Saturday, October 30, 2010

Hardships: coffee and tomatoes

So far, the greatest hardship of pregnancy has been giving up coffee. I really miss coffee. I'm sure I will start back with decaff towards the end of the pregnancy, but that seems so far away right now.

And it frosted last night. Not much, just a tad on the car windshield. I just hope the tomato flowers survived! I know tomatoes don't like it too chilly. Ah, well, I know I was taking quite the risk planting them as late as I did.  I know better for next year. I thought it was awfully chilly getting up this morning and the windows weren't even open (glad they weren't!). I should get out later today and check and water everything. From the window, the garden still looks good; I don't think it got all that cold last night. As it was only the car windshield with any ice on it, I'm guessing that it frosted up higher in the atmosphere and landed on the car, but that the ground is warm enough that won't near freezing for many more weeks (if at all before the new year).

In other news, I heard baby's heartbeat at the doctor on Thursday. About 156 beats per minutes, Doc said. I had been thinking we could find out the baby's gender at the next appointment, but I learned this time that the sonogram for checking out baby's anatomy and such is a separate appointment -- sometime the week of Dec 6 (they will call me to set up the appointment). Bummer! We will have to wait an extra 2 weeks! Ah, well, we will still know before Christmas.

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Baby, Habits and Household

One blog that I read regularly (its in my google reader) is Today, she posted about getting her household organized and her commitment to get this done. Its a funny thing, as I've seen two TV shows recently about hoarders and the situations they create (neither where actually about hoarders, but the hoarders provided a plot point). And then, this morning's sermon was over James 5:1-6 and the lure money has on us (brief reference to hoarding money and possessions given). So, it seems I'm hearing, seeing and reading about things and stuff quite a bit recently. Could just be my perception.

Anyhoo, all this discussion of things and stuff has me thinking about our household. We do pretty good and the house is C.H.A.O.S.* free most days. And I have fairly good habits to keep it that way. I tend to clean and do laundry on Saturday (or other day off), and grocery shop on Monday afternoons. Honestly, the carpet hasn't be vacuumed in a few weeks, but by in large, these chores are kept up with. No, I don't do it to the level of my true satisfaction, but its good enough. Good enough is the level of doneness that I give to those things that really are not all that important. Honestly, will weekly vacuumed carpet keep my relationship with Hubby good? No, it won't. But making sure we have something reasonable to eat each evening will impact my relationship with Hubby, both by just providing for him and making sure both of our blood sugar levels are adequate for general life. So, that say, I feel okay about where my house stands on the housekeeping standards, especially while I'm working full time and growing a baby. Different times of life call for different priorities, especially when it comes to housekeeping.

There are two areas of the house that really do need some work... decluttering or organizing or just putting away stuff. First is the office closet. Its really not that bad, but when this room becomes the nursery, where is all this stuff going to go? That may be an issue to be dealt with when the room is truly converted. Second is the guest bedroom closet. This, unfortunately, has become my dumping ground for all things without a home. The room itself needs some picking up, but its not bad compared to the closet. I really need to think through these items... should they stay and just be organized? Or does it need to be thrown away or given away? Do I need to acquire some shelves to add some organization? Ah, decisions, decisions, decisions.

As for the baby front, I'm feeling pretty good. My belly has started to "pop" just a touch and one pair of beloved pants have been outgrown. But, I am in luck, a good friend blessed me with a large stash of maternity clothes, so I'm set for the next 6 months. The hard part has been finding a place for all the clothes, as I now have more maternity clothes than I had of regular clothes previously. I have more than doubled my wardrobe. My plan is to trade out regular clothes as I outgrow them for maternity clothes so that I shouldn't need to buy a slew more hangers. Some of these clothes are just so cute! I'm excited to get to wear them. In fact, I wore some today, and the outfit is quite comfy.

I have rambled enough for today, I think, and I should get this grading done. Or take a nap. Hmmmmmm........

*Can't Have Anyone Over Syndrome -- its a word.

Friday, October 15, 2010

The Nephew

Huck Brown -- born 10/13/2010 about 700 pm. 8 lbs 11 oz, 21 inches. Loved by many. And here he is with his favorite Aunt (at least in my opinion, he was very happy in my arms):

This was the first time I'd held a baby this young. He's only about a hour or two old and was just the sweetest thing. He was looking around and even trying to lift his head. What an amazing baby!

Baby Changes

Suddenly, with a baby on the way, I have many ideas of what I need to adjust and change to both accommodate baby and to make our home a safe and secure place for all three of us. I've already found myself being much more intentional about what I eat, and I hope this new found discipline will carry over into other parts of my life also.

