Sunday, May 25, 2014

Mia at 3

Today (backdated... I blame pregnancy) Mia is 3 years old!

I can't believe it's only been a short three years since she's been with us. But at the same time, I have no idea how B and I were ever busy before she was around. Mia's birthday may be today, but the celebrating has gone on for what seems like ages. We started off the month with a little birthday celebration in Chicago, with the in-laws. Mia and her cousins were the only children, but they were certainly entertained and thrilled with the cake. All Mia asked for was a "pink" cake, and her request was granted three separate times!

So far, three seems like it will be the most challenging age we have faced. I doubt we are the exception to this rule, but I have a feeling that "Terrible Twos" are a misnomer. Three seems to be the age where opinions turn into demands, and there is no logic to those wants. Bedtime, mealtime, playtime... everything has been turned upside down in the past few months, and B and I have yet to get the hang of it.

Mia continues to be very sweet, but cuddle time is scarce. She'll still sit on our laps on occasion, but only when television is involved. If you ask for a hug, she'll happily oblige. Her sweetness is still there, though. She has a lot of empathy, and this part of her personality surprised me while I was in the thick of my morning sickness. She would be very concerned if I wasn't feeling well, and brought me various stuffed animals and blankets to make me "feel better". She's been a Mama's girl for the longest time, but it looks like her attachment to her Papa is getting strong. B has been training for the past couple of months, so he leaves earlier in the mornings and gets home later in the evenings. This has not slipped by her, and she often asks where her Papa is. B is never home past 7, and she always welcomes him with so much enthusiasm, I'm almost jealous. But mostly grateful, considering the shift in attention she'll be getting about 5 months from now.

Frozen started the Disney Princess obsession, and while we have thankfully gotten the Frozen viewings to once every few weeks, Mia has gone full blown princess. I don't know how this happened, or whether we encouraged it at any time, but Mia is now a princess, who only likes to wear skirts or dresses. I can still get a pair of shorts on her, but she prefers sometime that has a little twirl to it. Oh, and did I mention PINK?Because it must be pink.

While the newness of being a Mom to Mia may be wearing off, I am still the happiest I could be. I still get pangs of missing her during the day, but no longer feel any guilt about having put her in full time daycare. She loves her friends and teachers, and is clearly secure with her life and family.

Mia, we love you so much. Happy 3rd Birthday!

Friday, May 23, 2014

12 weeks!

I hit the twelve week mark on Wednesday. It feels like I've been counting down to 13 weeks ever since my first brush with nausea at 6 weeks, but it's finally on the horizon!

Symptoms: While the nausea and vomiting has subsided (for the past couple of days -- I could have a repeat of the respite, but I'm hoping this is it), what has shown up are these lovely headaches that settle in around 4pm. Really, really, painful headaches. I've tried switching back to an old pair of glasses, delaying my daily caffeinated beverage until closer to my headache onset time, and pairing it with tylenol. So far, these methods have shown limited successes, but only as to the intensity of the headache. Some of the tiredness is subsiding, but that could be because I've had doctor's appointments in the morning for the past couple of days, and have been able to lounge around for an extra hour every morning before taking myself to the doctor, and then work.

Cravings: My appetite has been pretty low in the past few weeks, but while driving from my Doctor's appointment to work today, I suddenly had an incredibly intense craving for egg salad. Not 5 minutes later, I saw a sign for a Brooklyn Style Deli, and I pulled my little car in there and was terribly satisfied by Dijon Egg Salad on Sourdough bread. It was fantastic and I haven't felt nauseous in the least since indulging.

Everything went well at the Doctor's visits. I have a bladder infection, which was the norm during my Pregnancy #1 days, and then frequently afterwards so this is absolutely no surprise to me. What did surprise me is that I actually had this bladder infection after my 8 week visit, but nobody called to tell me. So, we're treating this bladder infection NOW, 4 weeks later. Thanks, new Doctor. I am not going to rant about this now, but this is one of the reasons I am considering looking for a new practice. I switched from my original OB because I was unhappy with that practice's management, but it's looking like this might be a trend on OB offices in Las Vegas... I did get to take another peek at this little fetus, and it is looking much less like a bug and much more like a baby. First Trimester screen is looking normal after the ultrasound results, so I am very grateful for that. All other genetic tests also came back negative. I even had them try to take a peek between the legs, but they weren't able to see anything just yet.

