Archive for March, 2013

  • Guest Post at Catholic Wife

    Date: 2013.03.28 | Category: Health, Me, Pregnancy | Response: 3

    My friend Katie, who blogs over at Catholic Wife, asked me to do a guest post for her today while she’s recovering from giving birth to her third son (boy, does she have her hands full)!

    The post talks about more of the overdoing it with the heart stuff, but in the context of coping with it at Mass.

    If you’re interested, you can read it here: “Losing the Meaning”

  • Overdoing It

    Date: 2013.03.25 | Category: Family, Health, Life, Mark, Pregnancy, Sarah, Work | Response: 12

    I like to stay busy. Don’t get me wrong, I also enjoy a few hours with a good book, but for the most part, “go go go” is a regular part of my life. I work full time, manage a toddler the best I can, make a stab at keeping some sort of order to my house (at least we’re all wearing clean clothes anyway) and then work freelance again in the evenings. On weekends I use my “free time” to go to the grocery store, visit with friends and family, do some photography and attempt to entertain the almost-two-year-old. Of course my husband is there to help, but it’s in my nature to charge full speed ahead and I like to do it. (This, of course, makes him nuts and there have been many occasions when I’m trying to recover from being sick that he makes me stay home).

    The problem is this goofy heart pregnancy thing keeps rearing its ugly head. Any time I go full speed ahead for longer than two hours, it knocks on my rib cage, or rather skips a knock, takes my breath away and tells me to sit down already.

    This weekend was BUSY. Saturday morning we went to visit dad at his store and let Sarah look at the fish and his bird.

    After that I enforced her “quiet time” while I went to the grocery store. Then we walked over to our neighbors for a two-hour long two-year-old twin birthday extravaganza (that was amazing, busy and fun), and then went to visit my friend Susan.

    Needless to say, my heart was displeased. Several times throughout the day it took me down, and then that night it was annoying and insistent. I woke up the next morning feeling like I had the flu. Body aches, nausea and a headache had me in the fetal position.

    That morning Mark gave me a nice, firm talk on overdoing it. I went back to bed, missed Palm Sunday Mass and tried to chill. We did end up driving to see my grandfather after lunch, who is having a very tough time recovering from surgery, but I let Mark drive and sat in the room with my grandfather. No funny business. And amazingly, no whacky heart stuff.

    Even the motions of Mass have taken me down. No more standing, kneeling and sitting in quick succession. I have to plant it in the pew and try not to let the Catholic guilt set in.

    In all seriousness, this has been tough on my normally very busy body. While I still want to go go go all the time, I’m having to sit and relinquish the responsibilities to other people (namely my husband). But, I give myself pep talks. I don’t want to be on bed rest, and Sarah certainly doesn’t need to be carried all the time anymore.

    I’m trying, but it’s tough. Who would have ever thought trying to be lazy would be so hard?

  • Recent Reads

    Date: 2013.03.18 | Category: Books | Response: 4

    State of Wonder by Ann Patchett

    This book is the story of research that is taking place in the Amazon to help women extend their fertility cycles, the mysterious scientist who heads up that research and another scientist who disappeared while seeking her and progress on the drug. And while it sounds kind of heady, the story is so good! The build up takes a while, but as I followed Marina to Brazil and then into the Amazon where she meets the Lakashi tribe, I became more and more enamored. There are great characters throughout the whole story. And while there were moments in this book that were absolutely horrifying, I was so intrigued that I didn’t care. Stick with this one, it’s worth it.

    Cinder / Scarlet by Marissa Meyer

    The latest in YA sci-fi, the first book in this series puts a young cyborg girl in Cinderella’s shoes, identifying the societal bias against those who are part machine. There’s a prince, but there’s also a plague and a colony of creepy people who live on the moon and want to destroy earth. Cinder’s story is predictable, but not awful. The second book in the series, Scarlet, puts the lead character in the shoes of Little Red Riding Hood. Not nearly as good as Cinder, and trucking along at a slower pace, I was sad that this one was less of a sequel and more of another story that eventually connects up to the main one. Both stories are ok and easy reads, but I wouldn’t put them at the top of your to-read list.

