Life

Quick Parenting PSA

As mentioned in my previous post, I really know nothing about babies.  But I’m a quick learner.  And one of my favorite -to-date parenting hacks: BLUETOOTH HEADPHONES.

Whether I’m out for a walk around the block or trying to not let the mind-numbing screeches of the Children’s Museum drive me to day-drink, my bluetooth headphones have saved the day.  I’m not zoning out to ultra chill beats, but rather making my brain a little more wrinkled by listening to podcasts!  These four have been in heavy rotation:

podcasts

 

1. | 2. | 3. | 4.

(I also love Joanna Goddard’s recommendations too.)

So when you see in my eyes that “thousand-yard stare”, it’s not just because I’m the mother of a busy 15 month old, but mostly because I’m listening to something really interesting!

Coming Up For Air

Struggle Quote

I think we’ve finally emerged from the fog of newborn days….20 weeks later!  I think I’ve finally caught my breath.  I seem to not only have my nose above water, but I’m actually treading water over here.  I’ve got a lot to say.  I hope I can find the words to adequately capture the last 20 weeks of my life.  Maybe it will all come out all at once, maybe it will trickle slowly.  But words are what I need right now to keep this experience in perspective.  And I want to remember; I want to not have rose colored glasses when hindsight is all I have.  I feel a new strength has surfaced…and lord knows I’ll need it as I find my new pattern of life.

*Mediterranean Sea Moraira, Spain, 2014*

The Day Is Near

Waiting

How do you describe the day before you know you’ll meet your child?  I am being induced tomorrow.  My mom texted me today and said that today feels different for her; for me it feels the same as the last 39 1/2 weeks — completely normal and completely surreal.

My last post at 34 weeks seems like yesterday and 100 years ago.  Maybe this is the entirety of being/becoming a parent: a constant paradox.

Ironically, since my shingles has cleared up, I’ve never felt better.  Really, these last 2 weeks in particular have been the best of my entire pregnancy.  Don’t get me wrong, my pelvis is about to completely fall apart and I walk like a 2,000 year old person, but mentally I’m finally there.  I’m finally ready to say: #letsdothis!

When I went in for my 37 week check up the doc told me, much to my surprise that I was 2cm dilated and 70% effaced.  The adrenaline kicked in.  At my 38 week check up I was 3cm and 80% effaced.  The adrenaline really kicked in and I thought for sure I would be meeting my monkey over Memorial Day Weekend.  So last Friday at my 39 week appointment I wasn’t sure what to expect; however, my progress has stalled and I’m still the same (3 & 80).

The emotion of it all manifested at the 37 week check up.  My sis came over that weekend and helped us set up the guest room baby’s room.  She and I and B nearly all lost it a few times, but especially during another Target run when I realized that I lost my mucus plug.  It was “gettin’ real in the whole foods parkin’ lot” if you know what I mean.  But we’ve all had time to settle a bit and now I just feel calm — a really weird calm.

I feel really fortunate to have gotten a little staycation weekend with the hubs over Memorial Day weekend.  We thought for sure it was our last together as a family of two so we made the most of it.  We watched like 5 movies (even went to the theater for one of them!) and cleaned the house, played cards, cooked almost all our meals at home together, limited phone calls, slept a lot; it was magic.  Then nothing.  I was all geared up — or rather zen-ed out — and then, nothing.

So I’ve tried to keep that level of internal calm for nearly another two weeks.  I’ve tried to be present to every opportunity — including junky tv, a random breakfast date, “long” walks, watching B cook for me, listening to music and meditations, and just sitting in the quiet of the house staring at my budding lemon tree.  I know that there will never be a time like this again.  As melodramatic and cliche as it sounds, I know life will never be the same again.

But I am ready.  I am ready for this new journey; a chance for renewed self-discovery and connection with my husband and the world.  And mostly, I’m ready to get this squirmy creature out of my body so I can squish it pieces!

Wish me luck!

We’re Having A….

BOY or GIRL

{Photo taken at one of my favorite places ever: the James Turrell tunnel at the MFAh}

I decided that I wanted to wait to find out the gender.  It could have something to do with my fear of early attachment… but I don’t think so.  I’ve just always thought it would be great to wait to find out.  I mean, I’ve got enough issues that I don’t think I need to start projecting gender bias onto something still in utero!  I also kind of like the personal challenge of turning down the opportunity of finding out.  It’s like being able to say no to a piece of free chocolate cake. (I mean, what sane person does that?!)

One of the unexpected enjoyments has been how EVERYONE has an opinion about what I’m having.  I’m not kidding.  Just last week a lifeguard, parking lot attendant, entire Chipotle staff, and a random lady on the street offered up their unsolicited opinions.  Bradly even had someone at a taco shop tell him what they thought it was and I wasn’t even with him!!!

It’s pretty predictable and usually conversations go something like this:

[Stranger:] “Wow… how far along are you?!” or “Congratulations”

[Me]: fill in appropriate blank

[Stranger:] “Is this your first?”

[Me:] yes

[Stranger:] “What are you having?”

[Me:] Not sure, we’re waiting to find out.

[Stranger:] “What?!?! Really? Wow!  Well I think its a {insert boy or girl}!”

