Thursday, November 21, 2013


It has arrived!

I can't say I'm entirely happy about it, but I suppose it does make the landscape round here look pretty magical. We were supposed to get two to five inches, and it looks like we got closer to two. I just hope it doesn't snow a lot on too many days this winter. Staying home with an infant when you can't readily leave the house sounds like a recipe for weight gain or postpartum depression--I can't decide which:-)

Is it snowing where you are? Can you peeps believe that next week is Thanksgiving? It's kind of strange for me, since for the last two years David and I have actually been out of the country for Thanksgiving. That sounds really glamorous, but two years ago we took a work trip to England at Thanksgiving--where we got engaged--and then one year ago we went to France over Thanksgiving--where we started trying for our first baby. I guess that second trip was kind of glamorous in retrospect:-) 

In case you're wondering--and since I brought it up--Emily was not conceived in France. Sadly, the only thing that we returned with besides our luggage is about five pounds. But, seriously, what are you going to do when you're eating breakfast on a lake in Switzerland and there is a cheese plate being offered to you? Right?

A lake. In Switzerland. At which I ate cheese. And nutella. Lots of nutella.

Actually, I've been thinking a lot lately about the travels that I've taken. Coincidence? I don't think so. There's something about being chained (in a good way…hehe) to a baby and, to some degree, your house, that makes you think about and long for the travels you've taken. I'm already dreaming about the day when Emily is old enough to stay with her grandparents so that David and I can take a weekend trip to Crested Butte or something. I'm longing for the days when David and I first started dating and we spontaneously decided to take a day trip to Vail so we could ride our road bikes in the mountains around there. 

On the plus side, Emily is seven weeks old today and things are starting to get interesting. She's developing new cries (besides the screaming that means "holy fuck where is my milk"), smiling at me, and generally just plumping up. I like a plump baby with a big round face so this is a good thing. Here's a recent pic of her.  

Sweet mohawk, right? She already has twice the hair that her father has:-)

*What trips do you daydream about taking or having took? (I'm too tired to worry about whether "having took" is grammatical. Sorry.)

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Emily's Arrival

Emily's arrival began approximately four days after I stopped blogging here. Ha. Seriously. I just kind of petered out there, didn't I?

Seriously, though, Emily's arrival began on the night of Sunday, September 29, when I observed an auspicious sign that labor could be imminent. I'll leave off from describing what that sign might've been, but if you're a female you can probably figure it out for yourself.

After Sunday I was on high alert all day Monday for more signs of labor, though that didn't stop me from going to gym and using the elliptical. Actually, my Dad called me while I was on the elliptical and told me that I was crazy and that my water could break at any moment. It didn't. Nothing happened all day Monday, but on Monday night, at exactly 12:57 a.m. I started having contractions. Nothing terrible, really, but enough to keep me awake and enough to let me know that things were starting to happen for me and my "bundle."

I did not go to the gym on Tuesday, as things were definitely intensifying. The contractions were coming pretty regularly, though I could still watch episodes of Teen Mom 3 in between them:-) On Tuesday night they were really picking up and coming anywhere from every 3-10 minutes. David was starting to get pretty nervous about the prospect of delivering the baby in the car on the way to the hospital, but I still felt like it was too early to head to the hospital. Our friend Chris came over to arrange a drop off of my car for the friend who would be dog/housesitting for us, and I remember telling him and David that I couldn't be too close to having the baby if I could still talk (though with difficulty) through the contractions.

Despite my gut feeling that labor was still in the early stage, around ten p.m., when the contractions were every 3-5 minutes apart, David convinced me to go to the hospital. Of course, when we got there they told us exactly what I'd dreaded: I was 90% effaced but only 1 cm dilated. They offered me a few choices, including a morphine drip (WTF? Did I mention I'm pregnant?), some Ambien to help me sleep at home or at the hospital, or just a ticket out of the hospital. We stayed there for an hour or two and tried to sleep, though after two hours and no further dilation I prodded David to take me back home so I could at least try to sleep in my own bed.

I didn't take the morphine or the Ambien, but I did take two Tylenol and tried, with little success, to sleep. Needless to say I was tired by the time Wednesday rolled around, which was particularly unfortunate since it was clear on Wednesday that I was entering active labor. I could no longer watch Teen Mom 3 in between or during contractions, and spent most of the day in my bathtub, where the contractions were barely bearable if I could spray hot water on my back and belly during them.

