Monday, October 27, 2014

19 weeks pregnant

Sporting fall duds for those "brisk" mornings
First off, I love this time of year.  A subtle change in temperature makes life in New Orleans really pleasant!  (Currently we are mid 60s - low 80s each day with some upper 50s/upper 70s popping in now and then.)  And then there are the holidays!

I love celebrating life with my children.  Anticipation of holidays is an easy way to do this.  This year we have been looking forward to five Halloween events.  First, a family night at Boo at the Zoo, tickets complimentary thanks to my writing for the New Orleans Moms Blog.  Then, the annual Fall Festival at our church, which is just a great afternoon of family fun, bounce houses, and a chili cook-off.  Those events were this past weekend.

Doesn't he look like the sweetest police officer ever?

"I-keem Cone"

4 1/2 Landrys
Next weekend, we have Halloween festivities at school on Friday.  The kids just get to wear a special hat, but it doesn't take much to make a child excited.  Cora and I are making pumpkin cookies for her class and I know Jack's class will be doing the hands-on grapes/noodles/etc. Halloween food experience.  Halloween night will be spent at Jack & Cora's friend Weeks' combined birthday party and trick or treating party.  Then we'll end the weekend with the Irish Channel Halloween Festival, complete with more bounce houses, costumes, and food.

In pregnancy news...

19 weeks with two sweeties
We are nearing the big gender reveal and I'm so excited!  This pregnancy as a BABY and CHILD has been hard for me to firmly grasp, so I can't wait to actually see the little baby at our 20 week ultrasound and then know if this is a Baby Girl Landry or a Baby Boy Landry.  I was so convinced at first that it is a girl but I'm less sure now.  I'm not sure if that's just an unwillingness to blindly trust intuition or if my intuition is changing.  TBD...

The nausea is almost entirely gone.  I have some moments still of regretting eating, but for the most part I'm feeling better about food.  My two current challenges: constantly feeling like I need a nap and assorted pains.

Falling asleep at 8:30 on a day I took a nap, staying in bed until 6:30 the next morning and then needing another nap that day = problem!  It's hard to get much done when you are sleeping most of the time your kids are sleeping.

And the assorted pains vary.  For the past few days it felt like my hip was out of joint and so I was hobbling around not due to pregnancy but due to hip/back pain on the right side.  I have other pains that come and go.  It just makes me feel kind of old!

More revealing 19 week shot
As for baby movements, this definitely continues to be its own UNIQUE pregnancy.  Once I felt movement in my other pregnancies, I remember being able to feel the baby at least some every day thereafter.  This time, I've been trying so hard to feel the baby since around 17 weeks.  This has left me thinking I'd feel a little kick but never being sure.  I'm finally to the point where I feel confident I've felt the baby move, but it's very occasional and not even every day.  I know this could be due to placenta placement, but it's another reason why I can't wait to see this baby on the ultrasound!!

Sunday, October 19, 2014

A Really Nice Day

10/19/14: 18 weeks pregnant

Quick pregnancy update: Still waiting to feel 100%, had some good days offset by bad days this weekI'm pretty sick of feeling sick!  Heard baby's heartbeat and had a good check-up this week.  I've felt the baby kick a few times, but it's been different (less frequent) than in past pregnancies where I had a definite feeling followed by increased feelings of movement over the subsequent days.  Anatomy ultrasound scheduled for early November.

An Apple Pie Day

Thanks to a visit to the Jefferson Parish Library Book Sale and a gift box from my mom, we did a lot of fall-themed reading this week.  The biggest hits were: It's the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown (with sound effects), Ladybug Girl and the Dress-up Dilemma, and the modern Amelia Bedelia tale, Amelia Bedelia's First Apple Pie.

So we decided to bake an apple pie.  Jack and I made a trip to Whole Foods on Friday and got our needed ingredients, i.e. lots of apples.

For the first weekend in a while, we had NOTHING planned all morning on Saturday, so it was the perfect day for a serious baking project.  We had the doors open and lovely 75 degree fall weather flowing through the house.

I have two equally interested helpers, so we have long since instituted a rule of alternating turns on the step stool.  Jack chopped up butter to chill.  Cora dumped in dry ingredients.  Repeat with occasional arguing.

One step not written into the recipe but which I felt the need to add: "Make husband take children outside occasionally to play during baking process."

We had 11 apples to prep.  Look how big kid my helpers were!

