Friday, November 12, 2010

Ba-by Beluuuuga....

It's official.

I am uncomfortable and [slightly] irritated all the time now.

Last night, John was looking at snowmobiles on his phone (his way of relaxing before sleep), and I kept tossing and turning, trying to find a sleeping position that would suffice.  I obviously got his attention, because he turned and asked, "Are you trying to seduce me?"  My response:  "Really?  I look and feel like a beluga whale.  So no.  I'm not.  Goodnight." 

Who the hell feels sexy and seductive when they're 35 weeks pregnant!?

I don't want to complain because it does nothing to help the situation...but right now that's all I can do.  I feel huge and ridiculously unattractive, can't breathe the majority of the time, can't eat half of the foods I want to, (including chocolate...yay heartburn), I wake up in the middle of the night and can't get back to sleep, and my unborn child won't stop kicking.  >:(  I have a brand new pair of running shoes that I want to just throw on and go for a few mile run...but I can barely walk a couple blocks without feeling like I just ran a marathon.  Picking Harvey up is a chore now, not to mention feeding and cleaning up after him. 

Is it too much to just want to hold my new little baby in my arms?  And now!?

All I can pray for is an early delivery again.  

Five weeks and counting, or preferably less....

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Like Father, Like Son

I was recently observing how my dad interacted with his grandson, Harvey. 

It was a bittersweet feeling, gripping my heart and making me all but lose my breath, yet it made me so happy.  Maybe it's just the pregnancy hormones, or the fact that I miss my deceased grandfather more than usual lately, but I couldn't help but cry at the similarities that my dad and his dad shared.

You see, my dad isn't a very "emotionally outspoken" fact, I would go to the lengths of saying he is "emotionally constipated."  My grandfather, his father, was the same way.  (I remember my grandma shaking her head and saying he has "no concept of romance at all!"  My mom says the same thing to this day about my dad.) 

It was hard for me to ever have a real connection with my dad growing up, and sometimes it's still hard, but I know I have a better relationship with him today than I did ten years ago.  However, there must be an automatic something that sparks an emotional trigger when you have grandchildren...

Because I can remember the look in my grandpa's eyes, the smile on his face, and the comfort in his voice when he spoke to me.  Or how I could just hop up in his lap as a child and we would watch NASCAR together.  I have a picture in my wallet of my grandpa reading me a book, and I often times catch myself staring at it, remembering a million things about him at once.

My dad, I noticed while he waved goodbye to Harvey, had the exact same look in his eyes, that exact same smile on his face, and that exact same tone.  I can hardly wait for the days when Harvey jumps up on his Grandpa Craig's lap and asks him to read a book, or they watch the game together. 

At my grandfather's funeral, I read a passage from the Book of Sirach, in which one particular verse seemed to come to life at the above recent observation: 
                  "At the father's death, he will seem not dead, since he leaves after him one like himself."
                                                                                                                                                   Sirach 30:4


Monday, November 8, 2010

Epidural: To Do, or Not To Do

This is something that has been bugging me a lot lately...whether or not to have an epidural once I go into labor.

I can make some valid arguments for both yes and no...but right now I'm just not sure what to do.  I suppose I could just go into it and if the pain is just too much and I'm not progressing, get the epidural.

But then there is a part of me that is freaked out of the actual pain of a natural childbirth.  I know that as a woman, I'm made for natural childbirth.  Women have been giving birth without pain medication for a bazillion years.  A part of me wants to be a "strong" woman and just deal with the pain, or rather, push through it.  My mother gave birth naturally six times...and I fully intended to have Harvey naturally, but the back labor was unbelievable.  I thought my back was about to snap right in half, and I was only dilated to five after fifteen or so hours of labor so I gave in, got the epidural, which then helped me get a solid two hours of sleep before being woken up to push. 

Then I've heard of [older] women who say if they had the epidural available back when they were giving birth to their now 20-something-year-old kids, they would have jumped at the opportunity.  But isn't it a right of passage, in some way, to give birth naturally? 

I have a book that seems to really have a negative outlook on epidurals, saying that the drug lowers my blood pressure, therefore lowering the baby's blood pressure and oxygen level, and so it is quite dangerous to have one; it also says that the baby will come out lethargic and it will take over 48 hours for the drugs to leave the baby's system.  I really didn't notice any of that with Harvey...the book also says that with a natural childbirth, the mother is "fogged" to some extent and can only remember the parts of childbirth that comfort her, whereas if she has an epidural, all she will remember are bright lights, sterile bowls and implements, and "everything will be stark, cold, and very vividly painful in her memory."

