Monday, May 30, 2011

In Stitches

I think it's normal... this need to create something for your child.  To make it more real.  So yesterday afternoon at a little after 3:30 I began to knit a baby blanket.  Throughout the evening I've knit and knit and knit, and now, 12 hours later I have almost exactly 12 inches of blanket.  I set a goal to finish it by the end of June.  Something tells me by then I'll have a blanket and a little sweater and socks and booties.  I've found knitting to be very calming, easy to focus on... until my hands start to hurt, which is why after 12 hours I'm taking a break (not that I knit for 12 hours straight, I did have driving and eating in there as well!). 

Maybe it's early nesting?  Because I also have begun writing down all the things I want to sew beforehand too.  Blankets, burp cloths, crib sheets, hooded towel, the list just goes on and on and on.  I've always felt best when I'm creating and I'm finding this time it's more than true.  My brain is constantly on go, trying to think of things to do.  And as soon as my energy level get a bit higher, maybe I'll succeed! 

For the blanket I learned to knit in the round on attached needles.  Turns out so simple, and I've also already learned the stitches I'll need in order to make socks and such.  If I can get it all done ahead of time that will give me plenty of time in the end to rest.  Right? 

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Fears and Fury

My biggest fear is having this child and something happening to me or Garret.  We've had to talk about wills and who we would want to raise our children and it's this huge complicated thing.  Because I would never leave my child willingly, so the idea of having no choice is terrifying.

It makes me so angry at people who walk away from their kids for selfish reasons.  I just don't get it.  And if you're gonna walk away, then walk the hell away and don't complicate their lives by trying to have a part with no responsibility.  That sort of person is so low in my eyes. 

So much swirling in my head right now.  I started this blog to keep G up with the baby as well as eventually to print it out for our child to have.  I know that we'll have little failures in our parenting, but we're both planning to strive to really truly raise a child who knows without a doubt that they are loved, valued, and that we care about their feelings and opinions.  Parisienne Farmgirl wrote such an excellent post on listening to your children that I read it aloud to G over skype.  And we discuss things like the morals and qualities we hope to instill in our children, how hard it will be, but how very important it is to raise that sort of child.

Preparing for all of this has put me in a different state of mind.  G feels the same.  Suddenly poor parenting decisions stand out even more to us.  And when I see a parent out in public parenting well I want to applaud them.  It won't be easy, but seeing children who behave well and are kind makes me think that it's worth the strife. 

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Dear Escargot,

Your mama and you need to have a talk.  Clearly you got my point about spicy food as we've been enjoying salsa galore as well as Indian curries.  However, may I please state that China and India are both Asian countries your mama likes to sample the wares of?  Because you seem to hate Chinese food with a vengeance.  And whether or not you like broccoli, little one, you will be eating it.  Don't even think about arguing. 

Also, what on earth is up with an excellent first trimester with at most a couple of weeks of "morning sickness," followed now by nausea in the second.  I mean, don't get me wrong, I understand hormone fluctuations and that this is probably a good sign of you health.  But for real?

How about we make a deal?  I'll get more sleep (because clearly I need to), and you keep that nausea to yourself?  Ok?


Friday, May 20, 2011

Dear Little Escargot,

Wow!  We made it to the second trimester.  And I finally feel like eating again, though I'm still grazing mainly on fruits and carbs.  You did really seem to like the scrambled eggs with crimini mushrooms and asparagus, so I've picked up more things for that.  And of course, spicy salsa seems to not cause any issues at all, thank goodness!

Daddy says his program says you're about 3 inches long.  Uber tiny.  I can't wait to see you next week, dancing around, and maybe finally hear that heart of yours! 

It's true Daddy and I are worried about the changes you'll bring.  We want to be the best parents for you, and that is going to require making sure we make time for us.  Luckily I think we'll get good at bringing you along for dinner, and a bit later we have friends who are just dying to watch you for an evening.  (They're a wee bit excited for you to get here!) 

