Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Pregnancy, Party, and Other Updates

A few updates on this hot and humid day in June:

* I'm past hump-day on the first week of my summer class! We're almost finished with Hamlet. Each day my students have to (1) read (2) take an online (open-book, open-notes, open-internet) quiz and (3) write a journal entry about an act of the play. They also get graded on participation in class discussion. So far, grades range from 100% to 35%. What can I say? QUIZZES ARE OPEN-BOOK, OPEN-GOOGLE. And participation grades are mostly based on whether you talk, not whether you actually contribute something useful to discussion. So... they are in control of their destinies is what I am saying.

* Every time I teach Hamlet, I love it more. I also love this article on grief and Hamlet. My interpretation of the play (this time around at least) is slightly different--I just don't see Hamlet quite as worked up about the death of his dad as he is concerned about whom his mother is sleeping with (incestuous, much?) but I still love everything this article says about how hard it is to grieve when the rest of the world thinks you should be moving on.

* I want a ceramic garden stool. It's my new obsession. I want to use it as a side table or occasional seat in my front room. I want it to be bright coral or yellow or maybe green. Joss & Main is having a great sale on them but I haven't pulled the trigger because instead I ordered this:

* Surprise! Zuzu's second birthday gift from Mama & Daddy is a play kitchen. Because I want to foster the feminine arts of domesticity, naturally. Or just give her something to do that involves air conditioning and me not having to run to keep up with her because (1) I'm carrying an extra 30 pounds (2) my friend sciatica is back and (3) boob sweat (see (1)).

* Somewhat related: Zuzu's birthday gift from my parents is an outdoor playhouse I found on Kansas City Craigslist. I asked my BFF and her husband to pick it up in his truck, negotiate a lower price with seller, and drive it to my parents' house in Nevada. (Although my mom actually paid for it.) Now I'm having my brother and his girlfriend drive it to St. Louis (via Kansas City, coincidentally) this weekend, on their way to visit us before they head back to Pittsburgh. Because there is no one that I won't inconvenience in the name of Zuzu's birthday bash!

* Speaking of which: We decided to have Zuzu's party at a splash pad at a local park. It's going to be super low-key--I invited only a handful of people, and only half of them can make it. I'm not stressing about food or decorations (if I keep saying it, it will magically become true). We're just going to hang out and watch the kids splash. I think it will be really fun.

* Quick pregnancy update: Going well. No news is good news at this point. I'm still having weekly NSTs and so far they have all been good. I do kick counts every day at home, but I'm not as obsessive as I was last time (they all had to be at the exact same time of day and I used the Baby Kicks app on my phone every. single. time.). I will record the kicks on the app if I have my phone near me, but sometimes I'll just count as I'm lying in bed reading or lounging on the couch watching Orange is the New Black. Last time I was SO ANXIOUS for the pregnancy to be over, and this time I have so much I want to get done before this baby gets here, and I know that a newborn + Zuzu will be a totally different ballgame. It's just a different feeling. However, coming up on 34 weeks has definitely amped up my anxiety, and the return of sciatic nerve pain made me super cranky yesterday.

* I'm 33 weeks 1 day pregnant today. I've gained more than 30 pounds, although my weight has remained the same for the past three weeks. Same thing happened with Eliza and Zuzu--I gain weight early and then it slows up (though I ended up gaining 40 total with both girls) while my belly just gets bigger and bigger. And bigger.

* Zuzu begged/demanded that she go to the park yesterday, so David walked up there with her and Cooper while I ran a quick errand. I stopped at the park on my way home and walked waddled from the car to the playground and collapsed on the bench of a picnic table (damn sciatica).

Another mom pushing her kid on the swing started a friendly conversation.

Her:  You're brave, walking! I couldn't have done it when I was at that point in my pregnancy.

Me: I have seven weeks to go.

Her: Oh! You're kidding.

Me: fake smile, shaking head no

* I also had a conversation with my doctor about this uncomfortable sensation I've had right in the center of my chest, just below my ribs.

Me: I haven't felt this kind of pain in either of my previous pregnancies. It just sort of feels like my abdominal muscles are getting ripped apart. Like I want to put an ice pack on it.

Doctor: (nodding sagely) Yes; that's your abdominal muscles getting ripped apart.

Me: Okay... great! So that's normal, right?

Doctor: Yep.

* Zuzu has officially transferred to the Big Kids' Room (also known as the Older Toddler Room, also known as Busy Bees, also known as Holy Crap How Does Anyone Work With a Room Full of Two-Year-Olds). She sleeps on a cot! She drinks out of a cup without a sippy lid! I can't even.

* Also going on this week:
- Trying to watch as many episodes of Orange is the New Black as possible.
- Considering a purchase of chalk paint for a new project! (You're curious, aren't you???)
- Planning fun stuff to do this weekend with my brother and his gf (whom we met in Nevada--Zuzu loves her)
- Catching up on laundry from the 5 days we spent at my parents (yeah... I should totally get on that)

So... any updates from my chatty readers? Anyone else experience this muscle-splitting pain? (I'd rate it as preferable to round ligament pain in the pubic region, but still not pleasant). Anyone painted furniture with Annie Sloan chalk paint? Anyone who can promise me a play kitchen is a good investment? Anyone want to talk about Hamlet?


  1. YES... the play kitchen is worth it in my opinion. My husband and I get all giggly and self-congratulatory every time we suddenly realize that our girl is playing with hers. I will say she spent an unexpected amount of time under the sink of it, I suppose because she's seen her dad under our sink a time or two? That was amusing.

    I would love to talk about Hamlet, but I know less than diddly about it. Every time you talk about your courses, I realize how much I really do want a degree in English Literature! And now I need Hamlet and some Cliff Notes. So at the very least, you're an ongoing motivator for me to get back to school!