    Speaker for the Dead by Orson Scott Card

    The sequel to Ender’s Game, this sci-fi book takes a look at a colony of humans inhabiting a planet where there are other sentient and intelligent life forms called “piggies.” In the wake of the destruction of the race of  “buggers,” in Ender’s Game, the humans are to stay as far removed from the piggies as possible while studying them. When someone calls for a “Speaker for the Dead” to publicly explain the life of her father figure (both the good and the bad), Ender makes the journey to fulfill that duty. This book is very philosophical and takes a look at the ethics of how we treat those who are different than us. It pulls in a great Catholic political tie, and sets Ender up as the genius hero. Not as good as Ender’s Game, but still a great sci-fi read.

    Where’d You Go Bernadette? by Maria Semple

    Do you like the show Arrested Development? Go get this book! It was written by Maria Semple, one of the writers for the show, and you can tell in all the dysfunction and kookiness that plays out in this book. Bernadette is a wild, artistic, dysfunctional mother, and her interactions with her daughter Bee, Bee’s uptight school, her Microsoft genius of a husband and her psychotic neighbor are fantastic. And when Bernadette disappears out of nowhere, the story really find its stride. Plus, it takes place in Seattle, has great stories about working for Microsoft and there’s a trip to Antarctica.

    A Million Suns / Shades of Earth by Beth Revis

    After reading these two concluding books to Across the Universe, I was so happy to have found a YA trilogy where ALL THREE books were excellent. While the first two take place in a spaceship and look at the weird society there and lies that are hidden within, the third book takes place on another planet and was like reading season four of Lost. If you want a good YA trilogy fix and like sci-fi, pick these up!

  • Just a Really Good Day

    Date: 2013.03.17 | Category: Family, Food, Home, Life, Mark, Me, Sarah | Response: 20

    There’s been a lot of tough days lately. Sarah is charging full force into the terrible two’s and some evenings after the tantrums at the dinner table, tantrums over toys, tantrums over funny looks and my waning patience levels collide, she and I are both ready to scream and near tears.

    But then I get a day like today and it makes everything worth it a million times over.

    Sarah woke up at about 7:15. I got her up and she crawled in bed next to me and watched a show on the iPad while I woke up. We had breakfast, during which time she formed her first full sentence, “I want cheese toast!” She ate great, then took off playing in the living room with markers…

    I’ve had several errands piling up that I need to do, but it hasn’t been easy to do them with a toddler in tow and Mark has been neck deep in outside home repairs.  So I called my mom up and she enthusiastically joined Sarah and me on a shopping trip. I managed to find a swimsuit to accommodate the slowly emerging baby bump, we got Sarah some new socks and a few new summer outfits, had lunch together (during which time a 2-year-old boy shamelessly flirted with Sarah and got scolded by his mom for not eating) then hit Target so the Easter Bunny could cross the rest of the things off her list.

    All the while we had no meltdowns and Mimi was thrilled to run around with Sarah while I tried on swimsuits.

    And miracle of miracles, on our drive back to the house Sarah actually fell asleep in her car seat. I guess she just needed a little activity and sunshine. And while she napped at home, I managed to sneak in a 30 minute siesta that I so desperately needed.

    Speaking of sunshine, the temperatures here today were just shy of 80, sunny and beautiful. So after Sarah emerged from her two hour nap, Mark was finished working on the house and the three of us sat outside enjoying the beautiful day.

    We got so carried away enjoying the sun, that we suddenly realized it was dinner time and had nothing prepared. On a whim we decided to have a family night out and go to our favorite local Mexican restaurant Trejos, while Sarah flirted with the waiters and scarfed her entire chicken burrito and all of her beans. Again, she was so good the whole time, coloring on her kid’s menu and making silly faces at us. An older guy stopped by our table on the way out to tell us how much he and his family enjoyed watching her at dinner, that little girls grow up too fast and nodded to his own grown daughter.

    We figured that since things were going so well, we’d stay out a little late and go get ice cream. We went to TCBY and it was empty, so Sarah alternated between taking big bites of our ice cream and putting on a dance performance that had the workers, Mark and me cracking up.

    She busted out some moves we’d never seen before. When we would ask her if she was ready to go, she’d shake her head no and then keep dancing. We didn’t have the heart to stop her, so we sat back and enjoyed the show until the music went to commercial.

    We got home and she “swam in the tub,” didn’t fuss at all when we got her ready for bed, and then giggled throughout both her bedtime books.

