Monday, December 26, 2011

Christmas 2011

We had a really nice, relaxing Christmas this year. We started off by throwing a dinner party for some friends on Christmas Eve. I made filet mignon, potatoes dauphinoise, salad with pomegranates, roasted carrots, a cake, and there was free-flowing wine for everyone but me. I set the table and created a centerpiece out of flowers and greens, and we had old-school Christmas music playing. The house was all decorated and T cleaned until it sparkled (yay for that!). It was just really festive and fun. My mother sent over the most gorgeous dress for Miss M; she loved the twirly skirt and looked beautiful. T has become extremely proficient at doing her hair, which cracks me up. He had it all pulled back in a pony, and it looked so lovely. She was full of energy and made everyone laugh all night. She went to bed just before the adults had dinner, so the dinner itself was a grown-up dinner, which was nice for T and I.

My mother got Miss M a play kitchen for Christmas. T. had assembled it Christmas eve day, so after dinner on Christmas Eve, our friends helped bring the play kitchen and its accessories upstairs. As a side note, it's a Step2 play kitchen, and worth every penny of its $150 price tag. It is really sturdy, and does all sorts of things. There is an undercounter light that turns on and off; a phone that rings; the buttons on the microwave really work (and it makes a "microwave" sound, as well as a popcorn noise), and the stove does something really fabulous. When you put the frying pan (also included) on the stovetop, it lights up and makes a sizzling sound (the pan is translucent). When you put the large pot (also included) on, it lights up and sounds like boiling water. It's just really cool. Plus, it came with tons of accessories--a stainless steel veggie strainer, all sorts of stainless steel kitchen accessories like a spatula, plastic dishes, plastic silverware, pots and pans, condiments (including a pepper grinder with a top that actually goes around). It's just a great set.

Once the kitchen was in place, our friends were thrilled to have the chance to assemble the Lego train that Santa brought for Miss M. I was exhausted at that point, and the idea of getting down on the floor with my sore back and giant tummy wasn't overly appealing, so I was grateful for their help. It was hilarious to watch them try to sort out what and how to build, and tons of fun (particularly when paired with homemade limoncello one of them brought, which I again abstained from. Well, I had a sip, just to taste--it was really good!). We played vintage Christmas movies (ie, Santa Claus is Coming to Town) in the background while they worked. It was just really, really fun.

Christmas morning, Miss M was up at her usual 6:30 a.m. I turned on the tree lights and the room lights, and then we brought her in. I filmed it as she came into the room, so my mom could see her reaction to her toys. She was thrilled. It was adorable. She was enthralled by both the "choo choo train" and the kitchen, and went back and forth playing with the two for more than an hour. Around 8, we sent her upstairs to wake up my stepsister. Miss M apparently wakes her up by trying to open the shades, whichI think is funny. When she tries to wake me up, she comes over to the side of the bed and says "mommy wake up! Get up please!" I guess my stepsister needs a little more help than that!

When everyone was up and assembled in the living room with a cup of coffee/tea, we started opening presents. It took until about 2 to open everything, because Miss M wanted to play with each thing that she opened. Soon, the living room was a giant mess of pieces of things and wrapping paper. We took a hiatus at lunchtime to eat and clean up, before we continued on. As always, my family was incredibly generous and sent Miss M loads of fun things to play with. Santa mostly got her legos (she loves them), and she adores the play kitchen. She's constantly making me tea. I got her the Fisher Price talking tea set, which is really cute. When you pour a cup of tea, it makes the pouring sound. She also makes me tea in the microwave. We have a tea kettle, so I'm not sure where she learned to do that!

T. bought me some lovely, thoughtful Christmas gifts. I had looked at this maternity set at a local high-end body products store. It's gorgeous stuff that they don't sell in the U.S. He wasn't even with me when I looked at it. It was so expensive that I bought myself a small bottle of their maternity bath oil, which I'm almost out of. He couldn't have even known that I looked at the set, but he knows I love their stuff, and he got me the set as part of my Christmas present! It's so nice. It came with tummy cream that is divine. The water here is incredibly hard, plus it's winter, so my skin is dry and itchy everywhere. He got me all sorts of other cool stuff, too. We are so busy all of the time with Miss M and doing things that it was nice to get so many special, thoughtful gifts. I hadn't expected him to go to so much trouble. My stepsister also got me tickets to see a play that I really want to see, which was also really kind of her. She's a student, so I appreciate that she sacrificed some of her hard-earned cash for me.

I think everyone liked the gifts I found for them, as well. I made up calendars this year on my Mac. I have to say, the quality of the Apple printing is really high, and the gifts shipped directly and got to their destinations quickly. For every month, I featured photos of Miss M from that same month last year. I thought it was a cute way of showing how she grew over the last year, sharing some of the best photos of her, and showing what we did. I tried to use different photos from the ones I used in our Christmas card, so the people I sent them to now have lots of nice photos of Miss M. (I am notoriously bad about sending photos, even though email makes it easy!). I also sent along other presents with the calendars. For my mom, I arranged for a professional photographer to take pictures of the girls, my mom, and me when my mom visits after the baby is born. I thought it would be cool to get some good photos taken of our three generations of women. My mom is hard to buy for, and T thought that would be a good present for her. I thought it was an inspired idea. We sent T's mom a plane ticket to visit after the baby is born. The grampa's got relatively uninspired clothing and other odds and ends, but they are all a little harder to buy for, and I sent them cool stuff that is only available locally.

For T, I really tried to come up with gifts to spoil him. I arranged for us to go away for a weekend, where he'll have some time on his own to get spa treatments. I got him special cognac glasses and an expensive bottle of cognac. I bought him a few shirts, and some other odds and ends that I thought he'd be into. I think he liked everything. The shirts look fabulous on him! It's so hard to buy over the internet sometimes, because you never quite know how it's going to turn out.

Mid-present-opening, we took a break for our Christmas morning tradition: eggs benedict and mimosas. T and I decided years ago that we needed our own Christmas traditions, so that has been one of ours forever. I brought out the Waterford crystal champagne glasses, and enjoyed virgin mimosas alongside them. As always, it was a delicious tradition!

There were a few gray spots to our holiday, but I'm choosing not to focus on those right now. All in all, it was just a really great Christmas, filled with laughter and love and happiness. It's such a joy to celebrate Christmas with a much-longed for child. It's hard to believe she's almost two. It feels like just yesterday we were wondering if things would work out, and here we are now, in the thick of laughter and light and love. We are so blessed.

Saturday, December 24, 2011

Christmas Eve and 29 Weeks

We are reasonably on track for Christmas. I have all of the Santa and Miss M presents wrapped. I still have to do my husband and sister. T is putting together the play kitchen as I type this. It is a fabulous kitchen. There are all sorts of battery-operated functions: the burners light up when you put pots on them (and the pots are semi-see-through, so you can tell); there is a telephone that rings; the microwave has buttons you can press and make it "come on," complete with noise, and there is a light over the stove. It also came with all sorts of pots and pans and accessories. I kind of want to play with it! We opened our last advent present this morning: matching Mickey Mouse Christmas jammies for everyone. T's family used to have matching Christmas jammies when he was a kid, and I thought it was an adorable tradition, so I've started it this year. There are presents under the tree. Now I just have to get started on making the cake for tonight's dinner party.

But of course, despite my best efforts, I've discovered I'm short a few ingredients. I planned to make a different dessert for tonight, but then discovered I'd overlooked the fact that it required THREE HOURS of simmering in a double boiler--and that was just step one. So, I've changed the dessert to a much simpler cake. Plus, the new cake will allow me to use my fancy Bundt pan, so it will look smashing. I'm off to the store in a few minutes in search of the missing ingredients.

I'm also 29 weeks today, and increasingly enormous. I just took some belly pic's and weighed myself on the new scale: 135.6 pounds. I probably started at around 115 or so, but I'm not really sure. So, now I have a baseline weight to work off. I know that doesn't sound particularly heavy, but my midsection really is huge. I look like an olive on a toothpick. My back continues to trouble me. I live with the hot water bottle, and when I first stand up, I am hunched over until my back gets used to being standing and straightens out. I am like the Tin Man--I need a little oil! Time to schedule that massage, I think.

Happy holidays to you and yours.

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

The Beauty of City Living

When we lived in the U.S., we lived in a pretty rural area, so it wasn't possible to have groceries delivered. This made the holiday time a bit more hectic, because invariably I would forget items and have to drive 20 minutes to the closest store to get them. Can I tell you how much I enjoy having a small but well-stocked grocery within walking distance, for those last-minute emergencies? Can I tell you how even more, I enjoy grocery delivery? We used to do it when we lived in Boston in a third floor walkup and didn't have a car. I've missed it since then. But here, we have it again, and I love it. I was able to plan out all of my holiday menus and order all of the ingredients online. Since T. is home during the day, he waits for the delivery, and then puts them away before I get home from work. It's so much less hectic than tromping around the supermarket myself, looking for the right ingredients.

Even better, we discovered a company that delivers organic produce. They do mixed boxes every week for a surprisingly low price. You can go online before your delivery and see what you're getting, so if you don't like something, you can substitute. Occasionally it's a little wonky--they sent me persimmons last week instead of the bananas I was supposed to get. But, because they send it, I try new stuff, which was kind of the point in doing it. T. doesn't push veggies on Miss M the way I wish he did (because he doesn't like them himself), and I don't want her to have his eating habits. This is my way of ensuring there is always healthy food in the house, and a good selection of it. Case in point: yesterday after swim lessons he took her to McDonald's as a "prize" for swimming under water 4 times (which, by the way: totally awesome!). I had to point out to him that we don't want to make bad food a "reward," as that's not a lesson we want to impart. So anyway, the organic veggies. . .we're trying lots of new stuff, we always have food on hand, it's no work for me, and it's inexpensive. What's not to love?

