Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Forgive Yourself

Dude, being a mom is hard.  Being a working mom is hard.  Being a stay at home mom is hard.  It's all hard and exhausting and thankless.

I know that I cut myself very little slack in all aspects of my life.  I go about 100% at work.  I wouldn't want Isabella's teachers to slack off with her education, so I make sure that that is one area that I don't cut corners on.  At home, I try and make sure that I'm cooking a (quasi) healthy dinner at least 5 nights a week.  I try and keep the house looking somewhat presentable, but it's getting more difficult with my growing belly and the much larger house that we're in.  I try and do fun things with Isabella during the week, like an easy craft or we'll bake something yummy to eat for dessert or breakfast the next morning.  I always pack my own lunch to save money, so that becomes a time suck.  Then there's the weekend which are usually full of commitments like parties and play dates and day trips.

It can be both fulfilling and draining at the same time and I don't allow any leeway for myself.

If I asked a stranger to do what I do in a day for my work/house/family, they'd laugh their ass off and probably charge me an arm and a leg.  And I'm assuming what I do doesn't look that much different from what any other mother does.

Trying to find a balance is always a struggle and always a challenge.  But we can't be everything to everybody.  We can't do it all and God-damn it we are important too!

I think that a little bit of grace towards yourself can go a long way.  So take a look at all the amazing things that you do all day.  Think about the impact you have on your family and your work place.  Think about how lucky your kids are to have you as a mom, even on the days where all you can do is heat up a frozen pizza and pop in a movie so you can keep a shred of your sanity.  Forgive yourself.

Forgive yourself if you need to take a day off of work to take care of a sick kid.  Forgive yourself if the laundry is piled up and the floors haven't seen a mop in a week.  Forgive yourself if what you really need to do is RSVP no to the party and cancel the play date and stay inside and watch movies all day.  Forgive yourself if you need to have someone else take your kid to soccer practice/dance class/gymnastics so you can get a mani-pedi or a haircut.  Forgive yourself if you would rather just color than make some elaborate craft you saw on pinterest with your kid.

And don't forget to forgive each other.  This is not easy and judgment from other mothers doesn't make it any easier.

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Stats and Stuff

I think that, occasionally, all bloggers go through a kind of "stat" worry where they become temporarily obsessed/worried/freaked out about the stats of their page.  Most of the time I try not to let the numbers get to me, I don't even look and really focus on the quality of my writing and improving my content.

But sometimes I get swept away in how many people are reading, or not reading, how many people "disliked" my facebook page, and how no one is sharing.  It makes me wonder about the content.  Sometimes posts go viral on the internet and I'd be lying if I said that I didn't want to catch that virus once or twice.

I think most writers wonder about the quality of their content and I'm no exception.  Am I writing pointless drivel or am I writing something that people can relate to?  Am I writing for myself or for an audience?  Mostly I just write about whatever is on my mind, but sometimes I'll bang out a really meaningful post and it will get no love and that can be really disappointing.

Also, for some reason I get so many dislikes on my facebook page it's alarming.  I get that people "like" it as an entry for a giveaway (which I've been super lazy about hosting any lately) and then when it's over they don't really care about what I have to say, but it would be nice if someone actually "liked" it between contests once in a while.

I'm not very active on twitter.  I mean to be, but I just can't get it together.  So I've never had hurt feelings over there.

This post is kind of whiney and probably a bit annoying and self-indulgent, but I'm wondering how do you guys feel about your stats?  What do you do to get your blog out there without being completely obnoxious?

Like I said, sometimes I don't give two craps about the stats and sometimes I really do.