I'm amazed that suddenly you're little home in me is starting to push out a bit.  Mama and jeans are an interesting combination.  Some fit, some don't, some are still loose.  But it's okay.  It's dress season!  And I really, I don't mind you growing one bit.

You are an amazing thing, kid.


Saturday, May 14, 2011

Mon Petit Escargot,

I truly hope that God grants you the virtue of patience in a larger dose than he granted me.  In fact, it is definitely one I hope to instill in you, and I'll soon be looking up ways to do so.  Because your mama is the most impatient person of all....which highly contradicts with her desire to make things last as long as possible.

I cannot wait to smell your sweet skin.  I even can't wait to change diapers.  I can't wait until they place you in my arms and I feel this weight in my arms that is love overflowing.

But, in keeping with my impatient nature I can't wait until the coming years either.  The first time you "cook" me something in your play kitchen.  The first thing you color me that I display proudly.  The first time we play hide and seek when you're still young enough to not know that sometimes mamas prolong the seeking part.  The first time I hear you read part of your bedtime story.

I'm looking down that road and I am thrilled beyond anything I can even comprehend.  This journey can take as long as it needs to, with as many twists and turns.  In the end, no matter what, you will be perfection personified. 


Friday, May 13, 2011

Less Caffeine

I have not given up caffeine altogether (believe me, you would not like the blogger I would be if that were the case).  Instead I know that technically I'm allowed 2-3 cups of coffee a day.  So instead, I opt for a chai tea latte (has less caffeine than a cup of coffee, even at the largest size), or a half decaf half regular cup.

And tonight was the real test.  I headed to Starbucks to get out of the house and read some more of Jane Eyre and I had a free drink postcard from them because of my birthday (and because I'm a gold card member who rocks.....In the last month I've had another free drink as well as a free treat....mmmmm caramel bar).  I looked at the menu.  I thought, "I should get a chai."  But I wanted something different.  So I calmly ordered a half decaf mocha, the largest size.  I figure that means no more than half of it was reg. which is no more than I'm allowed.  And it was delicious and gave me the energy boost I needed.

Because without some caffeine I wouldn't be functioning these days.  There is a reason most of my get togethers with friends involves caffeine....I'd be asleep otherwise!  For instance, I'll wake up at 12:30 p.m., do nothing much,  be tired by 2/2:30, but thinking "this is ridiculous" and refuse to nap, maybe make it to 7, take a nap for a few hours, then be up until 1:30/2 a.m. and repeat.  Add that up:  that makes me up for about 10 hours a day, versus the normal person's 16-18.  But I know it's important to get sleep to grow this little snail, so I do it, but within reason.  Because there is a damn good reason my house always seems to be messy lately.  I do one task and am ready for a nap!

Still, caffeine can cause problems, so I cut back.  I add water and juice to help dilute it in the baby's system.  But for a coffee and tea lover, to ask me to quit would be insane.  And from what I've read, wholly unnecessary.

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Why Glee Makes Me Cry

Glee is such an over the top show.  They are trying to fit a million stereotypes into a series, and hey, whatever.  The thing is I was that girl in high school who pretty much got along with everyone.  Sure, we had disagreements, but I was never bullied, and I sure as hell wasn't the one torturing someone else.  But I've seen friends who had nasty things said about them, and friends who were the ones saying the horrible things.

Tonight's episode, Prom, was really interesting to me.  I never saw that much drama in my own high school experience, but I know it goes on.  And it makes me worry for this child of mine.  Will I raise them well?  Will they stand up for those who are being bullied?  Will they stand tall if something is said about them?  Will they know that high school is just a bull shit phase of life, and that only the most sad people look back on it and think it was the best days of their lives?

I've told my brothers that life after high school only gets better.  When you step out into the real world you don't have to conform as much to your peers, that you get to choose who you are with less repercussions.  Sure, workplace rules are something else.  But whether you secretly harbor a love of cheesy pop music generally doesn't matter to anyone.  And whom you love, to those who matter, is only up to how they treat you rather than who they are.

