Today was our second trimester screening and they confirmed that we are absolutely having a girlbaby. She's about 9 ounces (size of a large heirloom tomato) and her pulse was at 157. As for me, my blood pressure was un poco high but I think it's because I get so excited to see my little beeper. I also spoil myself with a Peet's caramel latte and a snacky cake beforehand so I'm my own worst enemy. My weight this morning was 217.4 naked at home and 220.4 clothed and with shoes on at the doctor so I'm still holding steady in that department.
I chose the most obnoxious pink shirt I could find in my closet to wear to the ultrasound because "I knew." Husband left for work before I got dressed but he showed up in a blue polo shirt then ordered a blueberry scone so I'm pretty sure that was his wishful thinking that a penis had sprouted during the time I was experiencing "morning" sickness. Sorry, suckas. There is clearly no penis there. She's got all her parts looking ok and the doctors didn't seem concerned. For some reason, we have to go back in five weeks for another growth screening but I don't remember doing this many for Casey. Maybe it's because I'm 36? Who knows.
She did seem sort of bashful and lazy this morning but I can absolutely feel her thumping around in my tummy almost every night when I lay down for bed. Every time we got a good shot of her face she'd turn her back on the ultrasound wand. At one time she was about to suck her thumb but the tech switched the screen so we missed it. Then, at the very end, she lifted her arm and flexed her tiny hands like she was waving at us. Yup. I'm in love. Now comes the hard part: picking a dang name! Ack!
Husband and I often call our house Rancho Viernes because we have a bunny and his cage is painted like a barn. Hey, The Bun!
We also have three fruit trees in our back yard that came with the house: orange, lemon and plum. When we first moved in we grew pumpkins for shits and giggles. Husband was born and raised on a working cattle farm so I like to believe that when we grow things and have animals, it helps ease some of the homesickness he must feel for rural Michigan. I could be fooling myself but I'm happy in my land of make believe.
For a hot second we tried our hand at what we believed was an attempt at composting but was really just us throwing our fruit and veggie scraps into a corner of our front yard planter that is obstructed by a big bush and a magnolia tree then promptly forgetting about said scraps. Out of nowhere a few months ago, we managed to grow garlic. Most recently, a tomato plant sprouted back there and we have been harvesting what appear to be Roma tomatoes and lots of them. They're actually quite tasty despite us having put little to no effort growing them. However, there are lots of them. Just like we had lots of plums and have lots of lemons. Why the oranges are stunted, I just don't know. BFF had us over for dinner on Sunday night and I decided to make use of some of our harvest. I wanted make something with the tomatoes we had left over after I traded a bowl full with the neighbor for the figs she grew in her backyard. I swear I don't know when I became part of a farming co-op but that's a story for another day. I already know lemons will almost always be used for lemon bars! Here is the recipe I used for a fresh tomato salad with my notes in parentheses:
Jamie Oliver's The Mothership Tomato Salad Recipe
2-1/4 pounds mixed ripe tomatoes
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
A good pinch dried oregano (They recommend "dried flowering" but I used fresh)
1 clove garlic, peeled and grated
(I used 2)
1 fresh red chile, seeded and chopped (I used 1/2 a red jalapeno but could have used the whole thing)
(I also chose to add mozzarella because Husband insisted it be caprese but you don't have to if you don't want to)
1 part red wine or balsamic vinegar
3 parts extra-virgin olive oil
I chopped up the tomatoes into bite sized pieces then salted them once, tossed and salted again. I put in a colander to drain some of the excess juice for about 15 minutes.
I added the finely minced oregano, garlic and chile and tossed. Then I added small pieces of mozzarella until it looked nice (meaning: I have no idea how much I used). I prepared this several hours before meal time so the ingredients had time to marry and it was then refrigerated until serving.
Right before serving, I drizzled generously with the dressing without over-saturating the tomatoes.
It was quite yummy and would likely make this again though be prepared to burp up garlic for several hours after consuming. Or maybe that's just because I'm pregnant. Ha! Here's a photo of the fruits of my labor. Holler!
Casey loves to put dirt on the driveway and sweep. This was our Friday after work activity. We love to get him outside as often as possible otherwise it's superheroes all. the. time.
