Monday, December 31, 2012

Resolutions 2012 recap!

So for the last two years I've set some goals for myself for the coming year. Last year's post was written exactly one week before our foster daughter arrived, and about five months before I got pregnant the first time, so it's kind of funny how little I got done. Let's take a look:

1. Get our kitchen knives professionally sharpened.
Still a no, but I did call two different places to at least try. One of the places only does commercial stuff, and the other never responded to my emails.
2. See a dermatologist (bonus points if he/she uses primarily natural stuff).
Nope, but I started using only organic and hippie-type shit on my face and my skin is way happier than it's ever been. I wash my face with raw honey and I use an organic lotion, to which I add a bit of jojoba oil because my skin is really dry, and most of the issues I had in the past are cleared up.
3. Take a picture of every item I knit.
Ha, not even close. I do have pictures of the baby wearing the things I've made for her, but that's it. Um, I can't actually think of anything not-baby-related I've finished, though, so I guess that makes this a maybe?
4. Knit myself a sweater.
Nope. Didn't even finish the sweater I started for my mom LAST Christmas. Oops. Turns out parenting takes most of my free time, and when the kid's asleep, pregnancy has made me too tired to even think about figuring out the weird pattern issue that stalled that project.
5. Take at least two overnight trips with Andy.
YES! This is one that we did and it was as awesome as it always is. We went on that awesome weekend trip to a farmhouse in Endicottville with our good friends, and we went stupid camping, and we went to Virginia for my great-aunt's funeral (which hardly counts as us-time but was still an overnight trip), and we went to visit the Kid her family. Here's hoping we keep doing overnight trips even with a second kid in the coming year.
6. Get tattoo (and artist's mockup, for customized stationery, because that's so badass).
Nope. Not even close. I've spent half the year pregnant, so that's part of it, and the other part is that suddenly spending money on a tattoo seems a lot less reasonable when there's a kid to feed and clothe and stuff.
7. Take multivitamin, fish oil, and Vitamin D supplement at least five times a week.
Pretty sure I did meet this goal, if you average the whole year. I was super dedicated for most of the year but have been SO FORGETFUL with this pregnancy that I'm taking them more like twice a week. Oops.
8. Find some sort of health/fitness class to do at least once a week.
Sort of! My mom and I just signed up for AQUA ZUMBA and have had one class so far. It is ridiculous in the best ways possible.

So, in total, I met three out of the eight goals. I'm going with "hey, that's not bad!" with all the extra shit that's been going on in our life. I haven't even thought about goals for next year, aside from "keep parenting this baby as best we can for as long as they'll let us" and "do the best we can with NewBaby too".

I really like reading year-end reflection posts, but all I've got is that Andy and I are stronger than ever and work really hard on communicating clearly, and that our life together is so much more full with a kid than we could have ever imagined. 

Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Obligatory holiday post

Merry Christmas, y'all! Hope your day was full of loveliness and delightful surprises.

I have been dealing with some hormones the last few days, so my holidays have been about 93% delightful and 7% feeling overwhemed/crying/did you seriously just say that to me? So that's been pretty cool.

This crying shit is new, by the way. Made it to almost 15 weeks without crying overtaking me (besides relieved tears at the ultrasound), and then twice in the last two days, I seriously felt unable to stop myself from crying. Yesterday, Andy had to work so I had to do all of the last-minute Christmas stuff with the baby, while exhausted, and even when he got out of work he was only home for about half an hour before he had to leave to get ready for music at church. Usually this would have been "less than ideal, but nothing I can't handle!" but the hormones had me convinced it was ALL TOO MUCH and the poor guy walked in to find me wrapping presents and crying. I even was lucid enough to explain that really, I understood that my face was doing ridiculous things and that it was fine and the baby and I would be at church in our fancy clothes and all the last-minute stuff was seconds away from completion, but my face just would not quit with the tears.

Of course everything worked out fine, and we were there in our fanciest clothes, and his drumming and singing were awesome, as always. I actually love that he drums at church for Christmas Eve, since we don't even attend except Christmas and Easter. I think it's sweet, and I love that he has a real reason to drum for a while, since he was in a band when we met and our life right now wouldn't make that a great idea.

