Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Tummy Whenever:: 38 Weeks

It's late and I am up, blogging.  Something has to be wrong with me, right?  I am counting down the days until I deliver my sweet baby girl.  All I can do is crochet, blog, take pictures, and other creative things.  What I should be doing is cleaning my apartment and double checking to make sure I have everything sorted for when I have to go into hibernation for a few weeks.  Isn't it funny how people cope with things?  I prefer to be creative when I feel stressed, rather than work on the things that may be causing me the stress. 

Speaking of stress......  Trying to take family pictures?!  STRESSSSS!
Let me just walk you through my disaster...

First, The Hubs hates pictures, like most men, I suppose.  He hates the idea of getting dressed up, and smiling, and posing, and taking the time to make sure each photo is of decent quality.  I will be honest, he was very patient with me about the whole ordeal.  Most of the stress was my own fault.

During this pregnancy, whenever I have a busy day filled with something I am not entirely 100% excited about doing, I sabotage myself by staying awake almost all night.  It is such a Horrible Habit that I have formed, but I can't stop myself!  I am anxious and stressed, which just leads to a bit of insomnia.  The night before these photos, I went to bed around 6am.  I woke up three hours later than planned.

Rather than getting the ball rolling, I decided I needed to have sex..... for, like, 2 more hours.  I have NO IDEA what is wrong with me, but I have been very needy in that department lately.  I would also like to formally announce that semen has done NOTHING in terms of inducing labor.  I am beginning to think that whole thing is a complete myth.  Either that, or maybe I need to drink it or shoot it directly into my blood stream?  Who knows, but I know I am not in labor!
After that, I ate, watched TV, lied in bed scrolling through social media........ Next thing I know, OH SHIT!  It's 3pm.  I was supposed to be OUT in the sun, taking the pictures at 3pm!  Well, I had to do something with my hair, so I flat ironed it, which took forever.  We were ready to go at 5:30pm.  Epic. Fucking. Fail.

Additionally, right before leaving, I found out the area I wanted to take pictures had flooded from all the melted snow.  That wouldn't have been a problem *IF* a man were not involved.  Me, I am thinking:  Oh My!  A flood!  Let's immediately change to Option B.

The Hubs thinks:  There's a flood!  Blah, blah, blah-- something about why didn't you plan better, woman-- blah, blah, blah.  Well, let's detour for an hour and a half to see if we can find that spot you wanted.

An hour and a half later, we discovered what I already knew.  The area was under water.  Lots of dirty water.  It was completely impossible.  By now, it's almost 7pm.  We are hungry.  I am a ball of stress and fits.  The Hubs was amazing, as he continued to drive around in circles. Finally, I decide I want sushi (cue all the criticisms about eating raw fish, mercury, and soft cheeses....  I have my middle finger ready.) I decide that taking pictures was a bad idea and I'm too hungry to care anymore.

Thankfully, our sushi spot is next to a park.  Unfortunately, the pretty, woodsy area I needed was a long, LONG way for me to waddle with my cankles.  So I walked as far as I could, peacefully ignoring my husband's horrible suggestions for spots to take pictures.  Spots like in front of soccer goals with soccer players running in the background.  Spots like an empty swimming pool filled with dirt and leaves.  Spots like a random tree with the parking lot in the background.  LOLOL!!  I love this man to the moon, but he doesn't have a single shred of artistic vision.  Not a drop.

Finally, we found a spot.  It was across a moat filled with bugs and deer shit.  I am not sure how much of which of those I stepped in with my bare feet, but I am just going to say it was worth it in the end.  I am reasonably happy with the way the photos came out. Taking the photos was practically mission impossible.  Between our Little Darling complaining about being covered in bugs and mud and trying to get her to resist the natural childlike urge to want to take off running around in an open field, I thought I was going to scream.  Between The Hubs making crazy faces in each photo and then grabbing my butt as the timer ended over and over, which resulted in my making weird faces, I thought I was going to lose my mind!

I am grateful that we made the time to take them since we never did it with our Little Darling.  I want to capture these moments, as The Hubs and I agree that we don't want to create more children.  In the future, adoption is on the table, but neither of us enjoys my being pregnant and we agree that we don't want to experience it again.  But The Hubs and our Little Darling have been complaining about wanting to be a part of my blog and pregnancy journal.  I think they now understand why I haven't made it a weekly habit of dressing them and dragging them around to take pictures for the past 9 months.  I will, however, in these last few moments, include them as much as possible.  It means everything to me to document this time. Since each moment of this experience very well may be our last, I want this to be a beautiful stain in all our memories.


Monday, March 23, 2015

Tummy Tuesday :: 37 Weeks

WOW!  Time feels like it is going by a little faster.  Maybe that's not exactly true.   I just feel that way because this blog is a little backdated, so I am always writing things as I have progressed a little further into my pregnancy.  I feel like, "Oh wow!  That was, like, so long ago!  I am almost done."  When in reality, on the days I am not writing on my blog, I am thinking, "Sheesh!  This is taking for-everrrr!  Each day is like a week long by itself.  Hurry up, baby girl!  Just get here!"

