Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Every little move she makes....

A very quick thought to share this evening:

I am so grateful for every punch and kick my little girl gives me...even if she is if she is karate chopping my va-jay-jay.

I will not get upset over the little stretch marks that I will get...even if these eliminate any future Sports Illustrated Swim Suit editions that I could have posed for.

I will not focus on the gray hairs that are showing....because I've decided not to dye my hair to keep the toxins away from my baby.

I will enjoy being the designated driver....because I am growing a beautiful child.

I will embrace and give into every craving....and then be sure to balance that box of Sour Patch Kids with a healthy salad.

I will do everything I can to bring this baby girl safely into the world. 

As a second time mother, who didn't have a great pregnancy experience with my first child, I know I have a tendency to look for the negative.  I will try my best to enjoy every moment with this pregnancy, and not wait for the floor to fall out from under me and the bad news to come.

So with every kick, cramp, stretch mark, and craving that I have, I know that all of this is happening because my little girl is growing inside me.  And that is truly the greatest feeling in the worth that outweighs anything else.

Re-Defining Community

In November, I joined a Facebook group for expecting mothers with June 2014 due dates.  It sounded like a fun idea, even if it would be a little new for me to network with complete strangers from around the country (and world).

And in 3 short months, I can't even tell you how much this COMMUNITY of women has come to mean to me.

I met a woman who lives in my town, who has friends in common with me. 
I've talked to women who are also second time moms, with the same 5 year age difference between their child. 
We've read and shared funny pregnancy stories.
We share our belly photos on "Hump Day Bump Day" every Wednesday.
We've asked questions about some of the more embarrassing parts of pregnancy that we wouldn't dare ask anyone else. 
We've cheered for each other as we joined Team Pink or Team Blue. 
We've talked about baby names. 
We've prayed for those who are struggling in their pregnancy, and who may not be getting all positive news from their scans and tests. 
We shared our pregnancy announcements and gender reveals.
We've mourned with those who have lost.
I've laughed.
I've been encouraged.
I've been inspried.
I can't wait to celebrate with these women when our babies arrive, and see their precious first photos.

As someone who grew up in a very small town, I always defined COMMUNITY as my neighbors and the people who lived around me.  These were the people who would bring you a casserole when something happened in your family or would watch your kids if you needed to run a quick errand alone. And while I would never want to downplay the importance of that kind of COMMUNITY and how important those people have been in my life, I have a different kind of COMMUNITY that was so unexpected, but so precious to me.

So while I will probably never meet this women in person, this COMMUNITY we've created is going to last long after we all have our babies in June.  I am so thankful for these women and our COMMUNITY, even though it's not the traditional definition.

Friday, January 31, 2014

Our Trip to the Jelly Room

On Wednesday, we made our trip to the "Jelly Room," named this by our son after he had to have an ultrasound a year ago.  For him, the Jelly Room was terrifying:  A dark room, large screen, warm and gooey liquid rubbed on by a wand with a cord attached. For several doctors appointments after that, he made us reassure him that he would not have to make a return trip to the Jelly Room. 

So since the beginning of this pregnancy, I knew it would be important for him to come with me to an ultrasound so that he could see someone else in the Jelly Room and not be as afraid. Also, since the beginning of this pregnancy, I'd been insisting that I did not want to find out the gender.  We found out the last time, and I wouldn't have changed that.  But with the second baby, I feel like we don't need to prepare as much, and wanted to wait until the baby's birthday to find out if we were having a boy or a girl.

My husband did not feel the same. 

And even though we disagreed, I think he played a little dirty, and convinced our son that we needed to find out. I was officially outnumber.  Kevin has said from the beginning that he wanted only a boy.  In fact, he told everyone who asked that if he got a sister, he was going to run away.  I felt like I was having a boy again, but figured on the chance that we were going to have a girl, finding out would be good to give our son time to adjust to the idea.

So we went that morning to find out if we were joining Team Pink or Team Blue. Although the perinatal center has a strict NO KIDS rule, I was able to persuade them to let our son join us for the last five minutes.  So our nanny (and I HATE calling her that because she's so much more than a nanny to our family), came with us, and sat with Kevin in the waiting room while my husband and I went in for the anatomy scan.

