Wednesday, September 2, 2015

24 Weeks

Barefoot and pregnant, part II. The hair looked much better in person.
I've gone back to work for the fall semester, and it turns out being pregnant is a lot easier when you don't have to leave the house regularly. And by the "leave the house" I mean "put on pants and interact with other humans." I was anxious in the early weeks of my pregnancy because I didn't feel pregnant; I certainly feel pregnant now.

Highlights --

The fun: Feeling the baby move a lot (he'll be a futbol player before too long), slowly accumulating baby stuff, people asking me about the baby (I was concerned that I'd hate random people talking to me, but I like it), sharing my pregnancy news with new and former students, eating-eating-eating (in fact, I could go for some food right now), sleeping like a champ 

The new: Settling--I hope--on a diaper situation that'll be fairly convenient and environmentally conscious, looking noticeably pregnant, finding out a woman I work with is very much involved with the local La Leche League (read: less social anxiety about meeting a group of women I don't know)

The weird: Dreams, being honked at by some dudes while I was walking (no limit to street harassment I guess), pregnancy brain 

The unpleasant: swollen feet and ankles, leg cramps, pressure in my lower abdomen making me think I need to pee every five minutes, not being able to get up/bend down/get around easily, missing beer and coffee, being hot and sweaty constantly, arm flab

All that said, I'm still feeling pretty good. I'm far less nervous about the pregnancy but more nervous about the delivery and actually raising a child. That's the hard part, I hear.

Friday, August 28, 2015

8 Good Things

1. Drawing is Magic and coloring books for adults like this one and this one (I couldn't find those ones, so I picked up a different one). I'm not at all good at drawing, but I'd like to be. I've been following some illustrators on Twitter, and I'm jealous of how much they can say with a sketch. I'd like to incorporate more doodling, drawing, and coloring into my life.

2. Baby stuff! It's been really hard not buying baby clothes, but I know people love buying baby clothes as gifts, so I'm refraining. Thankfully, a very good friend read my mind and got us our first onesies and some towels (because who doesn't need a dinosaur hood on their towel?). Another friend sent us a crocheted blanket, which was so thoughtful and of course adorable. I also came across these cloth diapers with disposable--but biodegradable--inserts, which seem to be a great compromise in the Great Diaper Debate.

3. Knitting projects (for baby): frogging a wrap/nursing cover to make a small blanket, and I've started on a fuzzy blanket buddy.

4. Ting. It's a mobile phone service that charges you based on actual minutes/data used. My mom sent me her old iPhone (so I could join the decade finally), but I was unhappy with the plans offered by the big companies because they charge a bunch to activate an old phone, and I don't use my phone all that much anyway. This first month I used Ting my bill was $34, and that was with some extra calling and texting while traveling. If you're interested, here's a referral link.

5. Ginger chews. I tried the recipe a few weeks ago, and they came out a little runny but almost right (no fault of the recipe, just my impatience with direction-following).

6. GoSun Grill. A Facebook friend posted the promotional video for this, and although it's out of stock, I'm kind of obsessed with it. Maybe because my kitchen/dining/living room gets the late afternoon sun, and the thought of cooking indoors is kind of awful.

7. Vegetarian minestrone made with spinach and cheese tortellini in place of plain macaroni pasta (it might be hot, but I do still cook). By the way, although I still eat mostly vegetarian/vegan meals, I've been eating meat and dairy more frequently because I was having a hard time gaining weight while eating my usual foods. I make minestrone pretty often anyway, but the addition of a little cheesy pasta ups the calories, and it was delicious.

8. Going to Kansas City for a visit. Earlier this month I got to visit with the parents, my nephew, and a friend who lives in the area. The weather was surprisingly mild too. I was surprised by how different everything looks. The last time I lived there full-time was in 1999. Hard to believe how much time has passed.

Tuesday, August 4, 2015

20 Weeks: It's a Boy!

Literally barefoot and pregnant

Almost everyone thought we were having a girl, so it was a bit of a surprise to find out we're having a boy. I didn't have a gut feeling, either (all this "a mother always knows" stuff does not apply to me), although almost everyone I knew who had a baby in the last couple years had girls, so statistically speaking, I thought we should have a boy. Obviously, we didn't have a preference. We're happy to report he's looking fine and healthy at this point.


