Thursday, July 28, 2011

Dear Petit Escargot,

Your mama is going to promise you something:  I will never, ever put you in a damn beauty pageant.  Take your pic and enter you in a beautiful baby contest? A possibility.  But "glitz" you up, spray tan you as an infant/toddler and put fake lashes and hair on you?  Um, not a cold chance in hell.

I am sure I will think you are the most beautiful thing in the world.  But that beauty will have a lot to do with your innocence, something these pageants seem to rob.  We'll have fun playing dress up, and I'll always let you try my chapstick or lip gloss.  But I want you to enjoy your childhood. 

I love you bunches. 


Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Sometimes I Get Sad Remembering The Sweet Things In Life

I remember... gardening in the backyard, taking flowers started in the basement and putting them out to grow in the sun.  Finding snails.  Discovering that the smell of peonies and hyacinth would eventually become like crack to me.  The sunlight filtering in through the huge tree.

I remember... sneaking quietly into her bedroom, opening jewelry boxes, her personal one that I wasn't quite free to rifle through, trying everything on, trying to put it back just right.  Sampling lipstick that smelled like a cosmetic in a way modern ones don't really anymore.  Trying her nail polishes.  Slipping into satin nightgowns and acting like I was a princess from someplace far away.

I remember... waking up to the smell of bacon and pancakes and knowing she made them especially for me.  I'd usually drink milk and sneak drinks of her black coffee. 

I remember... black and white films and windmill cookies and lazying the day about.  Learning to sew on plastic cross stitch things with yarn.  Watching her work her needle with her patterns. 

I remember... driving down to the lake early, ahead of the rest of my family.  Stopping to pick up turtles.  Sneaking in antiquing and ice cream cones with tiny plastic monkeys on top. 

My grandmama is 83 and it has begun to hit me that she may not live as long as my great-grandmother.  I don't handle the thought well.  G and I sit quietly, both of us crying, both of us having loved this woman.  I thank God for giving me more time, for not taking her a couple years ago. 

It is hard to realize that your daughter may never really know her.  The thing that used to keep me up at night now haunts my days.  I whisper to her about this woman.  I recognize that who I am has a lot to do with having wanted to be like her, in finding that our tastes are similar.  I hope to pass that on to this child. 

My heart is a bit broken today.  I keep reminding myself she's still here, and that we don't know the future.  But I just want to pause.  When I head back to see everyone in September I plan to spend quite a bit of time with her, trying to take in as much as I can.  My daughter may not get to know her by herself, but she will through me.

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

About 23 Weeks

I'm technically 22 weeks and 5 days I think.  Had a fall today, I'm going to have a huge bruise on my side, but so far so good.  She's flipping about as normal. 

This is a normal tank from Old Navy, I just ordered it in a L instead of a Medium, and it looks like I'll have plenty of room to grow with it!

I LOVE this new tank because the lines allow you to see the bump from the front, where my normal shirts don't!
I snapped these pics because I got my Gap order today of Maternity jeans and was so excited I snapped pics before realizing my hair was still a mess from sleeping.  But I mean, who cares?  I'm loving this belly!

Friday, July 22, 2011

Missing Your Daddy Today

You, lil miss, were kicking up a storm this morning.  I placed my hand on my belly and it was strong enough to cause my hand to jump.  At the same time I was listening to "L is for the way you look at me..." and trying hard to hold it together.  I miss your daddy.  I've made it thus far quite alright, but this last stretch has been a bit harder for both of us.  We each have woken up sad, having dreamt of the other.  And I feel bad for everything he's missing right now.  I console myself that you'll probably be even more forceful once he's back.

And on top of the kicking I finally realized what my sore esophagus was... heartburn!  I've never really had it before other than 1 time in college, and I felt stupid once I figured it out.  I don't mind it in the last, in fact I was excited.  Heartburn is scientifically linked to your chances of being born with a head of hair, so I hope it continues. 

You are the greatest thing I've done thus far in my young-ish life.  It's nice to just lie back and enjoy the ride, taking frequent naps, enjoying walks in the sun.  It's an amazingly fun time.  It'll be even better once your daddy is home.

Monday, July 18, 2011

Middle Names

G and I aren't choosing a first name until she's arrived and we kind of see what we think.  However, we decided long ago that each of our children would have 2 middle names.  For a girl this meant one of them would be Marie (which is mine, plus a lot of women in my family including my niece and my grandma).  Garret really liked Rose, so we decided rather than keep it in the pool for a first name to put it in the middle.  We like old fashioned names and the ones we've narrowed it down to we realized that Rose Marie as her two middle names would work for all.

