4.18.2009

Big Belly

30 weeks

So when I did my pregnancy post I forgot to mention a few things. One is I have now joined the Belly Stretch Mark Club. About a week ago I had just got out of the shower and looked in the mirror, and lo and behold, there it was. That purple little devil. I know it shouldn’t really matter. I’m already covered in stretch marks all over the rest of my body due to my constant fluctuating sizes growing up. But my belly was the ONE place I didn’t have any. But that has now changed. I have since gotten another one since then and I will probably get much more. I guess I should be more vigilant about applying my cocoa butter cream.

Other “fun” pregnancy changes: My stomach is now hairy and dry. I’ve never been a very hairy person, but I have dark, ugly hairs residing on my belly now, as well as itchy, dry skin that likes to flake off every once in a while. My breasts are getting bigger and saggier by the minute. (Austin doesn’t mind the size change, but I do.) I really can’t imagine them getting any bigger but I’ve been told that they will. One of the most frustrating things about being pregnant has been losing my mind. I have always prided myself on my excellent memory and my ability to multi-task. I’ve always been able to get anything done efficiently (once I decided I wanted to). But no longer. Now I’m a scatterbrained mess. I can’t remember things. I can’t focus or concentrate. Things that were once easy are now difficult and it takes me twice as long to do anything. I’m hoping that postpartum my brain will return. I sorely miss it.

I’m now wearing maternity garments. For anyone who wants to know, I like them. I highly recommend getting at least the bottoms. Just be careful to get the right size. The maternity tops are okay, but they’re kinda huge on me. Mostly because I have a small torso, and they don’t make “petite” maternity tops. I wish I had gotten some a month earlier because my other garments were starting to cut into me and it was extremely uncomfortable.

I wanted to briefly record some events that occurred during my pregnancy. Four weeks ago I went in to do my glucose test. Not fun. I haven’t felt that sick since the first trimester. The drink tasted like a flat, sugary, watery orange soda, which made me nauseous. When I went to get my blood drawn, I almost threw up. And then I almost fainted due to the loss of blood. Fortunately I had brought snacks. As soon as she was done, I immediately grabbed a snack and started eating. I kept my head between my knees and didn’t stand up. I stayed there for about fifteen minutes, after which I started feeling better. Later that night I had to go back to the hospital to get my Rhogam shot. I’m RH– which means that if my baby is RH+ (which is highly likely), my body will start producing antibodies and reject future babies. The shot is supposed to prevent my body from making these antibodies. I had to get one then and I’ll have to get another one when the baby is born. I HATE getting shots more than anything, but this time I was pleasantly surprised. She was done before I even knew she had given me the shot. It didn’t hurt. The glucose test was MUCH worse than getting the shot.

I was relieved to find out from the test results that I’m not anemic and I don’t have diabetes. That was a relief. I was really, really worried about the diabetes. I have a high risk factor of getting it due to my family history and what-not. I also have a family history of high blood pressure, which I’ve fortunately also been able to avoid thus far in my pregnancy. I’ve been trying to avoid any and all complications, especially since I really want to have a natural childbirth and having any complications (even common ones) will make that more difficult.

Sleeping and moving around and getting stuff done has gotten a lot harder in the last few weeks. My back hurts a lot. And my hips hurt when I sleep. I’ve also been getting leg cramps and Charlie horses. I’m always tired these days. I’m going to try getting more sleep and more exercise and see if that helps. Though I’ve heard that the last few months suck no matter what you do.

My next post on pregnancy will cover my birthing classes (which are awesome) and my desire to have a natural childbirth. Stay tuned.

Here are some pics of me in my Easter maternity dress:




"Thanks that was fun. Don't forget. No regrets. Except maybe one."

On February 24, 2009, I learned what it felt like to be a Beatles fan on April 10, 1970. This is the day that I learned that Steven Page was leaving the Barenaked Ladies to go solo. The news devastated me. BNL has been my favorite band for about five or so years now. Of course I heard their hit singles during the nineties while growing up. I was familiar with “One Week,” “Pinch Me,” and “If I had a Million Dollars.” I didn’t realize at the time that they were all the same band. It was Heidi who first led me to realize I loved this band. She made me a few mix CDs with various BNL songs on them. When I realized I loved the songs and they were all the same band, I decided to buy their Greatest Hits album. I loved that so much that I bought their first album, Gordon. After that, it was all history as they say. Subsequently I bought and loved the rest of their albums. In 2003 when they released a new album (Everything to Everyone) I listened to it obsessively. Then I heard they were coming to town. As I didn’t want to go to a concert by myself, I begged anyone and everyone I knew to come with me. My brother Tyler, being a casual fan, agreed. In March of 2003 we went to their concert.

