking can induce labor.  You must walk around the loop with minimal stopping.  You will be given a pulmonary function test before, halfway and at the end of your loop.  Deductions  include waddling excessively, groaning and holding your lower back.  Points are given for good posture, walking up the hill instead of down, completing the small loop in fewer than 20 minutes and overall mood upon returning.

Onto the dressing of yourself.  You must do this event at least twice in one day.  First aspect is to find clothes that still fit comfortably.  Remember that unless the clothing fits into the category of "dress"  you must select both a top and a bottom. Second aspect is to put them on, which requires amazing lung capacity and an ever increasing flexibility from the athlete/ mom to be.

One of the best parts of the summer Olympics is the water events
Pool walking.  You must put on the maternity bathing suit and try to ignore the fact that it is becoming too small.  You must prepare your toddler for swimming.  You must then drive to the pool.  You then try for several minutes to coax said toddler into the pool before recognizing that she has her own agenda.  Tag in your spouse for toddler duty as you enter the water.  Try to dodge droves of other people's children.  Try to avoid eye contact with other adults.  Feel the water surround you.  After a few moments look back over at your toddler to make sure she is still content with your spouse.  Begin walking.  Go slowly to avoid/minimize contractions.  Visualize swelling going down.  Walk about a half length of the pool  before turning around.  Repeat several times.  

Shower-  the challenge of this event is to avoid sitting for the entire time it takes to get clean.  The second challenging aspect is to find a perfect temperature that does not render you dizzy or shaking from chills.  The third challenging aspect is to get out and dry yourself without losing your breath * This event is often performed ahead of the dressing yourself event.

Go for the gold!

Monday, July 9, 2012

Blueberry picking

Yesterday we decided it would be fun to take Madison blueberry picking.  Here is a brief list of reasons why we thought it would be fun:
  1. Blueberries are in season earlier than usual in our neck of the woods
  2. She enjoyed apple picking and pumpkin picking in the fall
  3. She loves blueberries
  4. Something special to do together with her before the arrival of the baby in a few weeks
So we arrive all gung ho at 9 am sharp, just as the place is opening.  I pre pay in the farm store and Greg loads Madison into the Ergo carrier.  We stop to admire the tractor before walking out to the blueberry patch.  So far,  we are warm, but Madison appears to be excited.  Being 9 months pregnant,  by the time we get there, I am breaking a small sweat and trying to catch my breath.  Madison is trying to wiggle out of the Ergo and Greg appears to be calm.

Before taking Madison out of the Ergo, I demonstrate what we are going to do.  I show her how to pick only the blue blueberries and put them in our containers.  She smiles and nods and we take her down.  Within moments, she is running down the row, grabbing any old berry she can find and either shoving it in her mouth as fast as possible or squishing it in the palm of her hand, watching the juice run down between her fingers.  Greg and I take turns holding the containers and trying to guide/correct her.  We have a mini communication challenge between us.  We resolve it and keep trying to help Madison.

It becomes apparent fairly quickly  that she needs to be held. I am grateful that I paid only for 1.5 quarts and that we didn't go to a place where you pay by the pound.  I share this with Greg and he agrees but notes that former, childless versions of ourselves would have driven to the further out farm, paid by the pound, picked blueberries for hours, ate a picnic lunch and maybe continue to pick afterwards.  Instead we were both hot and started rushing through the process a bit.  Madison was getting increasingly whiny, we were all hot and nap time was on the horizon.  

After finally filling our containers and a stop at the potty, we were back in the car with a frustrated toddler. 
In hind sight we considered these points:
  1. It was a little too hot to comfortably enjoy ourselves
  2. To Madison, blueberries are her candy.  You would not expect a child who loves a particular kind of candy to sit in front of a  bowl filled with that candy and not be tempted to eat one ( or several).
  3. Blueberries have appeared at our local farmers market recently too.  Her and I have developed a mini tradition of going to buy blueberries and whatever else looks good.  We then find a bench and happily munch down some blueberries together.  So of course she did not understand why we were asking her NOT to eat these
  4. Apple and pumpkins (usually) cannot be squished when picking them, thus making it easier for eager, busy hands to handle.
  5. Last year when we went,  she was not walking yet and stayed in the Ergo the whole time, making it a very different experience for her and us.
Once we arrived at home though all was well. Madison happily sat down with a plate of blueberries and snarfed them until her heart was content.  She will remember picking the blueberries I'm sure, but she will really enjoy eating (and drinking in a smoothie) them this week.