But it gets better. The organic veggie company delivers fruit and organic meats, cheese and other dairy, baked goods, baby food, and so much more. I ordered a cool bread making kit, the most amazing organic filet mignon, handmade chocolate truffles, etc. And they just appear on my doorstep once a week! It's simply brilliant. It's made my life easier in a small but very good way. I'm eating more produce as a result, as is Miss M (and even T., because I'm slipping them into delicious soups!!!).

So, as the week winds down and I wonder how I'll manage to wrap all the presents, I am feeling confident that my grocery shopping is at least all done and I'll be ready to start cooking this weekend when I'm ready. All my presents are bought. Menus are worked out. Mostly, my work is done, and I can just enjoy the holiday. Happiness!

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

28 Week Appointment

I had my monthly appointment with the doctor today. Overall it was good. My blood pressure is still low. I only gained about two pounds since last month, which I thought was bad, but the doctor was fine with. Not much bothers her, though--which I find very European. I think my hair could be on fire, and she's be blase about it. Anyway, I've noticed less movement over the last week, so she did an ultrasound. The baby is positioned differently, but most decidedly NOT head down! She's laying across my abdomen, with her head on my right side and her legs folded up on the left, with her feet somewhere around my belly button, where she keeps kicking me. One arm was over her face, while the other was was underneath her, down low in my abdomen. I was worried about the cord, but the doctor could see a lot of it, and wasn't worried at all, and she said the cord is nowhere near the cervix.

As previously noted, I finally ordered a scale that has pounds on it (I couldn't find one here, and I hate kilograms!), and had it shipped from the U.S., so I'll be able to track my weight gain. That should guilt me into eating when I don't feel like it. Sigh. I've really been trying to eat well. It's so hard when I always feel full.

Next month, I'll have an appointment with my doctor, and also one with a midwife at the hospital where I'll be delivering. Weird. It's weird to think we are almost to the point where we will be going to the hospital. My doctor said today "you're almost finished!" She also wholeheartedly supported my plan to get more massages to try to ease my back pain. She recommended I keep as physically active as I have been, as she thinks it may get worse if I don't. So, massages it is!

I also realized I had a few more presents to buy, but I bought the last two Christmas presents today--a gift certificate ordered over the phone to be delivered in the U.S., and an insanely expensive bottle of fine cognac for my husband. He's been such a patient and amazing father and husband over the last year. I wanted to do some ridiculously indulgent things for him this Christmas, and I won't often have the chance to buy him rare French cognac that isn't exported to the U.S. Hurray for being done with Christmas shopping! Now I just have to wrap everything to put under the tree!

Sunday, December 18, 2011

Great Day at the Theater

I have had a really great day.

We started off this morning by opening little presents from the advent calendar that I made for Miss M and T and my sister. In order for you to understand where this is going, you have to know that my husband went prematurely grey in his 20's, and currently has a beard, which is also grey/white. When I gave Miss M the sticker that says what day the present is, a Santa sticker, I asked her who was on the sticker. Very confidently, and without missing a beat, she said "my daddy!" I was so proud--proper use of pronoun and not even two! And also, hilarious!

We had to get dressed and out of the house early this morning, because we had theater tickets. We got everyone dressed and out of the house exactly on time. The bus came just when it was supposed to, and we ended up near the theater early. We had time for Starbucks (peppermint hot chocolate!) and Miss M took a short little nap, then we were off to claim our seats. They had these really cool snowman fiber optic lightstick thingys, which we of course bought Miss M. She was delighted. When we got to our seats, they were perfect--second row, with great views of the stage. The show started on time, and Miss M was mesmerized right from the beginning. The child sat through an hour and forty-five minute play and utterly behaved! (Contrast this to the fancy children's Christmas party I recently took her to, thrown by my office in a ridiculously nice place. As the gathered crowd of other well-behaved children politely listened to 'Twas the Night Before Christmas and sang Silent Night to live piano accompaniment, she ran at top speed through the crowd, yelling "excuse me!" as she blew past people, with me hot on her heels lest she get sugar cookie icing on the silk-covered furniture or 17th century hand-painted wallpaper. She couldn't be contained for a split second, let along HOURS!) She was just entranced. Every once in a while she would look up at me, put her hand on my face, and smile. It was pure joy. At intermission, she even managed to eat snacks without spilling them all over her pretty dress. We bought her this little stuffed snowman, too, who is just her size, and she spent the remainder of the play clutching him to her. It was adorable. I love theater, so it was so satisfying to watch her enjoy it, as well.

After the play ended, we went out for lunch, where she again was an absolute angel. She colored and ate an entire basket of breadsticks. No real food, mind you, but such are things these days. Hopefully dinner will see us get something a bit healthier into her! Overall, it was just such a happy, fun day, and everything went along so smoothly. It was amazing. It really got me in the holiday spirit.

Saturday, December 17, 2011

28 Weeks

Although I haven't been a very good blogger during this pregnancy (work plus toddler makes it tough!), it's definitely helpful that I blogged more regularly through my first pregnancy. I've been feeling a bit neurotic--have I been eating well enough, have I been gaining enough weight, etc., etc. I just looked back at my old blog posts from this point in my last pregnancy, and all my concerns were the same. I just checked out the photos I took of myself back then, too. I am smaller overall, and in much better shape now (I walk everywhere, still). But, my belly is MUCH bigger now than it was in my first pregnancy. I have a very serious woman-who-swalled-an-oversized-basketball look to me. So I am probably worrying about nothing. Still, I constantly feel full, am never hungry, and feel like there is no room to eat, so I worry.

I'm going to try to blog more. I miss having this little piece of quiet time for myself to just kind of focus on me and the child that's inside of me. After Miss M goes to bed, I always seem to have a to-do list to accomplish, and then I fall into bed exhausted, and the new day is here before I know it. But I'm going to try to squeeze a little blog time in for me from now on. I want to spend a little time each day just focusing on myself and this baby. I feel like I haven't done enough of that, and she'll be here before I know it! When I was first pregnant, one of the nurses told me that the pregnancy would be nothing like my first--that it would fly by, and I'd have no time relaxing on the couch with my feet up, and boy was she right!

These last few weeks of the year are a good time to refocus. We aren't traveling for the holidays, and (somewhat sadly) no one is coming to visit us, because people are going to fly over after the baby is born. We're doing a dinner with some friends who can't travel on Christmas Eve, and then Christmas Day it will be just us and my step-sister, who has been living with us for the last few months. As sad as I am that family isn't visiting (or that we aren't visiting family), it should be really relaxing. We're making filet mignon for Christmas Eve and a ham for Christmas dinner. Turkey costs and arm and a leg here, so I'm skipping the bird for Christmas (think $100 for a 10 pound turkey, and you're in the ballpark!--totally crazy!). We always start Christmas day with mimosas (none for me this year!) and eggs Benedict, and we watch Christmas movies when we're done unwrapping presents. . .relaxing. All of my shopping is done, my packages are mailed, and the house is both clean and decorated. I bought us all matching pajamas--something T's family did when he was a kid. It's a little ridiculous, but I like the tradition of it. Plus, I got us all Mickey Mouse pajamas, which Miss M will go wild for. So, I have to do some wrapping, and that's it! I've been Christmas planning for at least a month, which is the only reason my shopping is done. I've never been done this early. Work will also be quiet these last few weeks, so that should give me some room to refocus, as well.

I have my next doctor's appointment on Tuesday. I should have gained another 4 pounds. I've been right on track the last few visits, and expect that I'm doing okay this time, too. I don't have a scale at home (just bought one, but haven't used it yet), so I can't tell how much I weigh right now. I'm definitely getting bigger, though! Overall I'm feeling well. They baby is very active, and has been for a long time. I get worried when she slows down, given how active she generally is. I can't tell how she is positioned, though. I don't think she's head down, and I'm starting to worry about that. I know there's still time, but still.

Because I walk a lot here (1.5 miles a day, in general), I'm a bit stiff and sore. My lower back, in particular, is bothering me. I've been using the hot water bottle every night, which helps. It's a bit of a conundrum--I don't really want to walk less, because I want to stay in good shape, and also because I still have just under 3 months to go, and I'll need to get myself around this city until then. But if I keep up the exercise, it's definitely only going to make my back worse as time goes on. I've slowed down my pace, but that doesn't help. I'm going to try adding some massages. The good news is that I just switched my health insurance to a different plan, and the new plan allows me $50 toward a massage 30 times a year!!! I could not believe that was a benefit (it's also a better plan for me to use in this country, which is why I switched). Massages here are really expensive--basically twice what I'd pay in the U.S.--but with $50 off per massage, they are looking highly affordable again. I just have to find a good pregnancy masseuse. I've had one massage recently, a few weeks ago when my back was really bad, but it was just okay, and it was too far from my house. There's a place not too far from my house that I have yet to try, but that's definitely in my future.

Things overall are good. Miss M started having night terrors again, which has always meant a developmental leap. We couldn't imagine what it could be this time, but all of a sudden she has loads of new words and loads of sentences. She's also gone through a bit of a growth spurt. The kid just cracks me up so much. Work is chaotic, but basically good. There's been a recent change in management, and the new management team isn't quite in sync yet, which has heavily contributed to the chaos. Miss M's 2nd birthday is next month, and I've planned a long weekend away as a surprise. It's a family resort not too far from where we live, with a giant indoor toddler pool and lots of toddler activities. One of the great things about it is that only one parent can accompany the toddler to the activities (except the pool), so while one parent is with Miss M, I've booked the other for spa treatments at the spa. I'm giving the bulk of these to my dear husband, who kind of needs a break from her toddlerness. He will be psyched. They have this half-day spa thing that involves all these different steam rooms, hot pools, water features, etc. Hopefully there will be other men there, too, but given that he'll have hours to himself, I doubt he'll care if he's the only guy. He's getting a massage, too. I am getting some sort of combined maternity treatment that involves a mini facial/body treatment/massage. My skin is crazy dry right now (I HATE the water here--so drying, especially this time of year!). Anyway, I can't wait for him to open the gift card on Christmas to see it all. I think he'll be happy with it. I know I'm looking forward to it! We have a cottage to ourselves with a kitchen and a wood-burning fireplace, too! Heaven. We'll be able to eat in or out. I was even able to pre-order groceries which will be there when we get there. It sounds both fun and relaxing, and I'm excited to get some quality time with Miss M for three days.