On Saturday we went to a bounce house party and it was awesome. Casey had no fear and totally climbed that faux rock wall back there and did slides and overall just kicked that place's butt.
I had helped him up a giant slide and then went down said slide (not recommended for the preggoes by the way) and got this gnarly "rug" burn on my elbow. I can't remember the last time I had one of those but it stings like a son of a gun.
Here's Casey on Sunday with his new haircut. We're filling up to go see the new Bhallagrass compound! He had to bring Pooh along which was both totally random and heart-breakingly sweet for me to behold.
And here are the two best buddies watching ... wait for it... Superheroes! Sigh.
I made quite sure I was smiling in this preggo selfie just for BFF. I weighed in this morning at 217.6 lbs so a little less than last week. At the doctor's office right after lunch yesterday I was fully dressed and weighed 221 on the dot. It's nice to see that I'm being responsible in my weight gain so far this pregnancy because with Casey I gained about 60 pounds and don't want to repeat that this go 'round. I've been sure that I have good snacks lying around like hard boiled eggs, cheese sticks, yogurt and fruit so that when I get my sudden bursts of hunger I don't dive into the candy dish. So far so good.
The appointment yesterday was pretty quick but my blood pressure was good and that was my main concern. I guess blood pressure is lower than usual in the second trimester so maybe that's why mine was normal? Hard to say. I'm not going to worry too much about it though. It's funny because my last visit a month ago, the doc really had to dig into my abdomen with the doppler to hear the heartbeat but yesterday he just had to put it gently on my tummy and the heartbeat was strong and loud. I like that sound. It's always a pleasant surprise to me for some reason. I guess there is the fear that it won't be there but my little peanut is still kicking ass. The results of the first trimester blood screening for abnormalities came back negative so right now my peace of mind is strong as far as the fetus is concerned.
I'm not getting much sleep for some reason and it's driving me crazy. Every little sound wakes me up (especially Husband's snoring!!!) and for some reason Casey has been a restless sleeper lately and thus affecting my ability to get any myself. I used to be able to fall right back to sleep when I woke up to pee or what have you, but not any more. Now I find myself lying there for up to an hour. It's just no bueno and I hope it passes soon although in five months I won't even know what sleep is so whatever, right?
And here's where I get stupidly emotional and selfish... My last pregnancy and during Casey's early infancy, we were really busy getting my Grandpa settled into a nursing home because he was physically ill and unable to live at home. I had to help pack up my grandparents' belongings to either be sold or to be moved into my Gran's apartment and eventually we moved into "their" house all before Casey even turned one. We actually spent our first night in that house the day my Grandpa passed away, oddly enough. Currently, it's my Gran's turn to begin her transition into assisted living because she is quickly slipping into dementia and I'm a little upset my pregnancy needs to "share the spotlight" with this sort of family drama once again. I actually had to tell my mother yesterday that I would not be as involved this time around and that the stress associated with this transition is not something I can deal with right now. I want to help my family but I think I'm just going to have to be selfish this time and really try to focus my energy solely on my kids and my husband and myself. Exhale.
I weighed in at 218.2 this morning so I've gained some weight since last week. I guess it helps that I haven't thrown up in about a week either! Yay!
So I must be showing because people are talking about the bump. Here are some of the things I have heard:
During my pedi - "I will only massage your legs because massaging your feet is bad for pregnant women" (I have heard this myth that it induces labor many, many times.)
Same lady - "I think you are having a girl" so I asked her if I looked terrible because I heard girls steal your beauty and she said "No because you look great!" (That was nice.)
From the liquor store employee who I have known for about 5 years and whose wife had two miscarriages at the same time as mine "Are you about 7 months pregnant?" (LOL)
From two lady friends at the yard sale - unintelligible squealing leading to "It's a girl!" or "You're pregnant!??!" (I was wearing a tighter tee shirt and stretch pants and although I think my belly looked like it always does, I guess maybe it doesn't)
From the neighbor next door - "My wife thought you were pregnant. She drove by you the other day and came home telling me you were expecting a new baby. I saw you'd been gaining weight but I would never ask if you were pregnant because I did that once and the lady had just gained weight." (I didn't find this insulting in the least, just funny.)