Around four p.m., however, I was beginning to feel like I couldn't make it another night at home without knowing if things were progressing or not. And, given the hospital debacle from the previous night, I knew that I didn't want to be going to the hospital in the middle of the night unless I was sure things were progressing. So, I asked David to call my OB/GYN to see if I could come immediately to her office to be checked. And so we made another trip down to town, though this time I was in considerably more distress.

I was so grateful that my Dr. stayed late to check me, and even more grateful when she told me that I was four cm dilated and should head over to labor and delivery. According to her, I'd have a baby by two or three a.m. at the latest. Whew! Seriously, I nearly cried with relief; if the pain I was experiencing was still pre-labor then I was not going to make it through the real thing.

Over at the hospital I was still kind of in denial about really being in labor. Even now, it's still so surreal. We called our doula, Ranelle, and she met us there around seven p.m. My labor and delivery nurse, Lucy, introduced herself and we kinda just hunkered down and started working through the contractions. At the beginning I was mostly standing over the hospital bed, breathing and swaying back and forth during contractions.

Sometime around eight p.m. my parents came by and into the room to see how things were going and to say hello. I was worried about this because I knew it would upset my Dad, who didn't want me to suffer and who really pushed me to have an epidural. As expected, when I started to feel a contraction coming on and began deep breathing, I heard him say something to the effect of "Jesus Christ." Mind you, I was not screaming uncontrollably or crying or anything, but I guess being the only girl means that my Dad really doesn't like seeing me in pain. In fact, he actually asked the doctor on call about "spinal options," to which the nurse Lucy replied, "For your epidural, sir?"

After that, my parents left so the doctor could examine me again, at which point I was dilated to a six. Y.E.S.! That really gave me confidence that labor wasn't going to last forever and that I could handle it. My plan was for an unmedicated birth but to be honest I had been scared out of my mind that I wouldn't be able to handle the pain once things really got started.

After hearing that I was a six, I decided to get into the jacuzzi tub, since that had helped so much at home. I labored in the tub for a few hours, turning on the jets when a contraction hit and eating little energy chews while trying to drink lots of water. Getting out of the tub sucked; every time I had to pee I would stand up to get out of the tub and within thirty seconds a contraction would hit. It was amazing, actually, how helpful the water was. Whenever the nurse came in to check Emily's heart rate (which she needed to do during and after contractions), I'd just stand up to incite a contraction. Of course, as soon as it started I would immediate drop into the tub, where the pain was much less.

Ranelle and David were really helpful while I was in the tub. They gave me energy chews, encouraged me to drink water, put cool wash cloths on my neck and face, and just generally told me I was doing really well. Things were getting pretty intense and we all figured I was going through the transition phase, which is where you dilate from 7-10 centimeters and become ready to push.

Sadly, however, after a few hours--at around eleven p.m.,--nurse Lucy came in, checked me, and told me I was still at a six. According to her, I could either take pitocin to speed up and intensify labor, or I could have them break my water with a crochet hook. (Yes, a medical crochet hook, but a crochet hook nonetheless.) This was undoubtedly the most difficult part of the entire labor. Really. I don't know if I've ever felt so scared or so alone. I had been laboring for so long and really felt as though I couldn't take much more. I couldn't believe that my options were the kind of interventions that I had worked for so long and so hard to avoid. I knew that David and Ranelle were there to support me, but at that moment I felt very keenly that it was only me and my body that were ultimately going to experience this birth one way or another.

Once the nurse left us to discuss our options, David and Ranelle quickly discussed another option, namely, getting out of the tub and changing positions to encourage Emily to drop into my pelvis and encourage further dilation. She was tilted slightly to one side, which was preventing the full weight of her body from pressing on the cervix and opening it more.

Given that I had just received news that I found literally soul-crushing, I said, "Um, I think there is another option, i.e. an epidural, and I'd like that please." If Ranelle hadn't been there, I'm pretty sure that's exactly what would've happened. Luckily, Ranelle calmly and evenly told me that if I did have an epidural I'd be immediately confined to the bed, which would make it even more difficult for Emily to drop and more likely that labor would stop progressing and I'd be at risk for a C-Section. Since my number one goal was to avoid a C-Section, this really gave me pause, and after that I agreed to get out of the tub and get into some positions that Ranelle thought would push Emily down.

So we did that. For about an hour. And it sucked. I did lunges. I did cat/cow stretches. I layed on my left side and just got through every contraction until I felt something wet on my legs. It was my water breaking, of course, and at that point the nurse came back to check me and declared that I was at a nine!  I was pretty pumped but also knew that I would likely have at least two hours of pushing once I finally got to a ten.