I’m not kidding.  People flock to this belly like free ice cream on a hot day.  Surprisingly, the misanthropic introverted part of me doesn’t mind this.  I actually think it’s really funny.   I’ve talked to more strangers in the last 3 months than I have probably in the last 3 years combined!

I’ve also really enjoyed reading about all the old wives tales about gender.  Most of them suggest that I’m having a boy.  I keep flip-flopping as to what I think it is.  I wish I could say I have this other-worldly connection and my intuition is spot on, but really I have no idea.  I think for sure that it’s human…  But these days this is what I think I’m having:

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It Is What It Is – Thoughts On My Pregnancy (so far)

Thirty one weeks….  T-H-I-R-T-Y O-N-E W-E-E-K-S people.

31 Weeks

I finally feel like I can spend some time reflecting on this whole thing.  Time is such a strange phenomenon and concept.  Pregnancy has been one of the most unusual and difficult experiences of my life (and sometimes overwhelmingly amazing).  Let’s go ahead and add to that experience the purchase of a new home, a remodel of said home, moving, and having a husband in a major accident and unable to use one leg for 10+ weeks.

I guess I should start from the beginning… (hang on, this is a LONG one)

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How To Move Succesfully

Moving Tips

As I said earlier, we really had a super-successful move into our new little house.  Not only is this because we hired the best movers ever (3-Men Movers), but I think it’s because I have a little OCD had my act together and I’ve learned a few things in the 10+ times that I’ve moved.

So here are my 11 Best Moving Tips for an efficient and hassle-free move:

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I Resolve To…

Processed with VSCOcam with c1 preset

In the past I’ve been up for resolutions/goals at the start of a new year, but these days, it’s a good day if I can get pants on by noon.  I’ve had the privilege of working from home since August; this worked out well since I found out I was pregnant the first of September.  Strange sleeping hours, constant peeing, and being so exhausted that the thought of expending energy on brushing my hair was paralyzing has all been great to experience from my own home.  I’m one of the lucky ones for sure and I do NOT take it for granted.

Although I’m not up to making resolutions since I have so much on my plate right now I’m lazy, I do want the hubs to make a few!  *insert giggling emoticon*  Really, just one: standing up at work.  No, not metaphorically, but literally.  I know we’ve been inundated with “sitting is the new smoking”, but I’m surprised at how few workplace environments are doing something about it.

I read this great article about one woman’s experience and decision to stand at her desk at work.  I like that she was honest and said it was HARD at first, but eventually she’s become a convert and now she’ll never go back.  Read the whole account here.  I get really worried about the hubs sitting at his computer hunched over all day just clicking away — really that’s all architects do by the way: click, click, click.  But he assures me he takes regular breaks and he does usually walk somewhere in the neighborhood for lunch, but still… I guess for now I should probably focus on being able to get myself to go around the block at least once a day, much less stand for 8 hours!

If and when I am ready to make some habit changes, I will have to remember what I learned yesterday in this interesting article.  The premise of which is that if we want to make change/break a habit then it is not enough to just change our attitude about something, but that we need to disrupt our environment.

…our environments come to unconsciously direct our behavior. Even behaviors that we don’t want…

We think of ourselves as controlling our behavior, willing our actions into being, but it’s not that simple.

It’s as if over time, we leave parts of ourselves all around us, which in turn, come to shape who we are.

I guess it’s not just mind over matter after all.

Getting Around On Two Wheels

Motorcycles

I became a new woman last summer — I learned to drive a motorcycle!  The hubs and I have been a one-car family for four years now, and although we weren’t ready to purchase a second vehicle, we were considering a motorized two-wheel option: mostly, a scooter.  But in order to legally drive one on the streets of Houston, we needed to acquire our motorcycle endorsement.  And really, learning to drive one has been on my life-skills list for a long time.  Rather than just take the test at the DMV, I wanted a class that would give me a little experience.  We signed up with a GREAT organization just north of the city.  And I cannot believe that I went from not being able to sleep the night before because I was so nervous, to confidently riding on two wheels by the end of the second day.

It was a HOT weekend and over half of the class is spent out on the open “range” (a dance-club parking lot!).  But I loved that I was able to think of nothing else except the task at hand.  I had no “to-do” lists, grocery lists, future projects, or life worries running through my head – just slow, look, press, & roll!  It was also quite the bonding exercise for B and I.  It made us think that we might like to take other classes together.  And really, it just secured our confidence that we’re even more prepared for the zombie apocalypse!  (Basically what I’m saying is that Daryl and I are now BFFs.)

Speaking of confidence, I would recommend this class to ALL women.  Ladies, I cannot think of anything more empowering that I’ve done.  So really, for your next corporate retreat/team-building activity, you should suggest taking a motorcycle course!

Scootertime

My dreams of being a BadAss motorcycle babe might be on hold for a while, as I’m not sure my little scooter screams: Watch Out!  But while I dream of owning a Bonneville or fixing up an old Honda, my Stella will have to suffice.  And more than suffice it does!  It’s the best way to get around the city… basically we should have done this a long time ago!  Here we are cruising around town, down one of our favorite streets!