And finally, from my son. Last night I told him he had to be gentle when he sits on my lap and he said "It's because you has a baby on you tummy." And I told him he was right and he looked at me quite seriously and said " You has to go to da hosduble?" but I reassured him that wasn't for a while now. Poor friend. So concerned. He is still talking into my belly button to the baby which is super cute. He did call the baby "brother" the other day so we have to clarify this whole brother/sister idea and who is who I think.
This was the view on Saturday morning as we headed to the yard sale. Behind us was a marine layer so thick it was like we were driving through cloud tunnels. Ahead of us the sun was shining through and it looked like a UFO had landed. It was a successful sale in that we got rid of a bunch of stuff but we only made about $150.
Casey and I nap together on the weekends and this was after quite a struggle on Saturday afternoon. He demands I sing "Twinkle Twinkle" and after about a dozen rounds, he is generally fast asleep. He reminds me of his daddy here with his huge guns.
When I got out of the shower on Sunday morning I found Casey sitting in a pile of forty ones from the yard sale that he had taken from the counter. He was tossing the bills around and telling me about "his" money. I like how he has his leg up on dad's nightstand, big pimpin', spending Gs.
Sunday afternoon I sneaked out to get a mani/pedi/mini neck massage (amazing and overdue) and when I came back I found Casey awake despite his daddy assuring me he'd get him to take a nap. I finally got him down but woke him up after about 2 hours because I wanted him to go to sleep at a reasonable hour. Yeah, instead he slept on me like this for another half hour. Poor Pea. He doesn't want to nap but he needs them so badly. And no, I am not stoned, just makeup-less.
And finally, my utensil drawer. Ask BFF. Other than that, it was football all day every day. Dad finally is out of the hospital. Chili was eaten. Things were good.
Last week, my dad had surgery to remove a non-cancerous (I don't use the words benign and malignant because I find them confusing) muscle tumor removed from his lung. He was in the hospital for the holiday weekend and when I visited him there I was surprised at how well he was doing: face full of color and for the most part quite coherent. However, one night, he had a very vivid dream (hallucination?) and leaped out of his railed hospital bed, IVs connected and all, and hit the code blue button that summons all the nurses to your room. After this incident, he was moved to another room where a nurse was stationed outside his door 24 hours a day. While in hospital, he kept attempting to do things like stand up although the nurses had told him he was not to do so under any circumstances.
You see, this was my dad's first time in a hospital as well as his first time having surgery. He has never done any hard drugs, prescription or recreational. I told my mother that his actions were the result of being on hard-core pain medications like Oxycontin and Percocet. Essentially, he was feeling no pain and I'm positive his brain had never experienced anything like the disorientation that comes with that kind of medicine. Add to that the fact that he has Parkinson's and, well, basically nothing is in his control anymore.
On Tuesday he was released to go back home and for the most part his afternoon was pretty mellow. Casey and I went to visit and have dinner and he was doing great. However, that night, he wouldn't really stay in bed and at one in the morning my mom woke up to find all the lights in the house on and my dad nowhere in the house. He had wandered outside to find the newspaper, thinking it was later in the morning despite the darkness. My mother ushered him back in the house and he was up at least twice more wandering around after that.
Yesterday, he got up and put on some nice clothes and my mom figured he was confused that he was going out so she let him know he was not to leave the house. She left briefly to run an errand and when she came back, he was trying to lift one of the heavy armchairs in the living room because he believed there was a drinking glass beneath it. There wasn't one. He told my mom that there was also a little boy in a baseball hat under their dining room table. There wasn't. She told me this and I insisted that she call the doctor. The doctor said the Percocet was likely interfering with his Parkinson's medication and that he shouldn't take anything stronger than Tylenol Extra Strength.
Last night was another eventful night and neither of my parents got much sleep. He was extremely disoriented again this morning to the point that his best friend commented he seemed to be exhibiting signs of dementia so my mother called his neurologist. He said dad's behavior was not uncommon and there was a chance that things may stay this way. Of course, I was devastated to hear this. Dad took a nap for a bit and mom said when he woke up he was much more coherent. The day nurse that has been checking on him said he has a fever of about 100.3 and if gets to 101, he will have to be readmitted to the hospital. A night nurse will be coming to stay the night to make sure my dad is tended to and my mother can get a full night's sleep.