At that point we went back into the bathroom, where I labored for another hour or so. By that time I had started bearing down during contractions, but since no one told me that I was at a ten I didn't think I was anywhere near pushing. What I didn't know, however, is that I was actually already at ten centimeters, but Ranelle, David, and the nurse had decided that it would be most effective if I let my body push on its own for a bit instead of having me use all my energy right away. So, after a number of contractions in the bathroom where I was unknowingly "pushing," they got me out of the bathroom and into the hospital bed, where they let me in on the secret. Of course I was glad to be near the end, but I may have called them "Fuckers" for not telling me that I was already pushing. In retrospect I guess I should've figured it out when, in the bathroom, I had reached down and was pretty sure I could feel Emily's head. (TMI?!!)

Since I had already done a lot of pushing--unbeknownst to me--the pushing stage went pretty quick. More nurses came in, along with the doctor, who suited up in full scrub gear and replied with a stern "No" when David asked to catch the baby. Ha. Actually, she looked at him like he was nuts for asking. (And she also played with her hands the way Mr. Burns from The Simpsons does in between contractions. She looked like a mad doctor concocting an evil plan.)

I pushed for probably four or five contractions before Emily finally arrived at 4:24 a.m. Some women say that pushing was really satisfying and less painful, but I'm afraid that just isn't true, particularly when the baby is just about to come out. In addition, women often say that once the baby is out they feel nothing because of all the oxytocin and baby love, but again, that was not true in my case. Because my labor had been so long the doctor was concerned that my uterus wouldn't be strong enough to contract and stop all the bleeding, so she had the nurse mash on my stomach and uterus. That might not sound painful, but trust me, that was no belly massage, especially when you consider that at the same time the doctor was stitching up the second-degree tear I had. (TMI now?) (BTW, David and I have since decided that it would've been hilarious if he had slipped the doctor twenty bucks and made some comment about making my "bizness" even "better." Does everyone understand that I'm using euphemisms here?)

I'm not really sure where Emily was during all of this. I think she was on my chest but really the whole thing is a blur. I do remember having her placed on my chest and thinking that she was slimy, squirmy, and weird looking. I also thought that some blood above her eye was a red birth mark, and I'm embarrassed to say that I was kind of bothered by the thought that she'd have a big red birthmark on her face. (I'm so vain, I know.)

Contrary to what he stated prior to the birth, David did tear up when Emily came out. As for me, I can't say that I immediately felt all the love in the world flooding my body. I quickly developed a strong, instinctive protective sense for Emily, but that amazing sense of love has only slowly developed as she and I have grown to know each other. I suspect that it will only continue as she gets older and develops more since, let's face it, newborns are kind of sleeping, eating, and diaper-dirtying machines that don't exactly "give" a lot when it comes to emotional bonding.

As for my thoughts on the birth, I think it went perfectly. I'm not embarrassed to admit that I wanted an epidural after finding out that I hadn't progressed after laboring in the bath tub, and I'm really proud that I was still able to have the unmedicated birth that I wanted. I haven't given it much thought since the birth since I've been so busy, but I think that having that kind of birth did exactly what I wanted it to, namely, gave me a little bit of extra confidence to start this journey as a mom with the knowledge that I am strong enough and capable enough to be a mom. (Since, admittedly, motherhood didn't and hasn't exactly seemed like the most natural fit for me.)

And that's pretty much it for now. More regular programming soon, I hope. In the meantime, share what you've been up to in the comments! (It's reassuring for me to know that the world has continued despite my entire absence from it.)

Except, P.S. here are a few Emily pictures...I promise I won't go overboard in this department but here she is looking a bit bigger and older since her debut photo.

"Why does my Mom cry so much at night?" (Haha, no seriously.)

"I get whatever I want as long as I cry."

Emily is bound to be a rockstar with that mohawk.

Wednesday, October 30, 2013


Yah, so you might've noticed that I took one. Heh. My bad. I didn't think I'd be posting like two seconds after giving birth, but I definitely thought I'd be posting sooner than a month afterwards. Let's just say that some unexpected obstacles arose that prevented me from: blogging, sleeping, showering, cleaning the house, doing laundry, leaving the house, returning phone calls, etc., etc. Taking care of a newborn is freaking hard!!

I should add, taking care of a newborn that won't eat is HARD! After my last post, when I announced Emily's arrival, things took a slight turn for the worse and we had to take Emily back to the hospital to be readmitted for a dangerous case of jaundice. Obviously the hormones are still flowing pretty hard here, since I just teared up thinking about her being in the NICU with sensors on her head and monitors all over her. Whew.

