Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Anna and the Worm

Sunday, May 29, 2011


Weight is such a funny thing. Scales weren't even available for the average consumer until the sometime last century. Women all over the world, even today, go throughout their pregnancies, give birth, and never look at a scale. So why do mothers and women focus on numbers so much? Our interpretations of these numbers are so subjective - subjective to our modern culture. Thinness is beauty, our culture cries. Whether we choose to listen to or ignore those images and words are our choice alone. However, it's easy to say that even when we choose to say those numbers are unimportant, that we do feel some sort of pride when we are thin and shame when we are fat. It's a shame, really, but it's the truth.

Last summer I began running. It was mainly for stress-relief and because I wanted to see if I could do it (I've always considered myself a non-runner). Although I would win no marathons, by the end of the summer, I ran 2 1/2 miles with my friend Olga beside the lake. I did it! The girl who could hardly run a mile all her life, even in her best shape! It was empowering! But I still looked at the scale. I was thrilled to see that I was down to 117 pounds by the time August came around and Olga hurt her foot and I stopped running. School began and there simply wasn't time (or energy) to run. I know I gained (and subsequently lost) a lot of muscle in that time because by January, I was 118 pounds (120 being the average). Now that I'm pregnant, I'm 127 pounds and it's definitely hard to see the scale creeping upward. I've checked online calculators and I have gained a healthy weight so far. I'm happy for that. I know that my baby is growing inside of me and is doing well. I also know I'll need that extra fat for breastfeeding afterward. There's a bit of anxiety in me that wonders if I'll ever get back down to that weight. After I had Anna, I was obviously still holding onto pregnancy weight, but I told myself that I wouldn't and couldn't lose that weight completely. I threw out a lot of clothing. No, I'm wasn't even the same shape in August as I was before I had Anna. I was certainly lighter, though! My hips are wider, definitely. I'm just not a child any more and my body certainly reflects that. I have a woman's body. My husband tells me that I'm beautiful. He scoffs at women who hide their womanhood, saying that a mother's body is more beautiful than any girl's (how did I find such a man?). I am certainly among the lucky in a lot of ways. No, I won't have my fifteen-year-old body back (thank God) and yes, I'm sure that I'll be able to get out there and run again and feel the breeze through my hair, no matter how much I weigh or how much my body has changed.

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Excuse Me While I Gush...

Today Anna's teachers came to our house for a little parent-teacher conference. We learned so many wonderful things that I just had to gush...

*She knows eight shapes from the list they gave her including: circle, square, rectangle, oval, star, triangle, heart and octagon. (She doesn't know the hexagon or pentagon... but what four year old even knows what an octagon is? Anna does!)

* She can rote count from 1 to 10. I know she also knows zero and she can count higher than this as well. She usually gets tripped up once she gets to 20. She recognizes most of the numbers (0-10) as well and mixes up 6 and 9.

*She can write her name very well. :)

*She knows her colors. At the beginning of the year, she didn't know black or brown, but now she does. :)

*She knows her ABCs and recognizes all of the letters in the alphabet. Her teachers actually said she didn't recognize the letter O, however we know for a fact she does and we were surprised that they said she knew W and V, which she mixes up when we practice at home! She also knows how to spell zoo.

*They said that she is very advanced for her age and she is doing very well (she's one of the youngest in her class and will have to take preschool again next year because of her late birthday).

*She is friends with everyone. Everyone wants to play with her. She tends to do dramatic things like faint in front of everyone and all of the kids will rush to her side (but if other kids try, the children won't rush to their sides haha). She is a little drama queen and she has "given birth" to a doll in class, in a very dramatic fashion. She has cried at a drop of a hat, convincing everyone around her that she ought to become an actress (not until you finish college, young lady)!

I just love my little girl and it's always good to hear praise of your child from someone else's lips. :)

18 Weeks

18 Weeks

How far along? 18 Weeks
Weight gain/loss: N/A
Wardrobe? Cozy maternity jeans and a non-maternity stretchy shirt (pictured). I almost wore a maternity dress my mom got me, but it's still huge on me. Go figure.
Stretch marks? Same ol', same ol'.
Sleep? A pillow between the knees seriously helps with hip pain. :)
Best Anna/Baby moment this week? Paul was feeling for the baby's kicks today (no success). Anna turned and gave us this look that said, "Would you like me to leave the room?" haha! She's so expressive.
Belly button in or out? In.
Movement? I've felt some serious kicking this week. I even was able to feel the baby kicking from the outside, very lightly.
Nausea: Some food aversions, but it's mostly done! Wahoo! :)
Symptoms: Some sleep disturbances, feeling especially sleepy, etc.

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Tap Tap Tappin' at My Front Door

The baby was just now kicking away, so I kept following the kicks with my finger tips. It took a while (because he or she would move after I put my hand there), but eventually I felt some light little taps from the outside! So exciting. :) Lately I've been feeling most of the kicks in my cervix. Fun times. :) Thankfully, it's not painful... yet.

17 Weeks 5 Days

Funny Mom Tweets

Monday, May 23, 2011

Dressing Herself

Over the weekend, I delayed dressing Anna for quite a few hours. I guess she got tired of waiting, because she came out dressed like this:

Later, on our walk, she picked me this lovely Northwest bouquet... :)

Ah, how I love my girl!

It's Science!