I am starting to have mixed feelings about being pregnant now.  First, I was so excited that I was literally rubbing my little bump and praying over it.  I prayed that this wasn't some fluke accident, after trying to get pregnant for so many years.  For my entire first trimester, everything felt so surreal and I just wanted to make sure that God knew I was grateful and that I wanted this more than anything I have wanted in a really long time.  Then, the nausea...the heartburn...the fatigue...the uterine cramps.  After all that set in, I was hateful and just couldn't wait to get done with things.  I felt that way up until about two weeks ago.

Today, I am sitting firmly at 12 days before my due date.  I am attending weekly prenatal appointments and getting more excited at the end of each day.  Two weeks ago, I went to the first of my weekly appointments and I found out that I am ONE CENTIMETER DILATED.  When I heard that, I was like...

For. Fucking. Real.  I walked out of my gynecologist office Like A Boss........ And then I went to my appointment earlier this week to find out that I haven't made anymore progress.  Ha!  The joke's on me.
This past week or so has been a little stressful and frustrating. First, I must have picked about 95 fights with The Hubs about the most trivial things.  Things like...  "You don't clean the house enough.  I am not the maid!  I am just as much as a citizen of this world as you are and you cannot and will not berate me as though I am a second class citizen, maid and cook!"......."No, I will not have sex with you, play with your penis, or shake your damn hand!  I don't like the tone you used with me at dinner three weeks ago." ....... "I need to spend $1,000 on stupid things.  Don't question my financial skills or my reasoning behind the spending.  You don't have a vagina, which means you don't understand my level of thinking right now."..... "I told you I lost my mucous plug!  Why the Fuck aren't you out buying me a lemon cream cake from Olive Garden with the candle sparklers on it so we can party and celebrate this milestone?  If you truly loved me and this baby, we would be eating cake right now!"

Yes, my hormones are making me a complete and total monster to be around these days.  I don't even know what to do about it and I think I am actually beyond a point where any sort of apology would even suffice!

Something completely shocking happened this week at my appointment...  First, it was the only day of rain thus far during this week.  I was also almost run over by an inattentive nurse.  Yes, a NURSE almost killed me in her minivan.  If I'd chosen to carry in my giant fountain drink, I can't promise I wouldn't have thrown it at her windshield.  Everything happens for a reason though.  My forgetfulness saved me from getting arrested or something, I am sure.

Anyway, that shocking thing that happened was my OBGYN casually asked me if I planned on being induced again this time around.  I was shocked.  I am two weeks from my due date and I am having no major issues, no health concerns, and my Little Someone is sitting cozy.  I am making normal progress towards a regular delivery, I think.  Without giving it any thought, I declined and we continued with the appointment.  In the end, she told me how much of a "Sweet girl" I am and a "Loving mother" for having the patience to wait until my Little Someone arrives on her own.

I didn't think anything of it at the moment, but it kind of hit me later on.  I was induced with my Little Darling because she was past her due date and well, I selfishly did not want to be in the hospital during Christmas.  I was also miserable because her head slid past my cervix and during each exam, the OBGYN had to push her back inside of my body to check for dilation.  She slid past my cervix around 35 weeks, so you can imagine what it was like to have a baby smashed back inside of you every week for a month.  Aside from having contractions every 3 minutes upon arrival for my induction, I was not making any progress.  The contractions I had did not cause dilation whatsoever.  I was given Pitocin and I still didn't make progress.  Nineteen hours later, I finally had my Little Darling, and swore not to even consider child birth an option until she was at least 5 years of age!

This time, though, I am fine.  I am comfortable for the most part.  This baby's head has not slid past my cervix.  I am dilating on my own.  I have sciatica, heartburn, and on most days, I am positive that my hips will dislocate, but I am not miserable.  Although I am a little disappointed that the evil seed of scheduling an induction has now been planted (I can't help but to think about it now that the option is on the table), I am happy that my OBGYN didn't employ any scare tactics.  She didn't try to convince me one way or another.  I know too many women who had their hearts set on a vaginal delivery and were scared or tricked into or convinced to have a Cesarean.  More power to the women who WANT to schedule an induction and a C-section.  That's fine, but I am 100% against a doctor persuading women against their will for the financial gain of the doctor's practice.  The utmost priority should be a healthy baby and mother.  Not scheduling in as many medicine-heavy, costly procedures as possible.

Unfortunately, since I was induced and experienced not one single element of delivery on my own without medical intervention, I don't know what to expect.  Every time I have a symptom of being close to delivery, I start to do something crazy.  For example, I had diarrhea, so I stayed up all night sewing baby blankets and putting my hair into these braids.  Diarrhea means I am about to go into labor.... or I drank too much milk.  Whatever.  Then, I was having back cramps and spasms.  Totally labor, right?  So I packed bags for everyone and planned out a menu, a to do list, a code word for when it's "Go Time" and started several fights with The Hubs.  Back spasms means baby, right?....... or I spent too much time cleaning and lifting and moving things around.  And what about these stupid Braxton Hicks contractions?!  Ugh! Man!  Some were so intense that I thought it was the real thing, so I sat on the floor crying and rocking myself because The Hubs was unavailable, and I thought I would have to birth the baby in my bathtub on my own.  Scary Braxton Hicks contractions clearly means D-Day........ or I was dehydrated because I had been running so many last minute errands to prep for my Little Someone and I hadn't drank nearly enough water.

