Friday, May 29, 2009

Pregnancy post

I haven't posted for awhile because I have been trying to wait until something non pregnancy-related and sufficiently entertaining to blog about happened to me. Since I found out I was pregnant almost all of my posts have at least mentioned my pregnancy. However it's kind of an all-consuming biggest project I have going on these days, so I may never post again if I try not to mention pregnancy. So I guess you just have to deal with the fact that I'll be talking about it for the next 8 or so months.

So here it is! The post I've been trying not to write! A post that's ALL ABOUT ME BEING PREGNANT!

So yeah. I'm pregnant. And it's much harder this time around. When I was pregnant with Emily, I only had about a week where I felt slightly queasy if I got too hungry. I slept 8 hours a night, then got up and jogged 2 miles every morning. I traveled to Mexico and Japan. Emily never kept me awake with kicks to the liver. I pretty much figured I was a pregnancy viking.

But this time? I'm nauseous pretty much all day. All that appeals to me are carbs and dairy. If I smell vegetables or meat (or heaven forbid, fish) cooking, I start to gag. I am sleeping 9+ hours a night, but don't ask me to function without an afternoon nap. Exercise? Yeah, that's not happening.

I made plans to take a pilates and bodyjam class on Friday, but Emily didn't take a nap, plus all sorts of people called me and stopped by the house so I didn't get a nap. I was panicky-tired, but my mother-in-law was coming over to babysit Emily, so I went ahead and went to the gym since I can't really sleep when Emily's awake and there are people in my house anyway.

Well I called Will on my way to the gym, and I just broke down crying. "I am!" I sniffled. "And I want to eat SOMETHING that doesn't turn my stomach." So instead of working out, I abandoned my long-suffering friend Carolyn to yet another solitary workout, bought some food at Common Market, ate it in my car and then fell asleep and drooled all over myself in a busy public parking lot. Pregnancy is already embarrassing me, and I haven't even been asked to pee in a tiny cup with my giant belly blocking my view of the proceedings or showed a whole roomful of people my world yet.

I DO realize how lucky I am. Some women throw up several times a day the entire time they're pregnant. Some women can't get pregnant. Some women wish they had morning sickness because at least it's assurance in these iffy early weeks that things are progressing as they should. But since I had such a wonderful pregnancy last time, I can't help but compare it to this one and wish that I had been sick back when I didn't have a demanding little toddler to take care of (Mommy no lay down! Mommy go outside with Emmy!)

Childbirth is painful, but at least you know that as soon as the suffering is over, you'll get to meet your baby. Morning sickness happens months before you even feel the baby moving. Even having been pregnant before, the baby is kind of still an abstract idea at this point but my nausea is not, so I have to keep reminding myself why it feels like I've had the flu for 2 weeks, and probably will for the next 4 weeks.

Maybe the sickness means I'm having a boy this time. Or (oh my God) twins. I actually have started showing a bit this week. Not that I look pregnant yet or anything, but my tummy has pooched out a bit even though I haven't gained any weight yet, so things are already rearranging in there. Hopefully just because this is my second pregnancy, and not because I'm pregnant with (oh my God) twins. Can you tell I'm worried about having twins? If only my doctor was kind and did ultrasounds in the first trimester. Maybe if I act freaked out enough she'll do one for me.

1 more month until the second trimester.

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Bugs I hate right now

I hate most if not all bugs, but here are the bugs that are annoying me most of all right now, in reverse order:

1. The ants that have claimed my kitchen and bathrooms as their own. For some reason they seem to be more drawn to water than food, but things are getting out of hand. If I so much as leave a SPECK of water in my sink after washing the dishes, there will be a swarm of ants all over it within minutes. We have little ant hotels, but we really need Taro, and we haven't been anywhere that sells it yet. At least they haven't moved into the Aerogarden yet like they did last year...gack.

2. The stink bugs that got into my car because I foolishly left my windows open when I parked at my parents house once during the Great Invasion last fall. I can't figure out if these are still survivors from last year, or new hatchlings from eggs laid last fall (SOOOOOO gross). They love to come boldly stomping out of my airvents to traipse across my seats, fly into my head, and just plain scare the crap out of me while I'm driving. They are big and they fly and they survive for months without sustenance. There is also the added bonus that when you squish them they emit a foul-smelling brown goo. Awesome.