Monday, February 25, 2013

29 Weeks

How far along?  29 weeks
Total weight gain/loss? Up 13 lbs.  I started out at 125 and weighed in at 138.  I'm determined to stay in the 25lb weight gain bracket.  
Stretch marks? No
Sleep? It's getting a bit easier to sleep on my side, which means I'm up in the night less.   
Best moment last week? Passing my glucose test.  I'm always so scared since diabetes runs in my family that I'm going to develop it, but levels came back normal.  Although my hemoglobin levels came back severely deficient which means I'll need to take iron pills twice a day, which means I shall never poop again.  
Movement? I'm starting to see those freaky rolls where your whole stomach roils to one side.  Kind a cool...kinda creepy.  
Food cravings? Donuts.  I've been good and have not indulged this craving yet.     
Food aversions?  chicken, onions, and tomatoes.  
Gender? Team Green
Labor signs? No and I'm looking to cook for another 11 weeks minimum.  I want to go as late as possible so I don't have to go back to work before summer vacation.  I went a little over a week early with Isabella and I'm hoping not to this time around.  
Belly button in/out? Popped and gross.
What I miss: Regular bowel movements.  I used to go at 8 am like clockwork, now if I can go 3 times a week I'm happy.  
What I am looking forward to: We just bought tickets to the Lion King on broadway to take Isabella as a Big Sister gift. 
Milestones: I can no longer see my toes when I look down

29 week  picture is forthcoming.  I actually took it with my camera and not my iPhone and now I have to upload it.  

Friday, February 22, 2013

Nips and Tucks

So keeping with the theme of yesterday's post about my unsightly varicose veins, I was thinking about what else I'd like to do to myself, cosmetically.


Veins

First and foremost I'd like to get the varicose veins in my legs taken care of.  If you missed the post from yesterday you can click HERE, but I'll give you the cliff's notes.  I have these awful pregnancy induced varicose veins decorating my legs from ankle to ass cheek.  They're ugly.  They bugle.  Their blue and purple.  But more importantly they hurt like a bitch.  If those bad boys don't clear up after birth they will be getting sodded off with a chainsaw if need be.

Boobs

I've always been a bit self-conscious about my big boobs, but eventually came to appreciate them for what they were and use them to my advantage.  You really do get used to skeevy guys leering at you.  But, after nursing Isabella and my plans to nurse Mrs. Petrillo, combined with the fact that gravity is no longer a friend of mine and I am prone to lower back aches, I'm thinking I'd really love a reduction and lift once I'm done breast feeding.  The reduction to get rid of the pain in my back and the lift to make them lovely again.  I'm currently a 36DD and I'd love to go down to a full C.

Skin

I'm getting a wee bit wrinkly in my advancing age.  I see the parenthesis around my mouth and the crinkles near my eyes and the lack luster appearance of my skin in general.  I know some people are a big fan of growing old gracefully, but I think I might be up for a bit of juviderm or botox.  Not to the degree that some celebs go, but you know, a bit of filler here and there.

I'd also really like to have head to toe liposuction so I never have to diet or exercise again, but that's probably just a pipe dream.

Thursday, February 21, 2013

My Vein Concern

I've been complaining about the varicose veins in my right leg since they reared their ugly head at some point way too early in my pregnancy and I have no plans on stopping until they go away, either miraculously on their own or by the skilled hand of a vein specialist.

Just so you don't think I'm being over dramatic, I'm posting them on the interwebz for all of you to see.

This one started out small during my pregnancy with Isabella.  It has since morphed into a giant super vein that wraps it's corded ugliness around the back of my thigh and right up to my vagina where it spreads out into a bag of worms.  I think it might have even found it's way to my ass.  It looks ugly in the pic, but not nearly as bad as in real life.  It's thick, corded, bulgy, blue and super ugly.  And it's long...nearly the length of my leg.

P.S.  Why is my foot so much whiter than my leg?


This one is my cluster fuck of spider veins that has spindled it's web around my ankle.  These are a lovely shade of deep plum and almost made one of my friends at work vomit in her mouth when I showed her.  These stem from one bulging pool of a vein and travel around my ankle and down my foot.  Sexy huh?

Aside from just looking gag worthy, they hurt.  They started off feeling like a bruise, just a bit tender, and itchy.  But now they throb and feel sore and it's like there's this "pulling" feeling down the back of my thigh.  It's not all the time, but it's definitely gotten worse and it's at least a few days a week where I need to just sit and put my feet up to ease the tension in my right leg.  

