Monday, May 14, 2012

Large and still in charge

Unrelated picture:

Mother's Day flowers from my husband.  So sweet of him!  <3

Just when I feel like I get into a nice little rhythm with blogging, something happens and I fall off the wagon.  As much as I'd like to devote hours a day to my little corner of the Internet, alas.... life gets in the way.

Exhibit A: my MASSIVE to-do list.  Want a glimpse?
  • Marketing class - 7-page case study, due by Friday (and 2 more due within the next 3 weeks).
  • Marketing class - Research project that I have to condense into an 8 minute video presentation.  I have yet to pick a topic or give much thought to this at all yet (the thought of filming myself trying to give a serious presentation at 34 weeks pregnant- in yoga pants, most likely - makes it really hard to focus on this project).  It's worth a rather large chunk of my grade, so I'd better get on it.
  • Work - Keep showing up 5 days a week, 8 hours a day.  This whole "employed, productive adult" stuff is extremely time consuming.
  • Work - Email HR for all the deets on taking a leave of absence (eg. when can I start, how much will they pay me, how many hundreds of forms will I need to sign, etc).
  • Baby - Childbirth classes begin on May 25th.  Four Fridays in a row, 2-hours per session.  I'm kinda excited to get this started.
  • Baby - Write a birth plan.  This is midwife-assigned homework that I'd like to have completed before my next appointment (on the 24th).
  • Baby - Maternity photos.  I'm the luckiest girl on the planet and have a photographer friend who has agreed to do some photos for us for free.  We just have to pick a day, sometime in June, that fits into everyone's schedule.
  • Baby - Baby shower!  My mom is doing most of the planning for this one, but I'm assisting with game planning, food prep, invite mailing (done today!  Shocking!), etc.
  • Baby - I have 3 separate creative projects in process right now, plus the general shopping/nursery decorating.
  • Baby - Find a pediatrician.  Apparently, I'm supposed to have one already.  She's not even born and I'm already a bum mom!
  • Baby - Find a daycare provider, in case there's a waiting list.  Something ELSE I thought I had lots of time to tackle, only to find out I'm on the late freight as usual.  Sigh.

The school work (and werk-work) should be my priority.  The baby-related stuff is my ACTUAL priority (because it's generally a lot more fun).  And then all that extraneous stuff sneaks in... like working out, reading novels for the hell of it, taking fun day trips with my husband, cooking and cleaning and general wifery, watching movies, catching up with friends.... and some of those things are daily necessities that I can't or won't compromise on.

...Okay, the novel reading probably should be compromised on a bit.  I blame my brother, who got me hooked on the Game of Thrones.  Every book in the cursed series in 900ish pages.  I finished the first and really really want to start the second.  Resisting.  So far.  But I digress....

Oddly, I'm not too stressed about all of this though.  Having a very full plate has been my reality for years now and I know that, no matter how dire the circumstances may be, things will get done and everything will work out.  I'm strangely mellow, confident, and feeling generally on top of everything.  Weird.

I'll leave you with a couple more unrelated pictures from the weekend before last, when my husband, myself, and my 28-week bump walked about 4ish miles around Yucaipa Regional Park and took lots of pics of ourselves (as usual).

Terrible quality, but I don't even have time to edit.  Have a lovely week, readers!

Friday, May 4, 2012


I was sitting around last night, stenciling owls onto fabric drawers and cutting fabric to make prayer flags, and reflecting on how the most FUN part of having a kid (for me, so far) is getting to decorate her bedroom.  Because, come on.... she's going to come into this world with 20/400 vision and have much bigger things to deal with (boobs!  diapers!), she's not going to care what her room looks like.  The nursery is for ME!  I'm going to have some long, hard nights in there, I need that room to radiate with positive energy and joy. 

I had initially wanted to go with some classy, sophisticated themed nursery, but who am I kidding?  I am neither classy nor sophisticated, we're super broke, and I live in an apartment with boring white walls and popcorn ceilings and white vertical blinds that I cannot change.  So, screw the themes.  I'm letting my imagination run wild, creating a room that bursts with random colors, strange patterns, inspiring images, handmade everything.... and love, lots of love  :)

I owe this grand random vision for nursery decorating entirely to Pinterest, without which I would be floundering and randomly Googling DIYs.  Checking out other people's astonishing creativity has given me so many great ideas for things that I absolutely MUST incorporate into my (child's) future space:

1.  There must be book slings.

This might not be apartment-friendly, due the need to screw big holes into the wall.  Ask me if I care though, I dare you.  My girl has a couple of seriously, seriously nerdy parents - books abound in our house, and I love the thought of her starting life with her own little "library," especially if it doesn't take up too much space.

2.  There must be big pom-pom clusters.

Or lantern clusters, perhaps.  Either way,  I love the 3D effect and pop of color that this brings to the room (it will help offset the barren whiteness of my walls!)

3.  There must be fabric collages.

Seriously guys, how amazing is this piece??  And it's all layered fabric, buttons and yarn.  I bought a canvas and supplies and plan on experimenting with creating my own collages sometime soon.