Personally, I remember the morning sunshine streaming in my room, and the adrenaline rush I got right before I started pushing, and how hot it was in there...along with my husband counting, the nurses cheering me on, my mother crying...and no pain.  Just the pressure of pushing my 8 pound baby out...

I'm just confused as to what I should be doing.

I do know that I am not breastfeeding...that was my big ordeal last time.  I had a lot of pressure/guilt from my mother-in-law and other family members, as well as nurses who instead of asking me what I plan on doing for food, the question was posed as, "You'll be breastfeeding, right?"  Ummmm, no???  I know along with a million other benefits, it supposedly helps you lose baby weight faster, but I have never wanted to breastfeed.  It's something that makes me uncomfortable and I honestly think I bonded quite well with my formula-fed son, and he's pretty darn healthy, as well.  So while I tried it for a week and failed miserably and just didn't get it, this time around, I'm not giving in to pressure or going to be guilt tripped into breastfeeding. 

I just need to make up my mind about the epidural...

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Things Harvey Does That Makes My Heart Happy (part two...)

 When he's really tired, he doesn't throw a fit.  He just falls asleep.

He crosses is ankles everywhere...sitting on the floor, in his car seat, the high chair, bath tub...

He helps with the laundry.

He spends quality time with Daddy.

He can clap while standing.

He likes to "help" cook.

He's oblivious to the food not in his mouth.

He talks and waves to the rustling leaves.  (Ridiculously adorable.)

And at the end of the day, he is still his Mama's little baby.

Mr. Pedestrian!!!!

Someone has learned how to walk!!! 

While he crawls often, he will now walk to his destination after pulling himself up on furniture.  Or if placed in the center of the room, he will walk from there to wherever. 

It's exciting...but I know how much work will be coming now...

*sigh of relief* Finally unpacked!!!!!!!!

We. Are. Finally. Unpacked.

Doesn't mean there aren't boxes stacked in the hallway, awaiting their trip out to the garage, but at least the apartment is put together!

Of course, there are still a few things that need to be taken care of... (curtains, pictures put up on the walls, etc.)

I had a lot of "help" this past week and a half...while Daddy was back in St. Cloud for his last week of training, Harvey and I were alone in this new home, new town, trying to get things taken care of.  Harvey was dealing with a cold, so I had him hanging on me most of the time, and then I not only got a cold, but the third trimester exhaustion like none other.  I don't remember feeling this worn out and tired with Harvey, but then again, I didn't have a little child to chase after either.  And wow.  Harvey got into everything.  Kitchen cabinets, bathroom, boxes he shouldn't be getting into.

I could never get a step ahead of him.  I was so tired.

So once Daddy got home, a trip to Wal-Mart proved beneficial with cabinet locks.  The bathroom door is shut all the time, and now that the boxes are unpacked, there is nothing to worry me.  (Except the bookcase with DVDs lining the shelves...oh well.  At least he can't open them.  Yet.)

The view outside our window is amazing, considering where we came from.  The noisy, central street of Duluth is in the past!  Now we have this gorgeous view:

Harvey stands at the screen and yells out the window, only to be greeted with silence or leaves rustling.  Only at noon and 6pm are we greeted with a five to ten-second town siren test (why, I'm not sure...they still test it for five minutes the first Wednesday of the month...), and then at 3:20 when the high school students get out and the cool kids rev their ridiculous pipes.

The whole apartment complex isn't too bad...thin walls/floors/ceilings.  Our apartment in Duluth was basically sound proof, so this is new to me.  I sometimes feel bad for our neighbors when Harvey is yelling or hitting things on the floor.  :S  We, uh, can also hear our neighbors doing "other" about awkward................

We have yet to venture down to the pool so Harvey can swim.  We were going to do that last weekend, but we had busy days.  Daddy worked until noon on Saturday, took a nap to try and get rid of his cold, and then we went to Crosslake for Saturday evening Mass.  (WOW.  What a church!) 

Car repairs took up most of the time on Sunday.  Then we took a scenic drive around Gull Lake so Harvey could sleep.  I am bound and determined to get there again today so I can take a picture of the absolutely gorgeous drive and get it up here.  We stopped for our once-a-month night out at the Bar Harbor Supper Club on Gull Lake for dinner.  It was good; their Wild Rice Clam Chowder was to die for!!!  (I tried making it last night.  Failed least to get it to taste like theirs.)  I enjoyed the walleye dinner (with bones and all...) but it was really fresh walleye, so that was good.  John enjoyed a reuben sandwich.  We decided we will continue trying the local restaurants around here.