Tomorrow, we are taking Miss M to the theater to see a Christmas play. It will be her first theater experience. We took her to see Disney on Ice a while back, and she sat mesmerized for the entire show. We'll see how this one goes. I'm looking forward to it. It's supposed to be a really good show, and I was able to get us good seats. I guess I'd better get myself to bed so I can get a good night's sleep, since we have a big day ahead of us!

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

26W5D and Counting!

I am slow to post because I am BUSY!!! Work has been interesting and challenging and fun and crazy. I threw myself into Christmas early and did most of my shopping, so that is mostly taken care of. I decided to make my own advent garlands for Miss M and T, which was a TON of work, but has turned out to be very fun. Miss M loves her little morning present. I put together a really detailed photo Christmas card with a nice little note about our adventures during the past year, to send off to far-flung family and friends. I ended up using Apple this year because it was just so easy (albeit, not particularly creative in terms of layouts). Would you believe the order arrived two days later??! The print quality is pretty good, although not as good as Scrapblog, which I used to love. Unfortunately, they merged and are no longer in business, and the new company's website looks kind of sketchy and I didn't want to take the risk.

And then there is this baby. I can't believe we are almost to 27 weeks. She is really active now, and from what I can tell, she is not at all in the right position (ie, head down). I feel jabs really low in my pelvis (like, bikini line low), and then way up by my ribs, and then in the middle of my belly, often in succession. I can't even imagine how she's managing it! I feel really good, though. I'm a bit stiff (because I keep doing too much, probably), but I'm still walking 1-2 miles a day. I finally had to give up my long weekend hikes, though. It was just too much for my poor back and stomach muscles. I am struggling to eat, as I constantly feel full, but I'm gaining exactly as much weight as I should be, so I think I'm doing okay. My next doctor's visit is in two weeks. We talked about delivery during the last appointment. I'm still not crazy about healthcare here, and really should find a doula, but I still haven't gotten around to it. Philosophically, this doctor sounds like she's much more on the same page with me than the practice that delivered Miss M. If my water breaks and I'm not in labor, as long as everything sounds okay, she doesn't want to see me. She's fine with me laboring upright. She gets why I don't want constant monitoring, and is fine with periodic monitoring (which I had with Miss M, but had to fight for mid-labor). She is fine with no drugs, no Pitocin, etc. Of course, I know all too well that doctors can sing a different tune during labor.

I also found out that in addition to my doctor being around to deliver the baby, I'll actually have a midwife with me the entire time who is assigned to me by the hospital. But it won't be someone I've ever met. This strikes me as so incredibly odd. But, that's how it's done. It's all the more reason I'd like to get a doula, who I can at least meet in advance and have some comfort level with. I've wished a thousand times that my previous doula was available for this birth! She was so fantastic. Now I need to find someone just like her.

I just realized it's gotten quite late here, and I have to work tomorrow. More soon!

Monday, November 21, 2011

Miss M at 22 Months

Dear Miss M,

Every day, I sit and stare at you in wonder. How did we get so blessed with such a smart, funny, personable little kid? We are so lucky to be your parents.

You went back to New England with your dad in August when you were about 19 months, and had such a language explosion while you were there. We Skyped every day, and you shocked me every day with your new words and expressions. I was so worried about how it would be for you to be away from me, and how it would be for me to be away from you. It was hard for both of us, I think, but you did fantastic. You played on the beach every day and hung out with friends and took it all in stride. You would reach out your arms to me as though to give me big hugs through the computer screen when we Skyped, which got me through the rough bits. I missed you terribly. But, you learned to sleep in a crib while you were visiting grandma, and daddy says you didn't even put up a fight. We had NO chance of doing that while you were at home--it was major meltdowns every time we tried to put you in your crib. I was able to join you in the U.S. for the last week of your trip, and I was amazed that you slept in the crib even with me there. It was fun to play with you in the lake, and to watch how outgoing and personable you were with all of the friends and family that you hadn't seen since you were a tiny baby.

You were also able to play a key role in announcing your sister's impending arrival to our friends and family. We bought you a pink tshirt with elephants on it that says "I'm going to be a big sister." We put it on you the day we threw a big cookout, and sent you out into the crowd in it. We brought you by your uncle and grandfather first. Your uncle caught on quickly, but grampa was a little slower to pick up on it (probably because he wasn't wearing his glasses!) It was a fun way to tell everyone, and you certainly enjoyed running around to show everyone your shirt.

We went to your other grammy's house for a week after that, and you had a great time playing with all of the toys there. You were also a champion shopper, as I ran all of the errands we needed to accomplish there. We went to the most amazing amusement park for toddlers, too, and you had just a blast on the rides. You sobbed every time we took you off the merry-go-round. You thought that was just the best. It was a joy to watch your face as you rode round the merry go round on the pony, and waved to daddy as he passed by. It was a fabulous day.

And sure enough, when we got back home at the end of the trip, you went to sleep in your crib without protest, and you've been sleeping there ever since. You don't even mind taking naps. You cheerfully say "nuh-night," we pop you in the crib, turn on your sheep (which plays whales sounds, which you don't like, but ocean and rain sounds, which you love), and you either chatter away to yourself for a bit, or you go right to sleep. No fussing even at nap time! I can't believe that you transitioned so well, and so fast. We are all sleeping better as a result.

Since your trip back to the U.S., it has been just amazing to watch your language develop. I made a potato-leek soup recently, and you insisted on having a bite. "I don't think you'll like it," I said. You took a bite, then pronounced "I like it." Today I asked you if you had had a good day with daddy, and you said "maybe." You are constantly making your preferences known, and I love every minute of it, even when you are being obstinate. Actually, I might love those moments best (even when I have to discipline you for them), as I love watching your little personality develop. You are smart as a whip, too. You can count to 15, and you know the alphabet. If someone is singing the alphabet and stops, you will continue on exactly from where they left off. You can put all of the shapes through the correct holes in the shape sorter. You are also working on your colors, although everything seems to be both "blue" and "yellow" these days. I have faith you'll get there, though, and that it will be soon, given how quick you are to master new tasks. You also like to point to letters on the computer keyboard and on the alphabet that is hanging on the wall, so I think you will soon recognize the letters, too! You are also quickly learning songs like "Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star," "Row, row, row your boat," and "Itsy Bitsy Spider," complete with hand gestures. And every day, something new! When one of our friends stopped by the other day, someone you see perhaps once a month, you asked where her husband was, by name. It just amazes me to watch you make these kinds of connections.

You are a pretty good eater these days, too. Everyone at home in the U.S. was impressed by your diverse palate. As your mother, I of course worry that you aren't eating enough of the right stuff. You still love dairy--yogurt, cottage cheese, cheese, and milk. The only things you will drink are milk and water. You love chicken, and will eat piles of it, and do fine with meat, as well. You love fruit--blueberries, in particular, but also strawberries, apples and plums. I can't get you to eat banana. I think it's a texture thing. You feel the same way about melons, and won't go near them. I tried to feed you mango yesterday, and you refused to try a bite. We are doing very poorly with all vegetables. You won't eat any of them. In desperation tonight, I tried mixing equal parts vanilla yogurt, mashed sweet potato and mashed apple. Success! I wonder how broccoli-pear yogurt might fare? Hmmm. . . .We don't feed your junk food or sugar, with one terrible exception (I blame daddy!): french fries. You love them. When we were at a restaurant with friends a month or so ago and you saw them come out on someone's plate, you did a double fist pump and said "yes!" When we pass restaurants on the street that have advertising pictures of them in the windows, you get terribly excited and shout out "french fries!" I even caught you begging them off another table in a restaurant recently. Of course, the women thought you were so adorable that they wanted to give you some. But, you barely ate pizza or birthday cake when you attended your first birthday party recently, so I think we are mostly doing okay.

We did a follow up appointment with the specialist pediatrician a month or so ago, and you are FINALLY on the height-weight charts. You are in the 9th percentile for height and something like the 3rd for weight, but you are on the charts at last. You seem to finally be growing normally. I suspect that you were so very active at such an early age, and developing so fast mentally, that you burned every calorie you consumed.

You continue to grow by leaps and bounds every day, and daddy and I struggle to make sure that you are stimulated enough, whether it's by playing in a new park or by new adventures. We recently took you to Scotland for a long weekend, and you adored the hotel pool. You've been afraid of the shower for a while now, but they had showers at the pool that were warm water, and with sprayers at all levels. You were intrigued by these, and played in them for almost as long as the pool. it was fun to see what a water baby you are. You kept wanting to swim away from us, even though you can't yet swim. We are enrolling you in swim lessons in coming weeks, which we think you will adore. Plus, given your affinity for water, we want to be sure you learn to swim at an early age!

We took you to your first art class recently. You sat and made a little spider armband and painted a bit on a pumpkin cutout before you got bored. You enjoyed sprinkling the sparkles, but then decided you would much rather wander around the room, or even worse sit on the lap of an older kid and try to muscle in on their art projects. You love hanging out with other kids, no matter how much older they may be. We think the art class is probably a bit too structured for you right now, but we are looking into music and dance classes that might let you play with other kids and be a bit more free, while still providing a bit of structure. I think it will be good for your to do something with some structure. I worry that when it comes time for preschool, you will be far to independent to conform to someone else's schedule!

Tonight we were playing after dinner. We read a book, then we colored, then I asked you to get out your musical instruments. You have a drum, a tambourine, maracas, and a little piano. You played the piano while I banged about on various other instruments. You started saying "one, two, three, one two three" to a rhythm as we went along. Then you paused, and went over to scavenge among your other toys. I thought you were done playing music with me. But you came back just a minute later, toting your sunglasses. You put them on, sat back down on my lap, and went back to playing the piano with your little rhythm. It was priceless.