To make that long story short, I'll just summarize by saying that Emily was spitting up a lot of amniotic fluid after birth. This made her not want to nurse since nursing just made her pukey. Unfortunately, not eating enough in the days after birth meant that her body couldn't flush out the bilirubin (which causes jaundice) and thus it just kept filling up her body, making her yellow and lethargic. Also unfortunately, having high jaundice levels makes babies tired and much less inclined to nurse, thereby perpetuating the  cycle of not enough nutrition and not enough flushing of the bilirubin. Does any of that make sense?

The end result was a stay in the NICU, several days at home with a very bulky blue light blanket and a little eye mask to protect her eyes, and a VERY difficult time learning how to breastfeed. Since leaving the hospital we've tried feeding her through syringes, through a little tube that gets stuck to my chest while she nurses, with a nipple shield (since she tore the #$%& out of my nipples pretty much immediately when she was learning how to latch on), through a little tube attached to a finger that she sucks, and through a bottle. I won't go into more detail, but imagine getting up every 2-3 hours during the middle of the night, trying to get her awake enough to eat and trying to get her latched on properly while also trying to get a little tube full of breast milk into her mouth so she would get even more milk. The real takeaway is a lot of crying on my part and much milk spilt on everything in my bedroom. I knew a newborn would be a lot of work, but I didn't know that breastfeeding and just making sure the baby ate enough would be so challenging.

The good news is that things have improved since then, though we're still monitoring her weight very closely and we may still have to give her bottles of pumped breast milk if she stops gaining weight (likely because she's still not very efficient at drinking while breastfeeding).

For my part, I'm exhausted and mostly I just feel bad that I've wished away the entire first month of her life. Since I knew that breastfeeding often gets easier after 4-8 weeks I've really just been hanging on by a thread and hoping that that would be the case for us. I was also paranoid and overly worried about her weight gain and health and thus spent more time thinking about that than smiling at her, kissing her, and just generally soaking up all the baby love. Sigh. Oh well. My new parenting motto is <shrug>, "She'll be fine."

So, that's it for now, but I plan on posting more than once every three or four weeks. In my next post, assuming anyone wants to hear it, I'll do a birth story. Um, so, if you give a damn, write in the comments that you do and I'll write up a story of the birth. As a teaser I'll just say that even with a close-up picture of her arrival I still can't believe I've given birth.

Monday, October 7, 2013

Emily Ryan

Is here! She was born on Thursday morning, October 3, 2013 at 4:24 a.m. She weighed 6 lbs, 13 oz.--not too shabby for a vegetarian baby! We are currently a _smidge_ busy at the moment, but I'll try to pop in soon with a better update!

Thursday, September 26, 2013

Positive Thinking Thursday

Um, I haven't blogged yet today, have I? Geez I'm getting kooky. The days are all starting to run together and really I'm just in a fog most of the time. On the bright side, however, the weather here has been pleasantly fall-like for the last few days. It has been mildly hot during the middle of the day but nice and cool in the mornings and evenings. I like this weather pattern. Too bad it won't last long and we will be in the thick of winter in about a month or so. Speaking of which, how is it October 1 next week? And on that note, should I try a Pumpkin Spice Latte from Starbucks? All the blog girls seem to like them and I've never partaken. It just seems too crazy to order a drink that has a pump of sugary syrup in it. And yet I ate three handfuls of chocolate alphabet cookies last night and a number of those homemade chocolate chip cookies last week. Go figure.

I have precious little to report today. I ran some errands for David, went to BodyPump, began the process of assembling our baby monitor, made the dough for more chocolate chip cookies (which I'll be taking in to the shelter for my co-workers tomorrow), made dinner, and watched the final episodes from season two of Homeland.

Dinner was the same mexican-inspired bowl that I made a few weeks ago--millet, ranchero beans, greek yogurt, and cilantro.

I also made some sauteed swiss chard that just looked too disgusting in the picture I took of it. You're welcome.

Since I didn't do _anything_ interesting today, I thought I'd show you pictures of our budding baby room. Until this week it was an office for Popsockets, so things have been developing very slowly. Here's baby's crib:

The rocking chair we just got:

The cushions for the chair have yet to arrive, little painting project is definitely a success:

I put all the little baby's clothes into her little drawers. When she's fourteen she's probably going to hate that dresser and kick it, sticker it up with idiotic pop band stickers, etc., etc. And all the while I'll just remember how I dragged my fatty pregnant a$$ out to garage to paint that thing for her. Sigh. I think I need to work on being more positive:-)

*What is something that you're working on right now, either physically, like a home improvement project, or mentally, like not being consumed by anxiety and uncertainty? Heh.