The good news is that there is a chance they may clear up on their own after the pregnancy, but seeing as I was quite a bitch in high school my money is on the fact that they'll stick around.  Plus the big one on my calf has been there for a bit, although not quite as angry as it's become, so I doubt that one will miraculously disappear either.  

The other good news is that there are vein specialists who specialize in these kinds of atrocities.  Also, from what I've read on the internet, and you know if you read it on the internet it's true, there are a few different treatment options.  I can get surgery to remove them.  I can have the doctor stick a hot poker up the vein to collapse it.  I can get it treated by lasers.  I haven't gotten checked out yet, so I don't know my own personal options, but we'll see.  

The thing that sucks is that my obgyn says that I shouldn't get treated for the veins until 6 months after delivery because by then whatever was going to go away would have.  Also, she said I need to be done having kids because they can definitely come back with a subsequent pregnancy.  Now, I'm about 99.9% sure that I'm done after Mrs. Petrillo, but this baby is due in May which means that I have to deal with these vile veins throughout the summer.  I'm too short and soft on the edges to pull off a maxi dress so it looks like I'll be sporting these things all summer.  Maybe with a tan they won't look so bad?

Here's hoping that they don't get any worse or that my left leg doesn't try to get in on the action because I'm very self-conscious about them.  

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

My New Gig

So if you didn't notice the new badge on the left sidebar, I'm officially a blogger contributer to Parent Society, which is a parenting website similar to Babble.  I just had my first post published last Friday and I'd love for you guys to check it out and tell me what you think.  If you love it maybe you wouldn't mind sharing it on your webs of social media.

http://www.parentsociety.com/pregnancy/being-pregnant/the-silent-sisterhood-support-after-a-miscarriage/

While I'm so excited to be getting paid to write, something I love to do, I won't like and say that I'm not completely insecure.  What if no one likes it?  What if I'm not good enough?  What if no one gives a shit about what I have to say?

I think that whenever you put yourself out there, you open yourself up and I'm just hoping that my skin is thick enough and my writing good enough that this doesn't fall apart for me.

Parenting, miscarriage

Monday, February 18, 2013

28 Weeks

How far along?  28 weeks
Total weight gain/loss? Up 12 lbs.  I feel like I'm starving all the time.  I'd love to say I'm only eating healthy, but that's not true.  I'm getting some scale anxiety.
Stretch marks? No
Sleep? I have a really hard time getting comfy  
Best moment last week? Honestly, saying "fuck the to-do list" and actually putting my feet up to relax
Movement? Yup, little bugger loves to move at night time and after I eat, except when someone else tries to feel it then it completely stops.   
Food cravings? All of my Valentines chocolates and truffles.  My students really know the way to my heart, or their trying to butter me up before report cards.      
Food aversions?  chicken, onions, and tomatoes.  
Gender? Team Green
Labor signs? No and since I've added in another huge bottle of water the BH's have stopped in intensity
Belly button in/out? Popped, but not enough to where I need a band aid to cover it
What I miss: Sleeping on my stomach.
What I am looking forward to: If Andy doesn't finish sanding and painting that nursery by the time I'm 30 weeks I will slice him from ear to ear. 
Milestones: Officially in the 3rd trimester.  About 12 more weeks to go!

28 Week Bumpdate


Friday, February 15, 2013

When Pregnancy Doesn't Suck

I've been pretty vocal lately about the miseries of pregnancy (click HERE and HERE to be bogged down with complaints), but when it's not absolutely awful, it really is kind of awesome.

I mean think about it, you are growing an actual human person inside of your body.  That person could grow up to be a ballerina, an accountant, a douche bag, a teacher, or anything really.  The possibilities are endless.  It's really something to think about that you will be, in part, responsible for who that tiny life grows up to be.  Your choices will shape it's future.  That is both amazing and terrifying.

Feeling that life inside you kick and poke and prod you, even when it's painful, for me, is the best part of pregnancy.  There's something special to be said about the fact that right now this baby is solely mine.  I mean I know it's obviously Andy's too (or maybe Steve Buscmei's), but right now I don't have to share the baby with anyone.

