Saturday, February 5, 2011

Who needs a weekend for sleep?!

Ah Saturday mornings... one of the very few days where one who doens't have children yet (on the outside) can possibly sleep in... or not. I apparently wake up now at 5am on the days I can sleep in, and on days I need to get up it I practically have to slither out of bed onto the floor with my eyes tightly shut due to pure exhaustion. Then I fall asleep prematurely on the couch in the evenings, but hey, who needs sleep when you have the opportunity? Apparently not me. And not Henry either, he was awake too.
Being awake when it felt just a tad too early to get up and start doing things (and holding onto hope of falling back asleep), I decided to take the opportunity to stay in bed and obsess about all of the things I want to get done before baby time. For future reference: This is not a good idea if you hope to fall back asleep. But it's a fabulous mix of pull my hair out stressful and also lots of fun because I got to make a list. And I love lists. A lot.
There are so many home improvement projects I want to do, both large and many small... So I am hoping some of those get accomplished. A lot of the bullets on my list though are things that we need to buy. And that is just a lot less fun because we are trying out this new world of strict budgeting. Which means, I can't go running out today grabbing the millions of things at Home Depot I want to buy. New paint for the kitchen, handles for the cupboards, new light/fan for the living room because the current one looks ancient. We need more plates and bowls, shelving for the bathrooms, scrub brushes so I can attack the bathroom floors, new frames so we can finally put up some wedding photos before it's time to put up baby photos...A new couch that doesn't have half of the stuffing ripped out(this is top priority for sanity reasons), new throw pillows to liven the place up. Eek--I'm really convinced these things WILL happen in the next few weeks, maybe not all, but some. It's difficult though because while I want to exercise patience I am really being consumed by this absolutely overwhelming urge to get things clean, tidy and extremely comfortable by March. Rachel White, lovely sister of mine-- if you are reading this, please come to Alaska and fix me. Decorating extrodinaire, save the one who has no clue what she's doing and just come do all the work for me :) Feel free to bring children, and I'll play with them while you work. Sound like a deal?? Oh, I forgot one thing on the list, but this goes on today's list of projects-- DUSTING. I just got distracted by a tiny little dust bunny connected with dog hair that fell from who knows where onto the computer screen. Where does all of this dust live?! I hate it. I now see every little speck of it and I don't know where that obsession came from. As anyone who has previously lived with me knows, I don't usually care THAT much about things being tidy. My room in high school would have proved this, right Mom? Well not anymore! I think I am becoming my mother. And Mom, this is a wonderful thing but I have to say a little frustrating because now I too, sit there lurking, watching for the moment someone lifts their plate so I can spray and wipe underneath it before it is even lifted off of the table.
Does anyone with laminate flooring have brilliant ideas for how to clean it effectively? I sweep it, vacuum it, then swiffer... and I still see all the little hairs floating around. C'est la vie I suppose. I swear I'm not crazy, I think this is what we like to call nesting, and also still after years of being out of the house, adjusting to the fact that no one is keeping our home up for us, it's only us. And there is a lot to do. Thank you Mom for taking care of it for so many years!
It would be nice if it were spring and the weather was turning lovely and we could open all of the windows and do some of the projects outside. I keep catching little glimpses of spring, and then I realize it's February. And it's Alaska. NOT close to spring. In our office, the window are extremely high and so you cannot really see out of them, especially while sitting at a desk. So generally it's dark when I get to work, and dark when I leave and I forget the sun exists most days. My skin also forgets the sun exists. But every day during the middle of a hot flash we open the windows in the back office and it never feels cold in there. It feels like beautiful spring air coming through the windows and so every day I am fooled into thinking it's spring like outside. Then I walk out after work into the dark and snow and look at my frosted windows and realize once again... definitely not spring. What a tease. Yesterday although much colder than it looked, the sun was shining brightly and I was off of work by 2:30 and took off immediately to meet a friend at the dog park. We got an hour long walk in with sunshine, and it was so wonderful. I'm hoping for the very same thing today. Perhaps tomorrow as well but we'll have to see where the day takes us after the superbowl festivities end. (Go Packers!)
We had our 32 week check up on Wednesday, which went well. Very uneventful. I freak out about my blood pressure every time and cause it to get higher than it really is, but I was able to keep myself under control on the first try this time, so that's good. I have always hated having my bp taken, and now it's just this weird response I have and I cannot stop. It makes me sweat practically. Now there's something else at the end of it, because you cannot have a birth center birth with dangerously high blood pressures. I've never had one that high, but I just have this fear that it's coming for me. No use in having those fears, I'm planning for complication free. Anyhow, we measured my uterus, which goes back and forth all of the time just depending on how much I've grown in the weeks and who's checking it since everyone is a little different. 2 weeks ago I measured about a week bigger, this week about a week smaller. It should be within 2 cm either direction of how many weeks you are, and we are definitely in that normal range so yay. Barb (the midwife) took a feel of the little man, it's so strange you can just push down and practically grab ahold of him. He is still head down so looks like he'll be staying that way (Good boy!) and she says he feels like a pretty good size, but not huge. We all tease me at work and joke about him being huge. Since we have pretty good sized babies in our family, and since I looked a lot bigger than most when he was sitting breech with his head up at the top of my belly we joke he's the 12 pounder. Well this has become less funny as the time comes closer and I think of how unpleasant pushing out a 12 pounder would be. Of course that's not really what he weighs, but they are able to make pretty good guesses by taking a feel.