After 45 minutes, 3 bathroom breaks, and several attempts to to get the stubborn baby in my uterus to cooperate for photos, the ultrasound was done.  When we'd walked in, the tech asked if we wanted to know the gender, and we asked her to wait to tell us until Kevin came to the room so we could find out together.  She was VERY good, and gave no indication that she knew the gender. 

So my husband went to the waiting room to get Kevin, and he came back to the room.  The tech showed him some photos; he saw the spine, legs, hand, and then she put up a blurry photo....with three white lines.  She asked Kevin if he knew what that was, and he answered "a pee pee."  When she said "no" and he realized he was getting a sister, there were two of us crying in the room:  Me because I was just so happy to be having a healthy baby, and him because he was so mad about not getting a brother!  He then told us to "change it or give it back" because he didn't want a girl in his house. We're working on this with him now so he understands that we can't just "change" this!

When Kevin went back to the waiting room to see our nanny, he put his head in her lap and told her how sad he was.  He got some good laughs from the other patients in the waiting room. 

So we are officially joining Team Pink.  Life is going to be very different for us with a little girl, but we couldn't be happier.  Look for future posts that revolve around bows, tu-tu's and ballet slippers.

Our gender announcement: We're about to get a lot of PINK in our LIFE!

Sunday, January 12, 2014

Kevin's going to be a big brother!

We were so excited to be able to announce the arrival of baby #2, not just because we couldn't wait to share our happy news, but because it finally meant that we didn't have to worry about our 4 year-old spilling the beans to anyone else.

And here is a life lesson: Don't trust a 4 year-old with a secret!

Kevin found out about the pregnance very early. It was actually earlier than we'd planned or wanted, but like with all things in life with a 4 year-old, a plan can be scrapped as soon as it's written.

Kevin was having an MRI in early October.  Normally these are two parent events, because of a bad experience he had during a previous procedure. The after effects have carried from simply removing a band-aid to these MRI's.  There is normally screaming and restraining, tears from him and me, to get him in the prep room to get the mask on for anesthesia. It's scarring for him and painful for us.

But for this October MRI, Joe had an event coming up at work, and couldn't get the time off. Since these appointments are scheduled more than an month in advance, we had no choice but for me to go it alone.   The only challenge besides Kevin's obvious anxiety, was that I had just found out that I was pregnant, and this could be an issue with the normal proximity to the meds and anesthesia.

So when the prep team came into the room to get the medical history, I told them that I was pregnant.  After the conversation and coming up with a rough plan for how to manage, they left.  Kevin had been playing during the conversation, so I thought he might not have heard any of the conversation.  I was wrong.  He turned to me and asked what "pregnant" meant.

While only at 6 weeks, I had to tell him, so I shared with him that Mommy has a baby in her tummy.  I will never, ever forget the look on his face.  It was one of awe, love, and then child-like excitement.  It melted my heart and in that moment, I knew that this little boy is going to be an amazing big brother.

After that the questions followed:
Is it a boy or a girl?  (ANSWER: We don't know yet.)
How did it get in there?  (ANSWER: Ask your daddy.)

And when it was time for Kevin to go into the prep room for his anesthesia, instead of me carrying a kicking and screaming child, he walked in by himself and went right to a nurse and sat on her lap while she held the mask to his face and he drifted off to sleep.

And when I left the room that time to wait the 3 hours for Kevin to be in recovery, the tears flowing down my face were of sheer happiness instead of the usual guilt and frustration.

Friday, January 10, 2014

My list of pregnancy no-no's

So now that the cat is out of the bag about baby #2, I'm publishing my list of pregnancy no-no's.  This is not a list of no-no's for the mom.  I'm fully versed on the things I have to avoid: soft cheese, lunch meat, sushi, caffeine, hot dogs, vodka.  This list is for others, rather it be family members, friends, or complete strangers.  And while my blog followers has doubled in the last 4 months (from 3 to 6), I am fully aware that I am doing this more for my own venting benefit than because I actually expect those who this is directed at to actually ever read this.

