Summer Noms

It’s been far too long since I wrote a food post. I’ve been in a major recipe rut for months now, and having to be on a low-carb diet hasn’t helped the cause any. But, I felt inspired today to post my favorite, favorite, favorite pasta salad recipe, for a couple of reasons.

1. Us San Franciscans are just beginning to enter our real summer, which comes a bit later than it does for the rest of the country. September and October are our hot, sunny, stellar months. We’ve had some good days so far this August too. And we’re rockin’ it. So, it’s time to whip out the “summer” recipes–i.e. those that don’t involve the oven and/or are served cold.

2. Every time I make this salad, Bowie enjoys it a little bit more. The last time I made it, he gobbled up every last drop. If you know my son at all (or have read my Twitter account on any given day) then you know he is about the pickiest eater there is. Won’t try a new thing ever. ESPECIALLY if it’s green. But he eats every single morsel of this salad. Once you see the ingredients, you’ll understand why this is so noteworthy. So, parents of picky eaters: read on.

You’re likely wondering how I can include a pasta salad in my diet when I’m supposed to be keeping it low-carb. First off, I use whole wheat pasta, which is better for the ol’ blood sugar than regular white pasta. Secondly, I can tolerate more carbs later in the day, so right now I reserve this dish for dinner. Thirdly, it helps to eat the pasta in conjunction with the other ingredients. And finally, our old friend portion control.

Ok. So. This recipe is based on one I found a while back on Real Simple. Well, it’s exactly this recipe, except that they advertise it as a lunch dish and the recipe “serves 2”. When I make it, I double or triple it, and really just eyeball the amounts needed of each of the ingredients. Which is why, to the dismay of some of you, I don’t have any exact measurements listed here, only the ingredients you need. You can decide how much of everything you want, which I think just adds to the beauty of the recipe. Ok, here you go:

Most Delicious, Kid-Friendly Pasta Salad Ever

Cooked and cooled pasta, penne works well

Bocconcini (smallish mozzarella balls) or chopped fresh mozzarella

Grape or cherry tomatoes, halved

Baby spinach, chopped

Salami, chopped

For the dressing:

3 parts olive oil

1 part white wine vinegar or rice vinegar (my “parts” are typically tablespoons)

salt and pepper

Mix all the salad ingredients together in a large bowl. In a small bowl, whisk together the dressing ingredients. Give it a taste and adjust based on how you like it. Put it on the salad and toss well to mix. It helps if this sits in the fridge for a half a day or so to let the flavors mix, but totally not necessary.

That’s it. Simple to make, easy to find ingredients, nice and light for those hot summer nights. And the leftovers keep for days. Yay for easy lunches!

Happy eating! And happy pleasing your picky kid!

(I mean, I hope it helps, at least. Believe me, I know how frustrating it can be when someone says they have the “key to getting a picky kid to eat!” and you find it doesn’t work for your kid.)

Friday Digest 2

1. So, August. It took forever to get here, but now it’s finally here. This is the last full calendar month I will be pregnant. I mean, even if The Littlest Dude is late, he’ll still be born before the end of September. And if he’s early? He could be born at the end of THIS MONTH. Ecstatic=the only word for how that makes me feel. Here’s some perspective for you: I’ve been pregnant for all of 2012. Yep. Found out right after New Year’s. Think about that for a sec. About ready for this to be over, and the next phase of my life to start. Even though it’s going to be a little bit crazy for a while.

2. After our horrid park experience at the beginning of this week (see last post), we had an amazing experience yesterday. Within minutes of us arriving, Bowie had a small (and I mean small) run-in with another boy around his age, and came up to me and deemed the other kid “mean and stupid.” My heartbeat sped up and I thought, “Here we go again.” And I prepared myself for another embarrassing exit. But, but, but…a few minutes later Bowie was playing alone and the other kid walked up again and pointed out some bird poop. Which they both found completely hilarious. And the other kid says, “Hey, let’s go slide!” Bowie says enthusiastically, “Ok!” And off they went. They went up and down the slide for a solid hour after that, and when I told Bowie it was time to leave, he said, “Not until I’m done sliding with my friend!” This for him was an amazing experience, I’m sure. Especially given that he’d gotten a bad impression of the other boy at first, but was able to overcome that. And given that a couple of times they disagreed on the rules of their sliding game, and they accidentally crashed into each other, and Bowie did fine. In the past, that would have set him off. I can envision him having a great final year at preschool. Which, let me tell you, was NOT what I was thinking just three months ago.