As I recall, I was just as much of an emotional wreck with my Little Darling, thinking EVERY possible symptom happening meant that I was about to give birth.  I am trying to keep myself under control now, and just focus on getting things ready.  Seriously, if you are knocked up, let me help you out::  Do Not, I repeat, DO NOTTTT  Wait Until Your Third Trimester to start preparing!  You will be huge, achy, exhausted, emotional, short-tempered, busy with appointments, and you will constantly think you are in labor when you aren't.  You'll thank me later!  You're Welcome.

Until it is time for my Little Someone to make her debut, I will keep enjoying these early days of sunny spring weather.  I'll keep getting these last minute loose ends tied.  I will also try not to end up in jail.  Just kidding. I meant, I will be nicer-- Ha!!!

Have a great day.

Friday, March 20, 2015

Baby Blues and Greens

It's a gloomy day here in my city, as I sit and stare through my living room window.  I wish the weather would just make up its mind already!  And by make up its mind, what I really mean is I wish it would just be summer.  I love the promise of warm summer days that spring brings, but spring is also the onslaught of migraines, rainy days, crazy fluctuations in weather, and allergies.  Summers are usually just hot and sticky.  That doesn't bother me much, honestly.

Right now, I am sitting firmly with 5 days left until my due date and not much progress in the way of dilation and being ready to go into labor.  I am not shocked at all there.  My body hates being pregnant, aches and pains... but when it is time to evict the baby, suddenly most aches and pains die down and my body just wants to stay pregnant forever.  While I am grateful to finally be feeling comfortable for the most part, I am still not in the business of trying to stay pregnant much longer.  I am just so anxious to see my Little Someone!

This week, I have been spending lots of time with friends.  I am trying not to think about my due date, labor, delivery, being a mom of two.  I am just trying to keep my mind preoccupied and my body reasonably busy.  With that being said, I finished another gift for another friend!

I have been BLESSED with the amazing good fortune of having some wonderful Mothers and friends in my life.  I would completely be lost if I didn't have a network of insightful, selfless women who look out for me on a regular basis.  I say this all the time and I will always say it:  Being a Mom is Really HARD!  It is the hardest thing I have every attempted.  I don't always get it right.  I don't know everything there is to know.  I am learning and growing with my children.  I need as much compassion and grace as they do, as we all figure things out. It's a rough and rocky path, for sure.  What makes the journey more enjoyable is having mothers in whom I can confide and with whom I can share a good laugh.

When I was pregnant with my Little Darling, I didn't have anyone else to share experiences with.  None of my friends were pregnant and most were pretty adamant at the time that they would never have children.  Don't get me wrong, all of my friends are and always have been extremely loving towards my Little Darling and very supportive, but as a pregnant woman, I felt incredibly alone.

This time, I am lucky to have experienced pregnancy with several friends.  Nothing makes me happier than being able to laugh, cry, and complain about similar symptoms and experiences with other Mamas out there.  My friend, Mama N, is one such woman.

(Again, I apologize about the baby bump photobombs.  I just never have the energy or time to stage nicer photos, so these are quick snapshots of my progress as I work.)
Mama N and I have been fortunate enough to actually go through our whole pregnancies together, as she is due just 6 weeks after me.  I am really excited for her and her Baby K.  I am also excited to have the chance to make something for a BABY BOY!  While I am relieved that my Little Someone is a girl, I would have loved the experience of getting to be a mommy to a little rambunctious boy.  I would have also loved the challenge of coming up with cute "Baby Boy Projects".

Again, this is the ripple stitch.  I am kind of falling in love with pattern!  I already have another ripple project on the hook.  The pattern that I use is not 100% accurate, but I have figured out my way around that small inaccuracy.....  What I mean is I learned to HIDE the mistake rather than some mathematical way to correct the mistake.  I am horrible with math!  This blanket differs from the one I'd previously made, as the ripples occur in sets of 4 stitches, rather than 15.  Smaller ripples as opposed to a chevron looking pattern.  I am so inspired by this project for a baby boy that I have plans to make several more items for boys.... or little girls who love blues, greens, browns, and whatnot.  I may not have a baby boy of my own, but that is clearly not stumping my creative juices!  And at the rate baby boys are being born, I am sure I will find homes for my projects reasonably easily.

Nothing makes me happier than being in a position to Bless another Mama with a small handmade gift.  Mama N and I had one major thing in common:  Neither of us had much in the way of being prepared for our new babies.  I obviously had to figure things out much sooner, as I am due a month before Mama N, but I was happy to grab a few items for Baby K while I was out shopping for my Little Someone.  I don't have much, but what I do have, I don't mind to share.  Giving makes me happy and knowing I can be helpful and brighten someone's day makes my life so much fuller.  Selfish?  Maybe...... But most people on the receiving ends of my kindness typically don't complain much!  LOL.

Have a Happy Day!