You are really into buckles right now. When we aren't looking, you climb up into your high chair so that you can snap the straps together. Any backpack left lying around gets similar treatment. You are just fascinated by things that you can fidget with. You've been dragging around Dressy Bessy, who has so many things to play with. Duplos are a favorite, too, although you still get frustrated when you can't get them apart. You are also really into toilet paper. We can't leave it on the roll, lest you toilet paper the house. You are never out of our sight for more than a few seconds, but it is remarkable how fast you can move and how much you can accomplish in just a few seconds!!!

You enjoy a good book. For a long time, I have encouraged you to "pick a good one and I'll read to you." You recently went and selected a book, then turned to me and said "it's a good one." I'm just amazed by the things you come out with, and your proper use of vocabulary. The most amazing thing to me is that you correctly use words pretty much all of the time. I rarely hear an incorrect word usage or incorrect pronoun. And, you frequently know things that shock me. For example, you were running around the house with some paper money the other day, shouting "money!", and you also correctly held up a credit card and said "money." How do you know those things at your age?! How do you know that money is actually money, and not just some colored piece of paper? After all, the money here comes in all different colors. It is just fascinating to me.

You also love to use the phone. On weekend mornings, you will go to the telephone and say "call grammy please." I have to gently remind you that grammy is still well asleep when we wake up, given the time difference! It is adorable to see how into it you are. You actually prefer to talk on the telephone to Skype, because then you can carry the phone around with you. Plus, you love to push the buttons. You do enjoy seeing grammy, though, especially when she has a cat in her lap. All of her cats have inexplicably become named "Spanky," which is the name of her cat which you most enjoyed tormenting when we visited.

You are also quite the little tv monster. We try to limit your television to a little in the morning and a little at the end of the day, but you beg for more, fussing "tv remote" at us when you want us to change the channel. You try to sneak to the remote and attempt to change the channel yourself, if you don't like what the adults might be watching, and sometimes you even succeed! Your favorite by far is Mickey Mouse Clubhouse, but you are also a big fan of the Tinkerbell movies. Toy Story and Cars are also favorites. You also know that we have these things on our iPad and iPhone, and you will watch them at a moment's notice if given the chance. During a recent trip to Normandy, you sat peacefully through an entire train journey, watching videos on the iPad. Hopefully we are not stunting your intellectual curiosity by letting you watch videos at such a young age! We took you to a live Disney production recently, and you were mesmerized, sitting patiently through nearly two hours. You would giddily turn to me periodically, just in awe of what you were watching. It was magical to watch. I think I spent more time with my eyes on you than I did the show!

I am so looking forward to the holidays with you. I know that Santa is going to be bringing you lots of goodies, and I am excited to watch you open them. Then shortly after Christmas, we have your birthday to look forward to, and then the birth of your little sister. You don't yet have any idea that she's coming, although we've told you. You sometimes pat my rapidly expanding middle, but you don't quite get the concept that you will soon have a sibling. I know you will have fun with her, even as you are at times challenged by her presence. I hope you will be close and always have each others backs. That's what I want most for my girls.

I love you, my dear daughter, more than I ever could have imagined I could love anyone or anything. Life with you just keeps getting better and better. I am so enjoying being on this journey with you, watching you grow and change, and teaching you new things. I am so very lucky to be your mother.


Friday, November 11, 2011

Where Have I Been?

Time is rushing by me faster than I ever imagined it could.

Miss M is 22 months--a joy that I will save for a separate post. She is full of light and laughter and words and SENTENCES, and cracks me up all the time. Tonight we were watching tv while she played with her toys. There was a scene where a character was very ill, and all of the other characters were very upset about it. She looked up and said "people sad." I just loves that she gets what is going on around her.

I am 23 weeks into this pregnancy. 23 weeks!!! How did that happen? When we first got pregnant, a nurse warned me that this pregnancy would fly by, and that I'd have no time to sit with my feet up on the couch and enjoy it like I did when I was pregnant with Miss M, and boy was she right! Every day is packed to the gills. Right now, all I do is work, play with Miss M, prepare for Thanksgiving (we're having 20 people over!!! And you should see the size of my dinky European oven!), and Christmas shop (online, at night, when Miss M is asleep--Toys R Us is having a buy one-get-one-half-off sale on Legos and Duplos through Saturday, if you have a child who is obsessed with them like mine is). We had our big scan a few weeks ago. Numero Dos is still a girl. Everything looked pretty good on the ultrasound, and they gave us a video of the whole thing, and photos, and 3D photos. In the 3D view, her bone structure looked very much like Miss M's did when she was a baby. It was cool to see live, but the 3D photos are a bit creepy, I have to say. The only odd finding, which I'm trying not to freak out about, was that there are choroid plexus cysts in the baby's brain. We were assured that these have no real clinical significance, and generally disappear on their own with no impact on development. Dr. Google is similarly reassuring. There are some studies that suggest such a finding is linked to genetic disorders like Trisomy 18, but we did CVS and it came back clear for that. So, I've been trying to ignore that finding. The upside to staying so busy is that I don't have time to worry myself over every little thing like I did with much of Miss M's pregnancy.

Work has continued to be insanely busy. We have more staff now, so it will hopefully slow down, but it's been more than I'd hoped for, frankly. I'm enjoying it immensely, but I'd like there to be less of it. I'm traveling a ton. Mostly day trips, but still. My inbox is overflowing and I have piles of emails to return. I feel like I will never catch up, and I am hopelessly behind on the bureaucratic stuff. Like receipts. I hate expense reports. Can't someone just give me carte blanche with a credit card, and we'll call it a day?

We've done a bit of traveling recently--a long weekend in Normandy for fun, and a week and a half in Scotland for work. T and Miss M were able to join me in Scotland for part of the trip, and of course the best part was playing in the gorgeous hotel pool. Miss M loves to swim. We're going to be enrolling her in lessons, possibly starting this week. Normandy was amazing--charming old stone villages and good food. It was also heartbreaking to see all of the WWII stuff.

I am feeling good. I overdid it a bit this last week hiking and dragging around my luggage and my back is a bit sore, so I treated myself to a pregnancy massage today. I can't decide if it actually helped at all. I will definitely be sleeping with my hot water bottle tonight. I am such an old woman.

And although it has nothing to do with me personally, can I just rant for a minute about the Penn State child sex abuse scandal? Grad student McCreary walked in on a 10 year old being raped, and walked right out again? He did NOTHING to intervene? Really??? And then he told other people, and no one reported it to the police? With all that has happened with the Catholic church sex abuse scandal in the U.S. and was actively happening and all over the news during the timeframe in question, no one thought to go to the police? Really??? Let's set aside the legal requirements for a moment. Everyone anywhere in that chain of knowledge, from Paterno to university officials to other coaches, are absolute scum. I don't care how many games they won or how much money they have made in PA. You don't walk out on a child being raped. You save the child. Period. You SAVE THE CHILD. And you don't make the call on what did happen or what should happen--you hand the information to the police, and you let THEM make the call. That's the job of law enforcement, not football coaches and school administrators. I also have to say, I don't understand the reaction of the community/students who support Paterno. Paterno is not god. He is a man who was good at his job. But as good as he may have been at his job, he also knew about child sexual assault, and did nothing. That is utterly unacceptable. Maybe his age played into it--when he was a young man, people did look the other way at pedophiles. But we don't live in that world anymore. My heart breaks for those children who have been victimized by the Penn State sports establishment. Sandusky isn't the only one who needs a trial.

I haven't been anywhere near the internet lately, so I am way behind on what everyone has been doing, but I promise to catch up soon. I hope everyone is well!

Monday, September 26, 2011

It's Midnight. . .

and I've just arrived home from work, which is crazy busy. My in-laws left two days ago. They spent a week, arriving the very same day that our dear friends departed. Those friends arrived a few short days after we returned from the U.S.. My dryer has been broken since we arrived back from the U.S., leading me to pile dirty laundry in the garage to hide it from my guests (the laundry room was a work zone for the repairmen, until they realized it had to be replaced). Until my husband went grocery shopping today there was little to eat in the house. In short, it's been a bit chaotic around here.

The good news in the midst of everything is that I've sort out all of the problems I whined about in my last post, I feel great, this pregnancy is humming along, my final genetic test results came back clear, I don't have syphilis (not that there was any doubt. . .but they made me get tested), and Miss M has been a hilarious, wonderful, everyday joy.

And you?

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Frustrating Day

I have been offline, mostly unwillingly. When I got back from the U.S., my internet was out. The company could have cared less. It only came back on yesterday. Coincidentally, they sent me (for the very first time) a survey to find out what I thought of their service. Ah, the things I told them!

I have so many things to talk about--Miss M's giant language explosion, complete with sentences--sentences!; our trip home; parenting a 20 month old who can now talk; having my bed back to myself now that Miss M sleeps in her crib, and how we got there; how my final CVS results are in, and they are fine; thoughts on #2; the fact that I've negotiated my next assignment, and where we are going. . .and so much more. But tonight I need to just vent.

I really try to help other people out. I volunteer for projects around the office. I volunteer to do people favors when they need them. . .even one person recently that I don't even really like. I try to be a good human being. So when people don't reciprocate, sometimes it just gets me down. Today is one of those days.

It started when I couldn't find anything to wear this morning. I'm not out of the closet yet at work about the pregnancy. I'll be 15 weeks at the end of this week, so I'm sort of running out of time. I haven't told anyone because the head of my unit has left, and the new head doesn't start for another month. The interim head has turned from a reasonable person into an utter neurotic stressball. I know she is going to freak out when I tell her, even though the unit will be fully staffed again long before my maternity leave. I'm dreading telling her, so I've put it off. But the fact that I stressed so much about clothes because I'm trying to dress strategically because she's created this stressful situation at work where it will be even more stressful to be "out". . .it just really upset me.

Then I got to work, and the same person wasted an hour of my time obsessing over eight million things in an utterly unproductive conversation. She is one of those people that channels her stress by talking about how much work she has to do. Then we had to have a staff meeting, which normally takes 30 minutes. This took and hour and a half, because once again she had to obsess and talk everything to death. She's not a good interim boss, as the stress just kills her. I am a do-er, not a talk-about-er, and all of the wasted time drove me batty.