I decided the apples were a good opportunity to explain odd vs. even and to practice counting.  I won't say they got the concept, but they were a rapt audience.  We enlisted Daddy to peel the apples bc that's the kind of job for a Daddy. 

I thought our chickens were going to have a ton of apple peels to eat.  I was wrong.  Jack and Cora (okay, plus Mommy) ate every single Gala Apple peel - delicious!  Talk about a nutrient rich snack!

It never fails to amaze me how long projects like this can last!  Finish the dough and let it chill for 30 minutes...wait at least 30 minutes for apples to cool...after baking, let pie cool for 3 hours before slicing.  Definitely a project to start in the morning!

Once the pie was baked, we decided on an ambitious afternoon plan of taking the streetcar down to the Blues & BBQ Festival.  What an adventure for Jack and Cora.  The streetcar was PACKED both there and back but the windows were open, so there was a nice breeze, and it was a great cultural experience intermingling with all types of people and getting to ride downtown amidst the big buildings and city sights.

Finally home and bathed, the kids got to try their apple pie.  We all thought it was good though Cora ended up not eating hers.  But that could have been a fluke.  We'll try it again on her tonight.

All in all a really nice day!

Sunday, October 12, 2014

What's going really well

10/12/2014: 17 weeks pregnant

There are definitely some things not going perfectly over here.  Momma's pretty tired still, our master bedroom has been in a redecorate pause for two months, and we are still learning to parent certain aspects of our children's behavior :)

Fall wear on our one day of fall weather
But there are a lot of things that ARE going well at the moment and I want to celebrate!

We've moved away from me making a daily pot of oatmeal and have upped our nutrition factor and achieved some time savings with a weekly pot of some sort of grain.  I've made oat pearls (thicker and less refined even than steel cut oats), barley, bulghur wheat, and steel cut oats.  I just get a large pot out on Sunday or Monday and make about 8 servings of whatever grain I've bought that week.  This then just means scooping out what we want in the morning and reheating with some milk on the stove.  I'm the one craving a very hearty, wholesome breakfast, but the kids are quite game.  I actually sweeten mine with maple syrup, but not theirs.  We all have some mix of chosen toppings: bananas, raisins, Craisins, walnuts, yogurt, etc.  When they cry out for cereal instead, I just sprinkle some on top.

Morning Drop-off
We're in a rhythm and we don't tend to run late.  When I can, I like to take the kids because it's fun to watch them both settle into their side-by-side playgrounds at school.  Cora continues to love school and is always Miss Confident as she waves good-bye.  It's interesting to watch Jack interact with his friends and really heartwarming when he runs back to give me a hug and the baby bump a kiss.

Afternoon Rest
This is the biggest improvement and it all came from my pregnant need to eat before noon.  In the past, I've worked till 1:00, picked them up, and then started a 45 minute process of moving from pure chaos (over-tired children just returning to their home) through getting both of their hands washed, sand out of shoes, potty needs taken care of, stories read, last minute "needs" addressed and both of them in bed.  In a word, it's exhausting.  And it was NOT working for a hungry, pregnant, tired mother.  So now I either bring lunch to work or come home and eat lunch/finish work before I pick up Jack and Cora.  Then I'm not rushing toward lunch and instead see the post school time as a chance to spend quality time with both kids. What's also helped is that Jack is now independent enough that he's using the time I'm with Cora to play on his own.  So I don't feel like he's waiting on me.  I take my time with Cora and then I take my time with him.  He and I are finishing up the fourth Laura Ingalls Wilder book now and working on a little project for Daddy, to be shared soon.

Cora Special Time
Since Cora naps right after school, I'm not getting as much time with her as I do with Jack (who only rests for about 30-45 minutes.)  So when she wakes up, I try to make sure Jack is otherwise occupied and I go get her and some books and we snuggle in my bed and read as she wakes up.  She's just getting to an age where she'll sit through most stories and so we're leaving the very-simple-board-book world and starting to read more interesting things together.  She's sleepy still and cuddly so it's a great way to ease her into the awake world without enduring post-nap grumpiness.

Dinner time and bed time are generally "less smooth" but life can't be perfect right!

No caption needed

Saturday, October 04, 2014

Second Trimester Musings

10/4/2014 - 16 weeks pregnant

On the 2nd trimester and cravings...
"The second trimester is when most women feel their best..."  Still waiting over here!  There was a definite improvement around 14 weeks, but I still feel nauseated pretty much from post-lunch till I go to bed.  I just want to crave food and be able to really enjoy it again!