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

Tummy Tuesday :: 36 Weeks

Well, I am still here!  I am working extra hard these days to blog ahead so that when I take a break from life, I will have some posts to hold me over and some time to take some pictures of my new projects and new life after my Little Someone arrives.  As much as I love planning ahead, I actually hate following through with my plans. 

I am really enjoying the sunshine and higher temperatures lately.  A few weeks ago, we got hit with a huge snow storm that left us with 7 inches of snow.  Then, things warmed up and we had a 60 degree day and then, literally as the last bits of snow melted, BOOM!  Again with the snow.  Ten inches this time. I don't know what to think about this weather, but I am praying for sunshine and peace on D-Day.  Due to the weird weather, I got a weird idea.  Why not take belly photos outside?  Well, because it's cold as hell, that's why!  LOL. 

So lately, I have been hyper tuned into anything parenting and baby related.  It's been so long since I had a newbie in my life that I really need a refresher course. Or I thought that I did until it all just really started driving me crazy. Why, yes, I am grateful for the MOUNTAINS of advice I have been given, what I am not so happy about is all the judgment. 

When I had my Little Darling eight years ago, there wasn't much for me to go by.  I was the only pregnant person I knew.  I was considerably younger.  I was busier, more energetic, healthier... Life was better and more simplistic. Now, I am 31 years old, just weeks shy of 32, and I cannot remember a single thing about my previous pregnancy, delivery, or life with a newborn.  I mean, I recall small moments, but nothing that would help me prepare for this new adventure.  Now, most of my friends are having their first babies and they are driving me completely bat shit crazy with this whole "Textbook Parenting" attitude.  Everything is "They now recommend..." and this is the "New Age Parenting"...  I feel like everyone suddenly thinks they know everything because they read some blog post on Facebook that is in direct alignment with what they were thinking and planning to do anyway as a parent.  No experience.  No further research.  No critical thought.

Well, I have a blog!  These are my thoughts....
Breastfeeding Vs. Formula
There is no doubt regarding scientific evidence that breast milk is more nourishing for your child and that there is an important bond formed during the breastfeeding sessions.  What isn't scientifically proven is that you are a bad/negligent mom if you choose not to do it.  Or that your baby will somehow be inferior to those who are breastfed.  I planned on breastfeeding my Little Darling.  It didn't happen.  I didn't feel badly about it. She grew up happy, healthy, and considerably more intelligent and kinder than most kids in her age group.  No complaints from me...... Until recently.  Now, I am overwhelmed with messages about the importance of breastfeeding, how easy it is, how I need to give it a shot, and my personal favorite "My attitude regarding breastfeeding with determine my success".  Well, I am a grown ass woman with a full understanding that any number of factors could lead to my NOT breastfeeding and that should A) Be nobody's business and B) Be nothing for me or any other Mom to be ashamed of.

Keeping a Routine vs. Working Around Baby
I am a hot mess naturally.  I am forgetful and absentminded.  My mega amazing stepmom who raised 5 kids and then got pregnant with twins was a total mastermind at scheduling. I sometimes thought that she could look at my youngest brother and sister and they would automatically do whatever they were scheduled to do at that moment.  Like one eye motion meant "Be hungry" and another meant "Poop your diaper".  And that worked!  My stepmom also helped me to get my Little Darling onto a schedule regarding feedings and sleeping.  That changed my whole life.  I was completely miserable, rushing about, starting and stopping whatever I was doing in order to accommodate my baby. It was so much easier and my days flowed so much better when I had a schedule and you know what, my baby hopped right on board.  No problems.  If you can stay home and cater to your child's every whim and still find peace of mind with that lifestyle, DO IT!  I just wasn't able to function that way.  I am not sure what will happen this time around because I am not a student and working, but I still think I prefer my routine and a little predictability.

Wearing Your Baby vs. Not
While at a baby fair some time ago, I got the biggest shocking looks when I announced unabashedly that I don't plan to "wear my baby".  I just don't.  Why it was such a concern to others, I don't know.  Why people felt the need to convince me or judge me, I also don't know.  I was in so much pain for about 2 months after having my Little Darling.  I wasn't toting around any extra weight when I didn't have to and I wasn't having anything strapped to my body.  No harm came from it.  She learned to sleep, play, and whatever she needed in her little rocker just fine in my constant in-sight supervision as I handled whatever chores and work I needed to accomplish. I never felt badly about allowing her to sleep somewhere other than my chest.  I never felt badly about letting her learn to occupy herself or fall asleep by herself.  If you enjoy wearing your baby, rock out! But don't feel like a bad mom if you don't.  It's a preference thing.  I am waiting for studies to come out in the next few years about all the cases of babies who died from SIDS while being worn in slings for hours on end.  Until then, do whatever you feel comfortable with!