Later in the day, I had a great opportunity that came up for the end of the month. It's work-related, very cool, and involves just a half-day of work. I can't stress again how much WORK is involved in this opportunity. But, I need her to sign off on it. Guess what? She won't. She has a really busy month, and she wants me to be around in case she needs anything. This, despite the fact that I routinely travel for work, and have continued to schedule out of town assignments for myself for the next month, so what's one more half day?!

Then, there is the matter of the stroller. It's a long story not worth even getting into. Suffice it to say, I spent a lot of money and went to a lot of trouble to purchase a double stroller and get it shipped to me (it's hard to get large items shipped internationally). It required a bit of help from a friend, but I was doing her a favor in return. Let's just say things got screwed up and she seems inclined to just leave it at that. I am stuck with a stroller in a place that is a) not accessible to me, and b) from which I cannot get the stroller to me here. I will likely have to spend a lot of money to fix the situation.

Sigh. I've just had a bad day.

The silver lining? I have friends flying in tomorrow morning, with their daughter, who is a few months younger than Miss M. IT will be so good to see them.

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

And The Answer Is...

I had to stalk my OB all day on Thursday to get the CVS results. Even after our discussion three days earlier, she told me that she thought the MFM would give me the results directly (WTF?! We had that conversation, and she told me she'd get them to me as soon as she got them). I caught her on her cell phone, while she was on the maternity ward, so she had no clue. She promised to try to track down the results, and called me back 45 minutes later, just as I was leaving for the airport. I was extremely tense by this point, needless to say!

So, want to know the results? The prelim results are normal. And, it's a girl! We are over the moon. We both would have been thrilled, of course, with a healthy boy, but we are so delighted to have two girls. Sisters. Pure joy! We don't get the full test results for another week or so, but I'm breathing much easier.

We've been at my MIL's for the last few days without wifi-so uncivilized!! The hurricane was nothing more than a little rain and wind, but it did delay our travel plans by a day. We're now at my mom's for the rest of our trip. It's been a whirlwind so far, so I'm looking forward to relaxing a bit here. I've never dealt with jet lag coming from Europe to the U.S., but it's kicking my butt this time. It's definitely tougher being pregnant! It's been really nice being here and seeing everyone, and so fun to sit on the beach and play with with Miss M. She has been such a little water bug. And her language skills have just exploded since she's been here! She has loads of new words, and has started with sentences. It's also been great to watch her with her grandparents, and they are really getting a kick out of her.

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Going Home

When I looked at the list of blogs I read regularly, three of them had posts starting with the word "Going," so I figured that I needed to, as well. And indeed, I'm headed home tomorrow, and so very excited about it. I can't wait to get my hands on my baby and give her a big hug--husband, too!

So, my CVS results were supposed to be ready in 48 hours. That would be today. As you know if you read my last post, I called my OB before the test to make sure she would get me the results as soon as they were in. I even told her I'd be worried and was anxious to get them. She assured me I'd get them the second they were in. Guess what? I didn't get the results today. Grrrrr.....

Needless to say, I'll be bugging her office in the morning.

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Chorionic Villus Sampling #2

I drafted this long blog post last night about how I was being totally zen, and what I did all weekend, and how much I miss Miss M and T, and how proud I am that she is such a well adjusted, happy kid. But Blogger ate it. This is all that's left:

I'm sitting watching really bad t.v. and eating the most delicious warm plum and blackberry tart that I just baked for myself, complete with vanilla ice cream. Because if I chill with bad t.v. and yummy homemade baked goods, only happy things can happen, right?

Tomorrow is the test. I am. . .okay. I have momentary bubbles of anxiety that float up every once in a while, but. . . .

I stayed in that pretty zen space all of today. It helped that I was really busy with work stuff and had no time to dwell on it. Before I knew it, it was time to go to the appointment. . .and then I promptly got on the wrong train. I was panicked that I was going to miss the appointment altogether, but I ended up getting myself off the train, turned around, and onto the right train just in time to make the appointment. Whew!

Let me tell you, it was such a different experience from having it done in Boston. I don't love healthcare here, even though the quality is good, because there is often no customer service. But this doctor was warm and friendly, and took time to chat with me. He did the scan first, and it was so lovely to see the baby. I swear, the baby waved at me! It was adorable. I could clearly see arms and a bit of leg, head and spine. I swear I might have seen a bit of penis, too, but it's still so hard to tell! The doctor checked out a bunch of things on the scan, and said that things looked good. I saw the heart beating away, and got to hear it for the first time. My baby. It feels a bit more real now. The placenta is in the front, as it was last time, which was a bit of a relief. It makes the CVS a bit easier to have it in the front. The doctor fiddled around a bit to decide how to go in for the sample, then prepped me. This doctor, unlike the clinic in Boston, believes in using a local anesthetic. Whereas before I could feel the needle going through my stomach, this time I felt no pain in it going through the muscle, and just a tiny pinch instead. It was vastly improved, and I didn't even think it was that bad the first time I had it done with Miss M's pregnancy! I have to say, it really wasn't so bad at all.

I kept my eyes closed and tried to stay in my happy place while he took the samples. There is a little bit of whooshing sound as the sample is withdrawn, sort of a needle plunger type sound, and I think he took three vials. He turned the lights up and inspected the samples to make sure he'd gotten what he wanted. Then it was done. I have a tiny bandaid on my belly. He checked out the baby again with the ultrasound to make sure everything looked good, and he said the procedure had gone well and everything looked great. He talked to me for a couple of minutes, then asked me to sit in the waiting room for 10 minutes to make sure I felt okay. While we chatted, I asked him about his experience, and it turns out he's been doing these since the mid-80's and has done over 10,000 of them, which is really remarkable. They've been doing CVS in Europe a lot longer than in America. I went to the best clinic I could find in Boston, and I have to say that today beat Boston, hands down. It definitely makes a difference to have someone really experienced do the procedure.

So, it wasn't bad at all. Preliminary results should be in on Wednesday; full results in 10-14 days. I will be on pins and needles until then. Good thing work is scheduled to stay swamped through midweek. I called my OB today to see how I'd get the results from her (the specialist sends them to her; I can't get them from him). The results apparently automatically get forwarded to the OB's office either via email or fax. Surprisingly enough (no one ever answers the phone in doctor's offices here), my OB answered the phone herself. She promised she would email me the results as soon as they came in. Which is great, if the results are good, but what if they are not? I almost laughed at that. In the U.S., I had a special genetic counselor assigned to me, whose job it was to report all results to me, and to answer my questions. It's kind of hilarious that I consider myself lucky to get an email here!

Friday, August 19, 2011

It's Friday Already

It really is true--keeping extra busy is the way to make time fly. I worked all week, but also had an event every night. I can't remember Monday, to be honest. Tuesday I saw a play (and got home after 11--on a school night!); Wednesday I went to dinner with a contact (home at almost midnight--late two nights in a row!); Thursday I had dinner with a colleague; and tonight I had dinner with friends. The week has just FLOWN by! I can't believe my CVS is on Monday, and then I fly to the U.S. at the end of the week.

I am feeling a bit better about the CVS. The doctors office never called me back (I am really hating the utter lack of customer service in healthcare here), but I kept calling until someone finally answered the phone. The doctor has done 1000's of the procedure, according to the woman who answered the phone. I don't entirely believe her, because she also went on to say that he's been doing them for 17 years. I'm sure he's been doing amnio for that long, but the CVS technique only started ramping up in the early 1980's. I guess it's possible. Regardless, it's clear to me that he's been doing it for a long time, and my doctor trusts him, so I'm more comfortable. I'll have preliminary results within 48 hours, and full results in about 2-2.5 weeks. Now the trick is going to be to make sure I get the results before the end of the week. I have to get them from my OB. . .let's see how long it takes me to get in touch with her office to ensure that I'll get the results the second them come in. I think the chances are slim that I get the results in any sort of timely fashion, all things considered here!

I'm feeling good. I kept a busy schedule this week, but I haven't been overly tired. I've been eating well. My medication has really kicked in, so I'm feeling better. My chest is bigger this week all of a sudden, and work clothes (particularly the bottoms!) continue to be an issue. Strategic dressing is also kind of a pain. If I'm not careful, I really do look pregnant. I have one top, in particular, that makes me look totally pregnant. Something about the cut and the pattern of it. I wore it to the theater on Tuesday and threw a cardigan over it, but it's definitely out for work--at least until I'm out of the closet!

Tomorrow I'm headed back to Ikea to try to buy the rest of the things I need to finish redecorating our living room. I've given up on getting the rest of the house done. I had such high hopes, but time has gone by faster than I thought it would, and my to do list is still very long! Hopefully, I'll have a very productive day tomorrow.

I suppose it doesn't help that I just spent the last two hours researching train tickets. I've been holding off on booking any more travel until a few things fell into line, but they seemed to have fallen into place, and now I'm ready to be off. I want to get a few more trips in before I'm too pregnant to travel. I have three more trips (long weekend-y type trips) that I want to get in before the baby is born. . .if the baby is born. . .but mostly, before the baby is born. Look at me, all optimistic-ish.

I even made a plan for how we'll tell people, assuming everything goes okay next week. Well, it's not really a plan, and not even that cool, but I decided. I bought Miss M a big sister tshirt. It's very cute, and says "I'm going to be a big sister." I wanted to get her one that says "I have a secret" on the front, and then "I'm going to be a big sister" on the back, but due to her tendency to refuse to go in the direction requested, I thought I better not get a tshirt that had two sides to it. It will be enough work to get her to show people her shirt. We're having a big party while I'm home, and I'm going to have her in the shirt that day. That way, when people show up and see her, they'll get the news that way. . .if they are paying attention!

