Monday, April 27, 2009

It’s all things baby, all the time baby!

I am all about getting advice from other moms and dads who have so “been there, done that”, because frankly, I am pretty clueless about raising a child. I will fully admit that I don’t know when babies start teething, or sitting up, crawling, or walking. I don’t know how much to feed them or when they should start on real food. Even putting them in car seats without making them wail seems like an impossible task. However, I’m finding the solicited and unsolicited advice to be, more often than not, more confusing and frustrating than helpful. I’m trying to educate myself, trying to read a lot and ask questions, but I swear I am constantly being told one thing, and then the next day it’s the complete opposite. Just the other day I was reading positive review after positive review about this pretty cool looking swaddling blanket and watching the instruction video online, and then yesterday my sister-in-law told me, “You’re not supposed to swaddle the arms in anymore, it’s bad for the baby…” Is that really true? Who says? Why is it bad, and why then are they still making and selling these blankets that have little flaps specifically to keep the little arms in? I feel like this product looks like a dream come true for parents of colicky babies. But I guess, what the hell do I know? If everyone has an opinion about everything, how do I know who is right? Also, I feel a little sheepish about having my own opinions at this point, because I know I totally get the “look” that says, “Lady, you have no idea, you haven’t lived it yet, just you wait.” And I get that, I really do, but I wish people were a little more careful about what they said, and took more care with their advice to new and expectant moms & dads. I WANT to hear what worked and didn’t work for you, but I DON’T want you to pretend that what you have to say is the bible, and I am an idiot if I don’t follow it to a tee.

Dan’s been getting a lot of this at work from his boss and coworker whom both just became first-time dads over the last few months. So obviously, they are really in the thick of it, they live and breathe babies, so it makes sense that it’s all they want to talk about with him. But his boss especially, purposefully or not, just stresses my poor husband out about the subject. He comes home and the last thing he wants to listen to is his neurotic wife talking about the research she did on strollers that day, because that very same day he got lectured by his boss about the fact that he’s really behind if he hasn’t started looking at that sort of thing yet and there are so many reviews out there to read and it’s clearly one of the biggest decisions that you ever will make, and how do you NOT know what the difference is between a travel system, jogger, standard stroller, and umbrella stroller? Panic! Stress! Poor guy. That’s a little bit how I felt when I started looking at all the different baby-wearing products they have out there (ring slings, wraps, pouches, Mei Tais, traditional front/back carriers, ahhhh!). Last week Dan’s boss sent him home with a fricken birthing video for God’s sake. Since when do guys do that sort of thing? Honestly I don’t think most of them do. While on one hand it’s sort of sweet and endearing that he is that into it, on the other, it’s just reminiscent of his habit of micromanaging. I think we’ll both just have to try to be chill about it, but that might not be possible if he starts asking how much weight I’m gaining or whether or not I’m doing my kegels regularly. ;)

I didn’t mean for this to be one big rant. It started out as just a little list of some random musings on growing a baby and how it seems to affect those around you. Then I was going to talk about how I’m feeling a bit more at peace with caring for a baby after spending the weekend at the cabin with my brother-in-law, his wife, and their two little boys. I got to do lots of cuddling and snuggling with their two-month-old, away from the watchful eyes of others, which tend to get me all worked up and nervous. I hate holding other people’s babies in front of a bunch of other people. I spend the whole time absolutely terrified that I’m going to make him or her cry. I’m convinced that babies pick up on my nervousness which promptly causes them to fuss and cry, and the whole thing just becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy. Also, I am totally self-conscious about making baby-talk in front of other adults, I don’t know why. Anyway, so over the last few months, every time I held my little nephew it was in front of a lot of people, and it never seemed to take long for me to have him fussing and crying. I’m thinking my anxiety is worsened by the fact that I’m pregnant and I feel like people are saying, “Tsk tsk, how is that woman ever going to handle being a mom when she can’t even keep this perfect baby happy for more than 5 minutes?” Seriously, what is wrong with me? People don’t think or say those kinds of things! (Especially the “tsk tsk” part.) It’s like I have this deranged and warped view of a world full of judgmental and generally mean people. I clearly need to give people, and myself, more credit than that. My point with all this is that I spent lots of quality time with the little guy this weekend, and he was so sweet and funny, he cooed and smiled at me, he and Bella got to know each other a little bit, and he fell asleep in my arms. It was just nice to hang with a baby and get to know his personality. It helped to take a little of the mystery out of things, which also helps to take a little of the scary out of things as well.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Sweet Dreams

So I had my first crazy pregnant dream last night. Well, scratch that, it was really the first one I’ve had about my actual baby, I’ve been having ridiculous messed up dreams for a while now, which I’m assuming have something to do with my pregnancy. Most notably was the dream about my husband confiding in me of his discovery that he has chemistry with the hot girl he just hired at work, and that he’s decided since I’m knocked-up and everything, he’d like to stay with me but also start a relationship with her. Clearly, this dream is a result of my growing insecurities about my pregnant and rapidly changing body.

Anyway, so I had my first dream last night in which my baby made an actual appearance. Interestingly enough, he was a boy. Even more interesting is the fact that he was a Lego man. Yea, my baby was totally one of those teeny tiny Lego men with overalls and a red cap. The nice thing about having a Lego man for a baby was that if he got hurt, i.e. if my dog jumped on him like she did in the dream, and his whole head came apart from his body, well you just had to put him right back together again and he was as good as new. Also, he didn’t cry, and he always had a painted smile on his face.

Seriously, what is wrong with me? I have NO earthly clue what dreaming about having a Lego man for a baby could actually mean.