3. The terrifying "cave crickets" (which look like big spiders) that come into my basement to die. It makes me happy that by the time they stumble into my basement most of them are already in the process of checking out, but they still have at least one or two good hops left in them. And these things get some DISTANCE when they hop, and they go in all sorts of unexpected directions, but usually towards me. I try to be brave around bugs for Emily's sake, but yesterday I curled into a ball and covered my head while gibbering and trembling when I noticed a cave cricket was IN Emily's playhouse with us, poised to jump straight into my hair. Poor Emily kept saying "Mommy? Mommy?" while Will scolded me for undoing his work with Emily trying to convince her that the crickets are fun. I couldn't help it though, and once I had escaped I realized there was not one but THREE of the horrible things in and on the playhouse. I am going to have to fumigate that rose petal cottage before I enter it again, yick.

4. The wasps who eat Emily's swingset whenever it's sunny out. I have no idea why they only show up when the sun is shining on the swingset, but after a wasp stung Emily mid-swing a couple weeks ago, we have a rule that she can't swing while the wasps are around. And an Emily who can't swing is an Emily who is not very happy.

5. Cicada killers. I haven't seen one in ages, but as long as I know they exist, I am scared to go outside. I was once attacked by a cicada killer in College Park as I drove home from class down Route 1. I was approaching the most lethal intersection in the area, when what looked like a small plane rose up from the passenger seat. I had a moment of frozen terror and I beheld the most gigantic stinging insect I had ever seen hovering mere inches from my face, then thank GOD I had the wherewithal to grab my organic chemistry textbook because seconds later he went for me. I was able to defend myself by smacking him out of the air with my book, but I didn't see where he landed. Without being 100% sure he was no longer in my car, I could not drive it any longer so I parked it at Shoppers and walked home in the summer heat (and yes, I was taking remedial Organic Chemistry during the summer. While my whole family went on vacation to Ireland. Don't bring it up)

I googled "heat kill cicada killer", hoping that a 120 degree car would fry him, but all I found were graphs illustrating the fact that the hotter it gets, the more effectively cicada killers can fly (who willingly STUDIES these horrors?) Once Will got home I informed him that we were walking up to my car at Shoppers and checking it for cicada killers. And he did it for me. That is why I married him. And that is why cicada killers will always rank highest on the "bugs I hate" scale.

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Need a web designer? I suggest you ask someone else

Yesterday was pretty awesome. And it was made all the more so by the fact that I expected it to suck.

I dropped Emily off with Grammy, then headed to my endocrinologist's office. I'd called the office several times over the past 2 weeks, trying to tell her I was pregnant and needed to get my thyroid levels tested. It's incredibly important to have your thyroid levels under control for the first 12 weeks of pregnancy because the baby's thyroid doesn't start working until about 12 weeks. So I was getting pretty nervous and angry as the weeks passed. I decided to go into the office in person and put the smackdown on the receptionists (who are annoyingly protective of the doctors...I KNOW they're busy, but I am a patient and I haven't heard back in 2 weeks! I'm not getting any less pregnant!) I was a bit nervous because I hate confrontations, but morning sickness decided to hit me harder than it ever has so far yesterday, so I figured I could draw on my sick pregnant lady anger to get me through. They assured me they'd have a lab slip ready for me tomorrow. "I WILL be back tomorrow!" I threatened.

Then as I drove away the nurse called and said she had mailed me a lab slip on Monday. Good then. Thanks for letting me know jerks.

Next on the agenda was going to the lab where I used to work. They had contacted me because they need some website updates. How hilarious is that? *I* know more than anyone there about web design. ME. Who knows next to nothing. Oh well, I figured I'd give it a shot, although I fully expected it to be a waste of time because I don't remember the passwords or even how to use Frontpage in the first place.

Well amazingly enough, I was able to install Frontpage, remember where all the website files were, and update everything they needed me to. I kept expecting to hit a brick wall and not be able to fix things, or worse still break the website, but it all worked. My boss also offered again to make me lab director, and took me out to lunch. My morning sickness let up just long enough for me to scarf down an awesome cheeseburger and fruit.

So I was paid WAY more for 2.5 hours of work than I ever earned for a whole day's work there as a chemist, I got to visit with all my old coworkers, and my old boss took me out to lunch, which she had never done before. This consultant thing is definitely the way to go. Too bad I don't actually know what I'm doing, and even if I did I would be in competition with part of Will's company, so probably no future there :-)

Then I went to my parents house to pick up Emily and had dinner there. The morning sickness definitely came back when they started cooking the tuna. I seem to be doing better today though.

So I feel good for having earned some money, and quite amused that I earned it through working on a website. Sure my yard is un-mowed and the dishes languished in the sink for far too long, but hey, I got paid! For the first time in 2 years! Yay!