It was one of the best nights of my life.

I was amazed at how they sounded even better live. Not only was their music great, they were funny and entertaining. I jumped up and down like a maniac. I screamed at the top of my lungs. I sang along. I almost hyperventilated due to the excitement.

After that, I continued to be a huge fan. I tried converting everyone I knew to them. I was successful with a few, including my now-husband Austin. (He actually knows the words better than I do to lots of their songs.)

In 2007 Austin and I were able to go see them in concert. Though I was able to contain my excitement a little better this time, it was still an awesome concert. They just kept getting better and better.

If all you know is their hit singles, you should really listen to more of their work. I like their singles, but I love the rest of their work more. (I promise the rest of their stuff is simply AWESOME if you give it a chance.) They can write really silly lyrics (“Another Postcard”), introspective lyrics (“War on Drugs”), moving lyrics (“When I Fall”), witty, wordplay-filled lyrics (“A”), sad lyrics (“Powder Blue”), story-filled lyrics (“Old Apartment”) and bitingly political lyrics (“Fun & Games). Basically they’re brilliant. You just don’t get lyrics like these just anywhere or from just anyone:

“You can shine like silver all you want but you’re just aluminum”
--"Aluminum"

“I'm a public embarrassment/I'm a bottle of diet poison
I'm a walking advertisement/For everything I never meant
And everything I never meant to be”
--“Bull in a China Shop”

“When you die they make a list of every love you never kissed/Of each regret and each mistake/Every choice you'll fail to make
Oh well...”
--“Next Time”

“Friend, this shouldn't be the way things end/But then, a break is just around the bend.
And when you tell me as I leave/You're scared you'll never see my face again
Well, I'm not sure it's the truth/You don't think I can love you/But I can and I will and I do”
--“I Can I Will I Do”

“Don't call me a zero/I'm gonna be a hero
Like Phil Esposito or the Kennedys

I'll be incorporated/And I'll be imitated
And overrated, but that doesn't bother me”
--“Celebrity”

“I wax poetic as you’re waxing your legs”
--“Blame It on Me”

“I climb the walls of my mind just like I’m climbing/On the jungle gym.
I am more than content with the/State of mind I am in.
Cause I am crazy just like you.”
--“Crazy”

“When you walked in, I said with a grin/That we were just talking about you
We all had to lie because you would cry/If you knew we were laughing at you”
--“Humour of the Situation”


Okay, I could post much, much more. They have about 200 songs. Anyway, they’re brilliant.

So, why am I so sad about Steve leaving? Well, he was the cofounder and cofrontsman of the group. He wrote or cowrote a majority of the songs. He also sang at least half of them. I love Steve’s voice. It’s distinctive and strong. I can’t imagine anyone else singing his songs. To me, him and his voice were the heart and soul of Barenaked Ladies. I’ve always preferred “Steve songs” to “Ed songs.” Not only that but he was a major presence in the live shows. The live shows have always been about the banter between Ed and Steve. They played off each other and brought excitement to everything they did. I can't imagine "If I Had a Million Dollars" without him. That song was and will always be Ed and Steve's duet. Losing Steve is like losing John Lennon. (In an interesting side-note, there have been some rumors that Steve’s new girlfriend is partly to blame. Extra ironic considering the band’s early hit song “Be My Yoko Ono” in which Steve sings “If I were John and you were Yoko I would gladly give up musical genius. Just to have you as my very own personal Venus.”) Though John and Paul were both talented separately, together they were brilliant. It was their partnership that made the Beatles so great. They pushed each other to be better. BNL is the same way. What is Ed without Steve or Steve without Ed? The band has decided to continue on as a four-man group, but it will never be the same. I love the other members of the band, but let’s face it…losing Steve is a huge blow. The Barenaked Ladies that I fell in love with and obsessed over the last several years will never be the same. And for that, I can’t help but mourn. (“It took me a year to believe it was over. It took me two more to get over the loss.”)

