October 25, 2010

inside the God box.

It takes a lot for me to be moved by a particular piece of writing. I have only cried while reading one, maybe two books my entire lifetime. So, when I read this article and felt tears in my eyes, I knew I just had to share.

Take 10 minutes out of your day and read this. You will be glad you did.

on becoming babywise: a review

I finished On Becoming Babywise last night. I can't tell you how excited I am to move on to a completely non-baby-related book now. I'm thinking Wicked is up next since we're seeing the Broadway musical next week!

Anyhow, I liked Babywise. I thought it offered a lot of good tips and I appreciated how it lays out a schedule to follow. However, it contradicts a lot of advice from Happiest Baby on the Block, so what's a gal to do? I guess try both strategies and see what works?!

The only "complaint" or issue I have with Babywise is this: They advocate waking up a sleeping baby in order to nurse if she has gone 5 hours at night without a feeding. That, to me, seems ridiculous. I know I'm no expert, but why would you ever, ever, ever, wake up a sleeping baby? That's like waking up a sleeping lion! Why fix what's not broken? Does anyone have any insight concerning this issue?

I leave you with this: To wake up a baby to nurse at night or not? That is the question.

October 17, 2010

34 weeks.

This was taken right before I headed out for my baby shower yesterday afternoon. The shower was wonderful! I was overwhelmed with how many people showed up to show their support for Baby Girl and me.

We just need a few more items (i.e. one last Babies R Us run, thank God) and I think we are good to go! I am ready to just kick my swollen feet up and wait the rest of this pregnancy out!

October 12, 2010

books, books, and more books!

After yesterday's marathon post, I am not inclined to write a review of each of these books. That just sounds exhausting! But here are the last couple books I've read, with just a few notes on each.

Belly Laughs by Jenny McCarthy was a very light read. I read half of it one night in bed and finished it the following night. Overall, it was enjoyable, but certainly not refined literature. She is often crass in her account (big surprise there) and I question the validity of some things she claims really happened to her during her pregnancy. It was fun, but definitely in the "to be donated" pile.

The Happiest Baby on the Block by Dr. Harvey Karp, unlike McCarthy's book, was very helpful and eye-opening. Husband and I watched a video seminar of Karp's at a parenting/childbirth class we attended. Our jaws dropped when we saw him use the 5 S's to soothe fussy babies. We immediately got our hands on this book (thanks to a dear friend who let me borrow her copy) and consumed every piece of information we could. I am not naive enough to believe that the 5 S's are a cure-all, but what a wealth of knowledge this book is to fall back on! I feel much more secure in knowing I at least have something I can use when Baby is being difficult.

Three Cups of Tea by Greg Mortenson and David Oliver Relin was my Book Club's pick for the month of October. This was the first book I read on our new Kindle 3, which was an experience on its own. About the Kindle: I didn't think I would like it...but I do. There are aspects of a real book that I miss, though. I think I liked reading this book on the Kindle because I do most of my reading at nighttime in bed. The Kindle is so light-weight and with my inability to get comfortable these days, I found the Kindle more maneuverable/easy to hold. It doesn't take the place of paper, though. And I'm not a fan of how expensive downloads are when I am so used to getting my books for free off paperbackswap.com.

Anyway, Three Cups of Tea started out great and I sort of lost interest in it about halfway through. I find it funny that Greg Mortenson is listed as an author because, to me, it seemed like Relin did all the grunt work. It's a good story, but after reading Say You're One of Them, I just am "over" reading about poor, struggling countries and we how we should help. Isn't that awful?

I enjoyed the book and don't regret paying 12 e-dollars for the Kindle download. It's just not the best book I've ever read, that's for sure.

Say You're One of Them by Uwen Akpan is the worst book I've read. Seriously. I HATED THIS BOOK. What's more unfortunate is that I am the one who chose it for September's Book Club! It has rave reviews and was featured on Oprah as one of the best books for 2009. This book is a prime example of how you cannot pick a book based on its cover. The cover causes one to believe that this book is phenomenal, gripping, poignant - a story of hope. Quite the contrary! This book read like the movie Precious, but in Kenya.

It was depressing. By the time I finished this book, I seriously wanted to crawl into a corner and cry. Nothing about this book inspired me; it just made me sad. Tack on that the language was also very difficult to decipher and you've got a recipe for disaster. I TRUDGED through this book only because it was our choice for Book Club...and guess what? I was the ONLY member who read it all the way through. Yes, it's that bad.

I don't know why I don't see what others see in this book. But I don't and I am SO GLAD this one is behind me.

I have now moved on to yet another baby book (see side bar). Husband and I are very passionate about learning all we can before Baby arrives. We've found it frustrating that books and experts often offer conflicting suggestions, but we are taking it all in and processing all the information in order to make the most informed choices for our little one. I suppose that's all one can really do, right? On Becoming Babywise was recommended to us by a friend whose baby was born at 28 weeks. So far, it seems to contradict some of what Happiest Baby on the Block advises, but that's okay. Knowledge is power :)

With that, it is time to do something productive with my day.

October 11, 2010

introducing the third trimester starting lineup!