So while I have been, and will continue to be, a complaining pregnant lady, it's obviously all worth it and a very magical and miraculous time.

And the best part...people don't judge you for eating a lot.  In fact, they bring you food and insist that you sit down, rest and eat it.  And you don't have to suck in your stomach.  Now if only they could find a way for pregnant women to get wasted I'd be a whole lot more on board.

Thursday, February 14, 2013

The Men of My Dreams

With pregnancy comes a bunch of wacked out and wonky dreams.  Some are your garden variety dreams that make you wake up in a cold sweat, while others are a bit more on the erotic side.

My first pregnancy sex dream starred Hershel from The Walking Dead.  Now while, I would love to have Hershel on my zombie apocalypse team for his medical knowledge and ability to sustain a farm with no modern conveniences, I do not want to be his lovah.  In the dream he kept chasing me trying to make out with me and I had to keep avoiding him.  I remember running from him but thinking that if I didn't make out with him he'd feed me to the walkers.  Ahhh, Hershel.  Why couldn't it have been Darryl or Rick?

Then there's the one where Steve Buscemi was my boyfriend, but not as Steve Buscemi, as Nuki Thomson.  But here's the thing, in my dream we were really hot and heavy and now I kind of have a crush on Steve Buscemi.  He's from the North East area, so there's always the possibility that we can meet up and make out in real life.  So now I'm on a life mission to make out with Steve Buscemi.  But not now, making out with a 7 month pregnant woman is creepy.  Let's wait until, say July, when I'm thin again and then we can collectively launch a campaign to get Steve Buscemi to make out with me.  Andy might not like it, but I don't like that he doesn't put his socks in the hamper.  You win some, you lose some.  Steve Buscemi and I = winning!



Then I've had other strange dreams where the baby is born fully clothed as a girl, but it's really a boy (and vice versa).  I think that's the fact that I'm Team Green.

Then there's the ones where the hospital won't give me the baby after it's born and won't tell me why.

And of course the dreams where Andy leaves me with both kids by myself for a young, thin model.  Those are no fun.

So every night I go to sleep expecting to be fully entertained by the bizarr-o world that is my subconscious.

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Getting My Craft On

When it comes to crafting, I generally suck at life.  I can't sew a button.  The craft store scares me.  And I have a tube of Mod Podge that I'm not quite sure what to do with.  But this is the age of Pinterest and I've been pinspired to at least give it a go.

I saw this thing on Pinterest that looked easy enough and all I needed was yarn and the letters from Isabella's old room with her name.



So I decided to try it and it was a huge pain in the ass and didn't come out nearly as neat as the original post said, but I do kind of like it and Isabella loves it.




From far away it doesn't look bad, but you can see a lot of imperfections if you look closely.  I never call her Bella, but I didn't have the wall space, or patience, to try and do the whole name.  And I only used two color pinks instead of 3.  In general, I'm glad with the way it turned out.  It's gotten a lot of compliments.

Then I decided I was going to try these bad boys out.  


Cute right?  Well the directions on how to make the labels completely made my head spin, so I ordered them from her site.  Very reasonable and they came quicker than I thought seeing as they're shipping from Australia.  

This is my crafting station.  Fancy huh?


Some "before" shots



 Some child labor was involved



And while I was fairly terrified the entire time that I was going to completely botch them, they actually came out really cute.



I'm actually having fun doing some grown up crafts.  I might need to keep at it.  But don't mention the words "cricut" or "hot glue gun"  I'm not ready for it yet.  



Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Snow Day!

It's no surprise that this blizzard they call "Nemo" (bummer huh?) has completely blanketed the east coast in snow.  Usually I'm a run around crazy all weekend trying to do fun family stuff kind of girl, but since we got around 14 inches of snow, which was nothing in comparison to Long Island and CT, we decided to stay home.  The whole day!  I was actually forced to relax.

