Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Super Ultrasonic

I was actually a little disappointed by the news we got at our ultrasound yesterday: the baby is perfectly normal. Maybe a little part of me was hoping that they'd find something that meant we'd have to get that baby out RIGHT NOW.

This is the misery that is the final weeks of pregnancy- wishing birth defects or complications on your unborn child just to make. it. stop.

The baby is measuring at only 7 lbs 3 oz, and my doctor tells me that late-pregnancy ultrasounds tend to predict a few ounces on the big side, so we'll go with 7 pounds for convenience sake. At this stage, babies gain about a half a pound a week, so even if I went all the way to 40 weeks (Lord, help me), the baby would only be 9 pounds, which is not that big of a deal. I mean, it's still a huge baby, but nothing that would require me and this baby to part ways early, unfortunately.

Instead of listening to everyone who's predicting that I'm going to go early, I'm just going to accept the fact that I'm going to be pregnant and sweaty for 4(!) more weeks.

Saturday, June 26, 2010

Applesauce Brain

We don't have cable, so I have to get my World Cup (Copa Mundial) fix via Univision. This works out most of the time, except for when there's when there's a weird call like in the US vs Slovenia game, and it's not totally obvious what's happening. And, it goes without saying, the Spanish announcers are WAY more interesting to listen to than the stiff-upper-lip English ones.

Anyway, I put the kids down for a nap yesterday, and sat down to watch the game. On the score graphic, it was ESP vs CHI. The ESP team's uniforms were black, red, and yellow so I caught on pretty quick that it was Spain. The CHI team's uniforms were bright red, so I immediately concluded that it was China. Our TV isn't that big, so it took me a while before I started seeing that the CHI players didn't really look Chinese... they looked Hispanic. A Hispanic country that starts with CHI....? Is there one? Does it start with CHI in Spanish and not English?

I won't tell you how long it took me to figure this one out because anything longer than 3 seconds is just embarrassing.

Friday, June 25, 2010

Pregnancy progression

32 weeks

34 weeks

Almost 36 weeks, today

The 35-week picture almost looks bigger, but I think it's just the shirt I'm wearing. My sister Allison pointed out that she was bigger and I'm a cry baby and I need to suck it up. Actually, she didn't say that last part. Her baby was 11 lbs.

I have a doctor's appointment today and another ultrasound on Tuesday to figure out how big this baby is and/or what the heck is going on in there. The most frequently asked question is: So, if you find out the baby is 10 lbs, are you going to get a C-section? (Or it's close cousin: are you going to get induced early?)

The first person that asked me, I was just confused. "No...? Why...?" Then 3 people asked. Then 5 people. Then 10 people.

Is this common? Are we women so wimpy that 10 lbs is beyond anything we're willing to try? I could see if you were a really petite Asian woman who was married to a tall, strong Prussian type and the doctor told you that no way was this going to work out naturally (it's called CPD), but 10 lb babies are no new thing. My sister did it. My mom did it. I'm a pioneer woman. I can do it.

And, as far as getting induced early, it's far more important to me (and probably to the doctor) that the baby is fully cooked than my extra two weeks of discomfort. But, ask me in two weeks if I still feel the same way.

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

My babies!

For school, we had to create an application packet for a job that we would theoretically want to apply for upon graduation. Considering I've had this assignment about 5 times before, it wasn't too difficult to modify my existing résumé and cover letter to fit this newest job. The only difference was as I was doing it, I started FREAKING OUT.

For ever since I started nursing school, before I had children, I knew that I did not want to work full time. I have very fond memories of my mother being home and eating dinner as a family and learning things at her knee and all of the other adventures that come with having a stay-at-home mother. I felt very strongly that this was the sort of atmosphere I wanted to recreate for my children. But, I wanted to work a little. I felt like nursing would be the perfect career: you can work as much or as little as you want: down to one shift every other week if you want. This sounded good to me, so I went with it.

Then, once I graduated and was attempting to get one of these types of jobs, I found out that the hospitals want you to work full time for a year before moving down to part time. I made my peace with it back then, but then no one would hire me.

As I was typing up how my clinical experience in nursing school prepared me for a job on the floor, I started thinking. Now I'm going back to school in order to get a job. A job that will take me away from my babies. For a year. MY babies. The ones that I birthed, and soothed, and fed, and rocked, and held, and laughed with, and cried over. I started to cry.

I suppose this violent emotional reaction took me completely by surprise (must be the hormones). I mean, I was ready to deal with feeling guilty over going to work, but not ready to not want to do it. Maybe a few more tantrums will change my mind... I think I hear one brewing over the Mr. Potato head.

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Lillian turned 4!

Shhhh, don't tell her that her actual birthday isn't for another month. It's just than in another month, I'll have some kind of really small infant and won't be up for birthday parties.

For being thrown together at the last minute (a few of her friends left this week for 2 week vacations), I think it turned out really nice.

Tyler drew a Woody for "Pin the Star on Woody." The kids didn't really get this one, and I think that some of the older ones could see through the blindfold.