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

All Dairy All Day

How is it only Wednesday? Is it just me, or doesn't it feel like today should at least be Thursday with tomorrow being Friday? I'm not sure exactly what's been tiring me out since I'm not working anymore, but it feels like I'm busy everyday and the day just goes by and is filled with random tasks and errands, most of it baby related. 

Luckily I've eaten several tasty things of late, including this spaghetti squash dish that I cooked in olive oil, salt and pepper, and garlic powder. I also added aduki beans and parmesan cheese, of course. 

I also treated myself to some pre-made falafel from the grocery store. I used to eat these all the time, mostly because they have very few calories. Tonight I spruced them up with some feta cheese, roasted tomatoes, olive oil, and zucchini.

Doesn't that feta look delicious? It was tasty, though now that I'm typing this I realize how much better the feta was when we ate it in Switzerland. Poor me, right? :-)

Continuing my dairy fest, I had milk and cookies for dessert. 

That's real cow's milk, people. I've had a craving for it recently. It's not even fat-free--it's two percent!! Who the #$%^ am I, right? 

Aside from my new dairy desires, my need for an early bedtime hasn't changed, so I'm afraid I'm going to sign off for now. It's 8:05 p.m., peeps, and I've got half an old episode of Homeland to watch before I go to sleep at 9 p.m. :-)

*Do you feel like a lot of your time is spent doing random crap that is unimportant to you? Is this the final descent into adulthood, and I've just now figured that out?

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

One Week Countdown

I'm officially only one week away from my baby due date, peeps. WTF, right? Doesn't it seem like I just announced I was pregnant? Especially with the temps getting cooler it feels just like I just got pregnant and I've missed all of spring and summer. I'm kind of sad, actually, since I spent most of the summer wishing that time would pass more quickly. Normally I don't wish summer away--since it's when I get to ride my road bike the most--but since I wasn't able to ride this summer I suppose it's okay that I wished for time to pass more quickly.

My other two pregnancy-related updates are:

1) The people at the grocery store are starting to get really hesitant about letting me carry my own bags. They are also dubious that my bags should have very much in them, i.e. they say things like, "Are you sure you want it all in one bag? It's very heavy."

I find this behavior nice and well-intentioned, but it's still strange. I feel awkward insisting that I can carry my own bags, but really, I can carry my own bags. When I have an infant, however, and I'm trying to maneuver a car seat, bags, etc., etc., then I will ask for help readily. Maybe I should just get IOUs now?

2) The women at my gym are amazingly nice and supportive. Really. I've never had many female friends, largely because I just don't feel like I can be myself and feel accepted around most women. But being pregnant has been nothing but a firestorm of compliments and encouragement, even from women that I barely know. This has been a nice surprise, though it also entails two "side effects" that are somewhat strange (not bad, just new and strange) for me:

a) Women get really, really excited about babies. I mean, even women that I've never spoken to get excited that I'm having a baby, and even more excited that I'm having a baby girl. Shrug. I never know what this is about. Like, I cannot imagine getting really (and I mean really) excited upon hearing that someone I've never spoken to is having a baby. Is it just me?

b) People must have pretty low expectations about pregnant women and exercise/fitness, because people are just f-ing astounded that I'm still going to the gym. Every single day someone says the equivalent of "I can't believe you're still coming!" This also gives me pause because I just don't have any idea what to say. Today I just went with, "Well, I have to fill the hours in the day somehow...<shrug, awkward laugh>." Maybe tomorrow I'll go with "Well, my uterus has encroached upon my digestive system so much that I need to take frequent breaks between eating ice cream and french fries. This seemed like a decent way to pass the break between stuffing sessions. At least I can watch TV even if it's not while lying down."

*Be honest: do you give a #$%^ when people whom you're not very close to have babies? I was thinking recently about how I used to react when friends had babies, and honestly, no, I definitely did not really care. (Excepting a few very close friends and family members.)

Oh, and p.s., here's a belly shot from the pizza party/baby shower last week:

Monday, September 23, 2013

Weekend Shots

First up: our Friday night pizza party/baby shower. I think I mentioned this on Friday, but my sisters-in-law and my mom simply would not relent about throwing a baby shower for me and David. So, we insisted that it was a night-time pizza party where beer and pizza and dessert were pretty much the main attraction.