Monday, August 15, 2011

One Week

My anxiety is slowly ratcheting up regarding the chorionic villus sampling, which is scheduled for a week from today. When I scheduled the last one, it was all very 11th hour, so I didn't have any time to fuss over it. But we scheduled this weeks ago, and the closer it gets, the scarier it seems. If T. were going to be there, it would be so much easier. But I'm going to have to be a big girl and suck it up through the discomfort and scariness all by myself. Like the blood draw last week, the anticipation of the needle and the accompanying pain is probably going to be worse than the actuality. I'm committed to doing it, but I'm dreading it. I wish there had been time to do the NT scan and bloodwork, not that those tests would have made the actual CVS any easier. But, it would have felt more like wading in.

I'm 10.5 weeks now. It seems impossible that I'm that far along. This pregnancy is already 1/4 over. Time is flying by. I took belly photos for the first time last week, and once I saw them, I calmed down about being "huge." I'm growing out of my pants, but I'm not any bigger, really, than I was at the same point with Miss M. I just FEEL huge because all of a sudden, none of my work clothes fit. I opened up the maternity clothes box last week with great anticipation, excited to find work clothes that fit, but quickly realized that I'm utterly sick of everything that's in there. It's so funny--I was so happy with the stuff during my first pregnancy, and felt great about my clothes. Now I don't like any of it.

Even though I'm still feeling very unsure of this pregnancy, I did go ahead and order some new maternity clothes from Gap. They were all on sale and I had a coupon, so they were very inexpensive. I didn't get much--just a few pieces. I figure that if everything goes well next week with the test, I will buy some new things while I'm in the States. In particular, I desperately need maternity jeans that fit. I have at least a half dozen pairs, and they all fall off me. I find it so annoying to have to constantly yank my pants up. I just want comfortable pants that fit! Is that too much to ask?! If you know of a brand that fits slim women of average height who have no hips, please let me know.

I have absolute piles of work to do. August was supposed to be my slow month! I had set aside time this afternoon to review a giant stack of paperwork that I need to read in advance of an all-day meeting tomorrow. Of course, just as I was about to start reading, an urgent email came in that required that I read a different giant stack of paperwork. I never got to the other stuff I was supposed to read. So, lucky me, I brought it home with me, and now I have to read it all before 9am tomorrow. I guess I'd better get off my butt and start.

Saturday, August 13, 2011

Home Improvements

When we first learned that I got my new job a year ago, and that we had six weeks to move, we made an executive decision to leave most of our decorative items (pictures and all of the other "stuff" that we had collected over the years) in storage. With a 5 month old, two careers to wrap up, and a house renovation to finish, the move alone was overwhelming. We just wanted to streamline it however we could. Since all of these things were already in storage from the renovation, it was easy to do. It was convenient. It seemed like a good idea at the time.

Except, now we are living in Europe and we have none of our things. Our entire townhouse is painted cream and white, with white wall-to-wall carpeting throughout most of the house (blond floors in the kitchen and dining room), and gold (yes, GOLD) striped curtains in EVERY room. It is neutral, neutral, neutral, and bland. Needless to say, the walls have been closing in on us for a while. The walls are screaming out for paint and art. I would have painted this week, but the I don't want to paint while pregnant, so that's out. So what's a girl to do, especially in a country where prices are at least 30% more than in the U.S.?

I headed to Ikea.

I had to limit my purchases, since I had to carry them home on public transportation. But I still came home with a very cool carpet for Miss M's play area, two pillows, five plant pots, three storage boxes for the bathroom, and a very cute plastic chair for Miss M (part of a table set, but I didn't have enough hands for the table!). I think I'm going to go back tomorrow. I saw two pictures that will look cute in the play area, I want to get the table and other chair for Miss M, and I also want some picture frames. Ooh, and this really cute circus tent. Right now I have a tent full of balls for Miss M, but it is truly ugly and cheap. The one I saw today is much cuter. The only problem is the bottom is flat with no lip, so the balls will roll out. I'm going to look to see if I can attach a little piece of fabric to fix that. I'm toying with the idea of taking a rolling duffel with me, so I can really load up on stuff tomorrow.

When I got home from shopping today, I rearranged the living room and Miss M's play area, making it bigger and much better. I emptied the bottom three shelves of both of our bookcases and filled them with Miss M's board books and toys (and moved the grown-up books up higher on the shelves and safe from little hands). I unrolled the carpet, and put the little chair together, and I have to say. . .it's so bright and cheerful and happy. I love it, and I think she's going to love it. T is going to hate it (more stuff! More clutter! More ways she can make a mess!), but he'll grow into it.

Friday, August 12, 2011

Being Heard

I'm grouchy.

It's been impossible to have a private conversation with my husband while he's been at his mother's house, in part because her house is open concept, and in part because he's always got one eye on Miss M. I've been looking forward to today, because my aunt was babysitting Miss M. and he was supposed to be by himself at our house that we own, doing some work in preparation for new tenants. Only, every time I called him today, there was someone different visiting him at the house. I know I shouldn't be annoyed by this, and I'm on the one hand glad that he had a chance to visit with so many people. On the other hand, I'm completely annoyed.

There have been family things going on while he's been in the U.S., but he hasn't been able to tell me about them due to the lack of privacy. I have no idea what is going on. I want to know. I want to know what he's in the middle of, and what's going to be expected of me when I arrive (or better yet, what kind of mess I'll be arriving to). I want to know what our daughter is being exposed to. I want to know what decisions and actions he's undertaken in light of what's going on. And. . .nothing. It's so frustrating being in the dark.

But even more than all of that, I just want to talk to my husband in the way that a wife talks to her husband. I want to have a personal conversation where he is focusing on me and what I'm saying, and vice versa. I want to talk about everything and nothing, just for maybe thirty minutes. It's a relatively small thing that I need. I am just at a point in my week where I really need to be heard. I need to be heard by him, in particular. I was so looking forward to him having a little pocket of time for me today, to having this little conversation where it was just us, and we could mutually unload and be together, and it's just not going to happen. Even worse, I don't know when I will get to have a real conversation with him.

See? Grouchy.

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Plodding Along

It is sooooo quiet in my house.

T. and Miss M. left a few days ago. We've been Skyping at night, which helps a bit. She is incredibly adorable when we chat, reaching her arms out for a hug as though I can dive through the computer, and pointing around and using all of the new words she has learned since being there ("boat!" ; "grandpa!"). It is lovely, and heartbreaking. I miss them.

During last night's call, I inadvertently discovered that something must have happened to my cat, who has been living with my mother-in-law. It is now clear to me that he's dead. I've thought something was wrong for a while now, but was afraid to ask. I didn't want to know. When I realized it last night, it made me sob. My boys both left me far too soon. I miss my cats. It just breaks my heart.

But I can't dwell on the sadness. I need to keep myself busy and distracted--two more weeks to go here by myself! And let's see, I have my (solo) birthday and my (solo) CVS to look forward to, so yay for that (not really).

The good news is that I was finally able to get in to see the specialist on Monday. He was kind, and prescribed me what I needed without making me undergo any horrible tests (except for $300 in bloodwork that I had to pay up front for). I am feeling much better, although still pretty bloated. Or maybe that's just the pregnancy. I am truly enormous. My work clothes don't fit, and I've had to dive into the smaller of my maternity pants. Thank god for stretchy waists and flowy tops. I am seriously ginormous.

As I sat there waiting for the nurse to draw the blood, I started stressing. I just really didn't want to be there. I wanted to run away. I most definitely didn't want to be poked with a needle. But I sat there and started dreading my CVS appointment, which will be exponentially worse. It was bearable when T. was there to squeeze my hand and make sure I stayed in my happy place. I don't know how to do this by myself. I can't imagine being there without support. But, then the blood was drawn and it was all over, and I wondered what I'd even been tense about. I'm hoping the CVS will be like the blood draw--that the anticipation will be much worse than the reality.

Tomorrow I will be 10 weeks. Just a week and a half until my CVS. But 10 weeks. It's flying by. I'm still doing well--some odd stretchy pain across my belly from time to time, but that's it. But, I am also still having a hard time connecting with this pregnancy. I just can't let myself, not yet, which is just so sad. I am waiting for something to be wrong. I haven't been talking about it, but T. must know that I'm worried, because he kindly left me a card in a drawer, which he directed me to last night. It said many lovely things, including that he knows the baby is going to be just fine. I can't quite take his words as true, but his kindness lit up my night.

I miss them.

Saturday, August 6, 2011


I'm afraid to even say it out loud, but I am feeling just the slightest bit better. Over the last few days I think that the medication has started to kick in and do its job. I pray that this is the case, and not just an aberration. I've had NO luck trying to get the doctor's office on the phone. Sigh. On Monday I will try again.

T. and Miss M are heading to the U.S. this week for a visit. I'm going to go over in a few weeks, for the tail end of their trip. I've been away from them for a night or two, but never for days at a time, let along more than two weeks. I'm trying not to think about it. It's going to be really hard for me. No "good morning" waves, no baby hugs, no happy giggles when I get home from work, for weeks! I'm glad they get this chance to visit with family and friends, but I'm sad to be away from them for so long. I hope it is easier for Miss M than I think it will be. She has had a bit of a "mommy" thing lately. We will Skype regularly, but that's small comfort (for me, at least!).

We are spending part of today preparing for their trip. I'm doing as much as I can to make the trip easy for both of them. Our trip to Italy in June showed just how painful air travel can be with a toddler, and that was a much shorter flight, with two of us. I learned (after booking and paying for the flights) that the airline they are flying operates both its own flights and codeshares with an American carrier. The codeshares have no spaces for infants. The carrier's own flights allow ample space for infants, and are larger, less-full planes. Not knowing this, I originally booked them on a codeshare flight. After learning the better situation on the carrier's own flights, I happily paid $150 yesterday to change their flight. The only seat I could get them on the original flight was a window seat--ugh. Now they have a bulkhead seat with a bassinet, and the seat next to them is empty, to boot. Hope it stays that way!