Harvey and I have had some fun excursions, too...we took a walk to the post office the other day, and stopped in next door at Wells Fargo where Daddy works now.  :0)  It was fun!  I can't remember ever living in a town where we can take a walk to the post office...Harvey enjoys being outside.  (I get Braxton-Hicks contractions from the walking, but I will deal!  I love it too much to stay inside all day long!)  I must make the most of it before snow comes!

This weekend, we're supposed to have fabulous weather, so we're going to head to the Crow Wing State Park just south of Baxter, and then stop at a pumpkin patch on the way home.  Should be fun!!!

Thursday, September 23, 2010


I think I should have waited until after lunch to give Harvey his bath...

Wednesday, September 22, 2010


I wonder how Harvey can have Cheerios and Puffs on his high chair tray for breakfast, and come dinner I'm still finding random O's and Puffs scattered around the house; yet when he has mashed potatoes with lunch, not a soft, creamy little piece comes off his tray.

Simply amazing.

Things Harvey Does That Makes My Heart Happy (part one...)

He's bound and determined to get his snack:

He pretends he is Daddy:

He doesn't eat until he does it his way (off Mommy's plate):

He doesn't mind when we play "dress up":

My Little Man

I. Am. Exhausted.

I went to bed around eleven o'clock last night, but I was up for most of it.

Harvey's nose started running around four o'clock yesterday afternoon, so I figured he was getting a cold.  (No thanks to Daddy not covering him properly in the cool weather, I thought.)  Plus, after talking to my mom, I learned that Harvey's Uncle Crash also had a runny nose. 

Then around bedtime, I felt inside his mouth and could feel one of his top teeth coming through.


Not Daddy's fault after all...

Harvey went to bed fine, but by the time I went to bed, he was already having trouble breathing.  He sleeps with a pacifier in practically all night, so that made it even more difficult.

It seemed like every ten minutes I was going into his room and rubbing his back, trying to quiet him down.  I managed to get a couple hours of solid sleep, though. 

After hitting my snooze for the fifth time this morning, I decided I needed to grab the suction bulb and clean Harvey's little nose out, which meant I was waking him up at 7:09.  Now the very first time I tried this back in June when his bottom teeth popped up, he would giggle to no end.  Apparently it's super funny to have Mommy suction out your nose!

Not this time.

Poor little guy was thrashing around as if I were trying to hurt him!  :0(  But finally, I was able to get most of the passage way clean and viola!  He could breathe again!!! 

Of course, when something like teething and congestion happen, much more has to as well...Harvey had soaked through his diaper, and five minutes after that he stunk up the entire room and got poo all over his [fresh, clean] pajamas, so I had to change him again, much to his dismay.

We finally settled down for the morning and he's been acting like his normal self, except for the watery eyes and runny nose.  He crawls to the balcony window, stands up, and waves to traffic driving by.  :0)

If only we could all be so friendly while sick. 

Monday, September 20, 2010

Holy Procrastination, Batman!

I am officially procrastinating to the utmost extent right now.

I need to be shampooing carpet and/or cleaning out the fridge.

Instead, I am sitting at the computer, Facebooking, emailing, blogging....all while hoping I have the ingredients to make chocolate cheesecake brownies.  But I'm even too lazy at this moment to check the recipe.

Part of it is I'm exhausted...went to bed later than I wanted to last night and woke up at 6am to see my husband off as he heads out of town for another week.

The weather today isn't helping, either...overcast and gloomy...59 degrees....slight drizzle....windy.

Thankfully, Harvey went down for a nap at 2:00 as he was super tired, too...maybe I will take a nap.

Or go shampoo some carpet. 

Friday, September 17, 2010

For The Love Of My Unborn Child

A few years ago, I thought when the time came and I was pregnant, I would be overjoyed and love every moment of it, complete with the "glow" and all.  After all, there is a life inside me that is growing, a separate soul that is it's very own person, making it's own decisions on when to kick or would be amazing.

However, I didn't think about the morning sickness, the complete exhaustion, how annoying the hiccups would be, or how frustrating it would be trying to fall asleep while the little stinker is performing a gymnastics routine in the womb.  Or, my absolute favorite -heavy sarcasm here- heartburn.  With Harvey, I remember having to go to sleep sitting up, tears running down my cheeks, because it hurt so bad and all I wanted to do was rest!  Seriously, all I had to do was drink water and I had heartburn.  It was awful.  Oh, and shopping for clothing that would fit me was depressing as all heck.  It was a chore, even when my best friend took me out on a shopping spree. 

So needless to say, I unfortunately became one of those pregnant mothers who complained all the time and was uncomfortable and hated being pregnant.  All the thoughts, dreams, and hopes I had about being pregnant were dead wrong.