They even got us a vegetarian pizza! We ate, caught up, talked about baby stuff and baby names, and just generally relaxed until later in the evening, when we opened a few gifts and organized a pool for when baby might arrive. In case you're not Irish Catholic, let me tell you that a bunch of male Irish Catholics _love_ something to bet on. Hence:

Apparently my uncle, who wrote this, had trouble spelling "baby." Also, the "Mc" is short for my last name and the "David?" is short for my uncle's jokes about how David doesn't really know if the baby is his. Heh.

On Saturday David and I took our infant CPR/First Aid class and also made a trip to the Farmer's Market. It was pretty lovely walking around the market in the cool air and sunshine. I've had to work Saturdays for awhile now and had missed making those Saturday market trips.

Also of note this weekend was Haruki's latest attempts to get as close to David as possible during a rain storm.

Yes, David wears Crocs around the house.

And finally, some recent eats. I'm still cooking every night, and last night we had a simple dinner of brown rice, aduki beans, and some roasted broccoli. I topped mine with parmesan cheese, olive oil, and hot sauce while David opted for nutritional yeast and cashews.

It doesn't sound very appetizing, but I can vouch that brown rice (cooked with some veggie or meat bouillon) with parmesan cheese and olive oil is pretty tasty and comforting.

This morning I had something of a food fail, as I tried to put some protein powder on my raisin bran. So I can also vouch that you shouldn't do what I did.

I mixed it all up before eating it, but it was still pretty yucky.

*What have you cooked/made recently that sucked a#$?

Friday, September 20, 2013

Blog or Nap?'s one-thirty right now and I have until two-thirty before David and I have to leave the house. David has a department meeting and I'll be running errands before we both head East to my brother's house for a little get together tonight. Technically, it's a kind of baby shower, but really it's a pizza and beer party.

Anyway, since I have limited time and could really use a little rest, I'm going to post some quick pics and sign off.

This is the home improvement/craft project I've been working on:

I'll show you all the finished product when I'm finished, but as you can see, it's a dresser that I've been painting. And yes, it's for the baby. And yes, the baby is a girl and that paint is blue. David is against traditional paints that tend to have toxic materials in them so we opted for a water-based milk paint. The only downside to such paints is that they don't come in very many colors and most of the colors tend to be pretty natural/earthy in tone. So, blue it is.

For the most part I enjoyed painting the dresser, though I must say that I'd hate to find myself in the grips of a professional painter. I mean literally in their grips, since those dudes must have really strong forearms and hands. (Either that or I need to up my forearm exercises from zero to something above zero.)

My other project? Baking for tonight's party. I was going to get my favorite carrot cake from my favorite cake baker, but unfortunately they were too booked to take new cake orders for today. So, I made peanut butter scotcheroos that I saw on Tina's blog the other day, in addition to chocolate chip cookies that, I must say, turned out really well.

In fairness to Tina's recipe I should disclose that I messed up and failed to put the crisp rice cereal on the bottom. Hence why the cereal is on top and the dessert looks like crap. I haven't tasted it yet, but I'd say looks notwithstanding, all that peanut butter and sugar can't be a bad thing:-)

*Do you like soft chewy chocolate chip cookies or do you like them crunchy and a bit flatter?

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Things I've Eaten

While spending time at a coffee shop in town the other day (while our power was out), I indulged in a decaf whole milk latte.

Sadly, either it wasn't as fatty and delicious as I was expecting or I had a sudden change in my food preferences, since I only drank about 1/3 of it before I just didn't want to keep drinking. I wonder how much food is wasted by pregnant women. I mean, it's not like I waste a ton of food, but there have definitely been a few times during pregnancy where I started eating something or ordered something and then just didn't want to keep eating it.

Something else that I don't want to eat anymore? This toffee:

I know, right? How could anyone _not_ want to eat that? Oh well. I'm sure if I wait a few days it will sound really, really good again.

And lest you think I only eat sugar and coffee, check out a recent lunch:

That's black beans, olives, and hard boiled egg chunks on the left. Sounds weird, doesn't it?

I had a bit of a busy day. It included the gym, a baby/home project that I'll fill you in on tomorrow, a doctor appointment, and a tour of the hospital birthing center. When I got home I didn't really want to cook but threw together a pasta dish and some sauteed greens.

Not too shabby for this lazy mamma to-be.

Now I'm off to read and veg out. I just finished reading Jon Krakauer's _Into the Wild_ and have since started his _Into Thin Air_. The latter book is about a tragic expedition up Mount Everest, and even though I'm not into climbing at all it has me pretty riveted.

