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