4.17.2009

Why I Love Susan Boyle

For those who haven't been following the news or the viral video, Susan Boyle is a 47-year-old woman from a teeny town in Scotland. She is one of this year's contestants on Britain's Got Talent.

I discovered the viral video via a news article online. I watched it and discovered why, only a few days later, the video has reached 21 million views.

The video introduces us to Susan, a plump, unattractive, poorly dressed woman who admits she sings to her cat and has never been kissed. She walks out on stage and within seconds the audience, and the judges, have already made up their mind about her. They cynically wait for her to make a fool of herself. But Susan refuses to be shaken. With her witty remarks and refusal to let others get to her, Susan displays great self-confidence and what can only be called moxie. They may judge her, but she believes in herself.

And then Susan begins to sing....and out comes one of the most beautiful voices I've heard in a long time. Almost instantly, the audience is on their feet. As she sings about dreams, you find yourself believing with her. You know she knows what she's singing as she pours her soul out with her voice. The emotion reaches out through cyberspace and touches your heart.

Some may ask, "why is this video so popular?" or say "This isn't the most amazing voice I've ever heard." It's not about the singing people (though the singing, though not entirely "perfect," is spectacular). It's about how people in this world take one look at somebody and judge what he or she is worth. She couldn't be a good singer because she didn't look like somebody who could sing. It only takes a few seconds to be judge, jury, and executioner these days.

Susan Boyle reminded me that EVERYONE is incredible in some way, whether they can sing, dance, give a good speech, make a good cake, be a good friend, whatever. You don't need to be beautiful, well-packaged, perfectly proportioned, or well-groomed to be incredible. You don't need to be what people call "normal." No one is normal. We are all uniquely gifted spirits. We all have something to offer. Just because we don't look or seem the part does not mean that we too are not worth something. The next time you think about judging someone else, especially for appearances, remind yourself that that person is incredible too. You may not know what or how makes that person incredible, but it's there. Within each of us of us "ordinary" people is the power to be extraordinary.

Susan Boyle dared to take a risk, to believe in herself, despite her age, appearance, or lifestyle. With her genuine spirit and charming attitude, she showed the world that yes, she too has something to give and yes, she too is incredible. She won over the audience and the judges and, in the process, won over my heart. And that's why I love Susan Boyle.

4.16.2009

This blew me away

Watch this video. If you don't feel something, you're dead inside...

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9lp0IWv8QZY


Absolutely amazing! (I've watched it three times now. Gets better every time.)

4.11.2009

Pregnancy

Though I've talked about being pregnant a lot, I haven't really blogged that much about it. With only 60 days till my due date, I wanted to do a post about my experiences being pregnant thus far. If you don't want to read about it, feel free to skip this post.

6 weeks
First Trimester
I've already written about how I found out I was pregnant and how we initially told everyone. In the beginning I was excited and nervous and couldn't really believe I was actually pregnant. I felt pretty good in the first few weeks, besides the sore breasts. Around 8 weeks or so, morning sickness hit. It felt worse than any nausea I had heretofore experienced. I learned quickly to not get up too fast and eat frequently. I ate crackers and sucked ginger mints. (By the way, I hate crackers now.) I did not throw up very much. Mostly because I will do ANYTHING to avoid throwing up. I'm not one of those people who will throw up and get it over with. I'll try to make it go away. I found that following these rules were very helpful in preventing vomiting:
1. Never eat anything that doesn't sound good.
2. If something that was tasting good all of the sudden stops tasting good, stop eating IMMEDIATELY. (Even if it means spitting out food instead of swallowing it.)
3. Never get hungry.
4. Eat as soon as you get up.
5. Eat in the middle of the night if you need to. Never go to bed hungry.
6. Sleep and don't move around as much as possible.
7. Keep food near the bed and don't get up quickly.