The next ultrasound is scheduled for July 9th, and I am [im]patiently going to wait until then to find out if my instincts that this is a boy are correct. In reality, my instincts are a whole bunch of crap, because I felt incredibly strongly that I was having a boy the 1st time around, and I did not. Also, anytime I try to "guess" the sex of anyone else's pregnancy, I am always, always wrong. I've actually had a couple of vivid dreams of having a boy baby, though. If that means anything. Also, in my dream, this baby's name was George. Which, would never have been on my list but now is (because pregnancy dreams always make so much sense).

So, that's it! Weekend time! Mia turns three on Sunday!

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

A 10 day whirlwind

10 days is actually a really long vacation, in the grand scheme of vacations. Mia and I weren't even gone that long when it involved a 10 hour plane right to get to Paris and back. And yet, our little summer trip to Chicago had us away from home from 10 days.

This is basically how I felt the entire time we were away!
We spent a lot of good family time with both my brother and B's family, and I think Mia really got to know that side of the family. I always lived far away from my extended family, but my parents always made an effort to have us spend plenty of time with them when we did travel back to their respective home countries, and I think B and I are doing a good job so far making sure Mia bonds with her far away family members.

We had 2 reasons to make the trip this time. First, for B's younger sister's second baby's Baptism, for whom we were the Godparents. It was a really nice event, and the grandparents really went all out and got their little granddaughter a limo for her grand entrance, much to Mia and her cousin Tyler's delight. Apparently, no car seats are necessary for the 5 minute limo ride!

The rest of the time was basically packed with family activities. Aquarium, tons of restaurant visits (B's idea, not mine since... I am still not keeping all my meals down), and much cousin bonding time. B's family even threw a little early birthday party for Mia (for which we are very grateful, since she now has a full summer wardrobe!!)

Then, B and I drove (yes, DROVE) from Chicago to Charleston, South Carolina for one of my college roommate's weddings. The drive there was pretty miserable, since we were under a time crunch to get there in time for the welcome dinner. We ended up leaving at 1am, for a variety of reasons including bad weather, and its lucky we did, because the drive took about 2 hours longer than google maps said it would. My first trimester sickness gets worse if I don't get enough sleep, so poor B was stuck driving the whole way while I... was just miserable. But! We did manage to get a very good night's sleep, a great day of Charleston sight-seeing, and pulled ourselves together to look dapper at this very fancy, very beautiful wedding.

The only picture we managed to get of our carriage tour. Highly recommended if you go to Charleston!

My most telltale sign of pregnancy: swollen face.

Beautiful Charleston double house
The drive back was significantly better, since we got a full night's rest before embarking on the drive, and made it back in the scheduled google maps time (including 3 hours driven by yours truly). We got back to Chicago with enough time to sleep another full night, pack our bags, drive around to say our goodbyes, load onto our last airplane ride for the foreseeable future, and pull into our driveway by 10pm.

All in all, an excellent trip, with not much drama or controversy to report, and a happy almost 3 year old!

Wednesday, May 7, 2014

The Exhaustion: 10 Weeks

While my Respite has been back (sssh, don't scare it off) for a couple of days, I thought I would finally get the energy to tackle some of the chores that I've been neglecting for the past... 5 weeks. Unfolded, but clean, laundry, unwiped dirty kitchen counter tops, uncleaned bathrooms, unvacuumed floors all sit taunting me as I ail on the couch. 

So far, at the end of every day around 4pm, my back, my abdomen and my upper thighs (read: butt) ache, cramp, and generally hurt. Putting my legs up and reclining my growing self on the couch seem to be the only relief. Our normal routine is totally thrown, both because I have no energy for anything, and because B is now leaving the house so ridiculously early to get across town for his training. Formerly, our mornings were somewhat leisurely. Of course, I never thought so at the time, but I could focus myself on getting Mia ready for daycare, while B got himself ready for work. Then, they'd both leave, at which point I had my breakfast and coffee, before getting myself ready to leave for work. I never realized how this 45 minutes alone really allowed me some time to relax, put some effort into my hair and make up, and give me energy to get through the day.

Now, B leaves before Mia and I are even awake, and once I do get up (sloooooowly), I am getting myself ready to the background noise of Disney Junior and any requests that Mia may have of me, which... are generally numerous. 

"Mama, I don't like these shorts. I only like pink shorts."

"Mama, are you taking a shower? Mama? Can you hear me? Are you all wet??"

and of course, the numerous: "Mama, I need to go potty!" Only to sit on the potty and do... nothing.

While I technically should have enough time to do my full routine, forget the superfluous stuff, because after a dozen interruptions, there just isn't time for it anymore.

B does most of the pick ups, because Mia has been asking for him in the mornings, and so that I can have a few minutes of rest before diving into the evening routine. But, instead of getting a head start on dinner, (or those pesky chores) I end up laying in bed, longing myself to take a 20 minute nap. I never actually manage to fall asleep, but at least I have 20 minutes of quiet time with my eyes closed before those chores can continue to taunt me. 