It's terrifying to see my parents getting older. To think of my dad hallucinating. To be pregnant and emotional yet have to be strong. It's horrible to think that a procedure to make my dad better might actually make him worse. Tomorrow is his 66th birthday and here we are in the midst of all of this instead of celebrating what a rad dad and grandpa he is. That's my update.
After work update: Dad came down with a fever and had to go to the ER. He was hospitalized again last night and the fever went down. Unfortunately, it's back up this morning along with his blood pressure. Happy thoughts please.
The fetus is avocado-sized today. I weighed 216.8 pounds this morning and while I don't think I noted it anywhere around here, I started my pregnancy at about 224 pounds. I can see the weight loss in my upper arms and in my face more than anywhere but my belly still looks big and round like it always has when I'm naked. That's a trait that runs on my dad's side for all us lucky wimmins. My co-worker and my husband assure me I look pregnant instead of just fat but they're very nice to me in general so I'm not sure who to trust.
The "morning" sickness has been pretty consistent and keeping mostly to the every other day schedule it has been on. Food in general doesn't really appeal to me and I have found that my diet has me eating like I have the palette of a toddler. I have been sticking to things like peanut butter and jelly sandwiches and macaroni and cheese. Fuit, meat and veggies oftentimes don't sit very well with me. It's all very strange. However, I keep on keeping on and just try to eat what I can when I can and hope that the prenatal vitamins pick up some of my slack. If I dare eat a bite too much, though, watch out. Sometimes, I find something I like one day and have it again and it's just terrible. I'm really looking forward to the day that eating doesn't take this much thought.
Because of being sick, I have not experienced the burst of energy that typically accompanies the arrival of the second semester. I get tired pretty easily - probably from lack of eating? I sleep about 10 hours a night and am so thankful Casey is a solid sleeper and allows this. During the weekend, I lie down with him and we take two hour naps together. I'm probably not setting a good precedent getting him used to sleeping with me but whatever. I'm pregnant and selfish and it works for me. I've taken to moving to the guest room in the middle of the night to escape Husband's snores because I find that even the slightest noises can wake me up. I get up at least once in the night to pee and I am sure that will only get worse in the weeks to come.
Well, ladies and gentlemen, my campaign to chop off my hair went successfully on Saturday morning and I couldn't be happier with the results. I forgot how liberating it is to have short, short hair like this. It was especially noticeable this weekend because of the record heat we were experiencing in our normally cool town. Goodness. It's so nice to not have anything touching my face! Plus, for some reason, my hair has been falling out so I don't need long strand evidence of my forthcoming baldness.
After my haircut we went to get our family portraits taken at JC Penney as we have each year around Casey's birthday. This outing was a bit more successful than last year's meltdown but not super great. We managed to get a few good shots that will document the beginning of his third year so that's about all I can ask for. He was great when he was able to do his own poses but once it came time for some shots with his parents, he sort of rebelled against us. Naturally, we rewarded him with a trip to Toys R Us for his rebellion. Not really. We just had gift certificates that needed spending. Here he is with Kermit. Looks real happy huh? Not so much but that was because it was taken before he loaded up with new Captain America and Incredible Hulk guys. We let him watch The Avengers movie this weekend and he was enthralled, mimicking the movie as we watched it with his own superhero collection. Very nerdy. Very awesome.
As for the rest of the weekend, we just stayed close to home - playing in the yard or watching movies in the dark to beat the heat. My dad's surgery went very well on Friday and by 6pm he was headed into recovery. We got to visit him on Saturday and Sunday and on both days he looked really great for someone who had to have a fifth of the upper lobe of his lung removed. Doctors removed 80% of the tumor and said that they were pretty confident that it was the non-cancerous muscle tumor they thought it was initially. He should be going home today.
On Sunday morning we took Casey to the beach down the street from our house. He played hard for a good hour and then told us it was time to go home. I sat down to let the surf lap up on my legs and he did the same and next thing we knew a wave came at us hard and fast and knocked us both over. I had sand in every nether-region imaginable and his head literally looked like it was helmeted in sand. He was a trooper though and laughed that right off. Monday morning we stuck to the serenity of the pool. I swear, if you want to wear a kid out, just add water and sunshine. I was sure grateful for all the napping he and I did the last three days. Kind of makes up for the ZERO sleep I got last night.