The biggest change I can see is the need to cut out much of the TV/movies I watch. I love just having something on while I do mundane activities, like wash dishes, cook, fold laundry, knit, grade and any number of other things. But, I know from 0 to 2 years, baby shouldn't watch any TV. Both common sense and research shows it messes with development that isn't made up later in life. I've considered cutting back on TV slowly over the next 6 months, or just going cold turkey in 6 months. Going cold turkey sounds appealing right now, with no changes to be made at the moment. But I think it is a wiser choice to cut back over the next 6 months and replace this habit with other habits. Perhaps I need to turn the radio on more, or put on CDs of music, radio drama, books on CD, or lectures. Over the past few days, I've made a point to not turn on the TV until later in the evening and for only 2 hours, and the silence is nice, but the mind-emptying activities are driving me near bonkers.  I know I'll figure it out. I grew up with very little TV and I don't remember being bored all that much as a child. I'm creative enough that something will occur to me (I hope!).

I do want to add in reading more books. I've stopped reading all that much lately (last few years), I feel like I just don't have the time. I'm outside working in the garden, or knitting and watching TV, things that aren't compatible with book reading. But I think its worth it to give some time each day to reading, even though it seems so generally unproductive. There are plenty of good non-fiction books to read and some excellent fiction books that are worth the time. I can't just replace TV with books, b/c I don't JUST watch TV -- I'm always doing something else (unless I'm sick or exhausted). But, both books and TV have their place, I just need to figure out what that place is in my home.

I'm sure I will find more things that need adjusting and changing before baby comes. There are plenty of more mundane things, like door latches and corner guards that should make an appearance not long after baby is born. I'm a list making woman, maybe I should start a list. I'd love to hear how others have done these things and what kind of habits you and your children have when it comes to occupying your time, please leave a comment, or a link to a blog post or some such with your thoughts, ideas and advice.

I'm off to try and make good use of this Friday off. Wish me luck!

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Babies and Bellies

Alas, baby Huck has not made is appearance yet. His "official" due date was last Monday (Oct 4), that day came and went with little to-do. Alas, pray that all the details will work themselves out and Huck will make his appearance before Tuesday, that's when the schedule induction is. My poor sister is getting rather impatient, and so is the doctor.

My news is more about my belly than the baby. Hubby tells me that Saturday introduced Carnegie Stage 20 which means baby can make spontaneous movement because the brain connections have been made. It will be 6 more weeks before baby is big enough for me to feel it, though. Thus, what I have particularly noticed is that I can't get a favorite pair of blue jeans buttoned any more. That was quite the thrill when I realized that, I'm looking forward to growing a belly! So, Friday, for school, I used a hair band to thread around the button, through the button hole and back around the button. It added only, perhaps, 1/2 an inch, but that was all I needed. By the end of the day, my belly itched, though. I have wonderful coworkers and 2 or 3 were appropriately giddy and excited with me as I showed them my make-shift expansion.

Yesterday, I wore my comfy yoga pants, that should fit an even very large belly, and took myself to Target for a bellyband. I'd seen these online, and both my sister and a friend at school said I should get one. Its a smallish tube of stretchy fabric, quite simple. Basically, it fits around your pants at the waist and holds them in place even if the button is unbuttoned. Later on, it should help keep pants up when the big belly is pushing down and hold up too big maternity pants. I so wanted to use my new belly band, so I wore my favorite pants  with the belly band to the fair last night. I promise more about the fair in a moment. But, about the belly band....  it worked quite well. I'm going to have to make sure I collect a few longer shirts though. Pants that won't button seem to gape in the back some.

Now, the fair. That was a ton of fun; I got funnel cake and I love funnel cake. The main plan was to go to the rodeo. The cultural experience began in the line to get into the parking lot. It was very long. Then, we discovered it was $5 to park, cash only and the line was long. I hope out to get in line to buy tickets while Hubby parks the car, and discover its cash only to buy tickets. I called Hubby and Hubby called a classmate (who was already there) to ask about borrowing cash (like we carry cash!). We got some cash, got our tickets and made it into the rodeo. (cash only was a bit of a culture shock, but it kept the line moving fast) We ended up sitting in the nose-bleed section, so we could see well, but no details. Plus the time clock was mostly blocked and the big screen T.V. was blocked completely. But at least we got to see the events clearly. Hubby and I tried to figure out the intricacies of each event as it happened, were the guys holding on with one hand or two hands, were they roping one leg or two. Neither of us really know enough about such things to be able to actually notice much, but it was fun. And I got funnel cake.