*What are you reading right now?

Tuesday, September 17, 2013


Yes, I'm afraid this will be just what the title suggests--a pseudopost. I'm positively exhausted. I just thought I'd drop in with a baby update, namely, that I'm exactly thirty-eight weeks pregnant today. Wow. WTF happened to the last nine months, people? I mean, given that every single week since January 10ish has seemed interminable, the time sure did go quickly. 

In general I'm still feeling pretty good physically. I attribute this to not having gained a ton of weight and continuing to stay really active. However, there's only so much that you can do to stay comfortable when you're carrying around a decent amount of weight in a strange bullet-shaped mound on your belly. Sigh. Getting comfortable at night has really become a challenge, as side sleeping has started to make my hips sore. Also, the random bouts of insomnia, usually where I wake up and can't go back to sleep for 1-2 hours (in addition to waking up every three hours to use the bathroom), are getting OLD. 

My back hurts too. I'm having sciatica, aka, sharp needle-like pulses of pain in my back that shoot all the way down to my calves. 

All in all I'm lucky that this level of "doneness" with pregnancy and its negative side effects has taken this long to kick in. One thing that I didn't expect, however, and with which I'm not coping as well, is anxiety. I've looked it up online and it appears that feelings of anxiety and being overwhelmed are pretty typical for the end of pregnancy. Double sigh. I wish I would've been more prepared for this. When the flood evacuees were staying with us I was literally paralyzed by the uncertainty of the whole situation. Thinking now about how many people will be using our road to access the flood zone, and how much Haruki is going to continually bark at them, is stressing me out. Hearing David say that he's having a friend fly out right after the birth so that they can spend several days filming a video for Popsockets is scaring the shit out of me and making me wonder if I can even take care of the baby by myself--all day and all night--while he teaches, does his usual work with Popsockets, and also does the video. 

Whew. The slightly good news is that I was able to take a shower in my own bathroom today, unlike a lot of people who live near us and have been dislocated because of the flood. In addition, it turns out that all of the pain management techniques I've been learning are also pretty useful for anxiety attacks. I may have boosted the relaxing effects of these breathing exercises with a shit-ton of alphabet cookies and toffee, but what the hell--only two more weeks before everyone starts asking me how I'm going to lose the baby weight, right? :-) Heh. 

*What's stressing you out right now? Does it warrant the stress you feel, or are you perhaps at the mercy of some chemical/hormonal melee?

Monday, September 16, 2013

Guess I'm Not a Meteorologist

So after my last post, when I said that it was supposed to get a bit sunnier and less rainy, Boulder and the surrounding areas got flooded. Heh. Whoops. Too bad my idiotic wishes aren't powerful enough to create better weather patterns.

It rained for about four days straight, and the result is the kind of flooding that apparently only comes around once every hundred years or so. As I've mentioned before, David and I live in Sunshine Canyon, right in the middle of the burn zone from the 2010 Four Mile fire. It's a blessing, really, that the house burned down then, since during the rebuild we were very diligent about flood prevention and water diversion. So, our house is just fine. Our neighbors that live below us, however, weren't so lucky:

Yikes, right? Apparently there are still so many people who need evacuating in various parts of Boulder County that today the National Guard is mounting the biggest aerial rescue mission since Hurricane Katrina.

I should add, just in case it's not obvious, that the "river" you see in the photos above wasn't there last week. In fact, a road was there last week. I used to ride my bike up it.

So things are a bit kooky around these parts lately. On Thursday morning we took in two people who hiked out of Four Mile Canyon to our house since a dislodged propane tank had begun spewing propane in their front yard. They stayed with us for two days and have since been able to get to town to friends and family. All that I will say about that situation is that four days of rain + excessive amounts of dirt and mud inside and outside the house + two stranded house guests + a lack of power = not a good situation for a woman expecting to give birth in two weeks. Nesting? Not so much. Sigh. I had just about the worst panic attack in the middle of the night on Thursday, worrying about if they would open our road so we could get to town, if our evacuees would need to stay indefinitely, if I'd go into labor and have to labor at home while we had guests.

Since our water comes from our well and necessitates a pump we are also without water. Thus, no showers and no dish washing. Luckily we can flush our toilets with the water that has been filling up Haruki's outdoor doggy pool. But our house is still a disaster area and it feels like my efforts to get everything together for baby are utterly stalled. I had actually hired a cleaning person to come tomorrow to do a big big deep clean before the baby comes, but with no power we had to postpone.