So what do you do on a snow day?  Well for one thing you eat... a lot.  I woke up and baked a yummy blueberry breakfast tart courtesy of Paula Deen.  It was fantastic and sweet and buttery and easy.  I generally enjoy anything that has biscuits as a base.  Then for dinner Andy and I had blue cheese crusted filet mignon with prosciutto wrapped asparagus, and a fancy salad.  And there were some cupcakes made, with a very special helper.  That girl loves to bake.



I also managed to clean the refrigerator, reorganize the cabinets, and deep clean the floors.  I couldn't just relax the whole day, especially since my outside play time tops out at about 30 minutes whereas Andy and Isabella's lasts a few hours.

I was kind of bummed to miss out on a Valentine's Day cookie decorating class I was taking with my cousin Christina, but they made me a to-go kit, so I can do it at home.  I'm assuming with my same special helper.


Rock on

One of them enjoyed the snow more than the other

How pretty is that face?


I'm glad the snow was on the weekend so I didn't have to brave the roads and drive to work.  I'm also very glad to have had a day to completely be a bum and not leave the house.

Monday, February 11, 2013

27 Weeks

How far along?  27 weeks
Total weight gain/loss? Up 12 lbs.  
Sleep? It's as to be expected.  Up once to pee and having a more and more difficult time getting comfortable. And I've been having crazy pregnant lady dreams/nightmares that wake me up.
Best moment last week? Being snowed in for a day and being forced to relax
Movement? Starting to see those creepy stomach rolls.  
Food cravings? Ben and Jerry's chocolate chip cookie dough ice cream.  Andy bought me the Friendly's brand and my heart almost broke.
Food aversions?  chicken, onions, and tomatoes.  
Gender? Team Green
Labor signs? Fierce Braxton Hick's again this week.  
Belly button in/out? popped and I'm a sad panda about it
What I miss: all forms of alcohol and caffeine.  
What I am looking forward to: 3rd trimester (according to some sites)
Milestones: 3rd tri! (according to other sites)

Here's me and my 27 week bumpdate.


Thursday, February 7, 2013

The Mother Post

I've been thinking lately about the relationship I have with my mother and while I could sit here and say, "Oh it's wonderful, we're so close," that's not always the case.  If I dig deep enough I most definitely have some resentment towards her.

For example, I really wanted to go away to college.  I was dying for freedom and I wanted so badly to experience what life would be like on my own.  Living in a dorm.  Getting a true college experience.  She talked me out of it.  Said it wasn't safe.  She would worry.  Wanted me close.  I was 18 and I should have just gone with what I wanted, but I felt bad and guilty and so I acquiesced.

Then she was insistent that I go to St. John's even though it was way out of my price range and I really didn't care much for the school.  She said it was because she wanted me to go to Catholic college, but there were a million other Catholic colleges that I could have chosen from.  She offered to pay half my student loans if I went.  Again, against my better judgement, I agreed.  I have still not seen a dime of the half she promised me, but I make my $300 payment to Sallie Mae each month like clockwork.  While I don't doubt I received an amazing education, I'm making the same as my colleagues who went to Brooklyn College and St. Francis and don't have a dollar of loans.

When I was engaged to Andy, I wanted to push the wedding back a year.  Not for any bad reasons, just to have a year to maybe live on my own in an apartment.  Have a job working in the city.  Live the life I had pictured in my head.  Again she talked me out of it.

What I don't understand is her motives.  The real motives, not the bs she says when I try to talk to her about it.  It's always, "I was worried about your safety."  I think I know the truth.  She's insecure and wanted me to "need" her.  She wanted me close.  She wanted a certain life for me and that was more important than the life I wanted for myself.

I hope that Isabella wants to spread her wings and fly.  I hope I'm strong enough as a mother to let her. I hope she lives with her girlfriends in a terrible apartment.  I hope she makes all the wrong choices.  I hope she spends the summer in Italy.  I hope I let her live her own life.

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Crotchety Old Pregnant Lady

How I feel
I have reached the point in my pregnancy where I am officially a big ball of negativity.  I'm a crotchety, big pregnant lady.  Some women glow throughout their pregnancy, relishing in every kick and pushing the uncomfortable aspects to the back burner.  It's only for a short while right?  It's a big miracle right?

