Friday, June 28, 2019

Heartbeat Found

Let's skip to the important news: 
They found a heartbeat! 
Hooray! 


I was really nervous going into this appointment. 
Nervous enough that I woke up at 5am unable to go back to sleep. 
I keep feeling that I've had 2 near-perfect pregnancies 
so I'm "due" for a bad one. 


I dropped the kids with my parents 
and headed to my OB/GYN. 
She did a regular ultrasound (tummy) versus the vaginal method (whew!). 
And before I could even register what was on the screen, 
she declared: "Well good, it's in your uterus." 
(As opposed to say, ectopic pregnancy) 
and then zoomed in to show me the heartbeat. 

Baby measures in at 9 weeks 1 day, 
which is exactly the size it should be based on my ovulation schedule. 
Due date stays at January 31st. 

My OB confirmed the hospital still schedules c-sections 
for Tuesdays & Thursdays, 
so our potential baby birthdays are: 
January 28th 
January 30th 
February 4th 
February 6th 

Adam and I have some discussing to do! 
(And about 7 months to make up our mind)

I got my token grainy ultrasound photos 
and showed the boys. 
Aaron had virtually no interest. 
Oliver clutched his and studied it for a very long time. 
In fact, he requested to take it to nap with him. 
So here he is, in bed, clutching the ultrasound pictures 
of his future baby brother/sister. 


Thursday, June 27, 2019

Books I Read (June)

Total Books Read for June: 4

A slower month than in those past. 
The last two weeks I got "stuck" on two books, 
one I just gave up on (see below) 
and one I'm still trucking through
 ("Cork Dork" by Bianca Bosker)
which hopefully will be finished next month.




Daisy Jones & The Six 
By Taylor Jenkins Reid

Loved. 
I read it all in one day. 
From the second I opened it, 
it sucked me in 
and I skirted any and all responsibilities to finish it. 

It's written in an interview-style, 
with multiple interviews at a time, 
rather like a documentary. 
I'd never read this format before 
but appreciated it for being unique. 
The only problem was with so many people being interviewed, 
I often forgot who-was-who, 
but mid-way through the book I finally had everyone sorted out. 
It was just lovely. 
Well worth the anticipation. 



One Day in December 
By Josie Silver

If you love romance, love-at-first-sight, 
and the book "From Notting Hill with Love... Actually
you will LOVE this book. 

If your favorite narrators are fiercely practical, 
all the way to the autistic/Asperger spectrum, 
then you, like me, 
will passionately hate this book 
and spend most of the time clawing your eyes out. 

I wanted to give up on this book so many times 
but I powered through hoping it would redeem itself 
but NOPE I still hated it when it ended. 




Becoming 
By Michelle Obama 

This lived up to alllll the hype! 
I waited from 650+ on the library waitlist. 
And when it came, I loved every page as much as I hoped I would. 

Natasha had warned me it is NOT a read-in-one-day book, 
which I absolutely agree with. 
I tend to struggle with longer books like this, 
but the writing is so good that I thoroughly looked forward 
to picking it up again and again. 

For me, the best parts were her childhood through early career, 
while the political side felt a little more dry
 (still good, just not as good as earlier parts). 
Meanwhile, my primary care doctor (a black woman) felt the reverse, 
that the political stuff was more interesting, 
and the early childhood less so. 
So take it as you will. 

Could you read this as a non-Obama supporter? 
The early part ABSOLUTELY YES. 
I would love the book even if Melania Trump wrote it 
(that says something)!
But once Barrack gets into politics, 
it would be very hard to read as a non-Obama supporter. 
I do think any voter - Republican/Trump supporters included - 
could love the first part ("Becoming Me") 
because it's just that good (and zero politics). 




Smoke Gets In Your Eyes 
& Other Lessons from the Crematory 

Loved. 
This was an easy, enjoyable book 
about a very morbid topic 
(death & disposal of the dead). 
It's a memoir of sorts 
(of, you guessed it, working a crematory!), 
but so well researched and deeper than 
just her own personal experiences. 
I found it a fantastic mix of funny and insightful. 
Highly recommend!