So, he's now got her listed on his iPad app as Escargot Rose Marie.  It's stuck.  I'm hoping she likes it!
Little Miss Escargot R.M.,

I find myself wanting to always write little notes to you on here.  Notes for you to read later.  Maybe when you're a teenager and think the world is unfair and that I clearly am out to ruin your life.  (I do hope it never comes to that, but me planning to be a mother not a friend means it's quite possible.)

I watched a couple movies tonight and in them there were dads with daughters.  Your mama has been a crying mess all night.  Your daddy and I spend most of our time talking about you, picturing you and he on the beach next summer, watching the waves lap at your feet, flying through the air like a seagull.  I have never known a better man than your daddy, and he already thinks the world of us both. 

I'll write it here to keep for posterity: you seem to know when I'm talking to him.  Lately any time he and I talk you suddenly seem to fidget and move about right then.  No really kicking, just lots of movement.  Your daddy is convinced it's because you know he's "there."  I don't argue. 

I can promise that life will not always be rainbows and buttercups, but that you will be loved beyond measure.  We have waited for you for a very long time.


Sunday, July 17, 2011

Keeping Healthy

I did the math and realized I wasn't eating enough protein for my "delicate" condition.  Like, majorly not eating enough.  I've been drinking plenty of whole milk, eating butter, and whatnot, but still not getting enough with my lack of meat and beans (or even a bunch of eggs).

So I picked up some good full fat greek yogurt, some bacon, and some hamburger.  I'd love nothing more than a steak, but I eat them moo-ing, so it's a no go.  So I made hamburgers for dinner Friday night, ate it with portobello mushroom and provolone ravioli.  Those lasted through Saturday.  I've also been eating quite a bit of yogurt with some dried cranberries and pecan granola. 

This morning I had more yogurt, and then realizing that I'm off schedule (so, honestly have yet to sleep yet) and will be up for a while, I also fixed some mushrooms with a couple eggs.  I need to run to the store for more milk (they were out of the half gallons of my grass fed milk last time I went and the quart lasted a couple days), eggs for a quiche, and perhaps a roast for later in the week.

Besides protein I've been trying to really drink more water and I picked up some pressed (not from concentrate) cranberry juice.  I know I need to stay super hydrated for the fluids this little girl needs, so I'm pushing the fluids even more than normal. 

I wrote on my other blog that this child has kind of saved me from myself, and she definitely has.  I think in terms of what she needs rather than any sort of guilt associated with food.  I'm actually attempting to make sure I don't lose too much weight, because while she's apparently growing just fine, my energy levels have been low, and G has been pointing out that it's because she's getting all the nutrients and I'm not getting enough.  (so yes, in essence she's a beautiful parasite!)

I still have been eating plenty of fruit, coupled with a variety of veggies, but perhaps not enough veggies.  I'm still left with little appetite as a general rule, and eating more than just a little of anything seems to be nausea inducing.  So I graze.  Not habits that I like, but habits that seem necessary at this point.  I pushed it with the eggs this morning and am now having to sit still and hope they don't make an appearance.

I love keeping this blog.  I can't wait to look back on it later, to share it with our daughter, to tell her about all the things I was thinking at this time.  And to point out the necessity for good nutrition and plenty of rest!

Friday, July 15, 2011

Sing Sweet Lullabies

I've spent the majority of this pregnancy thinking a lot, but saying little to this little child I carry.  Maybe people think it's odd, or cold, but we seemed to have an understanding (particularly because her little ears couldn't really hear until just recently).  So I might murmur to her occasionally, but overall I would use thoughts and touch. 

Well, now I've started talking to her quietly about her daddy, God, life, foods I can't wait until she can taste herself (a year from now).  I've found myself singing some of my childhood favorites like Somewhere Over The Rainbow aloud in the car, or making up little tunes as I walk about the house.  When I feel her getting restless and perhaps a little uncomfortable, I'll apologize, and turn over until I find a spot that seems to suit us both.

And G loves talking to the belly through skype.  He's in awe that I'm carrying a daughter.  We talk about rocking her and singing songs together as a family.  He talks about dancing with her in the kitchen while I cook, of the 3 of us dancing together, singing rock n' roll.

I'm over halfway there.  I'm at 21 weeks, measuring a bit bigger, and these next several months should be interesting (as she seems content to work her way back down to nestling in my pelvis... which for the record hurts).  But it's a sweet time, a time for just us two before she becomes a raging daddy's girl.  So I'll sing her lullabies as long as she wants. 

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Dear Little Mlle. Escargot,

Your daddy is so in trouble.  I think he's more excited about a girl than I've ever seen any other man in my life!  We've already picked out a swimsuit for you for next summer for our trip to South Carolina.  It's yellow, and polka dotted and your daddy is super excited because it's got ruffles.  (I do hope you are able to meet his expectations as a girlie girl... with me as your mama I'm not really thinking this will be an issue.)  At 9 months next summer I am sure you'll have a blast watching daddy entertain you with waves and sandcastles.

We would have been thrilled no matter what, but we've both a little ecstatic about all the fun stuff girls have (boys sadly don't have as many accessories!).  Ruffles, tutus, hair flowers, little shoes... *sigh*.  Your daddy is already excited about the tea party factor (though who are we kidding, our boys will have tea parties too!).

You have definitely made my heart sing.  Our cup runneth over.

Mama and Daddy

Little White Lies

To insure that people (ahem, my mother) didn't hound me about the baby anymore, I sort of said we were done with trying to figure out the sex.  But I knew that I was going back this week to look one last time to see if I could find out for Garret.

I opened the envelope with G on skype, where he actually saw it first.  And then we were both crying and laughing because this woman is having a little girl!!!

I had sort of thought it would be a boy and so figured that I needed to get over wanting to put a baby in a tutu.  We didn't really care what it was, but let's be honest, girls just have more fun things!  So I'll be sewing little mary janes and making flower headbands and little dresses!  (although honestly, with my niece, I seriously have PLENTY of girls clothes!)

She's been very active today, I think from the excitement of us finally knowing it's a her!  Garret is hoping she looks just like her mama, and I'm excited to have a little daddy's girl.  Bring on the ribbons and pearls!

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Dear Sanctimommies,

I know, I know... you've had a child and you totally know what you're talking about.  However, this is my pregnancy and while I might ask your advice I don't want it unwarranted on things that are quite frankly none of your business.

First, coffee.  Why yes, I do drink it.  In fact, I might even have coffee or tea every day on a good week.  But I'm also these two things called well read and educated.  I know how much coffee (not just in cups, but in mg of caffeine) I should be able to have a day.  I don't tend to exceed that.  My kid seems to like caffeine and will probably be drinking it from an early age (mostly milk) just like I did.  No, it clearly didn't stunt the growth of myself or my siblings.  And hey, I'm even taking extra folic acid to insure even my small caffeine use doesn't hurt my child's development.  So back. the. hell. off.

Wine.  Oh yes, the one thing that will get your dirty looks quicker than you can finish ordering a glass.  This is a debatable topic, but I don't feel like debating you.  Suffice to say, I feel comfortable having a small glass every blue moon.  I abstained entirely my first tri-mester (when the beautiful brain is really forming), and have since hitting my second trimester had a few small glasses.  My husband and I plan to celebrate his homecoming with a glass of very nice champagne.  Just be glad that I'm not drinking the grey goose in the freezer!  I would just about kill for a bloody mary right about now, and am trying to figure out the best way to make a virgin version of mine.

If all goes well, I plan to have a natural birth, and be headed home in less than 6 hours after doing so.  I'm glad you loved your epidural.  But if you'd like to avoid a lecture on drugs and why they aren't a good thing I suggest you stop suggesting that I'm going to want them.  I may indeed, but I'm stubborn, and it's highly doubtful I'll actually asked to be transferred to a hospital to get them.

I think what I love most is that you guys come at me from both sides.  The crunchy ones are glad I'm planning to cloth diaper, breastfeed, stay home, and babywear, but holy hell, why am I not co-sleeping until they're 10?!?  The modern ones are thrilled I'm standing up for my rights as a mother, but holy hell how can I possibly give up my life and independence and not work and am I insane not birthing in a hospital?!?

I respect your right to parent as you see fit within the boundaries of the law.  If you ask my opinion I'll give it, but otherwise, to each their own.  So please grant me that same courtesy unless you'd like me to quit extending it as well. 


Monday, July 11, 2011

Thumpity Thump Thump

For a while I thought perhaps you only moved on screen because I hear that dang sonogram thing is loud.  Everyone kept asking me if I had felt you.  When I would respond no, they would tell me what it was supposed to feel like, as if I hadn't read it a billion times anxiously awaiting it.  I knew what it was supposed to feel like, and I simply felt nothing. 

I know my body well.  I take care of it, and I know it's sounds and gurgles and movement.  So last night (really 4:35 a.m.) when I felt like something had tapped my stomach from the inside I paused.  I moved the computer so it wasn't in the way, and I waited.  And then you did it again. 

It was delightful.  You had apparently chosen to skip the simple butterfly/little fishy type movements.  I was getting poked at, repeatedly.  When you quieted down later, I gently pressed in where you had been, massaging what had earlier been an excruciatingly painful abdomen muscle.  And as soon as I quit you began poking at me again, readjusting, settling in for the night.  I told your Daddy that you were either a very early bird or more of a night owl like your mama.  He's decided that you're probably a night owl... particularly because we do like our afternoon coffee, don't we?

Tonight you've poked and prodded a bit, and now I'm getting the gentle flipping/swimming movements I wasn't before.  It's nice to know you're in there.  It's weird to know I can feel when you're up and moving.  Just another 4 1/2 months Escargot, and you'll be here. 

Friday, July 8, 2011

20 Weeks

My body is changing bit by bit.  Fuller breasts, less defined waist, a little belly.  And then the next day I'll be less swollen.  In jeans I usually don't look pregnant at all (though my last pair is nearly done and I need to buy some maternity), but in dresses or skirts... whoa!  I hope I look pregnant because otherwise I just look like I've put on weight!  I need to get some form fitting tees to really start taking these picks more often that show it off!

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

It feels like it's happening all over again.  I sat in the bathroom today at the doctor's office just crying and crying until my face was ruddy.  All because this stubborn child has decided that they would prefer to be a yogi and sit cross legged with their feet up in their crotch the whole time.  They were moving a lot... just without uncrossing their legs enough to get a good look.

And the thing is I don't really care.  I wasn't sure I wanted to know anyway, and if G were here, he would have found out and I would have been in the dark.  But because he's gone, I'm finding out for him... or not.  Because I don't want to do anymore of these.  It feels like trying to get pregnant all over again.

When we were ttc before, it was hell.  If we told anyone, suddenly we were being asked all the time if we were (and this was after previously being hounded about when we were going to try for kids... horrific when you secretly are and it isn't working out).  I'm super cautious to not do that to friends because I know how painful it can be to smile and say "not yet" even though it's like a knife.  The well intentioned advice that stings.  The calls you send to voicemail.  The people who insinuate something might be wrong, when you really don't need to hear that.

So that's kind of how it is now.  People want to know.  But we won't.  Baby has clearly decided to keep us all guessing.  And seeing as how today almost had me in a puddle in the bathroom because I didn't want to have to tell anyone, I think it's for the best. 

Momentarily Giggling

So, if you're reading this, I expect you understand that at times things will be either awkward or TMI.  So, let's talk breasts.  Three things I did not know/understand before this pregnancy:

* Your breasts will hurt off and on the whole time.  If my nipples get hard (which for me happens with any coldness at all, and I'm cold often) they are tender enough I think G will get slapped if he touches them.  Why does no one mention they're like instant turn offs?

* Your areolas (the colored part) will get huge like saucers.  I have been calling them African tribe breasts for over a month now.  I'm going to go ahead and assume it's so that part sticks out so your near blind baby can find the spot.

* My boobs haven't gotten bigger so much as they've gotten fuller.  Imagine basically them becoming less soft and womanly and more round like someone with implants.

Which is what has me laughing.  I mean, who knew that all these women are walking around with what is essentially pregnant boobs they paid for?  Because they're aiming for youthful, but no youth is this full!  It made me giggle for quite a while.

Saturday, July 2, 2011

Dear Little One,

You sit low in me, probably asleep.  I'm watching Far and Away and finishing up your baby blanket.  It's now got a border on it and is nearly done.  Thank goodness I turned out to be a quick knitter... I've only really worked on this blanket a total of maybe 3 days.
I love watching this movie, even though most of it doesn't take place in Ireland.  It makes me dream of the day you and your siblings will be able to dig in dark earth and discover what it means to watch something you planted grow big and tall and feed you.  Your daddy and I each long for some land, to work it, to make it rich so that it feeds us well.
We talk about moving to a small village in the county Cork, but I'd be satisfied with being able to recreate that here.  Some horses, a cow or two, goats, chickens, ducks.  And a couple acres to plant things on.  Your mama was cutting down watermelon tonight because I'm pickling the rind.  Never having had it, I'm interested to see how it tastes.  I want these sorts of memories for you.  Us in the kitchen baking and canning.  Homemade jam on your homemade bread. 
I dream of a simpler life for us.  I hope you will appreciate the childhood we'll be trying to give you.  We already love you so much.