Today we are going to a mall (a rarity here) to shop for a bag of things to keep Miss M occupied during the trip. We've timed the flight so that Miss M should sleep for maybe a third of it. The recommendations I have seen for flying with toddlers suggest packing a new toy an hour for airplane travel, and a snack an hour. I've already downloaded a new Tinkerbell movie onto T's iPhone (she LOVES Tinkerbell, and will sit and watch the entire thing). We're going to the mall in search of the new toys. I'm thinking there should be stickers, but I'm not sure what else. Hopefully I'll find some good stuff at the mall. Suggestions welcome--I'm sure I won't find everything today.

Thursday, August 4, 2011


Life is actually pretty good here in Borneoland. Miss M is a thriving little chatterbox who mimics everything we say. The weather has been summery and beautiful (rather than cool and rainy as it had been). We've been having fun. Friends from homehave visited, and we've made some new friends here. But there's always a "but", right?

When I got pregnant with Miss M, my gastroenterologist at the time told me she wanted me on med's, to prevent the proctitis from relapsing. I stayed on my med's, I stayed healthy throughout my pregnancy, and that was that. Before I got pregnant this time, I asked my new OB if she thought I should go back on my med's as a precaution. She didn't think so. Big mistake, not finding a gastrenterologist here. I didn't go on my med's. Now, at just 9 weeks, the pregnancy has sent my body into a tailspin, and the proctitis has come roaring back. My only other relapse in the last ten years was caused by an antibiotic-related c-dif infection. I am feeling pretty lousy.

The worst part is that I'm having trouble getting an appointment. Doctors here tend to work at multiple locations, and they don't fully staff their offices. So when you call, there is often no one there. I've been calling the gastro for three days, and no one has ever answered the phone. I emailed my OB for another recommendation, and never heard back from her. Why give me your email address if you aren't going to respond? It's so frustrating. There is no customer service here at all, at any level. It's amazing that people expect so little. Today I will get more pushy, but I don't expect anything to come of it.

I am 9 weeks today. Just over 2 weeks until my CVS. I'm a little nervous. I have to go by myself. T. will be in the U.S. visiting family. I could ask a friend to go with me, but I'm not up for it. I haven't told anyone we're pregnant. Pregnancy-wise, things are going well. That
part of me feels well, and I've had no more spotting since the very beginning, which is nice. I seemed to continually spot with Miss M., and it
was a constant source of worry. My belly is becoming really obvious, and I'm quickly growing out of my work clothes. I only have a handful
of suits that actually fit. I had T. bring in the box of maternity clothes from the garage yesterday, and I'm hoping to find a Bella band to use
today. Buttoning my pants is too uncomfortable, especially with the colitis pain. I can't believe I'm growing out so quickly. I had to wrap a
blanket around me when I skyped my mom last night, because what I was wearing totally showed my tummy, and she would've known immediately.

Okay, off to dig out some things for work this morning.

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

It's Getting a Little Messy Around Here

I have my CVS scheduled for August 22nd. I am second-guessing myself already. I initially decided that the horror of getting not-so-great statistics from the combined early screening (ie, NT scan and blood tests) wasn't worth it, and to go right to CVS itself. Now that the test is actually scheduled, I am feeling foolish for skipping the scan. I took some hope during the intervening days last time, between the scan and the CVS, from the fact the nuchal measurement looked good. The days will feel particularly long post-CVS with no information. Plus, a part of me feels like an extra scan is an extra chance to catch an anomaly. But, there is only a narrow window where the testing can be done--something like 11w3d to 13w6d. Since I'm pretty much having the CVS as early as they can do it (11w3d), it will be too early to do the NT scan/bloodwork the week before. I can't move the CVS back because we are flying to the U.S. My only other choice would be to do the CVS in the US after doing the NT scan here, which seems ridiculous. Plus, I'd have to explain my disappearance mid-visit home, and I'm not really up for that. I can't believe what a terrible scheduling job I did with our trip. I really hope everything is okay, not just for the obvious reasons, but also because bad results will not only be hard for me to handle, but they will be logistically difficult, as well. I deal best with bad news in private, and there is no "private" during our upcoming whirlwind tour.

I had a disastrous experience a couple of days ago with the progesterone suppositories. They are just gross. I usually get up early, put one in, and then go back to bed for a bit to try to let my body absorb as much as possible before it all melts and runs out. Then I shower and go to work. Now, even with this process, there is still leakage in the morning post-shower, so I of course use a pantiliner. On this day, I followed my usual morning process. I put a light colored suit and a pair of dark underwear (which I usually don't do with light colors, but the suit isn't see-through). Anyway, at some point after lunch, I went to the bathroom, looked down, and realized that my pants had black all over them. I looked more closely, and sure enough, they were all greasy looking on the outside and black everywhere. It was even worse on the inside. The progesterone leaked through the pantiliner, took the color out of my underwear, and transferred the color from my underwear THROUGH my pants onto the outside! The pants are a mess. Thankfully, I don't think anyone noticed before I did. I had to text my husband and ask him to bring me new clothes to work, just so that I could walk about of the building. Sigh. The things we go through for the chance of a successful pregnancy.

Speaking some more of pants, I am just shy of 8 weeks now, and quickly growing out of my pants. I thought it was early (I have been REALLY hungry!), but looking back at my blog from during Miss M's pregnancy, I see that I was growing out of my pants at the same point then, too. It all goes to my belly so quickly. It is funny to see that the pants that fit then are the pants that fit now. It makes me feel a bit better, actually, that I'm not growing exponentially bigger in lightening speed. I'm kind of looking forward to stretchy maternity clothes, just so I don't have to try to fit into my pants!

Unfortunately, I'm having some of my digestive issues again, too, which is probably exacerbating the pants situation (swollen tummy). I suspect it's because I've been eating a lot of fruit. My usual solution at this point is to eat very little (mainly protein) and drink lots of water, but that's not a solution that will work pregnant. I've gone back on my medication (it's fine to take while pregnant; I took it the entire time I was pregnant and breastfeeding Miss M). But, I only have one month's supply, so I'll need to find a gastroenterologist here, which I am not looking forward to at all. My old health insurance mostly paid for the medication, but with my new insurance it's really expensive. Fun times.

Saturday, July 23, 2011

7 Weeks

I have utterly and completely dropped out of summer camp. I just feel so uninspired to post, even with Calliope's inspiring prompts. I am still in the waiting space, even with the happy results of the ultrasound.** I should feel more relief than I do, with such a positive ultrasound. After all, in the past, our problems always happened before we saw the heartbeat. With Miss M, we saw the heartbeat and--spotting aside--we never had another problem. But somehow, I am still waiting for the other shoe to drop. I don't know if it's my own experiences or my friend's recent late-term loss or the heartbreaking stories that many women have shared across the internet. The sum total of all of that seems to be that my heart simply can't let this feel real yet. I need to get the CVS behind me, and we are still four weeks away from that. It feels like an eternity, and I dread the test itself. I need good news from that, and the first trimester behind me, to feel any sense of relief.

But there is positive news, beyond the ultrasound. I've had no spotting. That is such a relief, after spotting throughout my pregnancy with Miss M. There are some pregnancy symptoms, albeit minor ones. I'm tired and ravenously hungry, and I get up a bajillion times in the middle of the night to go to the bathroom. I swear, this child must be a boy. I was never hungry like this with Miss M, but I am constantly starving--and right after I eat! It's absurd. I wake up hungry all the time. Two days ago I had a bowl of cereal for breakfast, then a bagel with cream cheese and an orange juice two hours later, then a GIANT sandwich for lunch (chicken and avocado on literally half a full size baguette), then a huge fruit salad two hours after that, then a giant dinner. It's so unlike me to get hungry at all. My pants are already getting tight, and it's no wonder!

So onward we go, holding on to the bits of good news while still bracing for the bad, and waiting for it all to pass. There are some things that are easier about doing all of this for a second child. You're more prepared for high seas, and you know that you'll weather any storms better. But time still creeps by very slowly.

**Welcome, ICLW-ers. My full history is accessible through the link on the sidebar, but the long and short of it is that after a bit of a rough time getting pregnant and a couple of miscarriages, we had a healthy baby girl in January 2010. We are a success story (there's hope!). With the clock ticking (I turn 39 this summer), we started trying for a second child back in June, again with We somehow managed to get pregnant that very first cycle, and now I'm navigating my way through the first trimester.

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Ultrasound #1

As we walked out the door of the examination room after the appointment, I heard T. exhale a long, loud breath. I think that sums up our appointment perfectly.

One perfect yolk sac. One beating heart. One perfect fetus, measuring spot on at 6W4D. Oh, and positioned in a great place, toward the top of my uterus and in the middle.

I am relieved. Now I can worry about the million other things I constantly neurose about during pregnancy. Whether I'm getting enough protein, whether there's something wrong with the water here, spotting, miscarriage, birth defects, war, plague, famine. . .

The doctor couldn't see where the bleeding came from, but thinks that during implantation it may have burrowed in near a blood vessel. There was no sign of any more blood, which is good.

As before, T. was a bit disappointed that there was only one, and I am enormously relieved.

We are going to do CVS again. It is a bit complicated, because I inadvertently booked our trip home squarely during the period when CVS should be done. There are basically only two days when I can do it here, because you can't fly right after it, either. The doctor that my doctor refers all of her patients to only does them one day a week, and can't see me before I leave, because he doesn't do them on the days I need to have it done. If we can't find another high quality doctor to do it, I may have to consider having it done in the U.S. while we're home, which isn't exactly ideal. But, I could go back to the hospital where we did Miss M's, which I trust implicitly. Hopefully, it will work out here, and I'll find another good doctor to do it.

Oh, and get this--if I have any problems, ever, I call my doctor on her cell phone directly. She has someone cover when she goes on vacation, but otherwise, I'll see her for everything.

Today's The Day

We are finally here: it's ultrasound day. I'm nervously excited. Excitedly nervous? Both.

I dreamed last night that there was nothing there. It was a terrible dream. But, I'm ready for that possibility, I guess. I still don't feel pregnant, but for being unusually hungry. Oh, and my pants are getting a little tight, but that's about the extra food I've been eating.