Oh well. It could be a lot worse, right? Hopefully Xcel will fix the power today and I can veg out and de-stress with some Monday Night Football.

And, on the bright side, Haruki sure did have fun running in the streams of water that miraculously appeared all around our house. Here are a few shots of the new landscape. I should add again that everywhere you see water in these pictures is new, i.e. water didn't used to be there.

*How would you "deal" if you were without electricity or water for four days?

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Wednesday Updates

Ho hum, another dreary day around these parts. Apparently it's going to get a bit warmer and more sunny tomorrow, though, so at least I have that to feel good about.

Something else that's been making me feel good lately is millet. In case I didn't mention this last week, I recently tried millet and am really liking it! In case you don't know, millet is an ancient grain that, according to one website, is in fact not a grain but a seed. That's why it's often found in bird food. I've been eating it with some spices, olive oil, and beans lately, and it's tasty! Way better than yucky quinoa in my opinion. Last night we had it with some acorn squash:

We ate it with the fog rolling in around the house, and it really felt like winter.

Today has been pretty typical. First bootcamp, then a hair appointment. My hair has been growing at a much faster rate since getting knocked up, and I have to say I don't appreciate it much. My hair feels long and shaggy like two weeks after having it cut and getting it cut more often is kinda out of the question since it costs so much. At least I don't dye my hair; a girl at the gym told me today how much she spends between cuts and coloring. I guess I'd rather spend my money at the Whole Foods hot bar:-)

After my hair cut I went to have lunch at Native Foods. We had a coupon for a free lunch and I got their sesame macro bowl.

I got it with extra tofu so I could take some home and have for lunch at work this week.

After lunch I ran a quick errand at Target before meeting David for my baby appointment. Apparently there really is a baby in my stomach, and she will likely weigh about six and a half pounds when she's born in a few weeks. We didn't get any good shots from the ultrasound they took today, but here is a beauty of a little baby femur:

Still seems pretty creepy to me:-) If they had given us a picture of her spine I'd show that to you--it's even more creepy. It really looks like I have some kind of reptile in my belly. (Uh, in a good, super maternal way...heh.)

Not much else is going on around here. I have my last two days at work tomorrow and on Friday, after which I'm all about finalizing our baby stuff/plans and just generally being lazy. David keeps joking that he hopes I get into a cleaning nesting mode where I want to clean everything with a toothbrush, but I suspect that phase will not come. I think I'll spend next week mostly horizontal instead:-)

*No question today. Instead of thinking up a question I'll just think nice thoughts about all those people who have sad anniversaries to celebrate on Sept. 11.

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Autumnal Delivery

So, fall is definitely here, friends. I know this because it's been rainy and foggy all day up here in our little mountain house. Hence the photo taken from indoors:

And hence the fall produce that is in the oven right now:

Like the basil I've been consuming so copiously, these acorn squashes were a gift from my friend Liz's garden. If only we lived closer together I could just go to her house for dinner instead of mooching her produce and having to cook it myself:-)

In typical Nikki-fashion, this first day of clouds and fog made me a less productive person. Granted, I am cooking dinner right now instead of eating cereal, which is an improvement that I can attribute only to nesting hormones. But I did have a few things around the house and on the computer that I should've taken care of and did not. I did go to Body Pump, however, so there's that. And I've spent the rest of the afternoon watching a Werner Herzog documentary about these trappers in Siberia. It's pretty interesting. I wouldn't say I'm an uber-intellectual documentary person (I mean, I watch Teen Mom too, after all), but this documentary is interesting because it's basically like pulling back the curtains and watching people live in a way that is entirely foreign to how I live. I like that. Watching stuff like that is like going somewhere new.

In other food news, last night our doula came over and I made some more of Emily's Lemon Parsley Pasta.

We ate noodles, we talked about how David needs to avoid making dumb jokes while I'm in labor, etc., etc. I have a feeling that I may have to either: 1) punch David in the face while I'm in labor, or 2) kick him out of the room. This is because when we talk about the pain of childbirth he usually says something about how women should think less about the pain itself and instead think more about how lucky they are to be conscious beings that can experience a range of sensations. To this I usually reply with an expletive. And to be fair, he's not really being serious; it's just part of his nature as a philosopher and jackass to say idiotic things that are based on philosophical ideas and not reality.

Um, anyhow, I'm off to check on the millet that is bubbling away on the stove top. I hope it doesn't suck and that wherever you are you're eating something tasty too:-)

*What would it take for you to punch your partner out if you were in labor?