4.  There must be flags.

Not legit prayer flags such as these, but I'm in the process of making my own strings of rectangular flags to string across the nursery.  It's such an easy, fun project!  And I'm hoping that they will provide a vine-y, jungle-y effect and further distract from the overall whiteness of the room.  And why do I need a jungle effect, you ask?  Because...

5.  There must be elephants.

Need I say more?

6.  There must be a comfy corner for nursing.


I know, I know.... my apartment is small, we have a couch and loveseat, the baby will be in our bedroom for the first few weeks at least AND there's a double bed that we're keeping in the nursery.  So I do not in any way need a chair/glider in there as well.  But I want one!  It would just be so nice to have a little "station" set up with supplies at my fingertips, to be able to rock, to be able to get the baby, nurse, and put her back without having to walk across the house.... and primarily because I WANT IT and I'm the one who's going to be in there with my boobs out every night sooooo..... there!

7.  There must be a funky piece of furniture.

Well, maybe.  We're not buying anything new for clothes storage and such, just re-purposing what we have.  However, a little bird told me that we may be receiving a beat up old dresser from my sis-in-law, and if so, then it's ON!  I totally plan on having my brother strip it down so I can paint it some crazy color and stencil the crap out of it.  And knobs!  Crazy knobs!  I'm a little too excited about this one.  I guarantee it will not be as beautiful as the one pictured here, but that's okay, I aim for "different" over "beautiful" any day.  :-)

8.  It must have her name all over it.

Okay fine, it's not MY room after all.  And until she's old enough to decorate it herself (probably with Bieber-of-the-day posters and lots of pink sparkles *shudder*) I can at least proclaim her ownership of the space by emblazoning her name over the crib. 

9.  There must be maps.

Because hey, geography is important!  I become more and more convinced of that fact every time a grown adult asks me where Africa is (which has happened more times than you care to know in the last few years).  She's going to be able to find her daddy's country on the map before she can say "daddy," I'm willing to bet.

10.  There MUST be a way to hide the ugly apartment blinds!

They bug me soooooo much. 

So, there you have it.  Though I should probably spend the weekend working on projects for my Marketing class, I'm feeling a wee bit smug since I scored a 98% on the midterm and will probably take a weekend off from academics to focus on fabric collages. 


Happy weekend, all  :)

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

A weighty issue

One of the most interesting, yet frustrating, aspects of pregnancy so far has been how my body has changed - and with it, my body image and confidence.  Before getting pregnant, I always thought I would be this super confident glowing pregnant goddess who proudly displayed my bump for all to see.  Naive much?

Reality is... it's been an adjustment.  I love myself and have a fairly healthy body image, but that hasn't always been the case.  My level of comfort in my own skin has grown gradually over the last 7 years as I've watched the scale numbers go down, muscles tone up, and learned to harness my energy and emotions through physical activity.  I learned that, not only are eating well and challenging myself physically good for my body, but they are essential to my sanity and peace of mind.  When life gets chaotic and nothing seems to go my way, I can always throw some shoes on and go for a run;  I can be proud of myself for completing an exceptionally heavy clean-and-press;  I can take comfort in the fact that I am filling my body with the best and most nutritious foods possible.

And then I got pregnant.  Food hasn't been much of an issue (not counting that couple weeks in the first trimester when I lived on hummus-and-egg sandwiches).  I'm eating only slightly more than before, mostly whole and healthy foods, and I've actually cut way back on meat consumption.  I'm trying to stay active - Body Pump once or twice a week, yoga at least once, and I walk anywhere between 5-8 miles weekly.  All my labs have shown that my nutrition is spot-on, no deficiencies (which I was worried about, especially with Celiac disease).  I feel great - well hydrated, not much back pain, absolutely no swelling, skin is clear.  I'm the picture of perfect pregnant health.

EXCEPT when I visit the stupid pregnancy websites with their stupid pregnancy weight gain calculators.  Exhibit A:

Sorry for the poor quality picture.  So that line at the bottom is the minimum amount of weight I should gain.  The line at the top is the maximum.  And that green dot waaaaaay up at the top there?  That's me!  I've hit my pregnancy weight gain ceiling, a full 12 weeks early.  Sad face.

But after feeling bad about this fact for a few weeks, I put on my big girl panties and got over it.  The reality is, the scale may tell me I'm doing something wrong, but I KNOW instinctively that I'm not.  I'm not gaining weight at a rapid rate.  I have put on about a pound a week (a little less lately, actually), I've just been putting on that weight since the beginning of my pregnancy.  Some people get nauseous, can't eat, and end up losing weight during the first trimester. I, on the other hand, felt my appetite increase twofold and absolutely had to eat every two hours to avoid feeling dizzy/sick/exhausted.  My body told me what it needed, and I listened.

I have my glucose tolerance test this Tuesday to rule out gestational diabetes, and I plan to talk to my midwife about the weight issue then.  Frankly, as long as I don't have GD and continue to feel good and am able to stay active, I am prepared to ignore the scale for the rest of this pregnancy.  I will NOT let some generic medical guidelines determine what is best for my body.  Pregnancy sits differently on every woman, and really, we're all just doing the best we can in the moment to take care of ourselves, our babies, and prepare for a massive life-changing event.  So eff you, medical establishment.  I run this body, and I will not steep myself in guilt because my "numbers" aren't "ideal."

*steps off soapbox*