I am now 34 weeks along. Just that statement alone baffles me. In six short weeks (give or take), our little girl will be here. It's just insanity!

This last trimester has proven to be a doozy so far (and I hear it only gets "better"). I feel like I am carrying around a bowling bowl even though, according to my books, she only weighs about 4.5 pounds. Some days, it feels like I am carrying around a sack of potatoes. Needless to say, there has emerged certain daily "complications" that I have been able to somewhat appease with what I now present to you: The Third Trimester Starting Lineup!

Note: If you are offended by the God-honest truth and Mother Nature, discontinue reading at this point.

The first member of our starting lineup is Prenatal Vitamin. He has proven to be quite stinky over the past 8 or so months, but beneficial for those days where neither vegetable, fruit, nor mineral has entered my mouth. I thank Prenatal Vitamin for giving my baby the nutrients she needs because I know she's not getting any from that big bowl of ice cream...or bag of Cheetos...or pizza...

Prenatal Vitamin appears only at night, before bedtime, because as I mentioned, its smell is quite nauseating and its side effects less than pleasant.

Next on our list of star players is Stool Softener. Who says pregnancy ain't sexy? My doctor recommended Colace at one of my first visits. I wasn't having any "troubles down under" until - you guessed it - this third trimester. On a day that felt like I was a.) Passing boulders and b.) Quite convinced that I would give birth to my child on the toilet, I decided it was time to purchase Stool Softener. I started with just one dose a day, but that wasn't cutting it. I asked my doctor at my last visit if too much of this stuff was a bad thing. She said, "Girl, I took it five times a day. You do NOT want hemorrhoids. They're the gift that keeps on giving." With those wise words, I now take Stool Softener when I first wake up, after lunch, at dinnertime, and again before bed. That is JUST now getting the job done. Of all things, I DO NOT want hemorrhoids. Stool softener is a key player on this team, y'all. He might even be the MVP at this point.

Because this baby has seemed huge since its inception (conception?) and because I had back freaking surgery in January (yeah, remember that?!), my back has taken a beating during this last trimester. I went this whole time without any back pain, but alas, it was too good to be true. I now have employed Acetaminophen (also known as Tylenol) to be a starter on my team of daily necessities. I try to limit the amount I take, but find myself dropping at least two of these bad boys on a daily basis. Surprisingly, it works. In fact, I could use some right now...

Next up is Antacid. He usually isn't needed until bedtime. In fact, he usually only makes his appearance in the wee hours of the morning when I wake up from nausea, thinking, "What the hell is in my throat?!" or "Why does my heart feel like it's about to explode?!" Taken quickly, Antacid usually solves the problem. I couple Antacid with propping my pillows upward to help ease the pain of heartburn and indigestion. Of course, this only works for an hour or two as propping pillows upward is killer on my neck. Neck comfort is sacrificed at this point, y'all. Why are there two tablets on top of the bottle, by the way? Those are strategically placed there each night so as not to disturb my peacefully-sleeping husband with the rattlerattlerattle of the bottle. This way, I just reach over in the dark for my tablets, which have been mocking me all night, knowing they are needed despite my protest, and the entire process makes zero sound. I really am too kind, aren't I?

Oh yes, there's more. A few weeks ago, as some of you may remember, my boobs started leaking at night. This was a revelation to me, as I thought that only happened once the baby was on the OUTSIDE of one's person. Apparently, leaky breasts are quite normal at this stage in the game. Again, the sexiness knows no end. Because of this startling revelation, I was forced to employ Nursing Pads. She is a great helper and always there when I need her. At times she is excessive, but failing to not put her in the game yields unfavorable results in the middle of the night/morning when there is, well, you know, all over the place and I have to wash my sheets...yet again. And at $10 a pop, she was an expensive recruit. But she is needed. This is undeniable.

Have I mentioned that this is a DAILY routine?! There's more. Because of my back surgery in January and because my doctor is seriously amazing, I purchased Prenatal Cradle a few months ago at her urging. Best $15 spent all pregnancy. Prenatal Cradle is a very strong elastic belt that is worn below the belly and literally "cradles" the weight, thus relieving back pain. Prenatal Cradle does housework with me, attends photo shoots, Walmart, and all other third-trimester activities that involve much walking and/or standing. Prenatal Cradle is a life-saver and I could kiss my doctor for suggesting I purchase it.

The next players are controversial. I am not sure if their heads are really in the game. They were recruited at the very beginning of this pregnancy, but unfortunately, haven't come through as much as I had hoped. However, I can't afford to forfeit them, either. Because who knows where I would be without them? They have not prevented stretch marks from forming on the sides of my hips (which is an odd place, I think) or on the inside of my thighs. But there is nary a stretch mark on my stomach or leaky boobs, so perhaps they are doing their job, after all? I will keep them on my team until the game is over, but I know that they aren't guaranteed to prevent more from coming. I purchased some Bio Oil this afternoon and will incorporate that, as well. Unfortunately, everything I've read indicates that stretch marks are going to appear no matter what I do...which is just so...encouraging, isn't it? Ah, well. If more appear, then more appear. I guess that's why God invented laser surgery...