Today we had a really awesome slow morning, and the baby had a great time. Her favorite things to play with, in order: the box I used to wrap a belt for for Andy; the gum from Andy's stocking; the fancy-ass handmade wooden train set we got her; a jingling dog toy we've had longer than we've had her.

We spent the early afternoon with my family, and the late afternoon with Andy's. There was some nonsense from Andy's mom and sister, directed at me, that made it pretty clear that I'm still considered an outsider. I know the hormones are making it into a bigger deal than it might otherwise be, but I also know that in the past year I've worked hard at refusing to let people treat me poorly, so I'm trying hard to decide how to deal with this. (This was responsible for today's crying. Andy backs me up when he knows what's going on, but it's not always easy to relate a particular tone of voice or attitude, so it often seems like I'm making a fuss over nothing, I'm sure. He will support me fully in however I decide to handle this, which is very reassuring.)

So! I suppose NewBaby wanted to make itself known for the holidays as well. I've really enjoyed that other 93%, though, and I hope you all had less crying and more eggnog. I've got to work tomorrow so my version of unwinding right now will be some hot chocolate and a Christmas movie. If it weren't for NewBaby, the hot chocolate would have a serious dollop of Bailey's in there.

Sunday, December 16, 2012

It's the holiday season!

I don't know if I've mentioned this, but we do some baby sign with our girl, and her two favorite signs are "tree" and "light," so the holiday season is blowing her little mind and making her arms very tired. She signs those to us constantly with absolute delight. Having a kid for the holidays is as awesome as those sappy ABC Family movies tell you it is.

The baby's birthday was this week, and it was pretty great. She was the first baby in the infant room at her daycare all those months ago, so they all adore her and have seen her grow the same way we have. They got her an organic cake to have a little party, which was very sweet and considerate of them. We had our folks over for dinner and presents and she had a blast. We had a doll custom-made to look like her and she LOVES it. (It's this exact doll, actually, so I'm not thrilled about paying extra for customization, or it being called one-of-a-kind, since she's selling a duplicate of the one we designed. Other than that the craftsmanship is incredible and the doll is just what we wanted. It seems the seller calls all her girl dolls "Camille" but we've just been calling it Dolly.)

The day after her birthday the baby had her one-year checkup and she's grown two inches and gained three pounds in three months! Her dad showed up 45 minutes late and the second he walked in she went from playing happily to sobbing. But this baby has some serious moxie, so she toddled past her bio-dad over to Andy, who was sitting next to her dad, climbed up on Andy's lap, and sat there snuggling Andy while glaring at her dad. This kid, you guys.

We're in the middle of a flare-up of the baby's eczema, almost certainly related to the weather getting colder and drier. The stuff we had been using on her, Aveeno's baby eczema stuff, wasn't working well anymore, and since we didn't love that the Aveeno stuff is made with petroleum byproducts anyway (really, Aveeno?), I took advantage of some of my second-trimester energy to make homemade whipped shea butter to use as a lotion for her. (It's super easy to make and really cheap, drop me a line or leave a comment if you want the recipe.) While I was making it, I reflected on how I used to spend significant amounts of my time dying my hair blue and going to punk shows. My life is different than I expected it would be.

I'm thisclose to done with my Christmas shopping. The only people left to buy for are my friends who are coming home from Brooklyn. They're hard to buy for because they have a small New York apartment and we don't know what they use and love in their daily life. My brain is still on pregnancy hiatus so Andy's in charge of thinking of something awesome.

How's your holiday planning going? All done shopping yet, or haven't started?

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

It's a Tuesday.

I hate coming up with titles for blog posts. Basically all I post anymore is updates about the baby's case and my developing fetus, but "Update about the baby's case and my developing fetus, part the fifty-second" just doesn't have a nice ring to it.