Books I Didn't Finish



Alexander Hamilton 
By Ron Chernow 

One of my 2019 resolutions was to finally hop on the Hamilton bandwagon.  My neighbor, a seen-it-20-times-Hamilton-freak, 
recommended I start my Hamilton journey with this book, 
the same book Lin Manuel read that inspired the show. 

It is a longgggg, biggg book 
and I just didn't have the momentum to get through it. 
What I read was interesting, 
but not enough to keep me going. 

Tuesday, June 25, 2019

First Trimester (Weeks 1-6)

And here we go again!
Pregnancy updates coming at ya strong!
(Weeks 1-6 with Oliver here)


Weeks 1-2:
Not even remotely pregnant

Week 3
Crossing our fingers

Week 3.75:
THIRSTY
Not hungry in the mornings
Craving: american cheese & mayo (rolled up together)

Week 4:
Early on, no physical symptoms. 
In fact, I started to wonder if I was even pregnant!
Mentally, however, I found myself plagued with a lot of 
anxiety/insomina while at the lake house for Memorial Day weekend.

Craving: DELI MEAT
(exact same as with Oliver)
I never eat deli meat,
but I had a deli meat sandwich for breakfast and lunch 
for four days straight.


Week 5:

Symptoms: Abdominal cramping
(enough that I googled "abdominal cramping" 
and then peed every 5.5 seconds 
checking for any sign of blood which would mean a miscarriage)

Craving: Bagel, sausage & cheese (NO EGG!)
In a fit of morning exhaustion, 
I ordered a $10 bagel, sausage,  & cheese (NO EGG) on UberEats.  
At any time of my life, a $10 bagel, sausage, and cheese 
sounds preposterous but at that time, 
I was 100% willing to pay for it. 


Week 6
Solidly hungover. 
Periodic nausea but not enough to vomit. 
Mornings worst but afternoons got ugly too. 
Evenings were always the best. 

Craving: Bagels with cream cheese & veggies 
I had the most amazing Lox & Works* bagel 
at Daily Grind in Fells Point Baltimore 
while there for my friend's bachelorette party.  
I've thought about it often (picture below). 

At home, I bought all the ingredients for Pioneer Woman's bagel sandwich
and yes, that's a very close second. 



*after savoring every last bite of my lox bagel, 
it occured to me that lox falls into the "DON'T EAT WHILE PREGNANT" food. 
Oops. 

Friday, June 21, 2019

Summer Goals

This is NOT another summer bucket list.
It's rather some loose goals I'm setting for our family.

We have a couple of low-key family trips planned,
but overall I want to enjoy summer for what it can be:
unscheduled free time,
fun memories,
and a break from the everyday crazy.

And inspired by this article about simplifying your summer,
I decided to set these very loose goals.

1. Stay Outside

I hate heat.
For me, the deep summer is far worse than the bitter cold of winter.
I know that PA heat is nothing compared to Texas heat,
but still,
I'm a Heat Wimp.
I want to push through that this summer.

A. On particularly hot days, I want to utilize:

1. The pool
We were accepted off the waitlist for our local pool
and alllll of our friends and neighbors go there,
so it will be a very social time for us.

2. Splash pads.
Very limited here, but there are a few!

3. The beach.
While we don't have a beach trip planned this year,
I'd like to make it down for a day trip,
very feasible being only 2 hours away.

Summer 2018 at the Beach

B. On non-scorching days,
there are several new outdoor places I want to tackle
with our equally outdoor-loving friends:

1. The Discovery Center in Philadelphia
(an old reservoir turned into bird conservation with trails)
which would be an easy morning trip


2. Hike Black Rock Bird Sanctuary

It's only a 0.8m trail, so easy morning trip

3. Hike to the Andorra Meadows
and picnic there, a solid day trip

(DONE! Accomplished this week!)

The Beautiful Andorra Meadows
2. Keep Up Aaron's Learning Progress

NO WORKBOOKS!
There will be no workbooks
or problem sheets
 or any of that sort.
I don't have the patience for that
and I think summer should be a break from school.