If you live where blueberries are in season, happy picking!

I can't wait to meet you

Dear Sweet Daughter,

Your dad and I are so excited to meet you.  You gave us some signals last weekend that you were ready to make your debut but apparently you decided you weren't quite ready yet.  That's okay sweetheart,  we know we will get to hold you in our arms very soon.  

Dad and I are busy trying to get things all set for your arrival.  We have cooked some meals and frozen them so that our first week with you can be as smooth as possible.  I have washed a lot of your clothes and have folded and organized them by size.  Hopefully this week I will finish washing your diapers and back your bag for the hospital.  Dad  has been frantically researching room dividers as he currently uses your room as his office.  Even your big sister Madison has been helping us get ready for you.  She put the newborn diapers in your drawer and helped me pick out your changing mat.  We have installed your infant seat in the car and Madison talks about you every time she goes in the car.

I am still feeling you move around inside of me.  I think you are very strong and often wonder if you will have a spirited personality.  Sometimes I think you punctured my bladder or broke a rib.  Dad loves looking at my stomach and watching one of your small feet or pointy little elbows float by.  He says it never gets old and I have to agree with him on that.  Big sister Madison can't quite sit still long enough to feel you move,  but I am sure you hear her talking and singing all day long.  

I am hoping that when you do make your debut, that it is a smooth one.  I trust you and I trust my body.  I know you already know how to be born and my body already knows how to give birth so that is a winning combination right there.  I pray each day that you are healthy inside of me and that you are getting all that you need.  I try to balance life's craziness with quiet moments when I can.  My quiet moments are your moments, times when you like to stretch, roll and jump.  I hope you arrive quickly but not so quickly that Daddy catches you on the side of the road en route to the hospital.  

I love you and am looking forward to your birthday
P.S.  You do have a name by the way and we say it all the time to you but it is not yet public information

Monday, June 25, 2012

What NOT to say

Here are some things you a non pregnant but well meaning person should avoid saying to a pregnant lady in your life:

"WOW  you look like you are gonna pop any day now!"
Uhhh great thanks,  I still have  more than 7 full weeks to go.

"Well you look like you're due July first!"
Thanks again,  that is a full four weeks ahead of my due date

"You look really tiny,  are you sure there is an actual, healthy baby in there?"
Yup,  I am sure

"Oh wow,  your ankles are really swollen" 
No they aren't actually, today is a good day.   Why are you looking at my ankles?

These few comments all pertain to my size and appearance.  You are not a medical professional.  You do not know my weight gain or fundal height.  My midwife,  who measures these things at each appointment does.  She is tracking them.  She assures me that everything in the measurement department is as it out to be.    This is my second baby.  Things may look bigger or smaller than you expect them to but your comments don't make me feel stellar and don't lead to additional conversation.  And really, why are you looking at my ankles?

A few more comments:
"You have to go to the bathroom again?"
Uhhh actually yes, yes I do.  There is someone the size of a melon snuggling with my bladder.  Do you know what that feels like?

"I can see that you are pregnant, but that doesn't mean that I am going to let you cut me in line" (This was said on a fairly hot day at a public restroom that was relatively crowded).  It should just be noted that I did not ask if I could cut or not.  I did not make assumptions.  I was just standing in line,  minding my own business and trying to not pee on myself!

"Baby care items are located over there" (said by a drugstore worker when I entered the store)
Obviously a pregnant lady is only there to buy diapers and wipes and other baby related items.  I positively do not need any items for personal care, greeting cards or any thing else you sell.

"Does the baby enjoy that food?  
I don't know if she enjoys it or not, she hasn't said. But as soon as she lets me know, I will tell you.

Friday, June 15, 2012

Planning a second birthday

As I anxiously await the arrival of our second daughter, I am also in the process of planning a celebration to honor Madison as she is about to turn 2! It makes me think back to where we were two years ago and makes me think about where she is right now, a month shy of her second birthday.