My appointment is at the end of the day. Now I just have to distract myself with a day of work! Fingers crossed that things are okay. I'm 6W4D today. We should be able to see a heartbeat.

Saturday, July 16, 2011


For far too long, I've needed to sort through and pack away Miss M's outgrown clothes. There is a "real" bed in her room, and for months it's been covered in clothing of various Goldilocks sizes-some too big, some too small, some just right. I still hadn't unpacked her five million stuffed animals; they've been packed away since our big move. I needed to rearrange her room, too, to make space for her to ride the giant rocking horse my mother bought her for Christmas, which she is finally big enough to use. I've been procrastinating because...well because playing with Miss M is so much more fun than packing up her clothes.

But today, it was pouring outside, so I decided to tackle the project. Good lawd, does that child have a lot of clothes! I sorted and sorted and sorted. I hauled out two boxes of animals, which she promptly emptied everywhere. I matched tiny baby socks and packed them away. I pulled out new things and washed them. I made up the bassinet and filled it with animals, and rearranged the bedroom to fit all the toys (well, all the toys that aren't in the living room). By early afternoon, I had all of the small stuff reasonably organized and put away, all closets organized, and the room in order. It's not the gorgeous nursery that we built for her in our old house, but it looks like a very nice room for a little girl.

I thought it would be sad to go through the things that she's slowly outgrown in recent months, but it wasn't. I marveled at how manygreat outfits she has, and what good condition they are in, and I thought about the next child who would wear them. Will it be this child, this
one in my belly? I am hopeful, but who knows. I still don't feel particularly pregnant, but for being unusually tired and hungry-no morning sickness, which I avoided with Miss M, but also no breast tenderness, which is surprising. It plagued me with Miss M. I know every pregnancy is different, but still...I think it's what's been worrying me so, this lack of symptoms. I was thankful for the distraction today.

In a wave of optimism, I did mention to T (of course we want a healthy baby first and foremost) that if this baby's a boy, we're going to have some trouble in the clothing department! Everything we have is resolutely female.

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Thread of Hope

I did the only thing that was going to make the in between time any better: I bought another one of those pregnancy tests that gives a range of how many weeks you are, based on hcg levels. The last two that I used, it first tested for "pregnancy," then took a bit longer to tell how many weeks. Today, it immediately registered "pregnant" and "5+ weeks" simultaneously. ("5+ weeks" is the max it will tell you. I will be six weeks pregnant on Friday. It is a bit, a tiny bit, of a relief. It is enough to get me through the next couple of days.

The progesterone is just as yucky as I remembered it. But, it also is giving me a little peace of mind. I know that I'm doing all that I can.

And, I'm going to plan a weekend trip for September, to help shake me out of the rest of the doldrums. Maybe I'll even plan two!

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

In Between

Summer Camp Day 12: first time drunk. . .uh? I honestly don't remember. Probably my freshman year of college; I never drank to intoxication before that. Weird that I can't remember. But then, we are going back two decades.

As for everything else. . .still allegedly pregnant, still don't feel it. No more spotting since those early days. Getting the progesterone turned into a saga, and I've been trying not to freak out about the fact I haven't started it yet. The prescription didn't come for many days; the pharmacy didn't have any in, and had to order the progesterone, which delayed it even more; they didn't call me as they were supposed to when it arrived; then they tried to give me much more than I needed and overcharge me for it; and it cost a small fortune. But I finally got it today, and will start tonight. I have no symptoms, though--no sore boobs, no nothing. I'm hungry in the morning and get slightly nauseous on an empty stomach, but that's about it. My appointment is next week.

I am finding this period of time irritating. I feel in between in every way. There is the pregnancy, obviously. But also, there is a lull between our recent travels and our next trip. I won't find out for a bit where my next position with the company will be, but we've already started planning for it. A few people are leaving my office, but not quite out the door. It very much feels like we're in between--past one phase but not yet to the next, and it's left me restless and frustrated and a bit bored. The one silver lining is that we got a surprise email from old friends saying that they will be in town this weekend and would love to have dinner. That will be a happy little respite from the maddening in-betweeness.

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Summer Camp: Food!

Calliope's summer camp is well under way, and today it's all about the food: favorite foods for breakfast, lunch and dinner. Instead of "favorites," I'm going to list things I just can't get here in Europe. At least, not really goooood stuff:

Breakfast: Big fluffy blueberry pancakes; eggs benedict. Thank goodness for Starbucks' global domination: I can still get chai tea lattes. And for some reason, our grocery store sells Oscar Meyer American bacon in little plastic packages. Hallelujah!

Lunch: Mexican food. For the most part, there was never a big migration of Latin Americans to European countries. It is next to impossible to get decent Latin food. It's Mexican that I crave the most--good nachos; real sour cream; guacamole; fried shrimp burritos with special sauce from my favorite place; real salsa. I'd make my own, but it's hard to even get good ingredients here. Case in point: I haven't been able to find fresh jalepenos for sale here, and I've looked and looked and looked.

Dinner: Lobster and steamers. What can I say? I'm a New England girl, and it's summertime. Only, it's NOT really summertime without lobster and steamers!

In other news, I am still not feeling particularly pregnant--I'm exhausted at night, but no sore boobs or other symptoms. I took the other pregnancy test I had left on or about 4w5d, and it came back as being essentially 3-4 weeks pregnant (the only other option on the test is 4+ weeks). I dunno. I'm still pregnant, but in this weird no-man's land as to how I feel about it. It isn't feeling particularly real, and I don't think I'll let it until we're past the initial ultrasound (and probably a few other steps).

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

I am exhausted. I suffered from horrible insomnia while pregnant with Miss M, and haven't had one night of trouble since then. . .until now. All of a sudden, I'm having trouble again, even when I'm tired. I wake up in the middle of the night and can't go back to sleep for hours. I wake up super early and can't go back to sleep. It's a bit frustrating.

I called my doctor's office today. I left a message yesterday, but somehow missed the return call yesterday until it was too late to call back. They mailed me the progesterone (it should get here tomorrow), and I'm booked for an u/s appointment in two weeks. My doctor apparently likes to do the first scan at six weeks, and I'll be about six and a half at that point, if all goes well.

I'm of to bed-no camp for me today!

Monday, July 4, 2011

And on my 4th Day of Summer Camp. . .

I slipped away from camp and bought yet another pregnancy test. I couldn't help myself. There is a new pregnancy test on the market in Europe. I don't think it's for sale in the US yet. Anyway, Clearblue is marketing it, and it tests the hcg levels in your urine and tells you how many weeks pregnant you are (it doesn't give you an actual hcg level, sadly). No, I don't need to know how many weeks pregnant I am (although, yes, it irritates the crap out of me that there are women out there that might need a pregnancy test to tell them when they got knocked up). No, I don't need to know if I'm pregnant. Yes, I bought the test (a TWO PACK!) and used it one of them. After seeing endless ads for the things, I got curious about what it would say about my hcg levels. Waning? Sky high? Normal?

I am on CD31 today. That makes me 4 weeks and 3 days today. It says that I am 4-5 weeks pregnant. So, spot on. I'll take that.

In other news, there is no other spotting today. We did a fairly long albeit easy/flat hike (9 miles), and I feel really great. We've been doing a ton of walking/hiking in recent months, so I'm in pretty good shape. It was good to get out, and I'm feeling reasonably optimistic still. We'll see how I feel as the milestones come at me. It's interesting to pass those old points where other pregnancies went sideways. When you get to that point, you tense up and close your eyes and hold your breath, then try to tiptoe past like you're not really there. For me, that next point will be the 7-8 week mark, where I had my first miscarriage.

So, now that I've stuffed my fancy new pregnancy test back in my backpack, I'm going to slink on over to summer camp like nothing ever happened. . .

Today's question: What has most surprised you about being an adult?

That I don't feel like an adult, even thought other people see me as one. I keep waiting to feel like a grownup, but I still feel so young. It's kind of disconcerting to realize that young people think I'm ancient--that how other people see me doesn't look at all like how I see myself.

I had a moment the other day when it really hit me just how much time has flown by, and just how old I must be (even thought I don't feel it). I was in a restaurant having lunch, and this guy walked in. He was with a woman and two little kids (maybe like 2 and 4), and another guy, but I only noticed the first guy at first. He just had this look about him: longish tangled hair, tshirt, tons of tattoos, confident yet low key. . .as I looked at him, I thought, "this is one of those moments where I am looking at someone and they are incredibly famous and I SHOULD know who they are, but once again I am culturally illiterate, and I DON'T." So anyway, they were the only other people in the restaurant, and they were seated at the next table. This guy was sitting facing me, and I slowly took in the rest of his party: cute girls, clearly his daughters; wife was pretty but not gorgeous; nice stroller; expensive handbag; and douche-y looking guy who was clearly an agent or personal assistant or something--he was the one arranging for the table, plus he was wearing a long sleeve shirt with a fabric vest over it (like the kind that goes with a three piece suit)--everyone else was in jeans and tshirts. The assistant guy had an expensive haircut and a hipper-than-thou attitude that was visible in an instant. Anyway, one of the people with me recognized the first guy, because her son is obsessed with his band. It's a really famous band, and he used to be in an uber-famous '90's band, as well.

When I realized who he was, I thought about his music career, and realized that he's been playing music for 20 years. "Wow," I thought. "Rock legend--been around forever." And I was thinking of him as being "old." (Frankly, he looks old. . .the rock n' roll lifestyle is definitely NOT the fountain of youth!) At some point after that, I was reading a newspaper article, and it said that this musician is essentially MY AGE. Which means that when I was listening to him, he was MY AGE. And since that band seems to be a million light years in my past, that must mean I am OLD LIKE HIM! Yikes. But it seems like just yesterday that grunge was in and I was jamming away to his band while wearing plaid shirts.

So, yeah. It's a surprise to me that I don't feel like and adult, and still think of myself as "young." I thought I'd be more mature at almost 40. Although, I don't regret that I don't feel like an adult, so it's all good!