Meh

My skin is stretched painfully thin.  My right leg looks like it belongs to an eighty year old, covered in spider and varicose veins which are creeping up to my vagina.  Speaking of my vagina, it's starting to hurt.  I feel like there's no room left in my stomach.  I don't feel attractive, sexy, or put together.  My skin looks dull.  My hair looks stringy.  My wrinkles look more pronounced.  And I have an overall "puffy" appearance.

When people ask me how I'm feeling I know I'm supposed to say "Great".  But I'm so tired of faking it.  So I'm complaining and being obnoxious and ungrateful and just pitiful.  But that's about where I'm at and I still have about 13 weeks left to go until my due date.  It's gonna get ugly around here.

Monday, February 4, 2013

26 Weeks

How far along?  26 weeks
Total weight gain/loss? Up 10 lbs.  
Sleep? I wake up a lot unfortunately and am pretty stinking tired most of the time
Best moment last week? Getting to eat all the yummy Super Bowl treats, although I did miss the beer 
Movement? Lots of kicks, pokes and thuds.  They can easily be felt from the outside. 
Food cravings? Nothing sounds good to me this week at all 
Food aversions?  chicken, onions, and tomatoes.  
Gender? Team Green
Labor signs? No
Belly button in/out? Flat, but not out yet.  I'll cover that sucker with a band aid like I did last time
What I miss: Beer!
What I am looking forward to: Is it sad that I can't think of anything?
Milestones: Inching closer to 3rd tri

Here's my 26 week bump and honestly, I've never felt so gross.  I think my body is holding up ok, but I feel like my face is getting severely distorted.  


Friday, February 1, 2013

When Your Husband Doesn't "Get It"

I'm not at that stage in my pregnancy where I'm huge pregnant and entirely uncomfortable, but I'm slowly feeling the transition from "cute and energetically" pregnant to "starting to get uncomfortable" pregnant.  I guess it's because at nearly 26 weeks pregnant I'm inching ever closer to the third trimester.

I didn't start feeling this way this early with Isabella, but then again I didn't have a big house to keep up with or a crazy 3 year old to chase after.  The veins in my right leg are getting itchy and starting to throb which causes a lot of discomfort. I'm on my feet all day long.  I wake up at around 5:50 get ready for work, I'm up on my feet nearly all day at work, then I come home, try and get in some exercise, make dinner, clean, do bedtime and get ready for the next day.  My feet hurt and so does my back and I feel like I'm starting to swell...already!

I'm also very lucky that I have a husband who is very helpful.  He'll play with Isabella, do the dishes, make my lunch, and do manly things around the house like spackle and hammer.  But sometimes he just doesn't get it.  Like when he keep saying how hungry he is and all I want to do is order a pizza and put my feet up.  Or when he says that he's going to give me a foot massage, but he has this ADD thing going on where he can't focus on two things at once, so as he gets into whatever TV show we're watching the massage get weaker and weaker until he's just holding my foot.

Andy and I both enjoy drinking craft beer and wine.  It's been tough for me sometimes especially after a long week that I can't enjoy a drink on Fridays, but it's something I know I have to give up, even if it's grudgingly.  He told me at the start of the pregnancy that he'd slow down and would try not to drink in front of me.  Way to go with the solidarity!  Except that that was a big fat lie.  He drinks at least 2 beers a night almost every night.  He drinks in front of me all the time, even if it's just us at home.  I don't expect him to give up alcohol all together, but I wonder if he knows how it makes me feel?  Oh yeah, he does because I don't keep anything to myself.  I just don't get why he made the promise in the first place?

Also, I have a very difficult time slowing down or asking for help.  Sometimes, I need to be forced.  Sometimes I need him to force me.  Sometimes I need him to do all the anal retentive things that I do all the time that he thinks are stupid, like sweep, windex, and organize the closets.

So while he really is such a wonderful guy, he sometimes just doesn't get it.