    There is something so wonderful about spending time with my family without any major meltdowns or stressors. We all had so much fun today!

  • Nap Problems

    Date: 2013.03.12 | Category: Home, Sarah | Response: 20

    So what almost two-year-old doesn’t nap?

    Why this one of course.

    Granted, she has never been one for sleeping during the day. Even as an infant it took a combination of swinging, shushing and lullabies to lull her into 30 minutes of napping. And now that she can sing songs to herself and entertain herself by building tents out of her blankets? Yea, sleep is not happening.

    I’m really not sure how to handle this. Mom said the three of us all napped happily until we were four years old or so.

    I’ve tried hanging up a blackout curtain in her room, tried with a sound machine, without a sound machine, with noise in the house, without noise in the house, with stuffed animals and without… and she still refuses to sleep. At daycare it’s hit and miss. Some days she will sleep, other days she lays on her mat and talks to herself.

    At home, no matter what, she has to sit in her crib for 1.5 – 2 hours so mama can have a break and she can wind down. She doesn’t seem to mind all that much and happily chatters away the whole time.

    My sister says my nephew can’t make it without a nap. He’ll get droopy and pass out in the car or on the couch. Not Sarah, she carries on like she didn’t miss a beat, ready to continue playing, happy as can be. Though, when we start nearing bedtime the fussiness starts.

    And bedtime, thank goodness, is no problem. Right to sleep she goes!

    So, any ideas on how to get an almost two-year-old to resume her naps? We’re going to move her to a big girl bed around her birthday next month. I’m not sure if this will make things better or worse…

  • Out of Rhythm

    Date: 2013.03.04 | Category: Baby, Food, Health, Pregnancy | Response: 19

    So I have had a few weird complications from this pregnancy. Within a week of taking a positive pregnancy test my heart started acting weird, skipping beats and racing for no reason. When those things happen I can’t catch my breath and I sometimes get tunnel vision.

    After googling it, I learned that heart palpitations aren’t uncommon for pregnant women, so I relaxed some and called my OB. They, however, were not nearly as relaxed about it. Apparently for these heart palpitations to be happening every day that early in pregnancy is a little weird, so they called the cardiologist and booked an appointment for me. They got me in with the cardiologist in three days – the last time I booked a cardio appointment for myself they couldn’t see me for over a month. So everyone is taking this very seriously.

    So I’ve now seen the cardiologist and the OB and have follow up appointments with both next week. A bevy of tests showed that my heart is having a small number of irregular heartbeats throughout the day, and about an hour total worth of just weird activity in a 24-hour period.

    What does this mean? Well the cardiologist (who called me and talked to me himself) seems to think that dramatic increase in blood flow that comes with pregnancy combined with a hormone surge is overwhelming my heart a little bit. And when I do something like lock my knees or go from standing to laying down quickly, my heart gets pissed off and goes out of rhythm temporarily.

    What’s the answer to all this? For now we sit, wait and monitor. I may have to eventually get on medication to help with my heart rhythm, but beta blockers have been very distantly connected to infant growth, so if things get bad enough for medication, I’ll have to have the baby measured all the time. Not that I wouldn’t enjoy seeing little bit on the ultrasound, but that’s a little scary. Still, my OB reassures me that if I have to get on the medicine that it will be just fine.

    Oh and here is the real kicker. In order to try to avoid medication I have to stay away from ALL forms of caffeine. And yes, that means CHOCOLATE too. That’s right, this pregnant lady gets no chocolate for nine months or more. They also want me to really limit my intake of sweets. So I guess all those late night trips to the DQ for an Oreo blizzard that I did with Sarah are no more this time. Hey, at least maybe this will help me keep my weight gain down!

    My sweet friend Dana brought me some great chocolate from Austin a little over a week ago and I have it safely stored in my freezer. I even have to put my samoas in the freezer!

    My mom has had this problem with her heart her whole life and it was exacerbated by pregnancy, so at least I’m in good company.

    And I bet you just thought I was going to complain about being pukey all the time huh? Well there is that too, but thanks to a constant diet of pineapple, grilled cheese sandwiches and some candied ginger Cassie sent me from Trader Joe’s, I’m managing ok on that front. Now, someone please just tell Sarah to sit down for 10 minutes so mama can rest!