Cry It Out vs. Not
Whewie!!!!  This is a doozie!  Some time ago, a friend asked about sleeping and what to do about her infant not wanting to sleep anywhere other than her arms.  I suggested to let the baby cry for a few minutes.  Why not?  Cut on some music to drown out the sound, make a cup of coffee, and check your infant every few minutes.  Being a mom is HARD WORK!  Mental Health Breaks are totally advised.  I was, of course, met with an onslaught of mothers, projecting their personal experiences onto the situation and basically maiming me for being a "heartless, negligent mom".  Seriously?!  First, why do babies cry?  There could be Hundreds of possibilities and all of them unbeknownst to us.  So for someone to look at a mother and decide that mom's baby is crying for their reason and not something else is... well, fucked up!  This idea that you are "hurting your baby's feelings" is absurd.  We are taught those things as we age.  We are taught emotions and how to or how not to display them.  Those are learned behaviors.  A baby is a clean slate, so to think your baby is "mad at you" is asinine and has more to do with your hormones and your emotional state than your child's. Additionally, people who have acquired language cry when something is wrong/bad, again, a LEARNED behavior.  Babies have not acquired language.  Crying is a primary source of communication.  Now, with that said, if you are in a position to rock your baby to sleep for each nap and bedtime, and it is something you enjoy, do it.  But don't feel badly if you are alone often with your infant and you just need to be away from your baby for 3-5 minutes so you can wash your face or drink a cup of coffee.  Your bond will still be there.  Your baby will not hold a grudge. 

I let my daughter cry it out. I had horrible postpartum depression and I was alone with her more than I expected, as The Hubs went back to work 2 weeks earlier than we'd planned.  It was so bad that hearing her cry made me cry.  Eventually, I swaddled her and put her in her crib.  I cut on some music and cleared my head.  I checked on her every few minutes, and for my entire 15 minute break, she hollered, but I was so exhausted, I continued my break.  When I felt de-escalated and some renewed strength, I went in and held her and rocked her to sleep.  She's fine today at 8 years old and inexplicably attached to me.  I am not saying "My way is better".  I am saying you need to have a certain level of mental health to be an effective caregiver.  Self monitoring is important.  I had a friend once who was so overwhelmed with her crying baby that she explained to me a detailed mapped out plan for suicide to escape the screams.  I took her baby from her every day so she could rest for 3-4 hours.  It made all the difference.
I am not saying that I have all the answers, but I think there is a certain level of sensibility that needs to come along with parenting.  Parenting is as much about self-discovery as it is about discovering your little one.  You have to learn what works for you and your family dynamic.  You have to learn about your baby.  Some will snap to a routine and some won't.  Some will cry it out a few times and be good to go, while others will never stop screaming until you give in.

There is NO "One Size Fits All" model to parenting and nothing upsets me more than watching mothers judge one another.  How can you pass judgment when you know how hard it is?  How frustrating it can be?  How overwhelming it gets?  How lonely and clueless you can feel?  What does one gain from saying hateful things to a mother who's trying her best to keep herself together and provide as best she can for her little ones?

I am not sure how things will go this time around with this new baby on the way, but I know that I am open to doing Whatever works for the family and Whatever works best for the baby to grow into a healthy, intelligent, tolerant, successful, respectful citizen.  I don't owe anyone anything and I can't think of a single person who is worth my feeling guilty over doing my absolute best! And anyone who has the fucking audacity to make me feel like less than anything but a loving mother to my child should beware.  I might just maul their face off in a raging fit of postpartum hormones!

So, Mammas, old and new, young and old, hippies, hipsters, by-the-bookers, tough lovers, and free spirits Do What Works For You!  Every baby is different.  Every household is different.  Everyone's circumstances are different.  Don't be judged, maimed, belittled, or feel like your lack in comparison!
Be your best.  Be brave.  Be unapologetic.

Thursday, March 12, 2015

Spring Fling in a Baby Blanket

With so many new babies being born, I am finding myself more and more motivated to crank out projects.  I have to be honest, part of this drive comes from the fact that I am also limited in terms of activities that I can do for the moment.

But what's not to love about a colorful new project on the hook?

Unfortunately for me, I am allergic to almost everything on the planet.  It gets really frustrating at times because I can never truly pinpoint the reason for the allergic reaction.  I bought a lot of really nice, soft yarn from Hobby Lobby and I started using it in several projects.  I thought it was all going well until I fell sick.  Next thing I know, my skin breaks out and I start having some problems with breathing.  I started to crochet, wearing a face mask, but that was really difficult and distracting.  Finally, I just bagged up the yarn and went with other options that didn't cause such reactions.

Then, I was scrolling through all my favorite crochet pages on Instagram and I saw a blanket that I just loved!  Immediately, I decided that I would make blankets to donate or gift to others from the yarn that caused me to have allergic reactions.  Most people I know do not have hyper sensitive skin the way I do, and they would be happy to get a little something hand made.

I won't post the picture that inspired me here because, although I was inspired by this blanket, mine looks NOTHING like it at all.  LOL!  That is how inspiration works for me.  I get a "feeling" from the ideas I see online and in books, but what I end up doing is always completely different from my inspiration.

When I got notification that my friend "D" had delivered sweet baby "H", a precious new little girl, I was immediately driven to make this blanket.  The blanket that inspired me was full of soft greens, mints, soft blues, and a rose color.  They were done in granny squares.  Well, Baby H was born in a random and unexpected snow storm!  I felt compelled to make a blanket that had a Spring-feeling to it, hence the African flowers.