I credit these rules (and perhaps good luck) to keeping my vomiting to a minimum. I still felt nauseated most days. Some were worse than others. Thinking about this again, I am SO glad to not feel this way anymore. (Morning sickness was pretty much gone by 20 weeks.) One of the times I did throw up were because I broke rules number 1 and 2. I was eating a tuna fish sandwich that I didn't really want to eat but there wasn't anything else to eat. It started making me sick but I kept eating. That is until the urge to puke came upon me so suddenly I pretty much got it all over the place. Poor Austin. He was such a trooper. He cleaned most of it up. Even after I kept repeatedly throwing up. I loved tuna fish, but I have not touched the stuff since and don't know if I'll ever be able to again. Speaking of food changes, I have also lost my love of broccoli, which I sorely miss. I have always LOVED broccoli, but have not been able to enjoy it during my pregnancy. It tastes extremely bitter to me. I'm hoping this will return when this is all over. I have also not been able to eat string cheese. Other food cravings have included, at various times, hamburgers, fries, apples, oranges, ice cream/frozen yogurt, chocolate, fruit snacks, Fruit Loops, and Frosty floats. I liked oranges all right before my pregnancy, but now I LOVE them. I eat at least one every day.

I also broke out like CRAZY in the first trimester. ALL OVER MY BODY. I even got a zit on my stomach. It was awful, and I hated it. My hair was also falling out. Other than these things and morning sickness and feeling bloated and extremely tired, I don't remember much else about the first trimester. Our first prenatal visit we didn't get to hear the heartbeat, but we did get to see our little boy (then known as Squiggle) in an ultrasound. We did hear the heartbeat at my 10 week appointment. It was seriously the best sound (except for the fact that I trouble paying attention to and enjoying it due to my midwife stabbing my abdomen with the Doppler). It was the first time that pregnancy started feeling more real, especially for Austin. Around 12 weeks of pregnancy, I stopped doing the "elastic hairband trick" to keep my pants on and bought a few pairs of maternity pants. Those lasted until I bought my nice maternity jeans (that I'm still wearing) around 16 weeks.
24 weeks
Second Trimester
I really wish I could go back to the second trimester. This was the best time. Morning sickness went away, and I started getting rounder and actually looking pregnant instead of fat. My energy was returning, for the most part. Near the beginning of the second trimester, I got the stomach flu, which was absolutely horrendous. At first we just thought it was morning sickness, but I couldn't stop throwing up. I couldn't even keep water down. Austin gave me a blessing, and we called a nurse around 5 in the morning and asked what I should do. (We were worried about me being dehydrated and hurting the baby.) Austin was totally freaking out. He wanted me to go to the hospital. I'm glad we waited. (I wanted to wait a few more hours to see if I could keep water down.) After 17 hours or so of continuous vomiting, I finally was able to keep a few ounces of water down. The rest of the day I was on liquids only. By the following day, I was able to eat a few solids (mostly toast and the like). By day three, I was able to mostly eat normally again. I spent the entire weekend sick. It was awful. Probably the worst I've felt in my life. Stomach flu is always nasty; it's worse when you're pregnant.

Besides this unpleasant experience, second trimester was awesome. We had our 20 week ultrasound and found out we were having a boy! We decided on the name Morgan and have been calling him that since. My hair stopped falling out and my skin cleared up, for the most part. One of the best parts was feeling the baby move for the first time. It was around 22 weeks or so (which was later than I wanted to start feeling him) and I was sitting at the computer when all of the sudden I felt this little "flip" feeling in my stomach. I stopped what I was doing and asked myself, "Was that the baby?" A few seconds later, it happened again. I then realized that it was NOT gas but was in fact the baby. I was so happy to finally feel him. Those first movements were so awesome. They felt like little bubbles doing flips in my stomach. These little flips have steadily gotten stronger. They became big kicks. Now the kicks are starting to die down and I'm starting to feel bigger movements. It's such a strange and wonderful feeling. I think I'm going to miss feeling him move when it's all over, despite the fact that he loves to move the most when I'm trying to sleep.

28 weeks
Third Trimester
I am now in my third trimester. I can hardly believe it. I swear I'm getting bigger every day. The change from 20 weeks to 24 weeks and 24 weeks to 28 weeks was incredible. I'm just getting bigger and rounder. And with that comes the ability to no longer easily pick things up. I also get exhausted quite quickly. I have to rest frequently when doing anything. My back and joints hurt. I get heartburn. My arms and legs fall asleep easily. I get leg cramps. I toss and turn at night a lot. It's so hard to get comfortable. It's starting to take me longer to get out of bed and it's more of an effort. I feel "full" all the time, but not from eating. I get up several times at night to go to the bathroom. I feel pressure on my bladder and pelvic area from time to time. My hands, ankles, and feet have swollen slightly.