    I gained 40 with each kid, and people were constantly shocked that I wasn't due *that day* whichever day it was. I know precisely which fake smile you offered that nice lady.


  2. I had very little pain or swelling or heartburn with pregnancies. My treat was barfing for the first seven months and a few days. So I'm basically the yin to your yang - I could have concealed my pregnancy for 6-7 months (especially the first) and then I stashed a thirty pound basketball under my shirt in the final few weeks. Random strangers didn't know the difference, but my co-workers were shocked both times around - like "what the heck happened to you over the weekend??" Actually, they were probably just glad that I wasn't hurling into the trashcan any more.

    With my first, I do remember going to a party (with a lot of people I didn't know) and someone overheard a conversation I was having and interrupted - quite rudely - to exclaim that I couldn't possibly be six months pregnant, and then she rounded up the rest of the party people to point at me and basically call me a liar. I left in tears, convinced that somehow I wasn't carrying my baby "correctly" and that I was doing her great harm. Trust me - I was already worried enough about that, thank you very much.

    I'm sorry about your pain - that's no fun. I cracked ribs both times getting sick, and had to take Zofran, which sort of freaked me out, but it was the only way to heal and move again.

    I do catch myself smiling at very pregnant women - I think they are cute, and it makes me somewhat reflective too. But I draw the line at verbal comments unless someone first talks about their own present state. It's just too personal.

    I love Hamlet. And play kitchens.

  3. I don't have kids yet, but that play kitchen seems awesome! A number of my friends have bought them for their kids who love playing with them. I bet Zuzu will think it is so much fun. Sounds like she is going to have quite a birthday.

    The sciatica sounds terrible. I had really bad sciatica with my last pregnancy and the only things that helped at all were some yoga stretching positions (modified of course) and swimming. Just getting into the water and doing a few laps made me feel much better. Hang in there!

  4. Mase loves the play kitchen we got him for his second birthday! I'm sure Zuzu will love hers too :)

    Sorry you're having so much pain. Hoping it gets better for you. You're getting close!!!

  5. Rib pain, yes. Had it with both. Not just the muscles, either. My actual ribs were/are physically pushed out further than they used to be. Like even now, in my non-svelte state, my ribs stick out at the bottom. Because those babies PUSHED THEM OUT! And it hurt like hell while it was happening.

    Also, when I was about 33 weeks or so with Laren my neighbour kindly pointed out that I looked like a BELUGA. I'm pretty sure people's brains momentarily leave their heads when they see pregnant ladies.

    Casual splash pad party sounds awesome. I can't wait to see photos! :)

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  7. I had major abdominal separation with pain. An abdominal binder, like a tube top, helped when I had to be on my feet all day. I think I have an extra new one from work in the attic. I'll look for it. I tried kinesiology tape too but the binder was better. Though obviously not ideal unless you're in AC. I'm glad nsts are good.
    I've been stalking craigslist for a nice wood play kitchen.

  8. I had similar pain, but EVERYTHING hurt worse with Mary. This is your third pregnancy.... It's gonna just hurt! Like you'd think the first would hurt the most and by now your body would be used to it, but no! It's the damn opposite and brutal. I feel for ya (not literally though - thank God).

    Finn loved his friend Maddies play kitchen so I think it's a good investment for not only Zu, but Rerun as well.(positive thinking!)

    Chalk paint?? Egh. So messy! I also hate HATE chalk boards so I just can't.

    Is Zu moving to a big girl room at home? What is going on with that and the nursery?

  9. All I can contribute is that, yes, the kitchen will be way worth it. Get some fake food, dishes and utensils, if you haven't. Any time she's acting up or needs to be distracted, say, "Zuzu! Can you make Mommy a pie or a cake? Or dinner?" Gets them (most) every time.

  10. We are talking about pregnancy pain? Ok, I'll join in!

    With Theo. I was having crotch pain at 16 weeks. The top of my belly felt like it was ON FIRE as soon as I started to round out, so, 20+ weeks? Maybe 28? And the crotch pain put me in tears and basically immobile for the last 6 ish weeks. (So from week 31 for me). I worked retail and was parked at my back desk in the stock room for 98% of my day. I just couldn't. I guess i wasn't in the best of shape to be pregnant all over again, because I found the pain to be UNREAL. I wanted to ice my belly too. I had similar questions/complaints for my doc re physical pain and discomfort. And her answers were always, "yep, you're just pregnant. Doing it back to back. It hurts." *sad face*.

    The splash pad sounds perfect. And I always wanted a play kitchen!! Zuzu is so lucky!


  11. The Hamlet article is fabulous--it verbalized some of my own thoughts on grief far better than I have been able to do myself.

  12. 1) I LOVE that kitchen. My Ils bought Grace a cheap and crappy plastic one from Walmart that is *tiny* and I hate it so much. I wish they just hadn't because I wanted to buy the pretty one from Costco but if I do it now I look like a jerk.
    -> On that point, if you're looking for fruits/veg/foods to put inside, idea has soft fabric ones that Grace likes. I figure it's safer for Piper if the food isn't hard since throwing it is inevitable.

    2) I can barely even discuss the sippy cup situation. grace still spills all the time and then looks at me like I did it… So we use the tops and try cups when we just drink water.

    3) I can still feel phantom pelvis pain if I really think about it. I am fairly certain I still have pretty substantial abdominal separation, and it's not pretty.

    4). You're pretty.

  13. That kitchen is adorable! That was my favorite thing when I was a kid. I have my old one and my boys love to play with it! BOYS!

  14. We got a cheap plastic kitchen from a coworker and V loves it. He loves the sound effects it make though the one you got is way more awesome. Every time I sneeze I feel like I am ripping in half. And I have 4 months to go~M