I would like to take the time to brag for just a moment!  I taught myself how to make these African Flower Squares!!  YAY ME!  Lol.  I have seen them everywhere and it is so much easier to piece together a blanket from squares than the hexagons. My problem was I couldn't find a pattern for these squares anywhere, and I saw so many variations in pictures.

So I found a picture of one on Instagram and screen shot it.  I zoomed in and basically just kept making flowers over and over until I figured it out.  I am incredibly proud of myself for getting it right and I am in love with the result.

Yes, I will admit, I just HAD to see how a blanket in our baby crib would look.  I am still in the process of finishing up items for my Little Someone.  I am so close.  So Very Close to being able to do a full reveal of the space I've created for her.  Just some last minute projects in the works and we'll be fully ready.

I decided to make a little matching headband to go with the blanket.  I learned that I really am no good at making headbands!  Ha!  Too many design options and colors and little things that go into creating one.  But this one was fairly simple.  I also learned that I am a mess of nerves when I am making something as a gift.  I am so concerned with whether the person will enjoy what I have made that I usually talk myself out of giving the items away and then I rush to the store and just buy something.  I guess in this case, it's a good thing I am pregnant and short on energy.  After I finished this project in just a week or so, I didn't make any plans for an alternate gift.  It was do or die, so to speak. 

I am pleased to report that Mama D and Baby H both really liked the blanket and headband.  A HUGE relief to me.  LOL.  I think that gratitude is oftentimes the best gift that I can ever get from another person.  Just hearing someone be pleased with my efforts and seeing a smile on their face makes me feel happier and better than just about anything in the world.  Yep--  Pay me in SMILES!  Now, if only that philosophy worked for bills and debt collectors!

I would like to congratulate Mama D and Co. on their new addition to their family.  Holding Baby H was such a sweet experience.  It makes me so ready to meet my Little Someone.  Here's hoping she's as calm and loving as Baby H!  I also am so excited to have a friend whom I dearly appreciate have a baby just weeks before I am due. Nothing would make me happier than to see our girls grow up close to one another and encourage each other the way Mama D and I do.

Speaking of encouragement, now that I am (labeling myself as) somewhat of an expert on the African Flower squares, if anyone ever wants a pattern/tutorial of how I did it, just let me know and I will make the post happily!

Wednesday, March 11, 2015

Tummy Tuesday :: 35 Weeks

Time is moving by slowly again.  I remember when I was in my first trimester, waiting on the weeks to pass so I could let everyone know I am pregnant.  Time never moved slower.  And now, in the end, I am feeling the same way about time again.

This week is actually Week 38, and this past week, I have been spending so much time working out little kinks and finishing up whatever last minute plans I can.  Almost.  Ha!  As of right now, I am sitting here typing this post in some underwear that are SO uncomfortable.  I have this horrible tendency to get hyper-focused on some things and not others.  Sometimes, I feel like a rock star, when I am knocking out my to do list...  Today, my booty is chomping on these tiny panties, and I am reminded that I forgot to get a load of undies, towels, and such into the wash.  I had to put on my "sexy panties".  By "sexy", I mean cute Brazilian cut bikini panties.  I am hoping I don't  need surgery to get these suckers off!  Hurry, laundry!  Wash so I can save my bum!!!

Everyone keeps saying how good I look and that I am "All Baby".  I am not even sure what that means!  My hips and thighs are massive right now.  They have to be in order to hoist up and support this giant bump!

Nothing fits anymore.  So funny that this in this picture a dress that I wore on my birthday a couple of years ago.  It's long enough to be worn as a dress.  I am so shocked that this barely covers my belly!  And I am due the day after my birthday.  
I have been spending days running about, gathering items.  Who knew that preparing for a baby would be so time consuming and costly?!  The only problem is I haven't had enough time to get the nursery planned out and decorated.  Oh MY!  I am two weeks from delivery and I still don't have it sorted.  So I have been scavenging the internet for some ideas on nursery décor.  I am the worst when it comes to interior design.  I can come up with little projects and an overall color scheme, but I have no idea how to tie an entire room together.  And in the case of my Little Someone, her space will literally be a nook inside my master bedroom.  I have always dreamed of creating a wonderful space for a baby and/or toddler.  I didn't have the chance with my Little Darling, so this is a Huge Deal in terms of a do-over.... and I couldn't be more pumped!
So here are some of my pinned faves in terms of nursery décor.  You will just have to stay tuned to see what things I come up with myself for our personalized baby space.
I have been in love with the pinks and gold color scheme for nursery since I saw my friend use similar colors for her daughter a few years ago.  I loved it so much, I almost did a pink and gold bathroom just to see the colors somewhere in my apartment, but since our Little Someone is sharing space with us in our bedroom, this Gorgeous color scheme likely won't be happening.  This frilly, ultra feminine room is so regal looking!
I love walls decorated with frames!  I have thought about this for a long time, but what would I put in the frames? I also love the trend of chandeliers in nurseries.  That definitely isn't happening.  We have one source of light and in our bedroom and it currently covered by one monstrosity of a light fixture.  LOL.  But I will see if I can find a cute lamp!
This is a simple, elegant nursery I found on accident.  It didn't fit my search criteria at all, but it is 100% my personality!  I love the neutral color scheme and how clean and minimal everything is.  I also love-LOVE nature!
This is actually from a baby boy's room, but I love it!  I wish I knew how to choose a color palette and have everything fall into place from the custom bedding to the wall art on the focal wall.  And those plush letters spelling "Happy"-- YES!!!  Love that!