 Two years ago I was pregnant with her,  probably just as uncomfortable, irritable, and anxious as I am today.  Two years ago I had no idea of the amazing person that she would become.  Two years ago I really was not sure how labor and delivery would go, what kind of mommy I would be or how such a tiny person would totally rock our world.

Madison is awesome.  She is a very caring and compassionate toddler.  She notices when people are upset and takes very good care of her baby.  Her baby doll goes everywhere with her and that doll is well fed and never sitting in a stinky diaper for very long.    Madison is also incredibly smart, she seems to be constantly making connections between people and events.  She tries her best to retell events or stories.  I think (though I may be biased) that she has a longer than average attention span for children her age.  She loves animals and loves to read.  She is affectionate, often cuddling with one of us or blowing kisses, or kissing the pictures of animals in her books.  She is pretty easy going though can be a little shy with other people or in unfamiliar situations. There is not a day that goes by that I am not amazed by her thinking, by her little personality.  She routinely makes us laugh and we can't get enough laughter from her.

Madison is getting ready to be a big sister.  I know it will be a transition for her, but I am curious to see how she will react to the tiny human.  I am curious to see if those loving and nurturing tendencies will carry over.  I am curious to see what she will teach her baby sister and excited to see how much more mature she looks  next to the baby.

I hope that she enjoys her party and the time with the extended family.  I hope I can find a way to make the celebration reflect just who she is and I am excited to plan a special time for her before such a big change takes place.

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Mommy blogger?

I never really thought of myself as a mommy blogger.  But I am a mommy and I have a blog.  These days, I use my blogging energy to write about my children: either the one boarding as a uterine passenger or the the one making me laugh throughout the day with her antics.  Does that make me a mommy blogger?

Some of the other blogs I read that are also written by mommies have features that my little old blog does not have.  Some feature photos of the children,  some feature give away contests. Others focus on product reviews and some have advertising and lots of links to recommended websites. Some blogs out there are poorly written and others read like best selling novels.

Recently though, it has come to my attention that some "mommy bloggers" are actually making money by writing their blog.  This is somewhat baffling to me.  How do I turn a simple blog into income?  Where does the income come from exactly?  How often do I need to actually blog to make said income?  I am pretty sure that I need more followers than the 4 I currently have.    I could probably spend some time and energy jazzing it up a bit, but where to go from there and is it even worth it?

Funny things about being pregnant while caring for a toddler

Pregnancy is different for each woman.  Women come into pregnancy with different expectations, at different stages of life and  have different reactions to the physical and emotional changes.  This makes sense, right?  What I did not realize was that being pregnant while caring for my older daughter would make this pregnancy more interesting and humorous to say the least.

A few weeks back I must have taken on the pregnancy habit of moaning or groaning when I dropped something and I drop things all the time.  Any of you who know me outside of the blogosphere know that I am a pretty clumsy person.  About a week or two ago,  Madison dropped something and made a groaning sound, pointed at the dropped object, groaned again, and said "mama".  She cracked herself up with this routine for several days.  If that wasn't enough, she also started making the groaning sound when she saw me drop something.  

Apparently I did not learn from this though.  I continued to be pregnant and clumsy which means that I continued to drop things and as anyone knows, it gets increasingly more difficult to bend down and pick stuff up.  ( I will pick up anything I drop that might be dangerous to her, like sharp objects or choking hazards, regardless of I am feeling at that moment).  So I guess I started dropping things, Madison continued to notice and at some point along the way I said "Daddy will pick that up later".  Now when there is something on the floor ( a toy she dropped, a piece of prechewed and then rejected food, etc) she points at it and says "daddy" with a huge smile across her face. She is just imitating me and my bad behavior, but remains pretty good about cleaning up her toys when asked.  

Finally,  we are working hard to end her diaper days.  As any one who has ever gone through this process with a young child knows,  this means lots of trips to the potty.  More and more frequently, I am the one who needs to go when I am taking her!  She uses the potty, does her business, and immediately points to me, makes one of the two or three potty signs and points to the toilet.  She will stand there while I do my business,  often make a few more potty signs and point to the toilet paper when I am all done.  Sometimes she even claps when I finish!  We wash our hands and move on and then repeat, usually within an hour.  While I am excited about her progress in using the potty,  I am even more appreciative of the moments when I have the opportunity to do my business in peace and solitude!