I was a theatre and choir kid, and my husband was a band geek (he played drums, for those interested), and no, not until our final semester did we really hang out.  We did do Science Knowledge Bowl together.  We are both kinda wicked smart.  But you know what?  Those things really have nothing to do with our lives anymore.  I chose to walk away from acting for what I consider a more "normal" life, and G has not yet been permitted to start a band that practices in our basement.  I've looked back on photos of us from high school and it just makes me a good wine, we've both gotten much better with age.

I want this child to know that.  To know that no one defines who you are.  That sometimes the place you're in can feel restricting, but if you just take a leap of faith and move on, you can move into a place where you are who you are without caring what others think.  I worry about the kids these days.  I worry that no one is telling them that.  That they rock, and if the place they're in can't recognize that in them, then they can roll right along to a place that does.  Life is too short to try and fit into a box that isn't you.

Monday, May 9, 2011

I'm Pregnant

Maybe if I keep telling myself that I'll believe it.  Other than the exhaustion and the weird way I don't feel like eating anything but fruit (and now a big batch of spaghetti), I really can't tell a difference.  So I love the little things that make me go hmmm, like the fact that even without eating, my jeans are now a little tighter and annoy me so I've begun unbuttoning them.  Not even at the end of my first tri-mester and I'm already annoyed with clothes.  Some are too big, some don't fit the same way.

I keep reminding myself to slow down, to not try and do absolutely everything all the time.  To not take things too fast.  I'm extremely cautious on the stairs, taking each step, holding the handrail.  I'd like to get back to running soon, but I think it will be more walking/jogging.  I'm taking this "sacred vessel" (as a friend keeps referring to me) thing very seriously.

I'm excited for these next few months, because they'll be when things like the heartbeat and finding out the sex will happen.  First movements, etc.  But I'm more excited for my baby daddy to come home from Iraq.  He's excited, and having to remind himself to focus at work.  And I just want him here.  I know he worries a bit, so it'd be better if he could be doing a lot of the running up and down the stairs. 

I know at some point I'll feel so pregnant I'll be wishing I wasn't, but for now I just keep saying it over and over, "You're going to be somebody's mama."  And after the hyperventilation slows down I get a big smile and know I can do this. 

Saturday, May 7, 2011

Let Me Tell You 'Bout Your Daddy

A girl married a boy and watched him turn into a man.  And that man is your daddy.  He loves you so much already that he's a bit distracted lately....and he hasn't even met your amazing self yet!  I cannot wait until he comes home.  He has big plans to spend his nights reading to you while you dance around in there.  And I am sure you'll have some private conversations while your tired mama sleeps.

Since we don't know yet what you are, I have to tell you about my dreams for you if you're a girl or a boy.  If you're a little girl I picture plenty of times dancing around the kitchen, sometimes in your daddy's arms, sometimes on his toes.  If you're a boy I picture him teaching you to dance (don't worry, I'll teach you the right way when he's not in the room).  Either way I picture lots of spinning and piggy back rides.

Your daddy is this man who is going to keep your secrets.  Who will help you build forts and fight off imaginary dragons.  Who will sit and have tea with us and teach you how to ride a bike.  A man who is going to learn soccer so that he can play with you in the backyard.  A man who will teach you how to dog paddle and swim and then eventually how to hold your breathe so you can take off underwater.  And later a man who will talk you through the sucky moments of life and love you through the hurts.  He will be your best friend, your biggest fan, and also the voice of reason and discipline all because he loves you.

Not everyone gets a daddy who loves them beyond the moon.  But you're getting a daddy who is aiming to be best daddy of the year every year running.  You are a lucky child indeed.

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Dear Petit Escargot,

You are making a mess of your mama!  I cry at pretty much every television show.  Sometimes my eyes well up.....sometimes I'm sobbing like someone real has been hurt.  It's pretty funny, to be honest.  I cried at the end of Criminal Minds because a dad was coaching his son's soccer (football) team.  Boy or girl, I am pretty sure that's how we're going to trick your daddy into athleticism. 