At this point, she says his head doesn't feel that big just a good size, but he feels very long. So this guy might be tall like his Daddyo. Definitely not picking up the long legs from me! You can tell he's long because you can feel where his head is, he has his back and tush sticking out right across the middle of my belly, and then his feet are draped much further down so he takes up a lot of room in there. I'm so very anxious to see how long he is and how much he weighs! There is a lot of growing to do in the next few weeks... right now we think he's just shy of 5 pounds most likely. Unbelievable!
I feel like I look a lot fuller these past few days but it fluctuates as he moves around. He sometimes sits really far out front, and sometimes a bit further back so it just depends. At the gym the other day I packed a tshirt that has been fitting just fine, and it was tight as ever, leaving my belly sticking out the bottom. I think I looked a lot rounder that day, but I'll show the picture here and you can be the judge! Mind you, I had also eaten an enormous cookie earlier in the day, because all I can think of is cookies. :) Speaking of which, Eric and I had a comfy night at home last night and we baked oatmeal chocolate chunk cookies after dinner with the really yummy dark chocolate bars that Mom gave me for Christmas. They made for really rich cookies rather than overly sweet which is really nice. I'm going to try to limit myself with them, but I guess it depends on who you ask when considering how many a day is "limiting", right?? I tend to be generous at this point. I feel spoiled as Eric even watched (his choice) The Back Up Plan with me. It's a chick flick about a pregnant lady (It's Jennifer Lopez so he really has nothing to complain about!) and it was very fun to watch while eating cookies and milk. I could go for many more nights like those! Now if only Taste of China from Iowa City would appear in Anchorage so I could have takeout, I'd be a happy lady. Finn was really adorable while we were watching the movie. He was sleeping with his head on my lap and he kept scooching to get himself perfectly wrapped around the belly. He then lifted a paw to hold onto the top of the belly (I guess it's a convenient place to rest a paw?) and was just very sweet looking. It was comfy for me too, a warm pup with his head against the belly. Henry was moving under his paw, so all together it was a moment I really enjoyed. Finn looks pretty comfy too, don't you think? Eric joked that he has no clue there's anything in me, he's just using it as a contour pillow. (This could be true, but I like to think he can tell there's someone comfy in there.)
In pregnancy world, I'm feeling well. I have been wearing nothing but slip on clogs since I got back from Iowa, and it's helping a lot with my swelling. I also wear Eric's socks so they are looser on my foot. Not my favorite feeling, baggy socks... but better than swollen feet. Sitting at work is getting a bit tougher and yesterday one of the midwives walked in and saw that I was sitting with a coffee mug shoved behind my back. I have trouble because my desk is small so to reach the keyboard and mouse that won't move I have to hunch forward while my belly runs into the desk. Every once in a while I sit back and put something like a mug behind my back to make it feel better and still attempt to reach the computer. She asked what I was doing, and quickly ran to Best Buy to buy me a wireless keyboard and mouse (that idea had definitely not ocurred to me) So it made a world of a difference! They all told me to go pick a more comfortable chair when I have time, so maybe one of these days I'll do that, and then I can actually sit back and possibly put my feet up under my desk. Other than that, I'm feeling well... The energy comes and goes, some days I feel like getting so much done, while others I just wander around half with it and half just in some other space. Hot flashes continue and I find myself occasionally out of breath, and some days I feel just fine. I hate to say that I've been struggling the last few weeks with some of the smaller things that come with the end of it. I'm starting to just wonder if my face will go back to looking the same, if I'll feel normal again when it's over etc. My face is so much fuller that my smile has completely changed-- it's the weirdest thing. I used to show all of my teeth when I smiled, and now my face will hardly let my mouth open. It ends up looking wildly fake and just plain odd on my face if you know what my giant mouth used to look like. It's part of it all, but I really don't like seeing my face like this, it hardly looks like me. I'm also driven nuts by the feeling of my hair, and I am thinking I will cut some of it off shortly. These are all very surface things and don't matter in the grand scheme of it all, butdifficult adjustments none the less. And I think a normal part of the process. I feel fine about the fact that it looks like I have no waist, that I'm wider all around, that my clothes don't fit and aren't very comfortable. I love the belly and the job that it's doing. Every single bit is worth it. But it's weird to look in the mirror and see an entirely different face and not know how to get it back. Time will tell I suppose!
I will leave you with both a request and a recipe to share. My request is for books any of you have read that you'd reccommend, as I'd like to read a new one. The recipe is one that was made for us at our office Christmas party and was delicious. It turned out much thinner than a pudding but I loved it even more that way.

Orange Pudding with Pomegranate:
41/2 cups orange or tangerine juice, freshly squeezed
1/2 c sugar
1/3 c corn starch
3 large oranges (yum, now I want oranges....)
seeds of 1 pomegranate
To serve: 1 c whipping or heavy cream, whipped.

Bring the orange juice to a boil with the sugar. Dissolve the corn starch into 1c water and pour into the simmering juice, stirring vigorously. Continue to stir in one direction only, until the mixture thickens , then continue to cook over low heat for 15 minutes.
Peel the oranges and remove the white pith. Cut each orange into thick slices, and each slice into 4 pieces. Remove the pips.
Let the orange mixture cool, and pour into a glass serving bowl. Stir in the orange pieces, cover with plastic wrap and let chill in the fridge for a few hours (or outside would probably work at this time of year)
Sprinkle the pomegranate seeds over the pudding and serve with whipped cream.

YUM. That's all I have to say.

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