It's been a similar experience with this pregnancy.  I'm trying not to complain as much and just endure it all, and especially trying to have a different mindset this time around.  I mean, there are so many women who can't get pregnant, and would give anything to have morning sickness, feel their baby move within them, or go on pregnancy clothes shopping sprees...

The change in my mindset came crashing into my heart and soul yesterday.  I've been reading this really enlightening book, Unprotected: A Campus Psychiatrist Reveals How Political Correctness in Her Profession Endangers Every Student by Miriam Grossman, M.D.  Chapter six is about abortion, the aftermath of the procedure, how PASS (post abortion stress syndrome) is denied by most medical professionals, and it all gets pretty graphic.

I wanted to cry as I read, ironically in the OB waiting room at my last appointment, how women are told it's a totally safe procedure and you'll feel relieved afterward; how one woman described the emotional aftercare that isn't provided after having an abortion; or the most sickening, how women described having to dispose of the fetus themselves after, in the privacy of their home, they pass the child, and can see the head, eyes, nose, arms, fingers...none had been told of that possibility.  None had any safe place to bury it.  Most ended up flushing it down the toilet.  

There was anger, too, as I read about the Japanese and how abortion is just a total acceptance in their culture to control the population.  The Buddhist folklore believe the soul of the fetus goes to a kind of purgatory, but this soul can be saved through a mizuko kuyo, a memorial of sorts.  During this ceremony, there are verses that are recited.  Cultural differences and religious practices aside, these lines infuriate me:  "During the time that I was continuing to grow, I had requested the kindness of my parents, I disobeyed that kindness, So I was brought out by the midwife with the body lost..."  Disobeyed?  In the womb?  I know this is a cultural difference/issue, but it still upset me to read it.

All of this is heartbreaking to say the least.  So many women get depressed and suicidal after having an abortion.  There is slight hope, though, as a post-abortion Web site was created called that serves to help women dealing with PASS.  I went to it, and while I didn't register, I was able to read a few messages...I wanted to cry.

I have a friend who had an abortion, and we had talked about it on the three-year anniversary.  While it was still hard for her, she had accepted what she did, forgiven herself and her boyfriend, and had asked both God, and her unborn little boy, whom she named Andrew, for forgiveness.  She had gone to a support Web site, similar if not the same as the one mentioned above, where she was able to find the help she needed.  I am so thankful for that help she received.  She is comforted by her knowledge that one day, after she dies, she will finally be able to hold her eldest child.  I pray she does, too.

While chapter six was exhausting to read, it made me love the little baby inside me even more.  (And the little Harvey that is currently tearing apart a magazine...I'm such an awesome mom...) It makes me so grateful for the upbringing I had.

Unlike so many others, I will never have to mourn the loss of my child because of a choice I made; instead, I get to cherish the 3:30am cuddles with Harvey, and the constant gold-medal-winning gymnastic routines of my unborn child.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Moving....what a headache

I remember when I was a little girl and my family would move.  I LOVED it.  Packing all my stuff, going to a new place, unpacking...

Fifteen/twenty-some years later, I. HATE. IT.

What a headache!  (Literally...I have a headache right now that I can only contribute to actually getting a lot of packing done today.) 

No wonder there are professional movers.  If I had the money, I would hire them to do all the work.

However, it is fun to watch Harvey "help" me...

Just this morning he would take out every travel mug I put in a box, examine it, then put it on the floor.  It's fun for him, but lots of work for me.  I'm taking it all in, though, because before I know it, he'll be the one moving out.  :0(

I don't think it would be such a big deal if we were moving from our apartment to a home...but alas, we're going from one apartment to another apartment for an undetermined amount of time.  Part of me wants to stash all our stuff in a garage and wait to unpack it, mostly because I don't want to go through this packing/unpacking thing once again.

Anyway, my next headache is scheduled for next weekend, when we actually move.  Being six months pregnant, I'm not sure I will be much help to my husband and my father-in-law (who is going to be "helping" us.)  Thankfully, my dad is on hand to help if need be, and Mom will be watching Harvey for the day so we don't have to juggle him as well. 

Let's just pray all goes well, and no one hurts themselves...

Friday, September 10, 2010

Golf in the house

I recently realized my husband is a child.

Ok, so not real recently.  I've known this from early on in our relationship. 

But the reality of the notion came crashing down when I walked in the [messy-because-we're-packing-to-move] apartment to see Harvey in his high chair, and Daddy was nowhere in sight.  (After a recent choking incident, I'm neurotic about sitting next to him for the entirety of his meal...)

"Hello?"  I asked, and just then I heard a little smack, saw Harvey make a face, and heard a wiffle golf ball hit the wall behind my son, and land in a stack of totes.