Tuesday, May 19, 2009


So we got Will's liver levels tested the other day, and they came back wonderfully, completely normal, along with all the other tests they did. No problems. Not even Epstein-Barr.


Apparently, Will has NOT had Epstien-Barr these past few months. The doctor who told him he had it said today that no, he HAS had it at some point in his life, but he does not have it now.

Welcome to the medical community, where every bit of good news is accompanied by another bit of news that makes it less good!

So all of a sudden Will started feeling like crap, his liver levels went haywire, he was tested for EVERYTHING that makes your liver levels high and came back negative for all of them, and a month later they're back to normal but he's still feeling mostly like crap. And the fatty liver that was caused by the Epstien-Barr? Was not caused by Epstein-Barr. So his levels are back to normal and that's good, but what on earth made him/is making him feel so lousy?



We went to Virginia Beach this weekend for our buddy Eric Jones' engagement party, and that was fun. Even the 9 hours of driving was kind of nice because Will and I got a chance to just hang out and talk for a long time. But we were the LIFE of the party, let me tell you! Neither of us could drink, both of us were exhausted, and we had to duck back to our hotel between the engagement party and the after party to take a couple hour nap. Then we went home at 11. Woooooooooooooooo!

Virginia Beach was nice, and it was neat to have a chance to meet some people who we'll be hanging with when the wedding comes around next year. I'll be the girl who had to pee but didn't want to know where the bathroom was (I thought the guy asked me if I KNEW where the bathroom was, not if I WANTED to know where the bathroom was...who asks that?).

And as a super-special extra bonus to spending hours sitting right next to me, Will got to witness first-hand the craziness that is eating during pregnancy. On the way down to the beach on Saturday it took me over an hour to eat my lunch. I was hungry, but every bite I took made me a little queasy, so I had to take a bite, wait a couple minutes, take a bite, wait a couple minutes. I discussed how much I'd like to keep my pregnancy eating habits while I'm not pregnant, because the queasiness isn't really that bad, it's just THERE, and anything that slows down my eating and makes me stop when I'm full is good. Then on the way back home the next day we didn't stop to eat lunch until we got to Wegmans at 2, where I put away a tray of california rolls, 4 gigantic scallops and 3 gigantic shrimp before Will had even eaten half of his sushi tray, then I wandered off and bought a big box of grilled vegetables (which I ate half of) and finished it off with a fruit bar. Having eaten my weight in food I was finally feeling satisfied, but I was impatient to get home and I suggested to Will that maybe he'd like to finish his food while we shopped. He informed me that he prefers to actually CHEW his food, and he was going to sit right where he was while he was doing it.

So between completely crashing at 9:00PM for the last 4 nights, getting weird dizzy spells, and wildly oscillating between "don't make me look at anything I have decided is unappealing today or I will surely gag" and "is that a leftover cheerio on the floor! GIVE IT TO ME NOW, I'M STARVING!", I think I just might actually be pregnant.

Thursday, May 14, 2009

The pregnancy brain...I has it

Yesterday I was at the grocery store, and I wanted to pick up some ice cream for Will. His favorite kind (fat free, sugar free of course) comes in 4 different flavors. He already has a couple vanillas and peanut brittles, so I wanted to get him a cherry fudge ripple. When I got home and went to put it in the garage freezer, I realized I had bought a peanut brittle.

I explained this to Will before he went out to get his ice cream after dinner, and he chuckled and said "Pregnancy brain is setting in." "No!" I insisted, "The cherry fudge ripples were in the pile all the way to the left, and the peanut brittles were in the pile all the way to the right at the store. There's no way I took one off the right pile when I meant to take one off the pile all the way on the opposite side. I'm sure they just put one in the wrong place." "Sure" said Will. I sat and pouted while he went out to the garage.

When he came back in, he handed me my sunglasses. Which I had put in the freezer.

That kind of negated any argument I could have come up with against me having pregnancy brain. So I just put on my sunglasses and told him how delightfully refreshing they felt.

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Zip a dee doo dah

I've decided to call the baby Zippy until we know if it's a boy or a girl. Every embryo needs a nickname, and it always kinda bothered me to call a baby "it". But as my mother taught me, the nickname needs to be something goofy, lest you get too used to it and decide to go ahead and use the nickname as the official name. Emily was "Bean", so this baby is "Zippy".

So Zippy is 3 weeks old today, and already has a beating heart and eyeball bumps. Other than that, Zippy still looks pretty freaky.