I'm really getting to the point that I'm ready to be done with all this. I'm SO looking forward to not being pregnant anymore. Though 2 months is not a long time, I have a feeling it's going to go both extremely slow and extremely fast. Austin and I still have so much to do. We are totally not ready to have this baby yet. (As far as preparation goes.) We started childbirth education classes last week and I'm loving them so far. We're going to Birthing From Within classes. It's a 6 week course. We met once a week for three hours. It focuses on more than just teaching information (which I've mostly picked up by reading more books on pregnancy and labor than you'd care to know). We also learn to become emotionally prepared to have a baby. More on this later.

I thought I would have had more mood swings than I've had being pregnant. Though I've had a few major breakdowns due to feelings of being overwhelmed with everything and I've been a bit more snappy than usual, I haven't been too bad. I've kept my irrational lashing out and crying to a bare minimum. We'll see what happens in the next few months though.

At 30 weeks we got to see a sneak peek at Morgan (which you've all seen on Austin's blog by now). It was pretty cool. I'm glad we did that, though I wish the baby looked more like me. He looks all Austin for now, but we'll see what happens when he finally graces us with his appearance.

So this is it for now I guess. I'll post more about the last third of my pregnancy as it happens. I can't believe it's almost over. I can't wait to finally hold my baby in my arms.

(More preggo pics to come... I really meant to take pictures every month, but...I didn't. Thus the jump from 6 weeks to 24 weeks lol)

4.04.2009

I didn't start the fire...

But I did burn the bread. I have now become my mother's daughter. My whole life growing up my mom has been pretty much incapable of NOT burning garlic bread, grilled cheese sandwiches, etc. We've always, good-naturedly, teased her for this.

About a month ago Austin was craving garlic bread. I make excellent garlic bread. Butter, real garlic, spices, and crispy crust. We were both looking forward to the bread. However, due to my pregnant scatterbrainedness, I promptly forgot about the bread. I jumped up when I smelled smoke coming from the oven. To our despair, I had burned the bread almost beyond edibility. But I didn't let this stop me. Wanting to salvage the bread, I scooped out the middle of the pieces and savored what precious little there was to eat.

Mom, I will no longer tease you for burning the bread.

4.03.2009

Tag

Yep, I know I've been horrible at blogging lately. Fear not. I have like 6 posts or so in the works that will hopefully come soon. For now, I'll do this tag to give you something to read.

8 Item Tag...You're it now! Here are the rules: 1) Post rules on your blog 2) Answer the six '8' items 3) Let each person know by leaving them a comment.

8 favorite TV shows:
1. LOST
2. American Idol (my guilty pleasure)
3. Lois & Clark
4. Friends
5. Scrubs
6. Psych
7. The Office
8. Arrested Development

8 Things I did yesterday:
1. Worked
2. Went to my first birth class
3. cleaned the kitchen
4. watched The Office
5. finished reading Interview with the Vampire
6. and that's it


8 Things I'm looking forward to:
1. Conference weekend
2. blogging
3. Austin and I's birthdays
4. Morgan
5. possibly buying a condo
6. finishing a freelance project I've been working on
7. not being pregnant anymore
8. Austin being done with school (still awhile to go on this one)

8 Favorite restaurants:
1. Cheesecake Factory
2. Macaroni Grill
3. Outback
4. Wingers
5. Red Robin
6. California Pizza Kitchen
7. Biagi's
8. TGI Friday's

8 Things on my wish list:
1. For this baby to come soon and be healthy
2. For me to recover quickly and lose the baby weight
3. To get into a condo
4. For Austin and I both to publish something
5. For Austin to graduate and get a job doing something he enjoys while making enough money for me to quit working
6. For my family to be happy and healthy
7. To become a better person
8. To travel and see the things I want to see (works of art, architecture, natural and man-made wonders)


8 People I Tag:
1. Mom
2. Charity
3. Anina
4. Jen
5. Cheryl
6. HayLee
7. Amanda
8. Jessica

(and anyone else who wants to do it)