We also played Toy Story bingo, which was a little bit of a disaster because I had them marking their cards with mini marshmallows. You can probably guess that the game too for-ev-er because the kids kept eating the marshmallows instead of putting them on "Hamm-4." Also, I think the kids had never played any version of bingo before, so the whole concept was totally lost on them.

Number one game, which Tyler made up on the spot: see how many balloons you can get to stick to you.

Lillian had lots of help opening her presents.

And we ate alien cupcakes.

Nora was way into hers.

It wasn't very cutsie-pie or slick, but that's not my style. The kids had fun and Lillian hasn't stopped talking about it ever since.

I can't believe she's four already.

The other day, we were on a walk, and some teenagers were being rowdy nearby. "Are those grownups?" Lillian asked.
"No, honey. Those are teenagers."
"Am I going to be a teenager?"
"I sure hope not sweetie."

She will one day, probably. I'm already irritated about that. But, I'm glad that, for now, she's still my sweet, whimsical little girl who pretends that her feet are friends with each other.

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Labor Strike

I was trying really hard to put myself into labor yesterday. My sister Amy thinks that this is just a matter of walking "a good mile." I think she's the only one for which this works. I walked that good mile, and then I did all the dishes, and then I played hide-and-seek and I got my contractions to come pretty strong every 3 minutes. Then I sat down to play bubbles with Nora and they stopped. Like that. Lame.

It would have been really convenient to have the baby last night. I have a paper due on Friday, but it's mostly already written, so it would be almost a week before I have anything due. I was also ignoring the fact that the doctor thinks I'm only 34 weeks and would probably try to stop my labor if I went in. (According to my ultrasound, I'm 36 weeks, but the doctor somehow doesn't believe in changing my date. Thirty-six weeks sounds much better and I just pretend that that's how it is.)

Anyway, as I was planning how this was all going to go yesterday, I realized that the baby still has no name. Of course, I knew this, but the full weight of it hit me as I was scrubbing the pans.

The baby has NO NAME. I pictured the L/D nurse standing there with the little card, looking at me over the rim of her glasses with her sharpie poised and me saying, "I don't know... um... I haven't had enough time to think about it...?" (Incidentally, Lillian calls them "pointies" which I find unbearably cute.)

The problem is that when we named the girls, I had a gut feeling about the names. Lillian came right off the bat. I KNEW that was her name. Nora took a little while longer, but I could FEEL that her name was Nora.

This baby... there's names that I like, and names that Tyler likes, and a few names that we both sort of like... but none of them are THE name. I tried the the Nymbler again this morning, but after suggestions like Alpin and Tiernan, I gave up.

I feel like we're looking for a house all over again. When we were going around with our real estate agent, he kept asking me what I was looking for so he could help narrow down the options without us having to look at every single one. I couldn't tell him because the list of things I wanted was so undefinable and certainly googleable: I wanted all the bedrooms to be on the same floor so I wouldn't have to trudge up and down the stairs in the middle of the night. I wanted the bathroom to be far away from the living room because no one wants to hear you doing your business. I didn't want to be able to see the TV from the front door. I wanted the kids' bedrooms to be far away from the play area.

See what I mean? I want a name that's common, but not too common. A name that sounds fresh, and yet everyone will have heard of it before, but that doesn't sound too dated. And, most important of all, I want it to be THE name. Is this too much to ask?

So far, my front runners are Brigham and Collin (although, I'm souring on Collin), Tyler likes Ethan but since he decided he liked Ethan in 2006 when I was pregnant with Lillian, EVERYONE has named their son Ethan. This isn't a problem for him, but I can't get on board with it.

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Kids that are kids.

I kid you not, I put these books away, went to the bathroom, came back and found this. I'd be much more inclined to clean if there weren't little hands following me around, undoing everything I did literally seconds after I do it.

Lillian came into my room like this and said "FLOUR POWER, ACTIVATE!" Actually, that didn't happen. What actually happened is I heard this flour bag crinkle for 3 or 4 minutes, then Tyler said, "Nora, come here. Put your arms up." At which point, she started screaming. I wandered out of my room to see what was going on and encountered a red-faced Nora with the flour bag on.

Turns out, she hated the flour bag outfit. Lillian, however, was way into it.

Thursday, June 10, 2010


Lillian watches Sid, the Science Kid in the mornings sometimes. I really dislike this show, but it is very educational and if she got to watch something, I'd rather it be that than Bokugon or whatever those round ball things are that the kids play with incessantly in primary. Bakugon? Anyway.

The other day on Science Kid, they were talking about how heat changes food and cooks it. To illustrate the point, they made applesauce.

So, Lillian decided she wanted to make applesauce.

Neither of my kids have ever liked applesauce, but I was thinking maybe the peer pressure from Sid combined with the excitement of making it herself might sway Lillian. I mean, she decided she liked bananas after years of hating them just because she watched a Blue's Clues episode where Steve talked about how great they were.