So that makes me 5 weeks pregnant, although I don't have many symptoms. Since this is my second pregnancy, that makes me feel lucky, not worried. I have gagged on a couple of things, but pretty much only things that were kinda gross anyway, like oatmeal that had gotten cold and congealed, and an unpleasantly runny omelet. I don't have any food aversions yet, so I'm trying to pack in the veggies because last time around I just didn't really care for most veggies, and cucumbers and sweet potatoes in particular made me want to barf.

To help me with my quest to eat super-healthy, I have been reading through What to Eat When You're Expecting. I give it a resounding "Meh". When I first found out I was pregnant with Emily, I ran out and bought What to Expect When You're Expecting. I figured reading it was a rite of passage, and hey, that lady serenely rocking on the front sure looked calm and happy. I don't recommend this book, especially to first-timers, unless you want to spend the next 9 months curled up in a trembling, protective ball around your stomach, willing your baby not to die or have some horrible problem. If you simply must read it, try to only read the parts about what happens during a good and normal pregnancy, and keep in mind that not ALL of the pregnancy issues will happen to you.

So anyway, after wading through all the "Sugar will kill your baby" and "Don't have any alcohol even if you cook it, but here are a couple recipes with alcohol in them and one with raw egg whites thrown in to REALLY confuse you", I came away with a good feel for which nutrients I need to focus on eating more of. The recipes seem to be ok, I like them because everything is whole wheat and juice-sweetened, which is how we eat anyway but it's hard to find recipes without sugar or white flour. The one notable exception is the green gazpacho, which even Will couldn't choke down more than half a cup of. Look What to Eat When You're Expecting, I know you're trying to cleverly hide leafy greens in your recipes, but gazpacho is not the place to hide arugula and watercress. Especially not so much of it. The stuff is bitter and nasty, and call me a purist, but I kinda feel like there should be tomatoes in gazpacho. Thanks for making me waste lots of expensive groceries. I thought I was impervious this time to the worry you cause, and now you're getting to me in more insidious ways!

Monday, May 11, 2009

Oh baby

(I wrote this post a week ago, but I am just now posting it because we wanted to tell family in person first!)

Yep. I got up at 4AM this morning, which is my usual time to get up and pee, and I peed on a stick while I was at it. Sure enough, as I watched, the second pink line went from "snowy white...guess I'm not pregnant this month" to "huh, I think I might see a shadow of a line", to "yeah, that's definitely a line!" My first thought was "wow, that was quick!" This was our first month trying, although we tried for awhile back in the fall before going on a hiatus to avoid me being super-pregnant at Will's sister's wedding or having a Christmas baby, and I guess I didn't really expect it to happen right away.

I laid the test next to Will's sink so he would see it in the morning, then crawled back into bed. I thought "Man, I couldn't get back to sleep after I took the pregnancy test at 4 in the morning that told me I was pregnant with Emily, but I really feel sleepy this time." I was already worried that I was going to conk right out, and that made me feel bad because it was like I was showing favoritism to Emily already. Yay! A whole new kind of mommy guilt! Rest assured though, I remained awake until well after 5 thinking about having a baby and all the things we have in store for us in the next 9 months. So far, I'm almost as excited as I was with Emily, but I don't know if you CAN be quite as excited for your second pregnancy as you are with your first.

Will ended up going to the bathroom 3 times and not noticing the pregnancy test right by his sink. He finally asked me if I had tested this morning, and I told him yes, I had laid the test by the sink and he had already passed it 6 times. I heard a pause, then "I don't know what I'm looking're pregnant? That was quick!"

I haven't had the voracious hunger I experienced starting the second I got pregnant with Emily, but perhaps that is because I have more copious "maternal fat stores" this time around. I have felt pretty tired in the afternoons, but it was hard to tell if that could be pregnancy-related or a result of me cutting out caffeine. I did start getting weird cramps yesterday, exactly when I started getting them last time, so that's pretty much the only similarity so far.

I still couldn't really believe I was pregnant this morning, but over the course of the day I have had indigestion, come this close to throwing up because I all of a sudden got tired of the tomatoes I was eating (seriously, I was in the bathroom gagging for awhile), became quite hungry as soon as I didn't feel like I was going to throw up anymore, and teared up when I heard "Ode to Joy" at the end of one of the Pixar short films on the WALL-E DVD. Maybe it's psychological, but it's like my body is giving me a little refresher course on what I have to look forward to these next 9 months.

