Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Size 12 Catch 22

Oh, the curse of women everywhere: I can't feel good about myself unless I'm wearing something I feel good in, but I don't feel good in any of my clothes because I don't feel good about myself because I'm still carrying 10 (cough cough 30) extra pounds.

Good times.

To be honest, I actually think I look pretty good right now.  Sure, I was hoping a little more of the weight would come off on its own and I would get back to what I weighed when I got pregnant so I didn't have to work to re-lose the 10lbs I lost last summer, but I'm back to what I weighed for most of the past three years, so it's really not that bad.  And I don't know if it is still just the rose colored glasses of not being obscenely pregnant anymore or if I actually look better than I did at this same weight last year, but I feel pretty good.


With clothes on it is a different story.  Now, before you go suggesting I buy some new clothes to help me feel better until I lose the weight, let me tell you that fit is not the problem.  Since I have been this weight for years (so pathetic), my wardrobe is full of clothes that are the correct size.  The problem is that even though they are the right size, they just don't fit right.  I have lumps and mush where I don't want lumps and mush, so my clothes bunch or squeeze in places that are less than flattering, regardless of size.  It doesn't really matter how big your shorts are - if your thighs rub together, the shorts are going to ride up.  Attractive!

Not helping matters of course is the fact that it is summer - in cooler temps I can camouflage an midsection ripples with tunic tops or cardigans, and my jeans and leggings stay primarily where they are supposed to be.  Summer clothes are not as accommodating.  tank tops do very little to disguise tummy bulge and fat arms, my shorts are a little closer to sausage casings than I might prefer, and until the last bit of belly goes away all of my sundresses make me look 4 months pregnant again.

Oh well.  It's all part of the process I suppose.  Good thing I hate going outside in the heat anyway - I can stay ensconced in my nicely air conditioned home and my comfy, yet super unflattering cut-off sweatpants until I manage to lose the 5-10lbs I need to for my clothes to hang properly. 

Somebody hide the cookies.

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Three Weeks


Yup, still like her.

I like the horrific bags under my eyes (not especially evident in this photo, but trust me they're there) significantly less however.  At the risk of sounding like a complete asshole, I looked really good my whole pregnancy.  I didn't break out like I did the other times, and my skin was clear and smooth and nice.  Since she's been born my skin has stayed fairly clear, but the lack of quality sleep is really taking its toll.  Beatrice sleeps like a champ, going two or three hours between feedings with one or two longer breaks thrown in for good measure.  Unfortunately, those long breaks are usually in the middle of the afternoon, and she gets hungry with more frequency overnight.  She will also sleep all day long a silent as can be, and then at night she grunts and snuffles and makes all kinds of noises even when she is still sleeping.  So even though I have been getting sleep, it hasn't been more than two hours at a stretch without disruption.

And apparently I need more than that not to be a haggard mess.

The past two nights I have moved the bassinet into the nursery when Beatrice decided to be wide awake and kicking in the middle of the night, and just let her wiggle and grunt and do her thing until she fell back asleep.  I couldn't hear her general noises so I got a longer period of sleep, but I could still hear her if she really started crying and needed me.  I'm not ready to move her out of my room full time obviously, but I'm glad I have this option until she gets her days and nights straightened out a little better and our nighttime feedings get less frequent. I can't tell you how much better I felt after sleeping four hours straight instead of just two.

It looks like I'm going to have to do a lot more work on my post-pregnancy recovery as well.  Everything went down so quickly at first, but now it seems to have totally stalled out.  I was hoping to get a little bit more spontaneous thinning before I had to start working on not being a fat lump. Bummer.

Oh well.  I've been trying to eat a little better the past few days, and if I can get a solid sleep schedule working I can add some of my workout videos into my routine until Bee is old enough to take to the gym.  After nine months of not working out at all, I probably don't have to tell you I am NOT looking forward to this at all.  But I don't want to be mushy forever, so I guess it has to be done.

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Things Are Going Swimmingly

Monday we started our yearly ten days of swimming lessons - probably totally pointless given the short duration of the classes, but it's all we can do at this point since swimming lessons are so expensive.  There really needs to be some sort of swim school that teaches them how not to drown rather than wasting so much time with assisted floating and just putting their face in the water.  I don't care if it's pretty, I just want to know if they fall in they can save themselves since I'm so outnumbered.  It would be nice to have a pool membership during the awful hot summers, but I can't risk taking all four kids to the pool by myself.


Isabelle is doing great - she really picked it up fast last year and was swimming at least a few strokes of freestyle all by herself after about two days - and I'm pleased to see that she has remembered it all.  Of course, they taught her swimming with putting her face in the water (like you are supposed to), but she is still kind of little and doesn't really get how to bring her face back out of the water to breathe during strokes, so she can only go a few feet before she has to stand up and catch her breath.  I know it is probably blasphemous to actual swimmers, but I really wish they just taught them how to dog paddle first.  I'm not looking to join the swim team - I'm looking to feel comfortable with my kids near deep water.  Izzy's class also has a MAJOR prima donna who takes up a lot of the teacher's time, so Izzy spends a fair amount of the class standing and singing in the pool by herself.  But she seems to be having fun, so I guess that's not the end of the world.


Poor Jack got stuck with Sophie in his class, which means instead of being a Green 3 like last year, his level is Green 2 to accomodate her.  And she oh so helpfully stepped off the little table that keeps their heads above water on the very first day, so now they are stuck sitting on the steps and practicing dunking their heads in the water over and over.  Jack, being the reckless daredevil he is (not), does not enjoy putting his face in the water, and therefore he never graduates to harder tasks, like oh, say, SWIMMING.  So he is bored, and miserable, but soldiering on like a champ.


Sophie is not as bored with the class, although she isn't fond of putting her head in the water either so she isn't exactly loving swimming lessons.  Basically she spends the whole class wishing to get in the baby pool where she played during lessons last year.  I can't really blame her - I wouldn't want to just repeatedly dunk my head underwater for 30 minutes.


All in all, I don't see much progress being made this year for any of them, which means I'm to have one kid who can swim sort of as long as the water isn't deeper than her head, and two who can't swim at all.  And an infant.  So, basically what I started with.  I don't know, next year maybe I'll just take them to a pool, push them all in and see who can fend for themselves.  Sink or swim, little monkeys!


Ok.  I'd never really do that.  But I'm thinking we may need to find a way to get them each to a pool one on one and work on some basic 'keep your head above water' type moves.  Hmmm, my aunt has a pool - maybe we need to visit Club Laird.

Monday, June 18, 2012

I Had To Share This

This is fabulous - especially the whole first section on eating and rules for eating.  Just had to share (and no, this has nothing to do with me being too lazy to actually write something myself. Maybe a little.  Okay, fine, I'm totally being lazy)

Laws Concerning Food and Drink;
Household Principles;
Lamentations of the Father - The Atlantic

thanks to my Aunt Laird for emailing me this article in the first place :-)

Friday, June 15, 2012

What (Not) To Wear

Today I took several pairs of my regular jeans out and tried them on. And they all buttoned easily: Pre-pregnancy jeans. Buttoned

Now, to be perfectly honest, I've been about 20lbs heavy for the past several years, so we are talking about fat jeans here, and I am still 10lbs away from what I actually weighed when I got pregnant, but still not too shabby two weeks post birth.

But now the REAL work has to start, and I can't say I'm particularly looking forward to it.

I ate everything I wanted during my pregnancy, and given my crabby mental state the last few weeks that meant a lot of sugary treats. So naturally I'm having a hard time cutting those back out of my diet, not to mention the kids who absolutely benefited from me having cookies and candy around all the time.  I keep thinking I could still buy it for them, but not eat it myself, and we all know what kind of delusional thinking that is!

So it's time to get back on the bandwagon of eating better, and get started with the return to working out.  The gym daycare won't take the baby until she is 6 weeks old, but I have enough exercise videos around that I should be able to at least get a little bit of exercise on my own.  And there is always walking around the neighborhood.  I'm actually really glad that it is summer, because the fact that all my jeans and winter type clothes fit already would probably really deter me from actually getting into shape, but it is summer, and my summer clothes are still too small and uncomfortable on my fat.  Which means I have incentive to get back in shape, but also that I currently have nothing to wear.

Guess I should put down the twizzlers.

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Two Weeks


Today Beatrice is two weeks old.  And still a perfect angel.  She pretty much sleeps all day (and night), only waking up to eat every three hours, although maybe once a day there is an extended period of alertness where she wriggles and kicks and grunts and looks all around.  We are falling into a bit of a routine - I'm getting to know all of her little noises (she is a very grunty sleeper) and in general she has fit herself into the family with barely a ripple.  I'm a little tired from all the sleep disruptions, but it's not hard to get through the day or anything, although I look like I'm not sleeping at all (undereye circle city!).

She had her 2 week checkup this afternoon, and she has gained 11 oz and grown a inch.  The nurse said she'd never seen such a perfect growth curve.  So there you have it - expert testimony that we do in fact make perfect children!

All in all, she is a total pleasure to have.  I think we'll keep her.

Thursday, June 7, 2012

Birth Stories - If You've Read One You've Read Them All Part 4 - Beatrice

part 1 - Isabelle
part 2 - Jack
part 3 - Sophie

You probably thought I'd never get around to actually writing this post, but in honor of her one week birthday, here it is; The story of Bee.

For a long time I really didn't think there would ever be a part four, much less a Beatrice.  And I'm not talking about the weeks and weeks I spent thinking I could go into labor at any moment only to have nothing happen.  (Thanks so much for crying wolf, doctors!!)  I really didn't think we'd end up having a fourth baby at all, and I was sad to think I'd never get to experience pregnancy and labor and having a tiny newborn again.  But fate (and lack of birth control) stepped in and for our anniversary last year I got knocked up.

It wasn't the most fun pregnancy - the first trimester was a mess of vomiting and digestion issues that were considerably less than pleasant.  But after that everything smoothed out, and despite definitely feeling older and less mobile this time around, the remainder of my pregnancy was pretty good.  Even the third trimester wasn't terribly uncomfortable - despite the psychological effects of being constantly told I was likely to have a premature baby only to have nothing happen week after week.  Seriously, I was beginning to think I'd end up going full term and have to be induced, which would have been fine if only I hadn't gotten my anticipation so high by thinking "any day now" for two months!

this is the last picture I took of my pregnant belly - at 34 weeks.  I can't believe I didn't take any pictures the last three weeks! I'm going to be pissed about that for years
But I needn't have worried, the day finally came, and one day shy of full term sweet baby Beatrice was born.  And with such perfect timing too!  After canceling trips for both work and vacation, rushing my mom and then mother-in-law out (from a vacation of her own and while she was sick) to stay with me because I just might go into labor any day, Brett was home for pretty much the entire month of May with no baby.  And then, because we didn't want him to get fired for continually skipping work trips for a labor that despite all appearances seemed to be still weeks away, he finally had to go back on the road last Thursday morning.

So naturally my water broke that morning.

It started like any other day, got up with the kids, made them breakfast, they played and watched tv while I messed around on the computer until about 9:45 when I started getting everybody ready to go to my OB appointment.  Brett texted me to say he landed safely in NYC while I was getting dressed, and after ensuring the other kids were dressed and putting on shoes I grabbed some clothes to get on Sophie.  We got the shirt on just fine, but bending over was no longer an option, so instead I squatted down to help with her pants.

And gush.

Now, my water has never broken on its own before, and I know there are lots of cases where women mistake a leaky bladder for their water breaking, but this was not one of those times.  I knew immediately what had happened.  I got myself taken care of, slapped some shoes on Sophie and headed off to the doctor's office for my appointment.

Once there I did the usual rigamarole of getting weighed (180lbs, boo), providing a urine sample, and then undressing from the waist down (after moving all the chairs in the exam room so the kids present were allowed a vagina free view), and then assuring my children that no, in fact mommy was not peeing herself, the fluid rushing down her legs just meant the baby was going to be born.

The doctor didn't really need to do much verification to prove my water had broken.

I was told I had 2 hours to get to the hospital so I could be put on antibiotics, and then I loaded the kids back in the car and headed for home to get ready.  All the while texting my husband what was going on, and trying to get in contact with my mom to see how quickly she could get here.

Once home I made the kids go in the basement and I think I stood in the kitchen for at least 20 minutes just blankly wondering what to do. I was all packed with a hospital bag, but I had no idea what to bring for them.  How long were they going to be there with me?  Did I need jammies and pillows and toothbrushes?  What toys and games should I bring?  I couldn't think at all, and eventually I just decided to get on the computer and waste some time.  Sensible.

Finally, my mom called to tell me she had gotten a flight that afternoon, and would be there to pick the kids up at the hospital by 5 pm.  I told my husband that everything was going to be covered and he should just stay in New York as planned, and with an ending point in sight I was finally able to make some decisions about what needed to be done.  I made three bag lunches and a bag of snacks, ate something myself, grabbed coloring books and crayons, and almost exactly two hours after my water broke we were back in the car on the way to the hospital.  Once there, I was strapped to the IV, and my kids ate their lunches and sat watching Disney channel and playing like little angels while we settled in to wait.

5-31-12 (1)

And then at 2pm my mom called to say her flight had been cancelled.  Awesome.  And not only that, all flights out of Chicago had been cancelled so she couldn't get another one.  So she and my dad were going to drive instead, which meant they wouldn't get here until 10pm or later.

Time for a new plan.

The kids were pretty much bouncing off the walls at the hospital by this point, so I knew keeping them there with me was not going to be an option.  They weren't bothering anyone but me, but cranky and in labor was not really how I wanted to spend the last day of my pregnancy.  So Brett got a friend of his to come pick them up after work, and at 5:30 pm I handed my car keys and all three of my children off to someone I had never met. (and who proved to be absolutely wonderful, and took great care of the kids - feeding them dinner and putting them all to bed all by himself.  What a hero!)

I had gotten the pitocin about 2pm, literally minutes before my mom called about not getting her flight, but fortunately my contractions didn't start until about 5, so I was very comfortable the whole time my kids were with me.  Once they left I got my epidural, hoping that this time would be more effectual than the other times, and prepared to settle in and wait for delivery.  Everything was fine and dandy for about an hour, and then about 6:30 I started feeling the contractions again through the medication.  They gave me an extra bump, and starting watching me closely because despite all the contractions I hadn't dilated more than a 5, which was pretty much where I had been when I got there.

The pain got worse and worse, but apparently that meant things were working, because 15 minutes later I was fully dilated and ready to go.  The race was on for me to hold on until my doctor could arrive, and just when I couldn't not push any longer and they were getting me set up in the stirrups she walked in.  From there it was three fast and painful pushes and out came baby.  The doctor held her out to me so I was the first one to see (and announce) it's a girl!

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Beatrice Ruth 7lbs 1oz, born 7:19pm 5/31/12

And she is just the most precious little girl ever. Sleeps great, eats well right off the bat, just perfect. Her brother and sisters are completely smitten and ask to hold her all the time, which is just too cute for words. My recovery has been essentially effortless - other than my back and the occasional cramp as my uterus goes back to size I'm not sore at all, which is REALLY nice to say the least.

6-1-12 (4) 6-1-12 (9) 6-1-12 (14) 6-1-12 (26)

All in all, a pretty great experience. Which naturally makes me wish I could do it again. Ha!


ps: you should really go read parts 1, 2 and 3. They are WAY funnier than this one!

Monday, June 4, 2012

Well, That Was Quite A Weekend

Okay, I'm sure everyone is absolutely chomping at the bit to hear all about my weekend and the exciting arrival of our newest little angel (not that I didn't write go over it all on Facebook already) and I promise to have that up in the next day or two.  I'm working on photos (which are really the only reason to have the husband there I'm finding, since the only pictures I have of my and the baby at the hospital were taken by a four year old), and once I get everything uploaded and downloaded and edited and organized-ish I'll be ready to tell the ever so exciting tale.  For now, I'll let you know that we are falling in to at least sort of a routine - Bee just sleeps and looks angelic all day, waking up every so often to eat and look around and hiccup.  The big kids LOVE her, and want to hold her all the time, and it is pretty much the most precious thing ever.  Assuming of course that I let them hold her - I'm pretty stingy about sharing this baby.

But more on that later.  And until then, I leave you with this image:

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Oh how I wish I had my nice camera when the other kids were born! I can't wait to play around with photographing her more - hopefully I can limit the damage I do buying little knit hats and bows on Etsy!