B has been almost (ALMOST) as exhausted as I am from his new schedule. He has to be up by 5 every morning in order to get himself out of the door by 6:15 to get across town. While he doesn't have any Mia duty, getting up that early and then dealing with his pregnant wife waking him up at 3am to tell him about her dreams can't be an easy task, either. (PS, this dream was a repeater - We are having a boy! And his name is going to be George!)

Monday, May 5, 2014

First Trimester Respite

Somehow, my body allowed me to have a two day break from the dreaded First Trimester Icks. It was glorious, but as I started letting myself relax, eat and think that I might have gotten through the worst of it, it came back in full force on Sunday night at 5pm (and has lasted through this morning). EMBRYO, YOU FOOLED ME!

I woke up on Saturday morning without the normal feeling of dread. It could be because it was already past 8am, my husband and Mia were on their way back from fetching me some fresh everything bagels, but I didn't perform my usual mad dash to the bathroom, and cautiously proceeded with my day. We had very little planned: laundry, groceries, and a trip to Target to find Mia a "Big Sister" shirt. We plan on having Mia wearing her T-Shirt when we touchdown in Chicago on Friday, and seeing how long it takes for B's family to put two and two together. [Spoiler Alert, they don't have them at Target. We had to go to Carter's to find one.] We went grocery shopping, where only a few things made me look away in disgust (Yes, I mean you, chicken and tomato sauce). I was motivated enough to make us a lovely dinner (semi-prepared dinner, Trader Joe's Herb and Garlic Marinated Sirloin Steak with Chimichurri Sauce) with brown rice and green beans. I looked up at B at the end of the day, and pointed out that I had officially gone 24 hours without hunching over a toilet bowl. Hurray! And then, I added: "Maybe something's wrong? Oh, crap." Because, of course that's where a pregnant woman's mind goes.

Sunday morning, we had a bit bigger of a day planned. Big Bank was one of the sponsors for The AFAN Aids Walk, and we had signed up ages ago to participate. We walked it in about an hour and a half, so it was totally manageable and while I was tired at the end of the day, I can hardly classify it as strenuous. It was fun, though! There were a bunch of people from B's work participating, and while everyone kind of dispersed after the walk, it was a pretty fun atmosphere to be a part of. Mia enjoyed the sights of the UNLV campus from her stroller.

While I am lamenting the return of the morning (and afternoon) sickness, accompanied by some pretty serious stomach cramps (I'm sure it's my stomach and not my uterus), I am grateful to have had a nice little break where I was able to think about actually living life in the present, rather than completely focused on this pregnancy and its current side effects. Whoever said that in your second pregnancy, you will sometimes forget that you're pregnant was clearly NOT in their first trimester.

Thursday, May 1, 2014

Coming out!

It's been radio silence over here for a bit, and there's an explanation for that... I'm 9 weeks pregnant! I'm smack in the middle of the first trimester, and having a bit of a rough go at it.

B was confident that he would be getting his promotion sometime in 2014, so we decided not to put off #2 after the January 1st. I scheduled my Mirena removal, but was advised to "wait a couple of cycles" to ensure a healthier pregnancy. Exactly two cycles later, and it was done (and luckily after B got his promotion)!

I found out the day I got back from France, so unfortunately, this baby will have to power through the glasses of wine and unpasturized soft cheeses. In my defense, I really really didn't feel pregnant until exactly the 6 week mark this time around, so I assumed I was in the clear. We had our first ultrasound last friday, at 8 weeks, and I was given a December 3rd due date. Everything looks good, so far!

I'm having a hard time remembering what my first trimester was like with Mia, but I am really thinking that it is much worse this time around. The last time, I was on vacation for my 7th and 8th week, and I think that may have contributed to my fonder memories of the nausea and vomiting. This time around, I am at work, thinking non-stop about how badly I feel, and whether I can rush to the bathroom without attracting too much attention to myself. My doctor assured me that I was in the thick of the bad feelings, and that I should really start seeing some improvement as I get out of week 9. So! One more week of misery, I'm hoping.

Mia was unimpressed when we informed her that there was a baby in my belly. In fact, she says she also has a baby in her belly button. And that baby in her belly button makes her run to the bathroom and hunch over the toilet, too. She is, however, incredibly sympathetic when she sees that I'm not feeling well. It's very, very sweet. But the poor kid has no idea what's in store for her!

Also, if I know you in facebook life, please don't mention anything on there! We haven't told B's family yet, and will be doing so in exactly one week, in person!