For some reason, I am completely drawn to the colors aqua/mint and grey this year.  I saw a piece of fabric and my creative wheels went cray-cray!  Suddenly, every color scheme I envisioned had pops of grey and aqua or mint.  My main colors are lavender and white... I think....  Oh no! Information overload in the design department!
Source-- But you need an invitation to read the blog!!
Here, I love the bedding, the small space, and the personalized touches to make the space special.  I also LOVE the antiqued/rustic frame with the photos in it.  So beautiful and elegant.  I would love a level of elegance in my Little Someone's space.

I have so many choices to make and seeing THIS many rooms is totally not helping!  LOL. It's literally information overload, but when I close my eyes, I can see her space clearly and it is perfect.  Now, for me to decide if I am going to spend the time and energy just days before delivery rushing about to get it finished in time.........Or should I just rest up for D-Day?  My body is telling me to rest, my hormones are telling me to nest, and my brain is telling me I am a complete fool for waiting until this late to begin the decorating process.  Ha!  Live and Learn, right?  But mainly, LIVE!

Saturday, March 7, 2015

Tummy Whenever:: 34 Weeks

Well, I have learned a little.  A very little.  I learned that the reason I chose to keep a backdated pregnancy journal was to make sure I always had time to catch up.  Clearly, even with the built in cushion, I still manage to skip weeks.  Ha!  Routines have never been my thing, yet somehow, they totally are.  Today, I am just taking some time to blog ahead for a change.  I need to start preparing for my possible hiatus/hibernation period following delivering my Little Someone. 

I see all these awesome Mamas out there, squeezing out their 9-10 pounders and hopping right back to life like nothing happened.  I am so not likely to be that mom!  It literally took Months to come back from delivering my Little Darling.  I kept pushing myself and I put on a good face, but I was in pain for a long time.  I seriously hope that's not the case this time around, but if it is, I will totally have more realistic goals for myself in terms of what I can or can't accomplish while recovering.

While I was taking an inventory of what was realistic in terms of expectations, I came to the realization that this whole pregnancy has NOT been what I expected!  I mean, like, from beginning to end, things just were not in my control and not in alignment with what I planned to have happen.  Here I am, just a little while from delivery and reflecting on all the mishaps.

EXPECTATION:  I will work out in my first trimester, so that I can control weight gain.

REALITY:  I gained 10lbs in my first trimester.  I was completely shocked because in my first pregnancy, I made it to the halfway point and only gained 2 pounds.  But this time, I was ravenous!  I could only think about eating and when I wasn't stuffing my face, I was planning out what I would be eating as soon as the opportunity struck.  I didn't go anywhere without snacks or without stopping for food.  What was worse is how constipated and bloated I was.  Truth be told, I knew of some women who were also very hungry and didn't eat.  I laughed at them.  I found it to be ridiculous.  If you are hungry, Feed That Baby!  I didn't have many options either.  I would only feel nauseated if I didn't eat.  It wasn't until I ended the trimester 10 pounds heavier that reality set in......  I was getting carried away.

EXPECTATION:  I will have crappy skin, but it's ok because I have a plan for that.

REALITY:  My face has never been clearer!  And thank God too!  We bought a book and The Hubs read about chemicals in skin care being harmful to the fetus.  Do you know that this man took my face wash and creams and serums?!  He wanted me to throw them away, but after complaining about the cost in replacing them, he decided that he would accept my promise not to use them.  Goodness Gracious!  I was waiting for it. I have the worst acne.  I knew I was about to have pizza, moon crater something happening. It didn't happen.  What DID happen was an allergic reaction on both my arms.  I got eczema, hives, and dermatitis on both arms.  And I can't do anything about it.  I thought about just licking my arms..... There's healing power in spit, right?  I'm totally kidding.  That's gross.  As soon as I get this baby out of me, I am demanding the finest cocktail of antihistamines and steroids.  My arms are inflamed, irritated, and scarred from nine months of rashes. 

EXPECTATION:  Now that I know what to expect, I will be able to prepare sooner and easier.

REALITY:  Uhm... it's been EIGHT years.  Like Jon Snow from Game of Thrones, I know nothing!  Products have changed so much.  Hospital procedures have changed.  Information regarding prenatal care and delivery has changed.  I am literally having to learn everything from complete scratch!  And my lovely dear Hubs made the fatal mistake of wanting to wait until after a baby shower to go out and buy necessities.  I am and always have been Team Miss Independent.  I like to take things into my own hands.  I have been blessed with some wonderful and unexpected gifts, but I do not expect to be showered with gifts.  I know money is tight and people are busy.