A. Baby's case first:
1. Last week the worker told the baby's dad that in January they'd be starting to compile the paperwork to terminate his rights. He was very emotional about this and talked about stepping up his efforts to get custody of the baby. He was supposed to have a visit today, but didn't bother to show up on time, so the visit was canceled. He was very unhappy that they wouldn't un-cancel the visit since he was only five minutes late, but he's been late consistently so they're back on the system where he has to be in the building an hour and fifteen minutes before the visit starts, and if he's not, it's automatically canceled. I don't think anyone pointed out that he's on that system again because of his habitual lateness, so no, they weren't going to give him any leeway on being late. He has the option of another visit tomorrow, so we'll see if that happens.

2. Last week the baby's mom started the process of doing what she needs to do to have a visit - the first visit she'd have had since March. It would have happened to fall on the baby's first birthday, and the worker got permission from her boss and the baby's mom to have me attend, to make it easier for the baby. I was actually really looking forward to getting to interact with the mom with the baby there (and outside a court waiting room) and giving her the chance to ask us anything she wanted about the baby's life. However, as you might have guessed from my use of the conditional perfect tense,* it looks like the visit won't be happening. The baby's mom had been staying with the grandma and as of yesterday, that is no longer the case. The mom told the worker today that she didn't finish the process she'd have needed to in order for the visit to happen, plus the worker said the mom's phone doesn't have any minutes so there's no reliable way to contact her. I'm actually more disappointed by this than I expected. I know it won't be easy for the mom to deal with her baby's birthday and the holiday season and I thought the visit might have been good for her.

B. Our new baby! Depending on which source you go by, I'm officially in my second trimester either today, or sometime over the next week, or next Tuesday. Andy stopped on his way home to get me a "second-trimester flower" - an orchid, my favorite! - and "second-trimester dessert" - peanut M&Ms, which I'm eating right now. I'm getting a bit more energy and have managed to stay awake until almost 10 pm two whole nights in a row. We're telling friends as we see them and planning to call far-away relatives this weekend. I'm announcing it at work next Monday, which is awesome because it's the first day of an annual tradition called Feast Week, wherein everyone brings in awesome delicious things on their designated day. Being the pregnant lady means that I get to cut in line and also I get to break out the maternity pants early and be supremely comfortable while I overeat.

*Yeah, I had to look that up.

Tuesday, December 4, 2012


Yesterday morning we had our first trimester screen. This is a blood test combined with an ultrasound to give an indication of your odds of your baby having certain issues, including Downs syndrome, a rare but serious chromosomal abnormality called trisomy 18, or heart defects. We decided with the first pregnancy not to do the tests, since the outcome isn't going to cause us to terminate the pregnancy (there are a lot of false positives) or probably even pursue further testing, because the follow-up tests for the chromosome problems, amniocentesis and CVS (where they take a teeny piece of your placenta), carry risks of miscarriage. This time, we did the test because it meant another ultrasound.

The baby's doing fine. I cannot possibly tell you how much that sentence means to me. I realized as we were sitting in the waiting room that I fully expected to be told that I'd had another miscarriage. Every single thought about this pregnancy, for the last three months, has been tempered by the fear slash firm belief that I was going to miscarry again. Even though we saw the heartbeat at six weeks, I couldn't relax and let myself think things would be okay.

I think that really changed yesterday. The whole pregnancy is real to me in a way it hadn't been yet. We got to see the baby, who is measuring exactly on track, and it was amazing. It moved around and rolled and waved its little arms. The ultrasound as part of the first trimester screen is to measure a spot on the back of the baby's neck - a measurement above 3 millimeters is considered suspicious, and our baby's measured 1.2 mm. The blood results won't be in until later in the week, but they didn't see anything that immediately indicated any concern.

I had my twelve-week appointment with my own doctor today (the stuff yesterday was at a different place) and got to hear the heartbeat again. Not too proud to tell you I cried. Yesterday and today. I also finally remembered to ask my doctor about recommending physical therapy for my back, which has been sore already. I go in for my first appointment next week.

Awesome stuff all around!

Do you have any questions? I had a million the first time my sister was knocked up, so I'll happily answer them if I can.