Degrees and Diapers

I don't think I've written about our experience here at the university. It certainly is an unusual experience. Whenever I would tell someone that my husband and I were graduating on the same date, both going full time at the university, and had a daughter, I was often met with shock or surprise. I guess I didn't think about it like that. I didn't leave time to think about it being difficult. Life is difficult in general. This was just our own personal journey.

We certainly sacrificed a lot to be here. Paul worked full time while I watched Anna. We dropped out twice. We lived with family for a short time. We struggled. We returned to school. We have never been on a vacation - although we did go camping as a family when Anna was two. We have a lot of unpaid bills. We put off having another child for a very long time. We bought second-hand and lived on a tight budget. When was the last time I had a haircut, anyway? Paul gets plenty of haircuts via Salon du Sarah (ME! And I'm pretty dang good at it, if I might say so). I remember when I bought each of my pairs of shoes because I haven't bought that many. We could seriously use a new dresser - the drawers are falling off the tracks. Anna needs a mattress for her bed that isn't old and freaky.

And yet... there's not a whole lot to complain about.

I have gotten to see all of Anna's firsts. First laugh, first time she rolled over (both ways), first time she sat up, first time she stood and walked, first time she said my name, first time she stepped onto the bus for preschool. No, it isn't a fancy preschool - it's Head Start. Over the last two days, we constructed and painted a paper mache volcano, filled it with Baking Soda and vinegar, and set it off. Anna laughed and squealed! Today, we're making rock candy, in hopes of passing our love of education on to her. She asks, "Can we play science?" We walk to the beach on sunny days and Anna plays in the sand. We go on walks every evening - as a family. My husband is an amazing father to our little girl - what special memories she has of building Kinex machines with daddy!

No, joy is more than money. Real joy comes from family and memories. So, I don't mind the little sacrifices here and there. The truth is, I've never been richer in my life.

On to grad school!

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Beach Pictures

Today we went to the beach! It was a gorgeous 65 degrees and my little water baby kept splashing in the surf! She loves water. She wasn't cold at all, either. :)

17 Weeks Tomorrow

How far along? 17 Weeks tomorrow!
Weight gain/loss: 127, down a pound from last month, but I think that's more from getting more exercise lately. :)
Wardrobe? Maternity! It's way more comfortable this way and I don't have to feel bad about not fitting into my size 5s.
Stretch marks? Nothing new.
Sleep? Hip pain keeps me up at night and side-sleeping makes my ears ache. I think I need one of those fancy side-sleeping pillows with the little hole for your ear...
Best Anna/Baby moment this week? Today Anna drew a cute little picture of the baby today. Today she wants to name the baby Baby All-Gone. Heh. :)
Belly button in or out? In.
Movement? Lots of wiggling and stretching, especially at night when I'm relaxing.
Nausea: I have had a good week. I think I'm at the end of this. With Anna, I was done being sick at 17 weeks, so this is hopefully it. :)
Symptoms: I've been SOOOO THIRSTY this week! Also, still getting lots of Braxton-Hicks... hopefully that means baby won't be overdue. ;)

Monday, May 16, 2011

Appointment Update

How pregnant? 16 weeks 4 days
Heart rate: 148 beats per minute
Weight: Down 1 pound from last. I'll be brave and say I was 127.
BP: 125/60

Anna was such a good helper! She held the doppler's speaker while the midwife found the heartrate. She is such a good girl. She is very excited to be a big sister!

We got great news today, aside from the appointment. We get to stay here in Washington until the end of June. Anna's school goes through June 14th. I was so heartbroken about yanking her from school and missing her class trip to the zoo. I'm glad everything has worked out so well!

Thursday, May 12, 2011

Graduation... in Photos!

(Above: Family!!!)

(Above: With our little grad!)

(Above: Olive Garden! Nom!!!)

Graduation went well! Paul and I have been catching up on sleep ever since. I think today is the first day that I've felt a little more like myself in a long time (exhaustion-wise).

16 Weeks

How far along? 16 weeks... and hopefully just a couple of weeks from knowing if we are having a boy or a girl. :) I'm feeling bigger today than yesterday. I guess you've seen the "pop".
Weight gain/loss: Definitely I've gained. Not sure where I'm at, though. Probably somewhere in the 130s by now.
Wardrobe? I'm afraid to put on my old jeans this week. Mostly I find myself uncomfortable unless I'm wearing pajamas, so maybe it's time to go shopping... or pray for warmer weather.
Stretch marks? Just the old ones.
Sleep? Stomach sleeping for the most part. Sleeping on my back triggers Braxton-Hicks contractions. I try to stay on my sides for the most part, but I often wake on my stomach.
Best Anna/Baby moment this week? Nothing too baby/Anna related. I should have written something down. Anna is always full of fun little sayings and phrases. :)
Belly button in or out? In.
Movement? I think I've been feeling some wiggling in there this week...
Nausea: Unfortunately, I still have bad days... I had an awful day on Monday, but now I'm thinking I may have had a touch of the flu... a let-down from the stress of finals and graduation.

Watch what you say... tiny bones forming in baby's ears mean the little one can now pick up your voice. Eyebrows, lashes and hair are starting to fill in, and taste buds are forming. And, if you're interested, an ultrasound might be able to determine gender.
Source: TheBump.com

Saturday, May 7, 2011

15 Weeks vs. 15 Weeks