So my due date should be around January 15th, and if I go 10 days early like I did with Emily it'll be pretty dang close to new year. Christmas is going to be hard for me this year, so I have decided I need to do everything NOW so I won't have to waddle around buying presents and making gifts at 37 weeks pregnant. I am pretty freaked about the possibility of getting snowed in and not being able to make it to the hospital, or my mom not being able to make it, or whoever's going to watch Emily not being able to make it to the house, but these days we don't get much snow in the winters, so hopefully this year will follow suit. Besides, I am ready to have another baby now, and the possibility of snow is a poor reason to delay adding to your family if you're ready. But as ready as I am to have another kiddo, there's still that whole giving birth again thing. You always know that part is coming at some distant time in the future, but getting that positive pregnancy test officially starts the ticker and makes you realize that there are the beginnings of a baby in there now, and that baby will have to come out somehow.

We're very excited though, and in 36 short weeks we'll be welcoming a new little brother or sister for Emily!

Thursday, May 7, 2009

Happy 2nd Birthday Emmy!

Wow, I am BEAT.

When Emily woke up this morning, I walked into her room and said "Happy Birthday Emmy! You turn 2 today!" She thought about that for a moment, then said "Get Pessicks (presents)?" I laughed, and said "Yes, Mommy and Daddy have some presents for you downstairs." Then she said "Get Trains?" That's my girl!

Our train table is looking quite respectable these days, we're going to have to start building upward to fit more things on it :-) Oh, and find a place for it to live, because right now it's smack in the middle of our family room, in the same place where I assembled it a couple days ago.

I decided to take Emily on a trip to the zoo for her birthday today (pictures here). The rain was supposed to stop by 9ish, and then it was supposed to get into the 70's and be sunny for the rest of the day, so I figured it would be a good day to go, considering it has rained every day for the past week and a half. On the drive up, it POURED. I was grumbling to myself the whole way and wondering if it would even be worth it to go if it was raining. Luckily, it stopped raining the moment we got there. It was kinda overcast and chilly though, so I felt like a terrible mother when Emily did her little theatrical shiver and said "Cooooooooold!" and I realized I hadn't brought a jacket because IT WAS SUPPOSED TO BE IN THE 70's! I lied to the front desk lady and told her Emily's birthday was tomorrow so that she could still get in for free :-) I'll work on my honesty before Emily gets old enough to notice.

Emily had a blast picking up rocks and throwing them into various bodies of water. She even glanced at an animal occasionally. She eventually discovered that throwing animal food pellets to the fish and the geese was basically the same as throwing rocks into the water, so it was also deemed an acceptable activity.

She was really good the whole time and enjoyed herself, but we both got covered in mud from head to toe. I headed for one of the 3 bathrooms on the map of the zoo, only to discover it was a port a potty! Of course, in bad mother move #2 for the day, I hadn't brought any wipes or paper towels with me because I had assumed there would be sinks and soap and paper towels. Unfortunately all they had out in the park were hand sanitizer dispensers, and that doesn't do much for mud. We had to eat all of our food with forks, even our sandwiches, because I didn't want to touch our food.

Eventually we made it to the exit, and there was an honest-to-goodness bathroom there, although they were cleaning it when we got there and we had to wait, and when we DID get in there still was no changing table :-( I had to change Emily on a little 5"x12" rectangle of countertop next to a sink, and the poor girl was terrified she was going to fall the whole time.

After we came home, she decided that she didn't want to miss a minute of her birthday, so no nap was needed. We had her fave, macaroni and cheese for dinner, then we went downstairs and I assembled her entire city of Cherry Blossom Markets and Rose Petal Cottages.

And as a gift to ME, Emily took her first bath in her bathtub since Christmas! She just hopped right in without a fuss, like the last 4 months of extreme bathtub avoidance never even happened. I was SO happy not to have to hold a wiggly wet Emmy in the shower after our exhausting day!

So Happy Birthday Emily! Let's make the twos not-so-terrible!

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Birthday Party

Emily's birthday party turned out well. There was rain in the forecast, but it cleared up and was actually pretty nice and occasionally sunny the whole time, which was awesome. The same thing happened last year, so let's hope the trend holds since I'd like to have her party at a park next year.

The cupcakes turned out tasty but ugly. I got a special cupcake-frosting tip for my Wilton set, and when I went to frost the cupcakes I realized the tip was too big and it wouldn't fit the coupler I had. It was too late to go get a new one at that point, so I just had to make due with what I had, and it kinda looked like the cupcakes were topped with orange dog poop. Oh well. At that point there was nothing I could do, so I didn't really care.

My camera ran out of batteries halfway through the party, so we didn't get very many decent pictures, but here are some of them: