Alec is growing up!

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Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Random thoughts

Alec is almost 6 weeks old.

I have finally come to the realization that I'm a stubborn ass. Ass as in donkey sense of the word. Sometimes, being stubborn has served me well, and has helped me accomplish things that I wouldn't have been able to otherwise. But other times....well...

I *just* called the lactation consultant at the hospital today. I explained that although I have been pumping steadily every 3 hours or so since the first week, my milk supply still leaves A LOT to be desired. By the end of the day, I'm lucky if I can collect a whopping total of 2.5 ounces from both breasts. Alec has only been latching successfully for about 2 weeks now, so he does get nursed (usually) before every feeding with formula. Unless we're out of the house, or when people are over at our house. What can I say? I am a new mum, and very shy and a little on the insecure side about mine and Alec's ability to nurse properly. Even with my mum in town, it was tough for me, as at that point, Alec still wasn't latching without the aid of a nipple shield.

After telling all of this to the Consultant, she basically just let me know that unfortunately, I am just stuck with a low milk supply. But she said to stick with the pumping because then I will give Alec whatever little breastmilk I can. What I can't fathom, is how in the world am I going to keep doing this, without losing my mind!? It's already starting to take a toll on me. I hate it that I can't provide nourishment to my child. I actually can't stand it. I asked her about Reglan (booster for milk supply), and she said that in my case, it wouldn't work.

Anyway...so that's my bitchfest for the week.

In happier news, we had Alec's one month check-up last Wednesday. Our Royal Tininess is no longer so tiny! He weighed in at 7 pounds, 9 ounces (remember, he was born weighing 5 pounds), and is now measuring 20 inches long. Alec changes and grows every passing day. He's now outgrowing some of his newborn-sized clothes....eeek! He eats really well, and is essentially a nice and chill baby.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

4 Weeks Old! (well...almost.)

Tomorrow marks Alec's 4-week birthday. And Saturday, he will officially be one month old.

Time if flying here in our household. I don't even know where it's going.

Ok...well, I do. Kinda. Alec is all-time-consuming. Even though he's a VERY easy baby (so far...I'm hoping I don't jinx myself), he still has to eat every 2-3 hours, sometimes cluster-feeds (a/k/a eating every.single.hour...or more often than that), poops and pees a lot, and just generally is so adorable that I stare at him all day long.

Alec has 1,001 different facial expressions, and 1,002 different little sounds and noises he makes while crying, sleeping, in the middle of pooping, bath-time and his varying states of alertness. Mr. M and I were very fortunate to have been able to have a photographer take Alec's pictures when he was only a week old. Here are a few of the pictures.


As you see, Alec was very alert even though he was only a week old at the time these pictures were taken.

So many milestones to recount, and so many more to come. Alec loves his tummy time on Daddy's chest when he comes from work; he just cozies up to him. He's capable of holding his head up for quite a long time for such a Tininess. Mommy has learned to identify the sound of his cry when he's hungry, when he's pissy or cranky and just wants to cry...or when he's uncomfortable, cold or hot.

Just a sneak preview here, though. We're still getting used to having the camera at arm's reach at all times, and to Alec's timetable, as well as everything parenthood entails. It's difficult. It's rewarding.

And we wouldn't trade it for the world.

Monday, October 11, 2010

Surprise!!

Whomever said that nothing in life is a surprise anymore, is full of crap.

Lentil (a/k/a Alec Keith) was born on Thursday, September 30, 2010 at 6:19 a.m. He wasn't due to arrive until October 20, 2010.

Hmph.

As you all know, my doctor was beginning to have inklings that I may have been measuring too small for the timing of pregnancy, so he scheduled me for a growth ultrasound. During the ultrasound, the technician commented that Lentil's size was fine, but she was questioning the [lack of] amniotic fluid she was able to see. She sent us to the waiting room, and had a conversation with my doctor. In turn, we were sent for, and the doctor basically told us to go straight to labour and delivery. He mentioned low fluids, and the fact that he had no problem with delivering me that very night should the non-stress test at labour and delivery show any fetal distress or anything of the sort.

The longest 5 minutes of my life were spent going from the doctor's office to the hospital (right up the street) and actually walking through the doors of labour and delivery. There, they hooked me up to a non-stress test to monitor the baby's heart-rate for about 20 minutes or so. They then performed another ultrasound, and managed to find a few more pockets of amniotic fluid. All in all, they told us that although my fluids were very low, they were hesitant to induce me - my cervix hadn't even begun to soften or dilate yet; so labour would have very likely been a 3-day long induction. So they released me, with instructions to meet with a perinatologist the next day for another (more in depth) ultrasound and consultation as to induction.

Needless to say, Mr. M, who had been under the weather for a few days at that point, got the 'health' scared back into him. I think it was at this point, that we realized that we were completely unprepared for the tiny life growing inside of me. But holy crap! We thought we had a good three weeks left to finish all the preparations!

Tuesday morning, I think I became a mad woman. In a frenzy, I cleaned the bathroom, did all the dirty laundry, cleaned the kitchen, living room and bedroom. I went to Target to pick up a few last-minute essentials...you know, diapers, wipes, more onesies, etc.

Unfortunately for both of us, Mr. M wasn't able to attend the appointment with the perinatologist. The only time they had available to see me, was at the same time Mr. M had a meeting with a parent. So I went alone, and let me tell you: it was probably the most emotionally draining and difficult hour for me. They did another ultrasound. The doctor, who I might add was absolutely fabulous in his explanations, basically explained that I had little to no amniotic fluid.

Not just that. He added to the laundry list. Lentil was measuring very small...about 2 full pounds under the 'average' inside baby for 37 weeks. Oh. He also happened to mention that the blood flow to Lentil through the umbilical cord was horrible.

I called Mr. M and put him on the phone with the doctor for this news - I'm not that great at sharing bad news like that, and since I have no head for science, I knew I would most likely botch it.

At this point, the perinatologist ordered me (and yes, he ORDERED me) to go directly to labour and delivery. I told him I had to go home, and pack and meet Mr. M. He said ok - but wanted me back at the hospital within three hours.

I went home. Mr. M and I packed our hospital suitcase. We drove to the hospital and checked into labour and delivery by 6pm.

By 7pm, Tuesday, September 28, 2010, they had me hooked up to fluids, pitocin drip and on all the monitors imaginable to mankind. After giving me about two hours' worth of heavy contractions, they deemed Lentil to be strong enough to withstand labour, and threw the idea of a Cesarean Section out the window. Yes, they considered this, since he was so small. I had to let them know that I had been having Braxton Hicks contractions for months...contractions were nothing to Lentil!

They took me off the pitocin at around 9:00 p.m. that night, and gave me some kind of contraption to soften my cervix, since I wasn't dilated at all at this point.

I still had the monitors on my belly. They had to monitor Lentil's heart-rate, as well as my contractions. Lentil kept on kicking at the little thingies attached my tummy, moving around and making the nurses rush into my room because they had lost his heartbeat. Lemme tell ya. Sleeping in a semi-sitting position, with monitors on me, is a PAIN IN THE ASS. Not to mention, being checked every hour.

Enter Wednesday morning. Contractions were coming and going - not really painful, but perceptible enough to make me think or say "hmmm...this is annoying". At around 9 that morning, the doctor came in and checked me - I was 50% effaced, but only 1cm dilated. She took away the cervix softener, and an hour later I was back on pitocin.

Mr. M went home at this point, to grab a few things we'd forgotten as well as to pay attention to Apollo. The poor guy was supposed to go to our friends' house for a few days, but since everything happened so suddenly, it just wasn't possible! The Puppy was a trooper, though!

At around noon or so, I started to feel contractions again that were somewhere between annoying and borderline painful. They weren't regular yet, so the nurse came in every hour to check on me, and increase the dosage of pitocin.

By 6:00 p.m., when the doctor came back to check on me, I was only 2cm dilated, and 60% effaced. By this point, the contractions were coming fast. Fast and HARD. I couldn't sit still, I couldn't do my breathing because I would have started hyperventilating. They were coming 3-4 minutes apart...AND I had that nasty, obnoxious and abhorred back labour. I begged for something to take the edge off; since I wanted to wait until I was 4-6cm dilated to break down and scream for an epidural. Honestly, though, who was I bloody kidding? So, at around 6:30pm, they gave me Fentanyl. That was some good stuff. Mr. M took advantage and went to the cafeteria to get something to eat while I was floating in the nether from it. By 7ish, though, the Fentanyl lost its edge, and the contractions were getting more and more painful with each minute that went by.

At about 9:00 pm, I begged and cried for the epidural...and it was all over and done with by 9:30. In the middle of the stupid needle being inserted, the mother of all contractions hit, and I almost died trying to sit still! But? I got through it, and within minutes of everything being taken care of, I felt no more pain.

At this point, my doctor came in to check on me, and having found that I hadn't progressed effacement and dilation-wise, she decided to break my water. Well...whatever was left of it inside my uterus.

Once this happened, things started to move forward a bit faster. I began to dilate and efface a bit faster, and since they had me on the epidural, they decided to monitor my contractions and Alec's heart-rate internally. I managed to get a little more sleep.

That is...until the nurse rushed in at around 2:00 a.m. because Alec's heart-rate had dropped severely. She placed me on the oxygen mask, and made me move around in the bed. It was tough. I couldn't move my legs without assistance, and the first thought going through my mind was that they were going to throw me onto the operating table for a section. After a while of trying to get Alec's heart-rate back up, the nurse went and got the doctor who ordered that my uterus be filled up (again) with saline solution.

I take it that this made Alec go "ahhhh....I can swim again...I'm happy". Heart-rate back up, Mommy back to sleep. But this ordeal lasted a good hour. I had already woken Mr. M up, and so we were both worried about how this delivery would end up. Neither of us wanted me to end up with a C-Section, although we both wanted a healthy baby.

Towards 5:00 a.m., I started to feel the sensation that I was ready to push, and so the doctor came in to check on me at about quarter till six, and said that I was fully dilated.

They set up the room, pulled out all the machines (and yes, they are scary-looking!), took away the foot of my bed. I woke up Mr. M again. It was time.

At 6:19 a.m., Thursday, September 30, 2010, Alec Keith M was born. I pushed for a whopping total of 7 minutes, maybe three or four times. It was tough, trying not to push with my facial muscles, but with my abdominal muscles. But I did it!

It was an amazing feeling. I didn't feel any pain...just pressure. Mr. M, who had been adamant throughout the pregnancy that he would NOT cut the umbilical cord or look 'down there', did both. As Alec's head was crowning, the doctor, nurse and obstetrics resident asked Mr. M if he wanted to look at it. To this day, he swears that it was the fuzziness, the fact that he was just waking up that induced him to take a peek, but he did it. He was really surprised that what he saw was this head full of black hair peeking out! Not only did he do this, but when Alec was done being pushed out, the doctor just handed him the scissors and just asked him to cut the cord. Not IF he wanted to cut it...but just...'cut it, dude'.

Mr. M was given the chance to announce the sex of our first-born child. He will always be proud of the moment when he said "I see balls". He was given a chance to see a live birth in progress, one of the most beautiful things anyone can experience. I am so proud of him. He was there with me from the beginning of the induction till the end, with the exception of a few hours to go home to check on Apollo, and to take a decent shower. He held my hand when my contractions were enough to send me over the edge, and I wasn't sure I could go any longer. He stroked my hair, and lost sleep. He was my rock.

I wouldn't have been able to do this without him.

Due to the fact that he was born weighing a whopping total of 5 pounds (yes...5. Even), Alec was whisked onto the heating and check-out area immediately after birth, where he pronounced healthy. I didn't get to hold him until about 45 minutes after he was born.

Although I tried nursing him as soon as I was able to hold him, I wasn't able to. He did take a bottle of formula, though. After this, the nurse took him to the nursery, where they performed all the rest of the health testing. Mr. M went with them, while another nurse stayed with me, and helped me make sure I was capable of moving. They had taken out the epidural equipment soon after Alec was born, but they wanted to make sure I was able to walk without wobbling, and go to the bathroom. HOLY SHIT. That hurt. I was not aware that after almost 12 hours of being catheterized, it would hurt so much to go pee normally! But? I was able to walk. Perfectly. So I was able to walk down from Labour and Delivery to the Family Center. I felt so odd, but proud as I walked down the corridors wearing nothing but my hospital gown and slippers. I made it through labour and delivery, and was able to walk soon thereafter.

The rest of our stay at the hospital was pretty normal. Alec, being so tiny, was miraculously allowed to room-in with us. Every time they wheeled him out to the nursery for testing, or shots, I felt this heaviness in my heart. Neither Mr. M or I liked it when this happened. This is why we roomed in with him. We also felt that regardless of whether or not he was sleeping in our room, our sleep would be interrupted anyway, for feedings. I also think it was Night Number 2 with Alec, that we got peed on for the first time, and had I not been swift with the washcloth, I would have been pooped on, as well...all of this, at 3:00 a.m.

This past week has humbled me beyond reason. Alec has been taking his sweet time in learning how to latch at my boob, so I have to use what I call my 'third nipple' so that he can nurse for a little bit before we must supplement with formula. The most difficult part of this is, even if he latched on beautifully, my milk supply is horrible - and I mean HORRIBLE. Alec feeds for 5 minutes, and he's still starving. When I pump, I'm lucky to get an ounce of milk from both boobs. Alec is taking 2 ounces of formula at this point.

I have also managed to cry more frequently in this past week than I did my entire pregnancy. Everything and anything is making me cry. When I think about my milk supply, I cry. When I think that I can't be a wife to my husband, I cry. When I'm in pain because I'm still recuperating, I cry. When I realize that my physical limitations are far more right now than while I was pregnant, I cry. I cry out of sheer exhaustion.

I guess my most important crying is done while I sit there, with Alec in my lap or arms, and I marvel at the simple perfection that Mr. M and I have created. This life, this little bundle of love that was born, under imperfect circumstances due to unknown reasons, three weeks early. We call him our Royal Tininess. We loved him before he was born, and now that he's here on Earth, we love him even more.

Thursday, September 23, 2010

36 weeks down, 4 weeks to go....

What are another 4 weeks of waiting for the wee one to arrive, I ask of thee?

Not much, actually. Time is flying by. But I did just give Lentil the green light to come as of now - we had our [surprise] baby shower last weekend (thank you, Mrs. C!!). Got some of what we need. Should I go into labour right now, the only thing missing would be Mr. M (I'm NOT driving myself to the hospital...can you imagine getting pulled over by a cop while you're in labour for speeding???). He's at school for their yearly open house, and meeting all the parents. Poor guy. He'll be home at 10ish, and he'll be exhausted. Good thing tomorrow's Friday, and the only thing we have going on this weekend is a puppy play date with Apollo's good buddy, Rook. Oh...and baby shopping.

Anyway. Lentil now has the green light. Both from Mummie, and the OB. Scary, huh? Car seat is installed - just have to get it inspected. We have what we're using as the bassinet. We have a few onesies and newborn gowns, socks and hats, and some mittens. We do have some wipes, and a few of the cloth diapers I wanted to try. We have a few bottles, and a Diaper Genie that probably won't be the best to use with cloth diapers (meh...oh well). We still need a lot. But most of it is stuff that can be ordered online for much cheaper than BRU anyway. And...thanks to my mum, we have a Sleep Sheep. Lentil's going to LOVE that - I love it...!

Onto the shower. I seriously haven't the slightest clue how Mrs. C pulled this off, but she did. She was in cahoots with Mr. M, his mother, my mother, and my step-MIL...supposedly, we were going to go apple picking...so Mr. M and I got there, and surprise! Everyone is in Mrs. C's backyard! It was a huge surprise, even though I had suspicions - Mr. M almost screwed up because of some phone calls the day before, and when we pulled up at her house, I saw all of these cars...my SIL's included. So...therefore, I was highly suspicious. Anyway, so a day that I wore my favourite green cargo pants (basically, the only comfortable article of clothing I own that isn't yoga pants), and my tennies, I had my shower! It was very exciting. I'm definitely not good at being the center of attention, but I tried my best! Mr. M was grinning ear to ear when he saw my face. That was actually priceless.

All in all, I would call the shower a great success. Still stuff to buy, but oh well. It's the nature of the beast. I honestly would have preferred to purchase our own cloth diapers, for example...and yes, I do have to point out that a breast pump is a pretty personal purchase, as are all the accessories for it. That is something that we do need to get ASAP, as I would like to try to pump as soon as I can...so that Mr. M can have that special bonding with Lentil, as well.

Oh...in case you're doubtful, I promise you, it's not a miniature watermelon I'm growing in my tummy. I guarantee that it's a human being...one who likes to poke and kick me everywhere, wakes up in the mornings with hiccups, LOVES Smarties, parks his/her butt right below my ribcage and has already decided to start descending.

Yup. Lentil is dropping...everyday, I notice a bit more breathing room...and less peeing room. And more space in my tummy to eat those Smarties he/she loves so much. We had our first of the weekly check-ups yesterday with the OB. I also had my first internal examination, which showed no 'progress'...which I'm fine with - basically, although Lentil is dropping, my cervix is still long, and closed. This is good news. Oh...and I've gained 4 pounds in the last 3 weeks. I also got to hear Lentil's heartbeat twice, since Mr. M arrived at the appointment late, the OB did another doppler check for his sake. Oh...I also got to hear my OB give Lentil a private rendition of Let It Be, by the Beatles. Strong heartbeat aside, the OB still wants to do a growth ultrasound...despite the fact that everything else seems to point to healthy baby. He says it's a precaution. So this will get done this coming Monday. I guess at this point, he'll make a decision with us as to what needs to be done, if, in fact, his hypothesis that Lentil is small is correct.

As some of you know, Mr. M and I had decided early on that we were going to do our best to use cloth diapers and try to avoid disposables. There's just a lot of crap in disposables that we're not too wild about thinking of being such close proximity to Lentil's butt and nether regions. Not only that, but the environmental impact, should we use our own machines to launder the diapers, in conjunction with detergents that are 'good' for the environment, is much lesser; as well as the economical standpoint. We are very fortunate to have our own washing machine and dryer, and although we pay for electricity, the water is included in our rent...and when the weather's clear, I do plan on line-drying the diapers - which is better for them, anyway, as for their absorbency, etc., and also intend on using a detergent that is pretty economical. All of this being said, we were originally going to use an actual diaper service. You know, the one that comes and picks up all the poopie diapers and leaves fresh, clean ones in exchange...once a week. I searched, and I searched. There is ONE service for the tri-state region of New Jersey, New York and Connecticut. Luckily, they charge a flat fee of $23.00 per week for the service we need. However, after doing the calculations for the rough guesstimate of 2.5 years before Lentil is potty-trained, hiring the diaper service would not make financial sense for us, since we will want to use them for the subsequent child(ren). So we (or better yet, I) decided that we would just suck it up, make that initial investment of a couple hundred dollars in a good set of cloth diapers, diaper pins (or snappies) and diaper covers. This way, we have them, they are ours, and this way, we can try out a few different styles, types and kinds and choose which ones we prefer. Mr. M was a tough sell. He mentioned all the organic disposables there are out there. He mentioned the upfront cost of cloth diapering. I fought back...teeth and nail. I mentioned the organic disposables have really shitty (no pun intended) reviews. I mentioned the ability to RE-USE the cloth diapers we OWN on subsequent child(ren), or the ability to either sell second-hand, give away, or just use them for dust rags. I WANT to cloth diaper. Maybe I'm a masochist who likes to smell poopie diapers, and stick her hands in the toilet to rinse out fresh poop. I really don't care! This is what I believe in, and at least I'm not asking him to do the work. And...for the reasons stated above, I believe in them, and think they are the best choice for us as a family. He finally gave in. Yay! I think he realized that there may very well just be a method to my madness. At least I'm not insisting on co-sleeping. He'd probably shit a brick if I mentioned that.

Lentil has decided to give me some pretty decent contractions tonight. I'm going to bed in hopes of them going away.

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Thursdays....

Yuck. Why can't it be tomorrow yet?

If it were tomorrow, that would mean that Mr. M could come home from school, and curl up with me on the couch.

If it were tomorrow, I would be two more days closer to going apple picking with my best friend and her family.

If it were tomorrow, I would be four more days closer to meeting the pediatrician that is most likely going to be Lentil's doctor. And he's from Argentina. Sweet.

Or even yesterday. It was Hump Day.

Yesterday was also my very own 35/35 day. This means that I am 35 weeks along, and have 35 days to go until my estimated due date...for some reason, every instinct is telling me that Lentil is impatient to come out.

For the past few months, I've been getting those annoying little Braxton Hicks contractions, wherein my tummy feels like it's seizing up for a few moments. They don't hurt, they just kind of stop me in my tracks in surprise. For the past few days now, I've felt those same contractions, but they're beginning to hurt...along with cramping. These cramps are not that painful....yet. But they take me by surprise, and wake me up at times. I also feel 'off'. You know that feeling that things are just a little off-kilter? That feeling. Or maybe that's because my growing belly causes me to lose balance easily.

I get yelled at by Mr. M because I overdo myself. In turn, I get yelled at by the Step-MIL for overdoing it. I have these really strong urges to nest, to organize and to clean, but I can't. On Monday, I did the dishes, swept the floors, and made the dough for pizza. By the time Mr. M got home from work, I was on the floor. I could barely move, and contractions were coming fast. Seriously, if this is how the next few weeks are going to be, I want Lentil OUT. Ok. I take that back. I don't want Lentil out of my tummy. Lentil is NOT to come out of tummy for at least for the next 2 weeks when the doctor considers me full term.

But then, Mr. M threatens to tell on me to Mrs. C, my BFF, who will kick my butt from here to Timbuktu.

Anyway. Here's to hoping we have another few weeks of being Lentil-free. Apollo Puppy has injured himself, and is a handful.

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Insanity

The Lists that I have been so proud of myself for keeping are beginning to drive me insane. When I think of something that needs doing, I put it on the list. The funny thing is, why don't I just go do it...right then and there? Wouldn't this kill the need for lists?

Not so.

Up until a few weeks ago, I refused to keep a list. If something needed doing, I just did it, no ifs ands or buts. Unless, of course, it involved something toxic to Lentil, or doing it outside in the extreme heat we've had in our neck of the woods this summer. Mr. M came home once to find me curled up in bed crying because I was so tired of being stuck inside in the air conditioning. I'm seriously done with this heat.

Ahh. Hold on. This is yet another bone I must pick with society in general. People seem to think that a pregnant belly is public property, and therefore must touch it. Do NOT touch my tummy unless I know you, and have given you permission. The only exception is if I broke this golden rule myself and touched your tummy without permission. I also have a HUGE problem with negative and pessimistic people who have begun telling me how horrible this last stretch of pregnancy (no pun intended) is going to be. Sample conversation:

Person: "So, Mrs. M, how are you feeling these days?"

Mrs. M: "Thanks, I feel great. Asides from the random heartburn, I can't complain. Take away the humidity, and I'd be outside in a jiffy."

Person: "Wow, just wait. You'll get to a point that you can't wait any longer to have this baby, and you'll start feeling fat and hot and miserable."

First off, who the hell said that pregnancy has to be one big dosage of Misery? I'm sorry if I offend you, but I have fully ENJOYED my pregnancy. First trimestre was tough with the lethal flatulence, peeing all the time and exhaustion. Second trimestre was great. Third trimestre is great, as well. Yes, I STILL have the same lethal flatulence. The heartburn can get really painful and annoying at times. I swell up a bit when it's humid outside. I forget almost everything. And....yes....my tummy is really big (although from what I've heard, it could be bigger!). I never even once got nauseated. Ok. I take that back; when I'm hungry, I get a little nauseated. But - I never threw up. Lentil has NEVER tortured me to the point that I'm sick. Lentil likes to retaliate for something he/she didn't like by giving me heartburn.

So. The moral of the story? I LOVE being pregnant. I can't bloody wait to do it again**.

**DISCLAIMER: Give us a few years, though. We want to be in a home we own, instead of rent, before we have Number Two.

So, people, please...kindly...I beg you...to stop telling me how much I'm going to suffer these last few weeks. Let me enjoy them. Let me bask in my happiness. I adore the little life growing inside of me who happens to be stealing my food, my nutrients, and also...making the moons in my toenails pink. This little life who loves to stretch out and kick/punch in the middle of the night - startling me into consciousness. I wouldn't trade this for the world.

Also. While I'm complaining about negative and pessimistic comments. Please stop telling me that I "won't be able to take the pain of labour". I don't know about you, and I don't know how painful it is (obviously), but I do know that I have a crapload of confidence in my ability to do anything I put my mind to. Don't forget, we have that Big Surprise of finding out if Lentil is a girl or a boy at the end of it all. For me, there will be a double light at the end of the tunnel. No, I'm not kidding myself into thinking that the pain will be non-existent. I know it will be painful. But to some it's tolerable, and to others, it was unbearable. But I plan on delivering Lentil without painkillers, and hopefully without a single 'medical intervention'. Mr. M and I have been preparing for this for a looong time. So please don't tell me I'm naive and going into this unprepared and all that. It's truly offensive.

While I'm on this tirade. STOP telling me that I don't know human suffering until I have a newborn. STOP telling me to sleep now because I won't sleep for 16 years once Lentil is here. STOP making yourself sound as though motherhood was the worst thing that happened to you. I obviously realize that newborns will be hard work. Motherhood is hard work. But I also realize that your situation is what you make of it. And to those who didn't sleep for 16 years? That sounds like a bloody personal problem. If parenthood were so physically demanding, the human race would have died out centuries ago. At the very least, we are so lucky to be parents in this day and age - with the advent of safety technology, medical science on our side and the internet; have all made parenting a lot easier, than let's say, for our parents. Babies and children haven't changed much in the last few generations - but what we know about them has changed.

I'm not expecting parenthood to be puppies and rainbows. If it turns out that we have an easy baby/child, then so be it, and we will count our blessings. But if we have a tough baby, we sure as hell won't be cursing the day I peed on a stick. We know that life will be full of ups and downs, difficulties and others. We don't need it permanently inked on our foreheads.

I guess the point of this entire post is: stop being a bloody pessimist! I can't stand being around people like that - and Mr. M is quickly becoming weary of them himself...and we all know he has the patience of a saint.

Life is what you make of it. Don't underestimate the power of personal choice. Knowledge is power. This is why I do all the research I can get my hands on. This is why I have written a simple, short and sweet birth plan for my doctors and nurses. This is why Mr. M and I have decided to do things OUR way. We have done the research, read the books. We take what we want, and mix it all together. Will we make mistakes? Hell yes. Plenty of them. But mistakes are meant to be learned from, and if we don't make them, how will we learn? Let us embark of this journey and adventure called parenthood as a unit, as a couple...suggestions will be welcomed, weighed, thought of. If we like it, we will try it out. If not, don't be offended.

Also. NOBODY other than Mr. M, the doctors and nursing staff at the hospital are to be allowed in our hospital room before I deliver Lentil. This will be OUR moment. We want it to stay that way. And please don't be offended should we wait a few hours to allow visitors once Lentil arrives. Let us have that bonding time as parents.

Monday, September 6, 2010

Random thoughts

There are a few different blogs I read - namely, they are written by fellow Bumpies. In case you're wondering, a 'bumpie' is someone who frequents www.thebump.com, and utilizes said site's message boards. A lot of times, we are the girls who swore by www.theknot.com while planning our weddings, and therefore, were on www.thenest.com after tying the knot.

Since Mr. M and I are not very 'normal', and it just so happened to be that we got knocked up before we got married, I first belonged to the Bumpie group, then the Knottie and will always receive email reminders as a Nestie, to remember my husband's favourite dish; as well as step by step instructions on how to host the perfect multi-family get-together.

These boards are a lot of fun, and the Bumpies have provided me with some much-needed laughter, support and sometimes correct information throughout my pregnancy. Unfortunately for me, sometimes I feel pretty isolated from the rest of the world since I live so far away from my friends, and have no family in the area...I see my friends every chance I get, but they have their lives and families - it's tough to ask for more.

Anyway, onto other matters.

I've realized that I need lists. LOTS of them. I have a to-do list for the little post-wedding get-together we're hosting this weekend. I have a to-do list for cleaning. I have a to-do list of things to ask our landlord to fix. I also have an All Things Lentil To-Do List. I have a Master To-Do List. This being said, I need to add a few things to the Master To-Do List: Apollo seems to have lost his rabies tag, along with his name tag...please don't ask me how. So I need to call the vet for a replacement rabies tag, go to Petsmart, and make him a new name tag, and then go to Town Hall to re-register him in our current town. If I don't have lists, nothing gets accomplished because if I don't write it down, I forget about within ten minutes.

In honour of Lentil being 6 weeks away from being fully baked, I will actually admit that Mr. M found stretch marks on my tummy the other day. I'm quite upset...and a bit curious. I've been pretty good throughout my pregnancy about rubbing cocoa butter on my tummy every day after my shower. I mean, the marks look like they may be pretty superficial instead of the deeper ones I've seen on other people. Let's hope they fade. People, cross your fingers for me!

Mr. M is officially back in school now, so this means I will more than likely be more available to blog. Here's to more blogging in the home stretch!

Friday, September 3, 2010

Pregnancy Thus Far

I think I've reached a point in my pregnancy where it's finally dawning on me that there is NO turning back. Lentil is set to arrive in roughly 6.5 weeks, and, as the OB said yesterday, is in a beautiful position - having flipped over at some point in the past month or so...from being in breech position.

That said, I've gained a whopping total of 14 pounds. I'm having a really tough time imagining that I will gain the rest of the weight between now (September 3rd) and October 20th, since the OB told me that I should expect (or want) to gain somewhere between 25 and 30 pounds. Maybe Lentil is really small...who knows? The OB wants to do an ultrasound in two or three weeks (my first internal exam will be in two weeks, along with my Group B Beta Strep test...yay); at which point I will be 35 weeks, and one week away from being considered full term.

Mr. M and I aren't close to ready, either. Everyone keeps on telling us to stop buying things, waiting for the baby shower - which is a surprise (Mr. M knows, but will be murdered if he tells me, or so I hear) - so I haven't really bought much. I mean, we have a few odds and ends, the crib (sans mattress), a Pack 'n Play and a stroller; but that's it. We do need to order the car seat, though, just in case Lentil decides to come early.

The funny thing is, I just realized this: I'm NOT afraid of labour. I'm NOT nervous about taking care of another human being, one that is much smaller, defenseless, and needs me more than the air he/she will breathe. I am NOT scared of raising another human being; someone with morals, beliefs, respect for him/herself and others.

I know it sounds funny, but I really feel as though I was meant to be a mother. The idea of motherhood doesn't bother me, nor does it scare me. I feel as though we will transition relatively well into parenthood, both individually and as a couple.

I feel as though this entire pregnancy has been spent warding off the sort of heartburn that may make purchasing stock in Tums worthwhile, as well as Gas-X to counter the epic proportions of lethal gas. I eat an average of at least one Large bottle of Tums per week, or drink a few bottles of Mylanta. The heartburn is BAD...but...I'm resigned to the fact that I'm giving birth to a monkey. Lentil actually BETTER have that full head of thick, dark hair that the Old Wives Tale talks about...or I'll be pissed! As for the lethal gas? Hmmm. Poor Mr. M. Although his mother and sister both insist that he's only getting what he deserves, I still feel for the guy - I can barely stand my farts sometimes. Luckily, the gas isn't even half as bad now as it was up until about 3 months ago.

Anyway, here is my Lentil Tummy, in all its glory. I decided to do a bare belly photo just because.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

For crap's sake, people!!

People can be really selfish and assuming sometimes, ya know? Mr. M and I tied the knot on August 15th, in front our family. Yes, yours truly did have her two best friends present with their families.

Ahem.

Mr. M had his sister with her little family, his parents, step-brother and step-sister with their respective significant others; as well as an aunt and an uncle.

I had my two (2) parents there. My father almost wasn't able to make it due to monetary constraints - his flight was booked less than 24 hours prior to him leaving to come here.

So, you see, when you think about it, I needed my little 'adoptive' family around me. I simply could not have done this without the help and support of my two best friends - two glorious women who have been there for me through both amazingly great, and dreadfully sad moments throughout the last eight (8) years of my life.

Some people were a bit upset that they weren't able to take the groom out for a last hurrah as a singleton. May they please also realize that the bride wasn't able to have a last little hurrah, either.

Our wedding was planned in four (4...yes...4) weeks. We put together the menu, made our own little invitations, made sure we had everything in order...in four weeks. Yes, we had 20 people at our wedding - that didn't make it any less stressful to plan. Most weddings take an average of one to two years to plan.

Not to mention I made our wedding favours for the guests. From scratch. I also made my bouquet, as well as Mr. M's boutonniere, my own jewelry (and a matching necklace for the Flower Girl).

There was no time for a last singleton night out on the town with friends. There was no time for a bridal shower. Well, one of my two amazing women got us a delicious cake for while the manicures and pedicures were being done, and was able to snag balloons and a bottle of Champagne for this, as well. So, I guess it can be said that she treated it as a mini-shower. Unfortunately, the other amazing woman had to work - otherwise, she would have been there.

I guess what I don't understand is why can't people just be happy for us? That's the only thing we ask for. While some people have congratulated us, they gave us a guilt trip for not having 'allowed them' the time for some fun and games before we tied the knot...or for simply not including them in the celebration. Yes, we may have told some of our friends about our plans only a week or two in advance; but the majority of our friends didn't find out until after the fact.

I guess what we learned is that you can't make everybody happy. It's unfortunate - but true. Ultimately, we decided to do what was best for us, our individual situation, and given the time constraints, we luckily had an amazing wedding day. We were happy. It was our day.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Ummm, how do I say this?


I am now a married woman!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Ok. Those who know me know that I don't have the patience to beat around the bush. So there. I said it.

It went very smoothly...ok. I walked down the aisle with my dad and forgot to bring my self-made bouquet. I was so nervous in the right-before moments, and during the ceremony, you could literally SEE my tummy moving because Lentil was kicking so hard. My heart was in my throat. But it was amazing. Seeing Mr. M's face when he saw me was absolutely priceless.

Unfortunately, this pregnant brain was having a tough time in the preceding days with organization and being-nice skills. Apparently, I was a complete Bridezilla the day of. My own mum got pissed at me - I don't blame her.

So. I'm officially a Mrs. now. We're so happy and excited, and it was absolutely fabulous to share this day with close-close family, and my two best friends who are like my family from here. The food was delicious. My dad devoured (I'm serious!) his filet mignon in about 5 minutes. He LOVED it! I do have to say, the food was amazing, asides from my Bridezilla episodes, I think everything went smoothly. The weather could have been a bit drier, as it was excruciatingly humid, something which attributed to my mood. After the ceremony, I tried (unsuccessfully, I admit) to sneak inside to cool down a bit, but the photographer (who was amazing!) kidnapped Mr. M and me to take photos. My mum wanted some by a tree - which, after much ado, did get done and I admit they came out beautiful - we had to take parents photos, and so forth.

One of my best friends mentioned to me (ok...I'll give you credit, Mrs. C!) that I needed to give the photographer a list of all photos I wanted (people-wise). She told me to do this about 2 weeks ago. She reminded me on Friday. I wanted nothing to do with it! I seriously wanted to wing the photography thing. Especially since it wasn't originally in the plan, and was thought of and finalized at 2 weeks prior to the wedding. I wanted to wing the photos. I wanted everything candid, and completely informal.

PSA: this, my dearies, does NOT work. Although I haven't seen the final product from the photographer, I completely forgot to ask for photos of my parents WITH Mr. M's parents! Not good. I think these would have been some pretty important pictures to have. Oops.

My fault.

Oh. And my dress! Had we done this 5 days later, I highly doubt it would have fit my tummy. It wasn't very comfortable, and I'm a little upset about it, but how could I know how fast Lentil would grow!?

Oh well. I'm a Mrs. now, and this is really what's important, no?

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Countdowns, parties and travel

I have 77 days to go if Lentil decides to put in his/her appearance on our due date. I couldn't help but to post this picture - the little girl in it is my best friend's little girl...she's the light of my life!We really need to start doing the nursery. And in doing so, I've told Mr. M that we cannot accept that ugly chair that my sister in law thinks is OK to give to us. This chair I speak of, isn't even safe for a nursery...it tilts, can squash tender little hands and feet underneath it....and it's FUGLY. It seriously looks like something a bear tried to eat and upchucked (pattern-wise).

In two weeks, Mr. M and I will be tying the knot. The event will be a small one, with only family members there - sorry to all of the friends we would otherwise LOVE to have there with us on this very important day in our lives. We will throw a nice get-together once Lentil arrives, and it will be a celebration of all things Life and Love.

Mr. M and I were in Canada last week visiting my aunt and uncle. We really had a blast. The Niagara Falls area is so pretty, and it was just simply so relaxing to be up there. Apollo Puppy came with us, and really made us proud. He behaved himself like the lover-puppy I always brag about to people. Being able to see my aunt, uncle, cousin with her two kids, my mum's best friend and my oldest (since birth!) friend with her new family; was wonderful. We saw Toronto, Niagara Falls, Niagara on the Lake, went to a winery and tasted some yummy wines, and Apollo Puppy made a new friend in my uncle! I devoured a Yogen Fruz frozen yoghurt (the closest one to where we are is in Philly) made with blueberry, blackberry and raspberry. I almost meowed with pleasure.

All in all, it was the perfect little getaway for us, we spent very little money, got away from everything and everyone for a few days, and we truly enjoyed our first vacation together. We also let it serve as a combination pre-honeymoon/babymoon. The driving was a bit tough, though. We made about 5 pee stops for me - not Apollo Puppy - before I realized that we were better off trying to stop on an hourly basis or something. Muuuch better. Driving is fun with Mr. M. He thinks my temper outbursts are funny...so he makes fun of them, while I yell at other drivers, he's sitting there laughing. Apollo Puppy...poor thing. He had to be given some Dramamine to knock him out for the trips because he was getting too excited and/or freaking out. Back to matters regarding Lentil. I still have some pretty nasty and obnoxious heartburn. I pee a lot - although I realize it's going to get worse. I'm getting kicked and jabbed quite often. Usually when I'm driving, hungry or have to pee. I think Lentil's in there going"Hmmm, Mummie has a full bladder...let's kick her and make her pee herself!". It's not very pleasant. My feet are beginning to swell. Not too bad, but still noticeable. At least my engagement ring still fits. I do think pregnancy has made my hair curlier than it usually is - making sure it doesn't frizz is annoying, though. Asides from that, I've been told by many that I look beautiful. Not sure if they mean it, but it definitely makes me feel better about myself.

Ok...now. If I can get the favours for our wedding done, I can move on to more permanent crafty things. Such as the nursery. I am going to have a blast doing that.

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Do I really need this?

I'm not sure if I need to title my entries....do I? Last I checked, I'm pregnant, so I'm allowed to get away with murder if need be.

I seriously used the 'pregnant' line for the first time the other day. It was to avoid having to go to TWO places in New York to run an errand for a family member. One place would have been Brooklyn, and the other place would have been JFK Airport. I despise (with a passion) going to JFK - I get lost every single time I go there. No joke. So I said "Jillian, I'm 7 months pregnant, I'm not about to go schlepping all over New York in the dead heat of summer".

This was the first time I used that line - and yeah, it felt good! I rarely say no, and when I do, there's generally a very good reason. I simply hate going to JFK...and much more when I'm in a car in which the AC doesn't work, being 7 months pregnant, having to pee every 10 minutes, as well as the fact that it's hot....and we're talking New York here. To those who know me, I've never been one to shy away from the heat - but the fact that we're going through one of the hottest summers on record for the past 10 years or so, I'd like to keep Lentil inside my tummy baking for at least another 10 weeks...and overheating can cause preterm labour. Not fun.

On other matters...I think I'm getting bruised on the inside. Lentil has been practicing for either Cirque du Soleil acrobatics, or for the next World Cup. Last week, Lentil was really quiet, almost to the point I almost asked for an ultrasound. I guess I should be careful what I ask for, since Lentil has since kicked up the action a notch, and is back to kicking my uterus into a nice, flat pillow. Generally, those kicks and punches are landing either right below my rib cage or belly button...but I do get a few kicks here and there to my bladder - which is so not fun when it's full.

Oh.My.God. Holy shit. We are now in THIRD TRIMESTER. I seriously can't believe how quickly this pregnancy has gone by! Lentil is set to arrive in approximately 12 weeks, which translates into 3 months, which directly means that in about 90 (yes....NINETY!!!!) days, Lentil should be here. Unless, of course, Lentil is like Daddy, and will decide to arrive fashionably late. I'm hoping Lentil is right on time. It was a bit hard to calculate - even with the ultrasound measurements - since I was on birth control when I got knocked up. And Mr. M and I happen to shag like rabbits...hence making finding even the approximate date of conception almost like finding a needle in a haystack.

Mr. M decided to put up his own blog. His is not about the fact that we're about to get hitched, or about the impending arrival of Lentil. It's about the slow, torturous death of Rock 'n Roll as he knows it. It's quite funny to read - he seriously hates anything that has anything to do with modern rock or pop music.

I've been yelling at Mr. M. He's slacking at his Daddy Job of helping me take tummy photos. Oh well...I may be relegated to doing them myself in the mirror again.

Monday, July 12, 2010

Oh, quiet, how I cherish thee....

For some oddball reason, I absolutely love the fact that I am home alone tonight, with nothing but the sound of ceiling fans, Apollo Puppy snoring next to me on the couch, and a few random street noises from passing cars.
Mr. M is in NYC tonight with some of his mates, living it up. I take it this will be his last boys' night out as a singleton....so he's at Madison Square Garden, catching one of his favourite bands live: Iron Maiden.
Yup. You heard me: Iron Maiden. I am with a metal-head. Surprised, anyone? I surprised myself by falling for one. But seriously, it's one of the only things in our personalities that's a major difference.
What we have failed to disclose to most people, is that by the time Lentil is going to arrive, I will be a complete, 100% Mrs. M. We decided that my body will be holding Lentil hostage until I'm a married and honest woman.
The festivities will be held sometime in mid-August...and VERY small. Only family will be involved, since it is, afterall, a shotgun wedding.
::::GASP::::
I'm getting hitched in a shotgun wedding...who would of thought!?!?! Me, the consumate snob extraordinaire, who has done nothing but judge her own self for getting knocked up out of wedlock.
We're excited to do this, though. It's a step that would have been taken with or without the Lentil's imminent arrival, at some point in the near future - we just would have had an actual engagement, which would have been nice, but this is fine. We bought our rings, and I found and purchased my gown. It's beautiful. If it weren't for the possibility that Mr. M may see it, I would post it. But....here are our rings! FYI, my center stone is NOT a diamond. It's a white sapphire, which is equally as beautiful and brilliant. Being about 1 and 3/8 of a carat in size, the stone would have cost us a mint had it been a diamond. The nice thing is, the rest of the ring and wedding band are real diamonds...small, which I love. This was both beautiful for me, and very cost-efficient. The beautiful part is, since we didn't get an actual engagement, I'm still getting my e-ring as part of my bridal set. I'm happy. Mr. M is happy that he didn't spend that much!

Mr. M's ring is a Tungsten with Carbon Fiber. He tried it on at a store when we went to get his size, and loved it. Now, I just hope we ordered the right size, since Tungsten's got a nasty reputation for running a bit large. This, too, was very economical. We loved our shopping experience...!So yes. Mr. M and I are really, super excited right now. Not only do we get to plan our nuptials in a very small, intimate and relaxed manner, but we're not spending a lot of money on it. Seriously. It's ONE DAY in our lives.
Onto other pressing matters. Lentil has been SUPER-active lately. This morning, we had our monthly check-up with the OB. He seriously said that he was truly impressed with my growth, and weight gain. My tummy is perfect, and he said I'm carrying beautifully.
Guess I was made to be a Mummie...Hmmm...But then, my bubble was burst. It took us a full 5 (yes, FIVE) minutes to find the heartbeat using the doppler. Not because it wasn't strong enough, which it was (ultimately), but because Lentil kept on kicking the doppler and the doctor's hand. The doctor told us that we have a VERY hyper baby. Great.
Anyway...Mr. M has to take a picture for me - I'm tired of the ones in front of the mirror.
Oh. And another thing: did I mention how much I'm loving the quiet tonight? A few little birdies told me that I should cherish nights like these, for they will be almost alien to us once Lentil is here.

Friday, July 2, 2010

Random Ramblings

It's Friday...! Not that it means anything in particular to me, as I don't work, nor do I have any prospects at this point in time. But Mr. M does, and as of today, he is home-free until late August or early September.

Ah, the wonderful about being a teacher. Sure, you bust your ass throughout the school year planning lessons for 5 English classes, correcting 125 students' worth of papers...but...you also get to deal with 125 of O.P.C. For the uninitiated, OPC stands for Other People's Children.

These OPC are 13 years old. I commend Mr. M for his patience. I wouldn't have that...I think I'd last a month at his job before getting fired.

It's not that I'm afraid of the kids. I'm scared shitless of their PARENTS. To them, these kids are little angels who can do no wrong, or who simply don't have the time (or care enough) to spend some homework-time, or whatever, with their kids. Ohh....and then you have the parents who simply never say NO to their kids. Those are the best.

Anyway, among my other ramblings today, I have concluded that I'm done doing weekly update posts - I would much rather post when and if I feel like it.

And yes, you guessed right - I'm NOT in a good mood today for some reason.

I woke up to realize that our landlords had to, again, bring out our trashcan. I also realized that the recycling truck had come and gone when I saw our recycling bin on our porch - still filled with two weeks' worth of stuff.

As I was cleaning, I couldn't do anything without Apollo Puppy trailing behind me as though afraid I would disappear into thin air. It was very annoying; especially when I was vacuuming, when he decided that the vacuum was his (or my) enemy and hence had to attack it.

Then...after doing the dishes, sweeping and all that, I looked at the bathroom...only to realize that if I need something cleaned - I'm going to have to do it myself.

So yes, I cleaned the bathroom. Don't worry, I make sure that I use cleaners that won't do any harm to Lentil....but I still get yelled at. Mr. M tells me that he will take care of anything that needs to be cleaned with any sort of chemical. Too bad if I let him do it, the bathroom will get cleaned once every 2 months.

Ahhhhh......

Anyway.

On to good stuff. Lentil, who becomes excruciatingly quiet in my tummy when Mr. M is around (does he have that much of a calming effect on me?), has been causing a ruckus in my tummy today - in fact, waking me up with a kick to my belly button so strong, it startled me awake.

I think we're lucky we can't see a foot indentation there. THAT would freak me out from here to Timbuktu.

This reminds me, besides all of my imagined attacks on my pregnant self today, I just couldn't stop thinking about how my sister in law hasn't wanted to partake in anything involved with this pregnancy.

I feel bad for Mr. M. Seriously, I do. Her and I don't see eye to eye on a lot of things, but...hey, I don't see eye to eye with a lot of people - it's not a deal breaker to me. We're all adults, and entitled to our own opinions, no? Apparently, because we share different opinions, and she hasn't the manners to just listen and let it go, she can't be around me...it's almost as though we're not important to her. She has other things going on in her life, that impede her from reaching out to us. My brother in law told Mr. M that they went ahead and bought us stuff for Lentil. I wanted to ring their necks for that. I don't WANT them involved in a material way - I want them involved in a personal, non-materialistic way. It's not that I'm not thankful for anything we have received...it's that I would prefer them to not spend the money, and instead possibly spend time with us. I want my sister in law to be interested in our pregnancy journey - just as I was interested in hers.

I wonder if it is truly that difficult to not be self-absorbed and egotistical.

My mum and one of my brothers came into town for about 5 days last week. They stayed with us. Of course, they had stuff to do in NYC for two of those days, so I wasn't expecting a lot. Nonetheless, we managed to go to Ikea, spend time with Mr. M's dad and stepmum, as well as with his mum. On top of that, we did the dog park thing with Apollo Puppy, and then I dragged my mum to Target and Stew Leonard's.

Painfully absent during all of this was my sister in law.

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Beer, anyone?

So lately, all I've been *really* craving is a good beer. Nothing like a Bud Light, or anything of the sort. I'm talking about those yummy beers that are causing me to begin salivating just with a glance/whiff of them:
Sam Adams
Anchor Steam
Guiness
Bass Ale
Dogfish Head IPA
Killians Red
Long Trail IPA
Sierra Nevada

What sucks, is that these are mainly the beers that Mr. M drinks. I steal sips here and there, and I don't feel guilty about it. What I do feel guilty about is the fact that after a sip, I fantasize about chugging a few bottles of it. That's when I feel guilty. Then, that opens the floodgates to fantasies about getting a nice, neat Scotch upon delivering Lentil. Yup - you heard: I want a Scotch. Or maybe a bottle or two of a good red wine.

For the time being, I found two Non-Alkie beers that don't taste rancid to me: Clausthaler, and Kaliber.

All of this talk of good booze is killing me. I'm munching on my brekkie of Kashi cereal with fresh blueberries, and my all-important coffee. Fortunately, there isn't a bottle of Bailey's in our refrigerator.

Sunday, June 27, 2010

Week 23!!!

I haven’t posted all week because my mum’s been in town. Here is a fresh pic from today. I finally broke down the other day, and bought a mirror for the bedroom. Awesome sauce.

I’m totally plagiarizing a fellow Bumpie’s weekly post about her progress. I do think I asked for permission to do so – but if not, LCB, you know I love ya!

How Far Along: 23 weeks (4 days).

Total Weight Gain: 11 pounds total as of my last OB appointment. I’ve made a point to NOT weigh myself at home – it only stresses me out if I don’t feel as though I’m gaining enough, or if I gain too much in a one week…it’s just better to monitor my weight through my doctor’s office.

Maternity Clothes: Lots of them. Mum even went shopping for clothes for me while she was in the Ozarks Outlets, so brought me a bunch of good stuff.

Stretch Marks: Cocoa Butter. Gotta love it!!

Best Moment this Week: Actually realizing that you can SEE Lentil’s kicks. And Mr. M feeling said kicks.

Movement: Lots of it. I have a future futbol player in my tummy – girl or boy – I don’t care! I’m getting used to all the movement at this point. The kicks are only getting stronger, so I just try my best to ignore them while I try to sleep.

Food Cravings: Meh…nothing really craved. I ‘want’ things, but if I don’t get them, I haven’t threatened to upchuck anything else if I don’t get what I crave.

Labor Signs: None at this point. The BH contractions I was feeling, stopped, which is fine. Unless I was describing the feeling incorrectly to the doctor, so hence didn’t get proper information. Oh well.

Belly Button Innie or Outtie: The button’s still very much an innie.

What are You Looking Forward to this Week: Going to the beach with one of my new Bumpie friends, and her little girl! That will be so much fun!

Friday, June 18, 2010

Football Match Within My Tummy

Last Saturday, we went to watch the U.S. vs. England football match (for you Gringos, SOCCER) at a IRISH pub (yeah, the irony, eh?) with some good friends. I think when I screamed for the ONE goal that England scored, Lentil got so excited, it's hard for him/her to calm down now.

I have a football match going on inside my tummy. Or at least it feels that way.

Sometimes, I actually say out loud "Lentil, stay still!"

Other times, it startles me so much, I cringe. Mr. M freaks out when I do that, though.

Yesterday, during our anatomy scan, Lentil was showing off for the ultrasound tech - wasn't staying still, kicked the crap out of me, and then decided to face my back.

The other night, while we were talking about money and baby stuff, Mr. M and I decided that it would be totally worth buying a crib off Craigslist if we could find one we both liked, was new enough, and the condition was great to good.

So, we present to you.... Lentil's room is still very much a disaster zone, but little by little...we need to buy a mattress for the crib, but we both like it. The tone of the wood is lighter than we'd like, but I have a feeling it will look just fine once everything is said and done.

Oh...and the beauty of this crib? We spent a whopping $50.00 on it. We could have spent $700.00 on the crib I fell in love with, but we didn't want to ask for help.

Ooooh. I almost forgot. How could I?

On Wednesday, we went to Layla's Falafel for some Shawarma. I had a massive craving for it, so we went.

Apparently, Lentil wasn't a big fan of the garlic yoghurt. I was up ALL night getting the shit kicked out of me, and the worst heartburn I've ever had. I almost died yesterday I was so tired...and then, for some reason I decided to watch the FIFA opening ceremony music videos, and ended up bawling.

22 Weeks!!!

Of course, I am exhausted for this photo. We really need to buy an actual mirror. By the time Mr. M has time to take a photo, we’re getting ready for bed – and I’m more done than a thanksgiving turkey.

So here I am in all my tired glory. More to follow in my Non-Weekly post coming up later today.

I’m totally plagiarizing a fellow Bumpie’s weekly post about her progress. I do think I asked for permission to do so – but if not, LCB, you know I love ya!

How Far Along: 22 weeks (2 days).

Total Weight Gain: 11 pounds total as of yesterday. The doctor is loving my pregnancy.

Maternity Clothes: Lots of them.

Stretch Marks: Still clear of them. But I’m still pretty OCD about using cocoa butter every day after my shower…and lots of it!

Best Moment this Week: We had our anatomy scan yesterday – it was awesome. Lentil was lying face-down, breech position so we didn’t get any frontal shots (thank goodness, since we’re Team Green!), but it was awesome seeing all the limbs moving and everything. Mr. M was actually quite sad he can’t feel the football match (for you Gringos, SOCCER) going on inside my tummy….but very happy he got to see it on the video.

Movement: I’ve had daily and nightly football matches in my tummy for the past week or so…they’re really steady, getting stronger by the day, and it feels like an odd combination of “hmm…that feels weird”, “holy shitballs, I have a life inside me!”….and then me (Mrs. M) saying out loud “Lentil, STAY STILL!” In turn, whenever I say that in public, people stare at me as though I’m bat shit crazy.

Food Cravings: Umm…I have been eating watermelon like there’s no tomorrow. Oh. I almost forgot…the Arabic food. There will be a separate post dedicated to that.

Labor Signs: Yup. But they’re just Braxton Hicks...they started a few days ago. I’m not worried, and neither is the doctor.

Belly Button Innie or Outtie: The button’s still very much an innie.

What are You Looking Forward to this Week: Well, we had our anatomy scan yesterday. Other than that, Father’s Day is coming up, and I think I have an idea – where the hell is the closest Michael’s store?

Monday, June 14, 2010

Kick, kick, boing, boing

I'm at a point in this pregnancy that Lentil is actively using my organs as punching, elbowing and kicking bags....including the Nether Regions.

Last night, Lentil decided that it was time to continue the futbol matches that Mr. M and I have been watching since Saturday....from inside my tummy.

On Saturday, we saw the U.S. v. England match, and for the one goal that England did (might I say...quite amazingly within the first 4 bloody minutes of the match), Mr. M and I were really excited. I must say that we were both rooting for England, and were truly dissappointed at Mr. Green's gaffe.

We also happened to spend the day AND night with two good friends who were celebrating their anniversary. Very special indeed.

Anyway. Yesterday, I took Apollo for a Puppy Play Date at a local dogpark, and met one of my fellow bumpies - who happens to have a German shepherd also. They had a shitload of fun playing in the creek, chasing rocks and sticks; and Mummie had a blast talking to a new friend and her hubby.

Poor Mr. M. I'm pretty sure that he's now beginning to understand how your body changes with age. Yesterday, the poor thing had a hangover all day long...I think he mentioned this morning that his tummy was still bothering him. Thank goodness for the Tums that we ALWAYS keep in the house because of my own consistent and horrible heartburn that - yes, I'm still having.

The nice thing about this, though, is I quickly realized that going to bed a little earlier than our 10PM bedtime to just curl and read, is really nice. I think I'm going to suggest that we do that - at least a few nights a week.

Friday, June 11, 2010

21 Weeks!

Here’s my latest picture, I took the night before last, before Mr. M got home from his Boston school trip – he got home at 10ish, so I knew he would be totally beat. The room was well-lit, but for some reason, the damn flash on the camera wasn’t working to my advantage. Shit. Oh well, I played with it in Paint (yeah, like a kid!). My uncle tells me it looks very Picasso-ish.



I’m totally plagiarizing a fellow Bumpie’s weekly post about her progress. I do think I asked for permission to do so – but if not, LCB, you know I love ya!

How Far Along: 21 weeks (2 days).

Total Weight Gain: 8 pounds as of 4 weeks ago - I'll know on June 17th what my weight gain for the month is – I made a promise to myself and Mr. M that I wouldn’t weight myself at home – hence avoiding meltdowns and tantrums about my weight.

Maternity Clothes: My regular t-shirts are now way too short for my growing boobs and tummy. I have to steal some of Mr. M’s shirts, and I think I’m going to have to go shopping for some more t-shirts. I have lots of dresses and dress shirts for SUMMER, but if the weather is cooler, I need comfy stuff that’s warmer, ya know?

Stretch Marks: Still clear of them. But I’m still pretty OCD about using cocoa butter every day after my shower…and lots of it!

Best Moment this Week: Starting Tuesday night, I began feeling Lentil actually kicking or elbowing me inside my tummy. It’s getting stronger and more frequent by the day.

Movement: See above.

Food Cravings: I love tomatoes these days. But I'm craving a lot of other stuff. I shit you not. I ate an entire bag of pistachios the other day, and when Mr. M asked me why since my tummy was hurting, I simply said “Lentil wanted it”. I’ve been wanting some Cold Stone Creamery ice cream for a few weeks – I think I’m going to get some for after dinner with the girls tonight.

Labor Signs: NO!

Belly Button Innie or Outtie: The button’s still very much an innie.

What are You Looking Forward to this Week: Nothing really. Although on the 17th, I have my ‘big’ ultrasound, at which point we’ll see Lentil and all the measurements – just to be sure everything’s growing up to par.

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Birth Plans...?

There are a lot of nutjobs out there. I can appreciate that women want a certain experience, - so do I, but come on people, walking into a L&D unit with a ten-page birth plan that includes the scent of the candles that must be burned and that your hubby is to be addressed as "Daddy" is totally insane. So is presenting the nurses with a birth plan that indicates "under no circumstance will I be given ANY drugs, placed on ANY sort of monitors or be forced into a C-Section".

Here's mine:

FIRST AND FOREMOST: Keep Lentil and Mummie ALIVE, with beating hearts and detectable pulses.

I have heard stories about labour and delivery and have heard from more than one nurse and even one doctor that it is not like the "Baby Channel." I get that, therefore...

- I will definitely need music. We will make sure to load up my iPod with the likes of Journey, Survivor, Police, Toto, Sting, Foreigner and stuff like that. Please, do NOT allow Mr. M to play any of his heavy, Black, White, Norwegian or Death Metal. If you allow this to happen, his throttling death will be on your hands. Likewise, I will make sure no Techno, Trance, Salsa, Merengue, Hip Hop or R&B make it onto my playlist...as I'm sure he will pass out.

- I am open to drugs of any sort. This includes IVs, epidurals, pills and anything else you have available. But PLEASE wait until I am SCREAMING for them.

-I am interested in moving around and feeling my limbs during labour, as well as making use of Mr. M's massage skills, ability to calm me down, and any other piece of furniture in the room in order to calm any pain.

- Mr. M is not interested in cutting the cord. He is interested in simply remaining conscious.

- I am interested in ATTEMPTING to go natural. By this, I mean, I would like to attempt to not utilize drugs - simply the breathing, relaxation, concentration techniques I will have learned in my many books, classes and through friends. In now way do I intend this to be a steadfast rule, though, should my body OR Lentil not cooperate with my desire to do this, please...see above on drugs.

- I don't want an episiotime but if I need one, feel free.

- I am going to TRY to breastfeed. If I do not feel comfortable, chances are, I will not continue it once I'm home. I'm not wild about the idea of having another being almost permanently attached to my breast. But? I don't know. And if I can't breastfeed for whatever reason, I won't feel as though I failed as a mother.

- I know a few nurses, and they have always said whatever you do, make friends with your nurses. I am cool with that.

- My mother will NOT be in the labour room (or delivery) with us. Neither will my Mother-in-Law...absolutely not a flying chance in hell that she will be in the room with me.

- If any one in the family gets in the way of my nurse and doctor, feel free to order them to leave.

- If anyone speaks up or contradicts my nurses and doctor, please, be my guest, order them to leave.

- If I am in serious labor, ready to push or just in a bad way I want EVERYONE out of my room.(Mr. M and my nurse can stay, and the doctor too if the nurses think he should.)

-If you can help in any way, cool.

-For after labour and delivery, I will most likely want Lentil to sleep in the nursery - Mr. M and I will need those extra couple of nights to get as much sleep as we can before going home.

- And no. We are NOT co-sleeping in any way, shape or form.

-Once everything is said and done with, I will be eternally grateful to the nurses who made my labour and delivery possible.

Monday, June 7, 2010

Ouchie!

So beginning on Saturday, I've been feeling a few pains here and there in my crotch area. Sorry if this is TMI, but it hurts!

So I went to my trusty Bumpies....and Dr. Google...and looked in my MANY pregnancy books, and looked for some explanation before I called the OB freaking out...because I'm trying really hard to NOT be that "freak-out-type-parent". Apparently, Lentil may be kicking the top of my cervix...this is if Lentil is lying breech right now. Another explanation could also be that Lentil has not budged since that ultrasound back in April that showed a head lying smack on my cervix. Now that Lentil's the size of a CANTALOUPE, it's bound to be causing lots of pressure.

And yes. It hurts like a bitch.

So this is pretty funny, we had company over the weekend. We had two sets of friends on Friday night, Saturday my SIL came her with BIL and our niece. Sunday, two more sets of friends came over.

Apollo Puppy? Ecstatic. He stole the show - it was hilarious. Today, he was looking quite bewildered that there was nobody to play with him. And he loved our niece....who in turn, LOVED him; she couldn't stop squealing in joy. It was quite cute to watch a 6-month old sitting there, giggling and squealing while getting slobbered. Actually, it was hilarious. Then, Apollo decided he had enough.....and went to a corner and fell asleep. Our niece was left wondering what happened.

And today? Looks like Mr. M and I may be coming down with something. Our tummies have both felt quite uneasy all day. I actually upchucked my lunch, something that really upset me, since it was a cheese and tomato sammie.

Birthing classes. Must go look at, compare, and sign up for birthing classes.

And yes. I'm insanely all over the place. This is how I roll.

Thursday, June 3, 2010

20 Weeks, 1 Day!

Here’s my latest picture, taken by Mr. M last night. Apparently, I look really tired, hot and sweaty. Please forgive that – I promise, it’s not the latest looks straight off Pregnant Models Runway this summer.



I’m totally plagiarizing a fellow Bumpie’s weekly post about her progress. I do think I asked for permission to do so – but if not, LCB, you know I love ya!

How Far Along: 20 weeks (1 day).

Total Weight Gain: 8 pounds as of 3 weeks ago - I'll know on June 18th what my weight gain for the month is – I made a promise to myself and Mr. M that I wouldn’t weight myself at home – hence avoiding meltdowns and tantrums about my weight.

Maternity Clothes: I think pretty much anything that I’m wearing is maternity, with the exception of yoga pants, PJ’s, t-shirts (like, Mr. M’s old and tatty undershirts that I’ve managed to commandeer as my own over time), and maybe a few shirts. I’ve even broken down and purchased pregnancy UNDERWEAR. Yes. I’m now wearing Hipsters for pregnant women – because…OMG…they are SO comfy.

Stretch Marks: My belly is clear of them! I think that is the ONE thing that so far, I’ve been REALLY vain about; stretch marks. My mum didn’t get a single one throughout THREE (yes….3!!) pregnancies. There is no reason I have to get them, when I have the same skin as she does.

Best Moment this Week: Feeling Lentil move around. Lentil’s a pretty active baby, and likes to move. Now I can’t wait until Mr. M can feel the tiny little kicks!

Movement: See above. Last week it started with a few ‘bubbles’, along with its corresponding tightening of the tummy…these past 2 days or so, it’s been pretty regular.

Food Cravings: Um. FOOD. EVERYTHING under the sun.

Labor Signs: NO!

Belly Button Innie or Outtie: The button’s still very much an innie.

What are You Looking Forward to this Week: Nothing really. Although on the 18th, I have my ‘big’ ultrasound, at which point we’ll see Lentil and it’s measurements – just to be sure everything’s growing up to par. Definitely NOT finding out the sex.

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Holy crapola! Halfway there!

Oh.My.God.

I am half-way through this pregnancy already! I seriously and honestly can't believe how bloody fast time has gone by. Everyone I know says pregnancy is a really loooong, booorring, tedious and difficult 9 months (well, 10, considering that you have 40 weeks - give or take a few days).

I totally beg to differ. I LOVE every minute. Ok. I lie...ALMOST every minute. I absolutely adore the fact that I can now feel Lentil a little bit. Not a lot - just enough to be able to tell that he/she's going to be a very active little bugger. I'll probably be that crazy lady you see on the street, yelling out "stay still, and stop kicking me!!". I LOVE the fact that I have a tummy.

I do not like the fact that I wake up in the mornings with excruciating back pain, because apparently, I roll onto my back in my sleep, causing pressure to be placed on my lumbar spine. Fortunately, this pain goes away within an hour of moving around. I really do not like how I have developed a very stinky body odor. Yuck.

Oh. And the carpal tunnel. That's lovely. If I keep my hands above a certain point, they go numb within 5 minutes. Luckily, it's pregnancy-induced, and will go away. So glad for the little things!