Turns out no, she still hates applesauce. Also, notice in the above picture, she's taken to dressing herself. If you see her, there's a a 99% chance that she not only won't match, but she'll be wearing something so alarmingly mis-matching that you'll have to blink a couple times before you can focus on her. As long as it's weather appropriate (the other day, I had to draw the line at the opaque red tights under her pink skirt with purple polka-dots and light blue and yellow shirt), I really don't care.

Allison asked me what Nora was up to, and I'd have to say that it's a lot of this: mischief. Here, she found Lillian's box of crayons and ate a few before I found her. The other day, I called poison control for the first time because of her. She ate the cake of dishwasher soap that didn't fully dissolve during the cycle. (She was fine.)

She can walk really well and run a little. She says a few words and uses a few signs (mostly just more and milk). She can use a spoon to feed herself, sort of, and follow one-step directions pretty well (throw this in the trash, put this in the sink, bring me your shoes, take this to daddy). When she's not doing those things, she does a pretty good job at getting into everything and tormenting her sister. Lillian is not very physical and as such has no idea what to do when Nora steals toys from her, or tackles her. She just lays down and whines, "Moooommmmmm... Nora's on meeeeeeeeeeee." I'd be lying if I didn't admit that sometimes I say, "You're bigger than her! Push her off!"

Which is not to say that Lillian doesn't dish it out sometimes. The other day, she came and found me while I was in the shower and told me that I should go see Nora. "Oh yeah, what's she up to?"

"I made her into a tape ball."

After trying to clarify what, exactly, a tape ball was, I saw first hand: Nora walked in covered head to toe in scotch tape. Sadly, I didn't have my blogger brain on and failed to get a picture of the blessed event. The funniest part was that Nora was way into it like, "check out the awesomeness of this tape!"

The other question you all want to ask is: how are you feeling? "Pretty much, awful" is the answer. I seriously debated about whether or not I should go to the hospital yesterday, but I decided they would just want to keep me there for 6 hours to decide that I wasn't in labor, which is a waste of everyone's time, so I just stayed home and forced my kids to watch 4 movies in a row.

Tyler thinks that the baby is working out in utero, which is what is taking up all my spare energy and oxygen. This actually would explain why my pulse races and I'm out of breath all the time. Not like, normal pregnancy out of breath, like, I'll have to sit down while brushing my teeth because I'm too tired to stand and hold my arm up.

Baby steps to mid-July.

Thursday, June 03, 2010

To my new neighbors

Dear Neighbors,

I know you just moved in, and I want us to be friends, but there are a few things you should know about us.
  1. We sort of hate small yapper-type dogs, of which you have three. That's fine for you, but when you let them out to yap for 30 minutes at 5 am, it's a little bit much.
  2. We have a shotgun in our room, there is a clear view from our room into your backyard, and my husband is a very good shot.
  3. I have a reputation for being a little bit irrational when I am woken up at irrational times.
  4. My husband is pretty suggestible when he is woken up at irrational times. Anything to make the noise stop, if you catch my meaning.
I'm just trying to be up front about this, and I hope you still feel comfortable borrowing eggs from us.

Your neighbors

Tuesday, June 01, 2010

My first school assignment

I just wrote my first school assignment in two years. Pretty much the only thing I'm freaking out about is the fact that I have to do 16 weeks' worth of work in 4, but other than that, this thing should be cake, right?

The assignment was 300-600 words on "Who are you and why are you in this class?" (the instructor might have phrased it a little nicer than that). Here it is:

My name is Amanda and I am trained as a nurse, but I currently stay at home with my two little girls and little boy on the way. We moved from the central coast of California down to Tucson almost two years ago which, honestly, broke my heart. But, I’m learning to see the beauty of the desert and appreciate all the things that Arizona has to offer.

Since the day that I brought my first baby home from the hospital, there has been a growing disparity between the things that I like to do, and the things that I actually do, but such is the reality of having small children. Gone are the days of week-long backpacking trips, body surfing at the beach, and wandering around just to see what there is to see. Here to stay are the days of wiping noses, reading Where is the Green Sheep? 5,000 times, and making peanut butter sandwiches. Of course, to frame the trade off like that is not fair: along with the peanut butter sandwiches, I get to raise two incredibly cute girls that fill my life with laughter and love and a sense of completeness that I never got from even the most majestic mountain in the Sierra Nevadas.

I’m taking this class as a prerequisite to the RN to BSN program. I became an RN while in California, but between moving to Arizona and having baby number two, I never worked. By the time I was ready to go back to work, the economy crashed and there were no jobs for new grads. The fact that I couldn’t find work was disappointing, but not catastrophic as my husband had a steady job working in the aerospace industry on the Orion project. Then, a few months ago, President Obama announced that the Orion project would be cut from the budget and the steady job looked not so steady. So, we decided I would go back and get a little more education in order to open more job opportunities in case of the worst case scenario.

I love writing and I’m excited that this class will help me learn how to be better at it.
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