1 - Don't ask a married woman why she hasn't had kids yet.  It's none of your business unless she offers the information.
2 - Don't ask a woman who has had one child when she is having the second.  You don't know the background, and it may be sensitive enough that she doesn't want to talk about it.
3 - If a second child is announced, don't think it's appropriate to make comments like "why did you wait so long?" or "what took so long for you to go for it again?"  Again, none of your business unless it's offered.
4 - Don't ask to touch or see a pregnant woman's belly.
5 - Don't make comments about belly size.  Whether you say "you're HUGE for as far as long as you are" or "you're really not showing at all" the mother-to-be is going to be sensitive to it.
6 - If you're not involved in the conception, you have no rights to the announcement. That means you stay off Facebook, Twitter, Blogs, etc. until the mother and father make the public announcement.  NO EXCEPTIONS!
7 - Being a blood relative is not an automatic invitation into the delivery room.
8 - Being a blood relative is also not an antuomatic right to express your opinion about every step of the pregnancy.
9 - Opinions and suggestions on baby names are only welcome if you are asked.
10 - Just be happy and supportive. Expectant parents really will appreciate that!

Saturday, November 2, 2013

To my husband on our 11th anniversary:

Today is our 11th wedding anniversary.  I always follow that with the statement, "we got married very young!" so that nobody would think we're older than our 34 years.

But tonight I look back and can't really believe that it's been 11 years.  Add on the 6 years prior to that that we dated and were engaged, and we've been together for 17 years.  That's half of our lives that we've been a couple.  Go ahead and take a minute to process that.  Believe me, I did!

Joe & Johnna.  Johnna & Joe.  After this long, we go together so easily, that I can't even image us being apart.  Two kids from our small town, who took a big adventure together and made it this far. 

I love the life we've built together. 

I love the son that we try so desperately not to screw up and send to therapy at a young age.

But most of all, I love this man.

I love that he has never once held me back, and even though he always doesn't understand my motives, he encourages me.

I love watching him read books to our son, and hearing him make the voices of the characters.

I love that he's never taken off his wedding band, and in 11 years, it's just about worn through.

I love that he has a shoe box in our closet that is filled with birthday cards I gave him dating back to 1999.

I love that he once told me that next to his own mother, I am the strongest person he knows, and he has no idea what a huge complement it is to be compared to that amazing woman.

I love that, even though I INSISTED he help me pick out our wedding cake, he didn't get too pissed off when I went back a week later and changed the design he picked out.

I love that he dresses up for Halloween parties every year to make the experience amazing for our son, even though it's just about the worst thing on the planet for him to imagine doing.

I love that he let me win at Checkers every once in awhile.

I love that he can relate every story or problem I have to a country music song and make me laugh.

I love that he knows me better than anyone in this world, lets me be me, and loves me anyway.

I love that he gives me the ability to do it all; my career, my friends, my kid's activities.

I love that there's only a quiet "I told you so" when I overcommit and get in over my head before he jumps in to help save me.

I love that he's 100% in on this adventure with me.

We (I) said that for our 5 year anniversary, we would go to Vegas and get re-married by Elvis.  That didn't happen.  We actually spent the anniversary together at a local restaurant. 

We (I) said that for our 10 year anniversary, we'd renew our vows at the church where we got married.  That didn't happen. We had a great night out with friends though. 

For our 11th anniversary, I sat at a restaurant with my husband and our son, and realized that I don't need Elvis or the big party to celebrate another year of marriage.  Everything I need was right there with me.   

So as I type this blog, the man I love is passed out in our bed, with his arm wrapped around our son while he watches Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs, and life couldn't be better. 

So on our 11th anniversary, when you got me the most beautiful flowers, all I got you was this blog.  And the promise to not breath your way tonight after consuming too much garlic at dinner tonight.   Here's to many more anniversaries and adventures, Joeybear.  I love you lots!
November 2, 2002

Friday, November 1, 2013

And the results are in....

When I began this phase of my weight loss journey, I wasn't sure what to expect. I had lofty goals for myself, just like I had before, but could I do it this time.  So putting myself in the most positive frame of mind possible, I decided to go all in this time.  And I set myself a goal to lose 50 lbs by Halloween.  July 4th to October 31st.  50 lbs in 4 months. 

So today, November 1st, while at a doctor's appointment, I got on the scale to see if I'd made my goal.

And had to do a double take when I saw the number.  47 pounds.  So, no, I did not meet my goal.  I would like to think if I hadn't had this terrible headcold for the past two weeks that I would have been able to run more and made the goal, but even so, I'm really freaking proud of myself.  47 lbs lighter and two sizes smaller feels great.  And now I'm ready for phase 2....