So. Ok. Asides from that, there's nothing much to report. I do feel kicks ever so often - not the kicks that you can feel from the outside (that should happen within a few weeks, now)...but the little "drags" of a little "something" I can only feel from the inside, and then my tummy gets really hard.

Mr. M is beginning to get excited about the tummy now. I guess it just took a bit longer because he wasn't experiencing the changes himself...but now he can feel the hardness of my tummy, and thinks I look more beautiful than ever.

Although...what does kind of hurt is that so far, nobody has mentioned anything about a baby shower to me. I know it's not my RIGHT to have one, but it would sure be nice to have one, since we're basically working on one income right now, and baby stuff is so damn expensive.

In other news.....

Umm...in 3 weeks, Lentil, if born, has a 50% chance of survival. In 6 weeks, I'm entering the THIRD TRIMESTRE. HOLY SHITBALLS OF FIRE. I seriously can't believe how fast time is going by. There are days where I'm not even sure if we will be good parents, if I will be able to breastfeed, if we can stick to our guns with the cloth diapering, if we can keep everything either home-made and/or organic, etc. It's definitely nerve-racking.

On Saturday, the weather was perfect, so Mr. M and I just sat outside the entire afternoon with Apollo on the deck. It was perfect. We ate watermelon, drank some beers (mine, of course, are the Clausthaler, non-alkie version!), and basically just sat. There was some good silence while watching Apollo explore the deck, there was some good conversation (we generally do have that), and laughter when Apollo tried jumping off the deck after a squirrel.

Mr. M was voicing some of his interal questions about Lentil...we were laughing that Lentil will have no arse (because Mommy has no arse), will be tall, since it generally runs in the families, and quite possibly have the brown eyes that are so dominant in my family, since that is the dominant gene.

'Twas an interesting conversation. We also finalized our list of 3 names for Girl Lentil, and 3 names for Boy Lentil.

One thing to scratch off the list. Names.

Now we need to research, choose and sign up for a birthing class so that we can start it next month. Oh my farking goodness.

July, August, September, October.

Are we ready for this?

Monday, May 24, 2010

Dear Lentil

Ok, this may or may not be the first of many complaints I will have to direct to Little Lentil.

On Friday, Mr. M and I went to my monthly check-up at the OB's office. For the past few weeks, I've noticed that my hands go numb. That's it. Just NUMB. My arms feel fine, my shoulders, back and neck....fine.

Just my hands. Like when I sleep, I wake up to go pee (which is like four times in a night), and my hand is more asleep than I am.

So...we mentioned that little fact to the doctor. He goes "ahhh, so you're experiencing pregnancy-induced carpal tunnel syndrome."

WHAT!?!??!

So this means that for the next twenty weeks, my hands are going to be numb!?!?

Seriously.

It's the oddest feeling - you know when you fall asleep on your arm, and you wake up to feel like your arm is dead? It feels like that, except it's ONLY my hands.

Apparently, my circulation is getting cut off at my wrists because my ligaments, veins and arteries are swollen. From heat.

Yes. From heat.

It hit 80 degrees one day last week.

I'm totally screwed this summer. I guess this means that my ankles are going to turn into cankles, and my hands are going to look like baseball mitts.

Lovely.

Oh. On a positive note, I have my "big" ultrasound in four weeks...! Not that we changed our minds with regard to finding out Lentil's sex...but we'll find out if Lentil's growing properly! Oh...and speaking of tests. I have to make an appointment with the Vampires for my AFP test.

Yuck.

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Week 18!

Eeeek! I can't believe that in two weeks, I will reach the half-way mark of my pregnancy!

I also can't believe that in six weeks, I will reach Viability. This means that in the unfortunate and unlikely event that I go into early labour, Lentil has a 50% chance of surviving outside my womb, and each day that passes, the probability of survival just goes up.

KNOCK ON WOOD.

We want Lentil to bake until he/she's at a very nicely, well done point...at least 38 weeks.

I unfortunately don't have any photos for this week because we haven't finished moving and organizing, so I have no mirrors...and by the time Mr. M gets home from work, I'm normally already in PJ pants.

Shit. We don't even have our wireless router set up yet! This means that we are functioning on ONE laptop at a time, and we're sitting on the floor right in front of the tellie, which is where the modem was installed. Not very comfy.

This weekend, we'll be officially out of the old apartment, too! Yay for getting out of there. This new place is HEAVEN. It's quiet, Apollo Puppy is relaxed, and our kitchen is HUGE!

Pregnancy-wise, though, I've been very lucky. I've had very little in the way of pregnancy "side effects". Asides from some lethal gas, occasional heartburn, and the fact that my skin is really breaking out, I've never felt better!

Ok. I lie. Lentil's head is sitting (or was at week 15) smack on top of my cervix, which causes some pretty nasty shooting pains in my lower abdomen.

But, I can't wait to meet this little Lentil growing inside of me. Every day that passes, I have a fear that something terrible is going to happen. I guess it's normal to have these fears. Now that I'm out of the so-called danger zone of the first trimestre, and right in the middle of my second trimestre, my main fears are things like early labour, leaking fluids, or something like that. Especially since I'm doing so much physical activity now, with the move and all.

The other day, I felt a little pop in my tummy - like a flutter. So I'm pretty sure it was Lentil, beginning to explore "kicking mummie's ass". But I haven't felt anything since then...which I'm assuming may be due to the fact that I'm moving around so much, Lentil is lulled.

Anyway...I must get a move on...there are some more things that I can put away...first, though I need to shower. I stink.

Sunday, May 16, 2010

The Mess of Moving

Ok...so it's really only when you move that you realize how much shit you've accumulated in whatever time you've lived in a specific place.

Not only that, but yours truly forgot to call the electric company to have them turn on the power - a move that requires some technician to actually COME to your home in order to flip a switch.

And guess what? Unlike the cable guys, electric company techs don't work on weekends. GASP!!!

So, we did move everything except the bed and a few items we need/use on a daily basis to the new house. Well, most of it. We got the couch up the stairs to the second floor apartment we will now begin considering home, only to realize that we couldn't get it in unless we sawed it in half.

So, back around the boys go, back down the stairs, back to the moving truck with the couch.

Shit. Now we have to buy a new couch - and fast. My mum's coming to town in a few weeks, and she'll need somewhere to sleep!

Those who helped us move were my father and step-mum-in-law, my BFF's hubby, my step-MIL's son and his girlfriend, and Mr. M's friend, Ant. And they ALL had better and more important things to do, like write papers for school, get ready for a trip (leaving at 3:30AM this morning), prepare for today's baptism, sleep.

Absolutely fabulous, those people. Love them to pieces. We bought them lunch and beer, and then dinner and beer. After step-MIL and I ditched the boys and went to Marshalls' in search of a bathing suit for her upcoming vaction...we had a blast even though we were exhausted, and probably smelled from a mile away.

ANYWAY....

ENOUGH.

Here's last week's tummy photo.


I think I really need to start having Mr. M take the tummy photos. It's tough to take a good pic when in front of a tiny mirror.

Anyway...the move went well. Not done yet, as I stated...and yup. 'Twas my fault. LOL Oh well...

Oh...by the way. I am SORE. Sore and tired. But...

After tomorrow, we will be 100% in our new (QUIET) home. We're so happy about that.

Monday, May 10, 2010

Seriously, put on your big girl panties

Everyone knows that kids are hard work. We all also know that every child is different.

But if you choose to be stay home and raise kids, keeping your home at least somewhat clean and tidy, is also your job. It might be an unpaid job, yes, but it is a job, and it should be done with pride.

If you choose to stay home, do nothing but sit on Facebook, take pictures of your 2 year old son, as well as yourself in some pretty provocative poses and clothing (when you're 7 months pregnant) to post on said Facebook; and these pictures show that your home looks like a pig-sty......don't fracken complain to the world on Facebook when your husband comes home from work and complains. When this is coming from a 19 year old girl, I swear to God, it really pisses me off.

Life is not so difficult for you. Yes, your family lives far away. Yes, you are stuck at home with no transportation to go outside. No, you probably don't have your own spending money, and you might have to account for anything and everything you spend of your husband's meager salary. You don't have ANY bills to worry about, because HE pays them for you. Seriously, his attitude may change if he can come home to a cleaner home that doesn't look like it belongs in a shantytown, with tin roof and all, and quite possibly also, if his 2 year old isn't running around in a diaper, looking as though he got into a Mud Well.

I think this is one reason why the divorce rate is so high among younger people.

I would divorce ME if I came home to that.

Although I admit there are times that I just want to curl up in bed doing absolutely nothing but pet Apollo, read a good book and listen to music.

But I can't do that. I have a child to take care of. Even though Lentil is in my tummy still, my [lack of] of activity could be detrimental not only to his/her health, but to my own health later on down the road.

Not working does hurt my self-esteem. But at least I try. Even if I won't be in the work force for much longer, having a child doesn't put me out for good. Maybe a few months, maybe a few years at a time. We're not sure.

Even though we're moving in less than two weeks, our home has never been cleaner since I've been unemployed.

Apollo has never been happier that his Mummie is home with him.

Yes, I do ask Mr. M if I can spend even $30 on something. That's just my own common decency. It's still my own money, but at one point this year, it will be OUR money, and a larger purchase would still require a discussion between us. He won't freak out if I spend $10 on something, but if I come home with a $200 coat, he has every single right to be pissed at me.

I guess what this entire post is about, is the sad fact that so many people underestimate the power of personal choice.

Your life is what you make of it.