Also in my dream last night, my friend Kate was criticizing how I was holding my baby (Lego man). She kept telling me that I was doing it wrong, and saying passive aggressive things like, “Um, isn’t he a bit young to be on his tummy like that?” I was just like, “I HAVE NO IDEA! I don’t know what to do with babies, I am a terrible mother!”

Pregnant dreams are kind of a hoot aren’t they? Every time I type Lego man I start giggling uncontrollably.

21 weeks! These pictures are getting more difficult to take, week-to-week, simply due to the fact that I am getting fatter and fatter. The ratio of tolerable to horrendous pictures I take in each mini photo shoot just keeps getting smaller. I’m pretty sure I’ll run out of patience soon and start posting the first and only horrible picture I take. You can’t say I didn’t warn you.

Thursday, April 16, 2009


I am exhausted.

This week has just been one of those weeks. We’ve been go-go-go every single day until about 9:00 PM, and I think it has definitely caught up with me. I am so thankful for my Fridays off. Tomorrow is an off day and I plan to seriously live it up. Don’t get too excited, these days “living it up” involves sleeping in, tidying up the house, and attempting to organize all our crap as part of my Make Room for Baby initiative. Anyway, all week long we’ve been coming home from work at night and working on clearing out the basement in anticipation of our contractor getting started on it. I am so excited that something is finally happening with it, but also of course dreading all the dust, mess, and stress that go along with any remodeling project… even those you’re not heading up yourself. When all is said and done though, we will have another bathroom, a bedroom to put our ugly treadmill in, and a cozy as heck family room that will likely be taken over within the upcoming year by huge noisy baby contraptions and primary color plastic toys.

In other exciting news, we had our ultrasound on Tuesday! It was awesome, so fun to see our little baby for the first time. Though there was a mix-up as to where the appointment was supposed to take place (Dan blames me of course, and it could very well have been my fault). We showed up at 4:00 PM, which I was told was the latest they make appointments, only to find out we’re totally in the wrong facility. After multiple calls we finally found out we were supposed to be at a different building about 3 blocks away, and that they would still see us. Thank God. I actually found myself starting to get emotional thinking about possibly having to reschedule, my eyes were all welling up when I was talking to the admin. I don’t think I realized how excited I was about the ultrasound until we almost didn’t get to do it.

Of course, with all the rushing and the stress, I had to pee like crazy and my bladder felt like it was going to explode by the time we made it to where we were supposed to be. But there was no time for bathroom nonsense, being that we were, by then, thirty five minutes late for our appointment. So I got to lay there for twenty minutes while the nice lady jabbed her little wand repeatedly right on top of my bladder. That’s alright, we got to meet our baby! He or she was in a super weird position though, so the ultrasound tech had a hard time getting a good profile picture for us. I told her the baby clearly doesn’t like profile pictures, just like his or her mama. =)

Last night Dan felt a kick for the first time! So he’s definitely had a week of being more “involved” with this whole baby-growing thing. Obviously it’s a much different experience for the dad, but I would assume that with the few milestones we’ve had this week it’s feeling much more real for him. Also, I am getting way fatter, which I’m sure he has not failed to notice.

Well here is my 20 week picture, I hate it. I was wearing the worst outfit ever that day, and I look just generally round, not cute. Whatever. (Note: this is not a desperate attempt to inspire compliments in the comments section. I am fully aware that they can’t all be good ones!)

Wednesday, April 08, 2009

Tales of my exciting life

So I was finally forced to convert to Office 2007 today. I know it is much prettier and appears to be more user friendly, but I’ve been close to a panic attack pretty much the entire day and it’s all Bill Gates’s fault. It took me, I swear, ten minutes to figure out where the “Save As” function was in Excel. I know, I am ridiculous, but I just hate this feeling that things are not where they’re supposed to be. There are so many things in my job that I do constantly and automatically without having to think through, and today I feel like a first grader learning to read. FRUSTRATING!

I am so boring when I talk about work.

In other news, this week I actually feel like one of those people with a social life! Monday I went to prenatal yoga, where I felt like the clumsiest and most inflexible person in the class, even though, on average, my classmates are all about 3 months farther along than me. So they all have these huge bellies and are talking about how they can’t sleep anymore, their joints are achy, and they have trouble breathing with their babies sitting right in their ribs, etc. etc. And here I am with a barely visible belly still waiting for most of those sucky pregnancy symptoms to kick in, yet I am the one whose warrior pose the instructor feels the need to correct. I am also the one with the sweaty feet that are dangerously close to slipping out from underneath her. I always feel like this amongst a bunch of women I don’t know, like I am so obviously the un-cool one, so why should pregnancy make me feel any different, I suppose. But jeez, do lots of people feel this way or am I just a totally insecure mouse of a girl?

Anyway, back to my supposed social life. Yesterday I had a delicious Thai dinner with some of my girlfriends, and they are all such awesome chicks and it was so fun to get together with them. The only thing that was missing was a bottle of wine or a dirty martini. I am such a lush to be constantly saying this, I know, but I don’t care. I miss me my booze. Really though, can you blame me? Four months now without any alcohol, that is most certainly the longest I’ve gone since college. For some reason I feel the need to put in the standard disclaimer, “but it is so going to be worth it when I have my baby!” just so I don’t look like a horrible person, but honestly, doesn’t that go without saying? Of course I feel that way, why do I feel like I have to say it? It’s my blog damn it.

So tonight I have a meeting for this non-profit board I’m on, and our poor pup, again, goes a few extra hours at home by herself because Dan also has some softball something to go to. That makes my heart hurt… I hate thinking of her stuck at home by herself on such a beautiful spring day. Poor little thing, I will definitely have to give her extra kisses and snuggles tonight.
Finally, I leave you with my 19 week belly picture. Enjoy, because it only took me about 30 tries to get a semi-decent one. No wonder I look pissed! You should see how ridiculous I look in the ones where I smile. =)