I am in utter wonder at you.  I imagine you in there, dancing around.  I laugh at the images in my head.  You sure do love your fruits!  Currently we've explored grapes, bananas, apple, kiwi, strawberries, blueberries, blackberries, cherries, grapefruit, lemons, limes, mango, melon, pineapple, and prunes.  One of the few things you don't turn your nose up at is fruit.  At least we know you're getting a variety of vitamins and plenty of fiber.  You're also big on the milk....but really, who can blame you?

Your daddy and I like to talk about you.  About names for you.  About the type of person you will be.  About things we want to take you to see, adventures we want to have.  I think you're the only baby I know whose parents want you to see Paris by the time you're 5.  I can't wait to see you paint, to bang out a song on an instrument, to watch you spin in circles until you fall down, the world a beautiful blur of colors around you.

And of course I'll be teaching you to cook!  I've already looked at little aprons (both little girl style and little boy style) for you!  And little rolling pins.  There will be no easy bake oven.....I figure with supervision you can use the real thing.  We'll start as soon as you can sit in a high chair and watch me bake.  It's important that you learn about the bountiful variety of amazing food there is. 

I sometimes worry that I'm not cut out for this.  But I sure am going to try my hardest to be both an amazing mama as well as a wife.  I hope you grow up seeing how much your daddy and I love one another.  The best thing we can give you is to show you what love looks like.  That way you'll know how to recognize it when you're older.  (But we're in no rush for your first broken heart!)

We love you, little one.  You are the most amazing miracle. 


Sunday, May 1, 2011

Dearest Little One,

I think every mother dreams of a world with no evil.  Where people are kind and good to one another.  Where even the idea of bombs and destruction do not exist.  And then we fear because it seems at times such an empty hope.

I pray that you will be a light into this world.  That you will know love, rather than hate.  That you will learn to control your anger and to seek forgiveness....and also to offer it to those who may not deserve it.  That you will see the beauty around you rather than the ugly bits that can creep in.

Today is your mama's birthday.  And you are certainly the greatest gift this year.  You offered me hope in times where it would be too easy to see a vast amount of time filled with nothing too important.  Instead, your daddy and I are celebrating each day as we wait in wonder to meet you. 

You have offered me hope, and so it is my hope that I wish all of the above for you.  Sleep well, my little snail.



Here's the thing...I'm actually smaller now than I was beginning this pregnancy (G confirmed this looking at me on Skype this ribs are getting thin, which explains how a belt managed to bruise them yesterday...ouch!).  I haven't had too much morning sickness (just a tetch and then it settled down), but I also haven't had too much of an appetite.  My doctor says this is perfectly fine and it will return by the 2nd trimester.  I hope so.  I've never felt so ambivalent about food.  I think, "I should eat something."  But the idea simply sounds wholly unappealing.  I wish I was like this normally!

So, I've been eating a ton of fruits.  And I made pancakes, but they're rich and can make me feel queasy on the wrong night.  However, I have been loving salmon, and I finally have managed to eat normal meats (beef, chicken, ham).  My milk bill at the grocery store is quite the little expense.  That and apple juice seem to be all I want.  Even when coffee sounds like a good idea, I have a cup and then I don't really want anymore. 

However my greatest success was the other night when I was able to take myself out to Indian and devour it without feeling ill at all.  Early on the snail and I had a little talk about mama liking spicy food.  I'm glad to say that the snail has finally conceded.  I love a child who listens well!

So I'm not really eating this trimester as much as munching.  My friends are taking me out for Chinese for my birthday tomorrow night, and I'm hoping that stays down (the last time I had it was before I discovered I was pregnant and I thought that I had an upset tummy).  But munching works for me, fruit and veggies are your friend!

Do you have any tips for healthy snacks to keep on hand?  I've banned cheez-its from the house because they taste so good, but they are one of the few things I can eat a lot of!