Now what I do crave are liquids.  Not water.  I can drink water until midday, but after the nausea hits, I can only handle sips.  But I crave the following: Izzes (carbonated fruit juice), sweet tea (I limit myself to half sweet tea and half water once or twice a week), and orange juice (but only in the morning when I drink a good 16-20 oz.)  We just returned from Costco, which has rescued me during this budget-conscious time by selling 12 packs of Izzes for a fraction of what they cost anywhere else.

Thankfully the rest of my diet is very healthy; I feel sure all my pregnancy weight is coming directly from calories found in the cup!

I also crave naps.  I did a bit better this week with only three naps.  Up to now, I've been taking five.  I work in the morning, pick up the kids at 1:00, get them napping (Cora) and read-to/resting (Jack) and then I pass out on my bed until Jack wakes me up 30-60 minutes later.  He is increasingly independent, so sometimes he entertains himself beyond his mandated 30 minute quiet period and he is usually pretty patient with me as I revive from my passed out state.

On maternity wear...

I have created all kinds of random rules about maternity wear.

#1 - I wouldn't let myself unpack any maternity clothes until 12 weeks.  I figured if I wasn't telling folks, I shouldn't be looking pregnant.  I made do with flowy shirts and the elastic-band-to-expand-your-pants trick.

#2 - For the next two weeks, I'd opened the maternity box, but felt weird letting myself put on true maternity shirts.  Even though I felt I could easily wear them based on my expanding belly, I felt like it was too early to pack all my normal clothes away.  This was the two weeks of my normal bottoms + a belly band.  Cora soon took to calling the nifty belly bands my "baby covers."  Over the course of the two weeks my pants got to the point of not zipping up even an inch.

#3 - At 14 weeks, I reorganized my closet, putting away most of my normal clothes and unpacking the maternity clothes.  Thanks to donations from my sister, a friend, and two prior pregnancies, I have an impressive collection.  But there are always buts.  The bottoms were all still too big at the moment and I still felt embarrassed at donning full-fledged maternity clothes and then having to answer the "How far along are you?" question with "Oh, I'm 14 weeks."  So I held on about one more week with my normal bottoms and belly bands.  But this past week, I've crossed over and look way more pregnant than I am, but sure feel comfortable!

#4 - I decided to treat myself to a maternity Stitch Fix.  If you are a woman and haven't tried Stitch Fix, you need to.  I'm trying to be nice to myself lately and a Stitch Fix box is just like a gift to yourself.  I updated my online style profile and scheduled a box to arrive right around the time I knew I'd be showing.  Stitch Fix has evolved to feature some maternity lines, but they also send some of their normal styles that would be flattering on both a pregnant or non-pregnant woman.  I received two maternity dresses and three non-maternity items.  I ended up keeping two of the non-maternity items, but expect to be able to wear both throughout my pregnancy.  If you haven't checked out Stitch Fix, do it!

Stitch Fix top - 15 weeks pregnant

I loved everything about this shirt!

Aren't they cute?

New Stitch Fix blazer: baby, what baby?

Oh that baby!  16 weeks pregnant
On sewing...

Because obviously this moment in my life is the right one to ponder a new hobby... I've gotten really interested in sewing recently.  I do not sew.  In fact, I've been known to leave anything that needs mending (even pants with buttons that have fallen off) in a pile until my mom's next visit.  But I'm so inspired by my friend Jessica's sewing projects, both for herself and her kids.  I'd really like to learn soon so I can try my hand at what seems to be a pretty useful hobby while my kids are young.  I aspire to be crafty, but I never learned any handiwork skills.  I'm put off a bit by the fact that you'd probably need a sewing machine even to get started, but still, I'm feeling very inspired over here.

My one sewing project was actually a recent one when all parents in Jack's class were asked to sew clothes for a doll that would be a "wee" version of their own child and used in stories and puppet shows this year.  I pulled out a travel sewing kit and completely winged it.  At least I had good taste in the fabrics!
Jack's "Wee One"
In other news, there continues to be a lot of CRAZY behavior offset by CUTENESS over here!

Cora (still nowhere near potty-trained) now earns pictures when she goes potty!

Fall Soccer

I will never get over them holding hands :)

Miss "I LOVE school!"