The fun: working on baby names (we might have settled on one), feeling the baby move occasionally, seeing a slightly different body every day in the mirror, browsing the baby aisles in stores, interesting dreams, knitting baby stuff

The new: leaving my crappy ob-gyn office and switching over to a midwife (she's wonderful), going from barely having a baby bump to not being able to button my pants 10 days later, realizing I'm halfway through my pregnancy and freaking out a lot a little

The weird: longer and thicker hair on my stomach (thanks, hormones!)

The unpleasant: lots and lots of boogers, dry skin in uncomfortable places (cocoa butter lotion is awesome), not being able to get up easily from lying on my back, my friends' sharing lots of educational but gross information about postpartum pooping, trying not to overheat when it's a thousand degrees outside

Overall, it's been a pretty smooth ride, and I've been lucky. I'm enjoying it. 

Tuesday, July 21, 2015

How Vegetarians Do Salad

Vegetarians get a bad rap because some meat-eaters think all they eat is salad. And salad gets a bad rap because unimaginative people think a salad is just lettuce with heaps of ranch dressing on it.

False on both accounts.

Some years ago, when I first started cooking real meals, a woman I was friends with would make the best salads with every ingredient imaginable. I had no idea salads could be so full of colorful, tasty ingredients. She also liked to serve pasta on a bed of greens, which isn't so much a salad at that point, but I thought it was an easy way to add some leafy greens to a meal and create an interesting mix of flavors and textures at the same time. 

Today, even though I don't eat salad very often, it is nice for summertime, and it's a good way to use up a lot of vegetables (and fruit sometimes) all at once. My salads almost always feature some kind of grain, seed, or legume. Usually, it's quinoa, couscous, or beans, but lately corn has gotten my attention. I've even been known to add some boiled potatoes on a salad. Why not? By adding a starchy food, it makes a salad a more complete meal, but it still keeps the cooking pretty minimal. I also like the combination of soft and warm mixed with cold and crunchy.

Now, all I need to do is learn how to make some great dressings at home, and I'll be set.

Saturday, July 18, 2015

8 Good Things

1. A nice haircut. It was just a trim, but I feel so much lighter.

2. Surprise gift in the mail from my sister-in-law. It's The Womanly Art of Breastfeeding, and her wrapping was adorable.

3. Ginger tea. Ginger heals what ails you, but at our house, it's all about the stomach issues. I didn't realize how easy it was to make ginger tea at home with boiling water and a few slices of ginger and lemon, but it tastes great. This morning I added a couple slices of peach.

4. A new, used iPhone from my mom. Yeah, I get the irony, but I really just don't care for gadgets. I've been using the same AT&T GoPhone for more than two years, but lately I've been wishing I could occasionally use apps, so it was lucky for me that my mom upgraded her phone. I'm trying a no-contract wireless service called Ting that I hope will suit my needs just fine.

5. Reading. In addition to the book I mentioned above, I checked out some books from the library and bought some books. I'm currently reading Stupidity and Tears (the title hasn't aged well, but the central ideas are still valid) and flipping through Yoga for Pregnancy based on a recommendation from a friend.

6. Travel plans. I'm heading to Kansas City next month for a quick visit. It'll be good to get out of California for a little while, and this will probably be my last big trip before the baby comes.

7. Catching up with friends and family. We've had a couple visitors at our new place! It's just surprising because we lived here for almost a year with no visitors at our last place (there wasn't room for more than a couple people to sit and talk comfortably). Another sister-in-law brought me some more maternity clothes too. I'm loving the hand-me-downs lately.

8. The baby bump + keeping the baby stuff simple. When I lie on my back, I can now feel a definite balloon-like bump under my belly button. Baby's coming along just fine. So far, I've been stifling a little anxiety about the never-ending baby gear sold in stores. In response, I'm reading about what the true essentials are for the first couple months (lists like this and this are reassuring) and trying not to think too far ahead. I'm also looking into an online registry that would let people donate money towards a fund like "bath accessories" or "crib and bedding," which would minimize the pressure I feel to select the right items months before we'll even use them. It's making me feel a little better.