My younger sister did insist on hosting a baby shower, but I knew from the beginning that she was offering more out of duty than desire.  A week before it, she had made no contacts to guests, wasn't answering my calls or texts, and had made no time to get things together before the baby shower.  I confronted her about the lack of time she had to be a hostess and she nonchalantly agreed and that was the end of my supposed baby shower.  I won't lie.  It sucked to tell all my friends that it had been canceled, but I was only upset for a blink of an eye because my nestinginstincts took over immediately.  The Hubs and I went to get the things  would need for the first month or so.  The funny thing is we didn't know what to get!  I had to find lists online while we shopped.  So three hours and 200 dollars later, we got the basics and I could rest easy........ until I realized that we didn't get everything we needed!  Hahahahaha!  I am usually the Queen of list-making and being over prepared.  Mom brain is SUCH a struggle!

EXPECTATION:  I am excited to breastfeed.

REALITY: I am fucking terrified!!!  I have this whole ignorance/vanity/fear thing that's killing me.  In terms of the unknown, I am worried about what will happen.  Will a kid be stuck to my boob all day?  Will I even produce enough to satisfy her?  Will I wreak of boob-milk all the time?  What happens when your kids get TEETH?  I don't know if I can handle that pain!  And what does it feel like to be milked?  Vanity......  I don't have the most awesomest set of tits, but dammit they're all I can afford to work with at the moment!  I don't want veiny, ugly boobs.  I don't want chewed up, unresponsive nipples.  I don't want deflated, National Geographic saggy boobs.  Fear.... I just keep dreaming of nursing until my child is 10 years old... that my child grows fangs and wants to EAT my entire breast after nursing... Silly things.  But ya never knoooow!

EXPECTATION:  I know what to expect and how to deliver a baby.

REALITY:  Anything can happen and I am terrified!  Especially because things happen more quickly with subsequent pregnancies. I have had nightmares of giving birth at birthday parties.  I dreamt that every single annoying person in my life shows up right as my vagina explodes and they video tape the whole thing and post it to social media.  I dreamt that I gave birth to a toddler.  That The Hubs gets into a fist fight with the anesthesiologist and then he refused to give me an epidural.  That The Hubs wasn't there for me because I was a bitch right before and he walked out.  That I ate some bad tacos and my baby was born in a pool of diarrhea.  That I had hemorrhoids so bad I couldn't manage without being hoisted up into a body sling.  That my baby was hideous...and not the "so ugly, it's cute" kind of hideous, rather, the "Send that demon back to the 7th layer of Hell"-hideous.

EXPECTATION:  I will work out and maintain a clean eating plan for my last 6-10 weeks.

REALITY:  I eat whatever doesn't give me heartburn, which right now is AIR.  I am exhausted as all get-out right now, so the idea of being active is a joke that is answered almost immediately with a nap.  For about 2 weeks, I just sat on my couch, stuffing my face because I hadn't gained weight in months.  I was measuring small and it was painful whenever my Little Someone moved.  You don't bounce back from a shit-tastic diet like that and dive into eating broiled chicken breasts with steamed oats, or whatever.  I was also put on semi-bed rest due to contractions.  As soon as I came out of that, it snowed and iced over all the paths near my home.  And to make it even more of a challenge, my feet morphed into chicken nuggets and I can only comfortably fit a pair of men's house shoes!  So yea...  No P90X for me and no clean eating.  I am waddling about in house shoes, trying not to break my neck on ice as I wait out my time until my Little Someone is here.

EXPECTATION:  I will be a much cuter Peggo than last time!

REALITY:......hold on a moment.  I haven't caught my breath from laughing my ass off just yet! Whew!!!  The TRUTH???  The truth is I have skin that looks so parched, so dehydrated that my body looks like it has aged 10 years.  I am sure I can get it back on track, but still.  I am allergic to Everything!  There is nothing I can do to add moisture without taking Benadryl.  My hair?  I guess my scalp is a part of my skin or something because in the beginning all my hair products were causing hair loss....  Right now, I am a bald preggo with turtle skin.  I also smell this time.  My hormones totally betrayed me!  I never smelled with my Little Darling.  I didn't expect any odors due to hormones, as I usually don't smell despite not wearing deodorant.  Oh, you betcha I wear deodorant now!!!  And clothes?  LOL  Yea.  Right. About that.  Unless I am going to visit someone, or doing a shoot for my blog, I look like a hobo.  I wear sweats, pajama pants, leggings, yoga pants.  Anything with some stretch.  I wear extra large t-shirts that The Hubs has been collecting for me since my first Trimester.  The funny thing is he is now beginning to complain about how I never even try to get dressed anymore.  Nothing fits!  This dress I am wearing in these photos was a dress that I bought for my baby shower.  I returned it of course, and I am back to sweats and t-shirts. 

So...  I am not sure that I accomplished my goal at all.  I am not prepared for delivery.  As I blogged about here, I walked out of my maternity/breast feeding class.  I am not prepared for a baby since we only bought about half of what we needed.  I am not mentally prepared for breastfeeding.  I am not doing not one single damn thing regarding fitness and diet, so there will be no "Bounce Back" for this Mama.  I demand a Do-Over!

But I'll get right on that after I eat this box of Nutter Butter cookies!  Hahahahaha!