This is all I want to tackle:

A. Aaron reads aloud 15 minutes a day.

Aaron will be participating in our library's Summer Reading Program
which is filled with small prizes (free books)
and raffle-style big prizes (iPads! LEGOs!)
all for reading a set amount of time a week.

Last summer we did the program,
where every day I read to Aaron 15 minutes a day.
This year, Aaron will be reading to me 15 minutes a day.
He's already at Level H (a mid-1st grade reading level),
and I want to maintain his progress.
Reading is the basis of all education, in my opinion.
So reading will always hold top priority.
Plus, it's just plain enjoyable.


B. Spend 15 minutes on Dreambox weekly

Dreambox is an online math game used by our schools.
He absolutely does NOT need to be on there every day.
But at least once a week for 15 minutes will be sufficient.
And he likes it, too, so it's not a chore.


That's it.

No, I am not setting a screentime goal.
Overall, I want to keep our screentime at a minimum.
I'm loving our existing no-screentime-during-the-week
but I'm also a realist.
Summer is where the kids get the most screentime
(because I'm a HEAT WIMP)
and while I don't love it,
I don't think it'll kill them either.

Wednesday, June 19, 2019

Pride

A little post to document a little story that I don't want to forget. 


June is Pride Month 
and our local library sponsored a Pride Storytime for children. 

By chance of unfortunate timing, 
I wasn't able to stay with Aaron for the storytime
but the children's librarian 
(who we know well and love deeply) 
agreed to stay with Aaron so he could attend 
while I took Oliver to where he had to be. 

I came back later 
and the librarian was waiting for me outside of the room, 
saying she "really wanted to tell me something.
At first I thought something had gone wrong, 
but she assured me it was, instead, a very good something

You see, the readers for this storytime were LBGT+ highschool volunteers. 
One of the readers was a transgender person with a speech impediment, 
who was verrrrry nervous about reading to children. 
Her book was "Heather Has Two Mommies." 
After she read the title, 
a little girl shot up her hand to ask: 
"Why does Heather have two mommies?" 

And without missing a beat, 
Aaron quickly replied in the most matter-of-fact way: 
"Some mommies marry mommies 
and some daddies marry daddies.
And that was that
 and it settled the question. 

And the librarian told me how Aaron's quick response 
immediately settled the nerves of the volunteer reader. 
And she was very grateful for his presence. 


When I heard this, 
I shed a little tear of happiness. 
Because you know as a parent how you talk and talk 
and hope and pray your kids are listening? 
Sometimes they do. 

my little pride & joy

Monday, June 17, 2019

Pregnancy FAQ

Thank you for all your excitement over my positive post
In true third-child syndrome, 
I left out all the important details. 

Due Date?
January 31st, 2020. 
The OB may move it a day or two in either direction, 
but based on the date of my last period, that's what I got. 


I go see my OB for a pregnancy confirmation appointment
 on Friday, June 27th
Generally speaking, I feel pretty positive. 
On the other hand, I've had two near-perfect pregnancies, 
so I kind of feel like I'm due for something to go wrong. 
I will probably hold this feeling until we pass the 20 week scan. 


Adam's reaction? 
"Well, here we go again." 
Typical male reaction. 
It was tinged with some relief 
because he's sick of his neurotic wife bitching about not being pregnant. 


The boys' reaction? 
They don't care. 
Like, not at all. 
Aaron's only comment was to request a sister so he can play with her Barbies. 
I pointed out that he can play with Barbies even if he doesn't have a sister, 
but he would rather have LEGOs as gifts
 and then play with his sister's Barbie gifts. 
So that's that. 

I'm sure when my belly gets big 
and we start pulling out the baby gear 
and the boys move into the same bedroom together, 
then they will start to care. 

How do I feel? 

This is hard to answer.

After 8 months of hyper-tracking everything for ovulation,
I'm keenly aware of how things like exercise, sleep, and food affect me.