The next one is a new player to the team. Gold Bond wasn't introduced until a few days ago. Much needed and much appreciated, Gold Bond helps reduce the certain chafing that has occurred down under. Seamless underwear has also helped. I'm telling you, the millions of ways to feel attractive and womanly whilst pregnant just know no end.

The next three (and final) players are crucial to my overall daily survival. Noodle Pillow helps support my back at night, despite Husband's annoyance that it takes up too much room in our bed. Uhm, get over it.

Toilet Paper is always there for reasons you might not assume - no, it's not because I'm on the toilet all the time. I actually have used rolls and rolls of TP for my nasal congestion. Each day, since about month 4, I have woken up with a bloody/congested nose that actually blocks my airways and causes me to grunt/snore/breathe like a fat kid. Each morning starts off with a hefty blow into Toilet Paper. And then I can breathe again and continue my day. And for Toilet Paper, I am thankful.

Finally, Water is also very vital to my being able to function. If I do not take in enough liquids, I feel very sluggish and dehydrated and downright lousy. I crave ice-cold water with lemon (which is the healthiest craving I've ever had in my life) and it really does my body good.

If you think that was exhausting to read, imagine how exhausting it is to employ! Every. Single. Day.

Despite my starting lineup, this pregnancy has still been pretty easy compared to others' who haven't had it as good. I am thankful that baby is healthy and huge and that there haven't been any major complications.

Six more weeks...six more weeks...I think I can, I think I can...

October 8, 2010

just for you, mv!

A dear friend has requested a boulder belly photo on the blog since she doesn't have a Facebook account. So, here it is! This was taken Thursday, October 7, 2010.

33 weeks!

Note: It's very awkward to hold a heavy camera whilst taking a photo of oneself in the bathroom mirror. There was probably an easier way of doing this...

October 7, 2010

a mover and shaker!

This is just for fun, excuse the silliness of it all.

Please also excuse the hideous print of those pajamas I am wearing (they're Vera Wang, which I thought meant they were cute by default, but really, they're quite ugly). Also pay no mind to Biggest Loser playing in the background...something about heart attacks and whatnot. Haha!

Here's my little mover and shaker. The movements might appear subtle on the video, but they sure don't FEEL subtle in reality. Watch closely.

P.S. This is my favorite part of pregnancy, easily.

October 4, 2010

mama got a new lens!

And she loves it!

Finally, a 50mm is in my possession! It really changes the whole dynamic of a photo shoot...or something. I just love the clarity, depth of field, bokeh, everything. Best $99.99 I've spent in a long time!

October 1, 2010

ain't no rest for the weary.

So...it's 3:35 am and I'm blogging. Why, you ask?

Because between the dog (that I want to kick really badly at this point), a snoring husband, heartburn, a headache that has started coming every night as soon as I turn off the light, and a bedroom that is stifling hot, I am wide awake.

The dog picks and chooses when he wants to let us actually sleep the whole night through. Tonight was not one of those nights.

Husband, bless his heart, has started snoring in the last year or two. It's pretty subtle but enough to wake me out of my sleep. Fortunately, if I ask him really nicely to turn over and lay on his side, he usually does without complaint. Not his fault, but definitely a factor in why I am blogging at 3:38am.

Heartburn has been standard for the last couple months. Nothing a few Tums can't fix. I pop those things like candy these days.

The headache has me baffled, though. I don't have a headache all day. I drink plenty of water. I lay in bed and read and my head feels fine. Then, as soon as I turn off the light and get "comfy," BAM! Headache. It feels like all the blood rushes to my head, really. Perhaps I need a new pillow? My pillow has always been amazing. Why now?! I have tried adding another pillow to sort of prop my head up in order to keep that blood-rushing-to-my-brain feeling at bay, but my neck can only tolerate that position for so long. It's awful! This has been going on every night for the past 3 or 4 nights. What the heck?! Two Tylenols, please.

And the bedroom being warm - well, that's always been the case. The part of the house in which we DON'T sleep is the most cool and comfortable. And of course, it's also the most warm and cozy during the winter. Ugggh.

So, here I am. At 3:42 am, blogging. Not sure if I should go back in the bedroom and give sleep another shot, or if I should attempt sleeping on the guest bedroom futon. Neither option is sure to succeed.

I have always been a pretty terrible sleeper. Every, little sound wakes me up. Before I was pregnant, I often (as in, every night) took some sort of sleep aid, usually melatonin. So this not sleeping thing isn't new. It's just more frequent now and comes with many more "perks."

What's interesting, though, is that last weekend, Husband fell asleep on the couch and the dog stayed outside. I slept alone in our bedroom and wouldn't you know - slept like a baby. I wasn't hot, I didn't get woken up (except to pee) and I woke up feeling refreshed the next morning.

I think I know who the guilty culprits are...maybe THEY should be the ones to sleep on the futon!

The baby wakes me up in the middle of the night sometimes with her kicking. But that doesn't bother me. That's my favorite part about being pregnant. In fact, she's the only one NOT driving me crazy these last few nights!

Ugh. Good night...or is it good morning?!
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