"Yes!" Came from the living room.

It was actually sightly humorous, but only because it wasn't an actual golf ball sailing toward Harvey's head, and John wasn't aiming for him...just the totes that lay a couple feet beyond him.

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

"You're never ready to have kids."

Those enlightening words came from an older gentleman as I was cutting his hair at work. 

What preceded this comment was when he asked if I had kids, and I told him a nine-month-old and one due in December.  His face lit up and after congratulating me, he said, "Good for you!  Having kids while you're young!  So many people put it off these days to chase their career."  I agreed, then said it wasn't exactly how we planned it, but what can we do?

"You're never ready to have kids," he responded.  "No one will ever be ready to take on a crying infant in the middle of the night, and no one will ever be ready and willing to get up every couple hours to feed the baby."

Wow.  I never thought of it that way.  But it made perfect sense. 

Who in their right mind sits there and says, "Ok: I'm ready to have a child.  I'm ready for crying, nighttime feedings, spitting up, poopy diapers, constant messes, food strewn about the dining room, baby-proofing everything, almost no social life, and whatever else may come?"

I, for one, was not, and will never be.  It's exhausting to have a child.  And I'm only 25. 

As much as I may have planned out my future, having kids at such-and-such an age after I paid off all my college loans ( it possible to have kids at such an old age?  Certainly not the energy...), this guy made me open my eyes to the reality of where I was at, yet made me feel like I was right where I was supposed to be. 

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Do all pregnant women have such crazy dreams!?

I'm not sure when this happened, but Harvey has decided he just wants to snuggle with me all the time, particularly when he's tired. (Be that at 1:30am, or 5am, or nap time and bed time...)  This wouldn't be a problem if I weren't so set on him being independent when his sibling comes along in December.  I guess I just need to make the most of this though, because we all know it will end too soon.

Changing the subject, I can't remember having such crazy dreams before!!!  I've heard that when a woman is pregnant, she has very strange dreams.  But last night iced the cake: we were at my father-in-law's for Thanksgiving dinner and some strangers came to pick up my husband's sister, but John (my husband) being the protective big brother he is, called to my recently deceased dog and his dog and told them to "sick 'em!"  Well, we went on having dinner and then I looked out the door to see the dogs, their fur soaked in blood, with knife slices down their stomach's.  They weren't dead yet but they were pleading with their eyes toward me, and I started yelling that "they have knives!"  John woke me up as I was yelling in my sleep, and once I finally was awake, I started bawling.  Now I just shake my head and wonder what the heck was going through my mind....

Wednesday, August 18, 2010


I had a slight panic attack today.


It happened after I was trying to do dishes, and my nine-month-old, Harvey, crawled over to me and started climbing up my leg, "Mmmmmmmmm"ing the whole time.  Exasperated, as I wanted the kitchen cleaned up before my husband for home from work, I sighed, grumbled under my breath, bent down, and picked him up.

All Harvey wanted was to lay his head on my shoulder.

Well.  I felt like deserved the Worst Mom In The World Award.

Harvey's younger sibling, in utero, kicked at its big brother.

That's when the panic attack came.

At that moment, my heart was surging with love for Harvey.  How on earth will I ever love both my children the same!?!?!?!?

My mother had told me you don't love them the same, just like you don't love your husband and child the same.  There is just an infinite amount of love, but still scares me.  
Harvey has been the perfect baby from the start.  He always smiles, started sleeping through the night at a month old, teethed without our knowing, (I just one day decided to check if he had any teeth coming in and there they were!) and until recently he never whined...and even then it's only when he wants to be picked up or fed.  He's always so happy and is such a joy that I can't imagine loving another child like I love him.  I want to be able to give both Harvey and Baby equal attention, but the reality of the situation tells me that there is no way that will happen.  Just equal amounts of different love.  

Oh well.  I have plenty of time to wait and see how that situation will pan out.  Four months will creep by, right?

Everything has a beginning....

I've started this blog for multiple reasons.

First, to write again, as I haven't honestly written since college.  We're going on almost three years.  As a Public Relations and International Journalism major, I [obviously] enjoy writing and wanted to do it as a career, but in this fantastic economy, that hasn't worked out.

Second, to get things out.  I've always been better at figuring life out when I write it down.  Problems don't seem so huge when they're written down.  They seem conquerable when I can see the issue from beginning to end.  Feelings seem to make more sense when they're out, too.  It's just a great way to express oneself.

Third, to connect with others; bounce ideas off others; learn from others.  The internet is a massive, interesting tool and I want to use it for more than just Google.  :0)