For example, my sleep is significantly worse.
I am having many restless, fitful night sleeps.
But is that because of pregnancy
or is that because of my lack of exercise?
I would tend to say the latter.
Because if I run in the evenings, I sleep great.

What about morning sickness?
By week 5, I was MAJORLY struggling in the mornings,
even when snacking on crackers while still in bed! 
But when I was away for my friend's bachelorette party,
I noticed that if I had an excessively full meal the night before
or a very heavy breakfast first thing in the morning,
I felt great!

This is a conundrum.
The heavy meals make me feel better in terms of morning sickness,
but make me feel worse as I'm adding pounds on to my already-heavier weight.

If, for example, I go for a run in the evenings,
the next morning I feel AWFUL.
And I can't go for a morning run without a very full breakfast first,
which I don't have time for if I want to go before Adam leaves for work.

So... yeah.
That's where I am on that.

***

I do have a post coming about the first 6 weeks, 
similar to what I did with Oliver. 
Stayed tuned!



Is it too early for third child memes?

Thursday, June 13, 2019

Positive

I wrote this depressing post here about waiting to be pregnant. 
That was Thursday, May 16th

3 days after posting, 
I found out I was pregnant. 
And this is the story of how. 

***

My period was due Thursday, May 23rd. 

The Saturday before, I went out to a bar with my friend. 
I had this sneaking suspicion that I could be pregnant. 
simply because my face had not yet exploded in acne, 
like it usually does a week before my period. 

Just in case, I stuck to two beers only. 
And the next morning woke up at 5:30am 
to pee on a stick. 

I'd paid top dollar for the 6-day-sooner pregnancy test kits. 
And this would be 4 days prior. 
I saw the faintest second line I'd ever seen. 



The bathroom glare lights didn't help, of course. 

That day I was quite nervous. 
I was still spotting dark red/brown a bit
 (in retrospect I think it was implantation spotting) 
and I didn't want to get my hopes up. 


But then the next morning, I took another pregnancy test, 
and the line was a little darker. 
And my spotting started to go away. 
And the next day the line was even darker. 
And by my period due date, 
there was no spotting and no period to be seen. 
I was FINALLY pregnant. 

And suddenly this great weight felt lifted off my shoulders. 
I was no longer suffering under this cloud of uncertainty. 
I felt relieved. 
Like I could breathe again. 


I started telling people immediately. 
I texted my friend a picture of the pregnancy test at 5:30am, 
before even telling Adam. 
I dropped it in conversation to neighbors, 
friends, 
even Aaron's teacher
 when we were on a school field trip. 


My theory is that even if I do miscarry 
or something goes horribly wrong, 
I'll tell people anyway. 
Because that's the kind of person I am. 
Exhibit A: I have a blog. 

Tuesday, June 11, 2019

SAHM: Fears Revisited

I revisited my SAHM goals,
 so now it's time to revisit my SAHM Fears

I got a good laugh reading these original fears. 
I had this idea that SAHMs were lame and horrible people. 
Maybe I am lame and horrible and I don't see it? 
Whatever.  


***

Will I be bored? 

No. 
If anything, sometimes I feel "too busy." 
We are always going somewhere, 
usually with someone else. 
Even the Great Void has seemed to shrink, 
now that spring is here and the parks are bustling. 



***

Will I lose my sense of worth? 

No. 
I am very proud to be a stay-at-home-mom. 
We are financially stable 
and I'm extremely happy. 
I have received zero judgment about this decision. 
In fact, the most common reaction I get is envy. 

***

Will I become less relevant? 

No. 
If anything, I've become MORE obnoxious about current affairs. 
I blame Trump. 

***

Will I regret it later in life? 

Can't answer this yet, 
but I am going to guess NO. 

*** 

Will I appreciate my children less? 

Sometimes yes. 
The end of last summer got ugly. 
And I suspect the end of this summer will get ugly too. 
(I'm hoping less so because we were accepted 
off the waitlist into our local pool!)
But overall, no. 
I like being around my children. 


*** 

Am I going to hold this over my kid's head? 

To elaborate on this fear, 
my mother always said that being a SAHM 
was "a sacrifice" she made for us kids, 
as though she gave up so much 
and we should be grateful to her for it all. 
I hated that. 

This is why I harp on how my LOVE of being a SAHM. 
I'm not doing it for my kids. 
I believe my kids would equally thrive in a good daycare 
or after-school program 
(Aaron did just that for 1.5 years). 
I'm doing it because it makes me a happier mom. 



*** 

Will I shop too much? 

I shop a little more in person (side-eye: Target) 
but I shop A LOT less online 
because I'm not sitting in front of a computer all day. 

***

Will I get fat? 

LOL. 
Yes but that's not because of being a SAHM. 
That's because of The Elephant

*** 

When will I work out? 

In the mornings and weekends 

just like I did back when I was working. 
It sucks a lot in the winter 
but it's really great in the summer. 
Also, the 5:45am yoga class is CLUTCH. 


***

Am I ok with a lifestyle that doesn't involve extra paychecks? 

I do miss this. 
With Adam leaving Big Law Firm World 
and taking a 30% paycut to work in-house
I feel the pinch of one income much more. 
But overall I can't complain. 
We have no debt except our mortgage. 
We are still contributing 12% to our 401K. 
We are still saving for big house projects, 
though at a substantially lesser rate than before. 
Our big kitchen/master bath renovation is probably 2 years away. 

Do I miss the extra money? 
Yes. 
Do I want to go back to work to make it up? 
No. 

Thursday, June 6, 2019

SAHM: Goals Revisited 3 years later

SAHM: Goals Revisisted 
Original post here: June 2016 
Revisisted those goals 1 year later here: June 2017


1. Stay Busy 
Grade: A+ 

I am a SAHM Who Is Never Home
We are out and about every single day. 
No day is left unscheduled. 
Posted about some of our favorite places here



2. Stay Social 
Grade: A+

I can FINALLY report that I have
 a great collection of mom friends to hang with. 
It took a loonnnggg time, 
but I'm finally there.
I know that on any given open calendar space, 
I have a handful of fun moms to text 
"what are you up to Friday morning?" 
"want to get together at the park after school?" 
and I can legitimately look forward to hanging out. 

Again, we aren't BFF ride-or-die-bitches or anything 
(those are different friends, equally valued)
but just a solid group of mom friends, 
with similar-aged children, 
that we can enjoy time together. 


Exploring stagnant water with friends

3. Spend Time on ME 

3a. Exercise 
Grade: A

I have done a great job keeping up exercising. 
Sometimes I go through slumps (like right now) 
but I have successfully trained for the 10 mile Broad Street Run 
three years in a row now, 
and that feels great. 

I also have a fantastic yoga studio that I love going to. 
This isn't an A+ only because I wish I did more
but it's a solid A. 


3b. Eat healthy 
Grade: A

I eat mostly healthy. 
Not as healthy as I should 
(still working on snacking on fruits/veggies) 
but definitely an overall healthy diet. 

I don't keep junk in my house 
and I never buy food on-the-go. 
Once every 6 months I'll treat myself to a Starbucks cake pop, 
but it's that infrequent. 

I talked about our how we eat here and here.



3c. Reading 
Grade: A+ 

My reading has been on fire this year!!! 
Between Jan and May, I've read 28 books. 
I'm over halfway to my goal of 50



4. Limit TV Time 
Grade: A+ 

I've beaten this horse to death, 
so I won't rehash it yet again. 
My latest post about screentime is here


5. Spend a little bit of time teaching 
Grade: F

Nope nope nope. 
I leave any and all teaching to the schools. 
And especially after reading 
"There's No Such Thing as Bad Weather," 
I would much rather concentrate on getting my kids outside, 
than sitting them in front of a workbook. 

The only thing that may count as "teaching" 
is helping Aaron to read. 
Thanks to the massive collection of beginner books at the library, 
Aaron's reading is off the charts. 
That said, I don't consider reading to be "teaching." 
Reading is just... reading. 
It's what you do as a parent! 
Now we are starting to shift from me reading to him reading.