3. Speaking of preschool: 19 days until we’re back. 19 days. 19 days. 19 days.

4. Ran across this quote on Pinterest today: “If you want to test your memory, try to recall what you were worrying about one year ago today.” Which piqued my curiosity. Not exactly a year ago today, but a year ago Sunday, I was having this conversation. So I have a safe assumption of what was on my mind. And I’m still healing today, but I’m so happy to have come as far as I have, and I’m so, so, so excited for our future, which I surely was not last August.

5. Holla at your girl for being featured on ChatterBlockSF on their list of Best Parenting Blogs in the Bay Area. As always, an honor. Still in complete denial of how many people actually end up here, and actually take a minute to read something. Amazing feeling, and means so much. Thanks to all my readers. And to be included with some of my own favorites (like Using Our Words and Rookie Moms) is so amazing.

And I leave you with probably the cutest dog video I’ve ever seen.

 

Four Letter Words

Can we talk a moment about swearing / cursing / cussing / obscenities / vulgarities? (And be warned, this post contains some of the aforementioned, so feel free to leave now if you’re sensitive to that kind of thing.) Lately Bowie’s taken a shining to it.

We thought we were so cool when he was younger, not really curbing our own swearing much around him, thinking we didn’t care if he swore or not.

Of course, he started to repeat a word or two, here and there. And we’d all laugh. Isn’t that funny, when he repeats our vulgar words? Hardy har har.

We curbed it a bit when he started preschool, for obvious reasons. And for a while he didn’t use those words at all.

Now, he’s 4. And he tends to have a hard time dealing with anger and frustration. I mean, don’t we all, especially when we are 4? But, because of his sensory issues, he goes from zero to COMPLETELY PISSED OFF OMG I HATE EVERYTHING in about 3 seconds.

And somewhere along the line, he learned that swear words have POWER. Swear words have GRAVITY. Swear words make people LOOK AT YOU IN HORROR. What better way to react to the injustices of preschooler-dom (like being denied a third cup of juice or being told not to throw toys) than to scream, “You shit mama!”

Still thinking we’re cool, we opt to try to teach a 4 year old that some words can be said at home, but only at home. Those words are not meant for school. Which he hears as, “Go ahead, say those words at school.” Which he has done. A fair number of times. And once he totally laid into one of the working dads, with a whole diatribe of inappropriate words.

SMACK. That was me, hitting my forehead with the palm of my hand.

Then yesterday at the park, he was playing with some kids we didn’t know, generally having an ok time. I was puppy-sitting for a friend, and we had the dog with us who was, well, being a puppy about all the other dogs that were around. I turned away from Bowie for like 5 seconds to calm the dog, and when I turned back, he was hitting, throwing sand and swearing his mother flipping head off.

The other parents looked and me in complete shock and horror. I wanted to bury myself in the sand and never come out. And I know it seems ridiculous, but the hitting and the throwing sand, at least that I can explain to them. At least it’s a fairly regular occurrence whenever a couple of kids get together.

But the swearing? This is not normal preschooler fare. And the (correct) assumption is that the child has been regularly exposed to those words. Worse yet, there’s the (incorrect, in our case) assumption that those words are being hurled at that child in a parent’s moment of anger or frustration.

Honestly, what do you do when your 4 year old yells at the top of his lungs, “You shit fuck!” to another young child they’ve never met before, for accidentally bumping into him at the top of the slide? There is no manual for this, no parenting articles, no chapter in any of the What to Expect books. Because only horrible, awful, terrible, neglectful parents would make the mistake of allowing these words to enter their child’s vocabulary.

That’s how I feel lately. Like we have completely and utterly failed him in a big way, because this is going to be a huge hurdle for him as far as making friends, keeping friends and socializing like a normal kid. I know eventually it will work itself out, like the word “hate” did (oh if only I knew back then how much worse it would get). But, when? And how? I’ve even started allowing him to say “stupid” to people, which I totally hate, simply because it’s not a swear word!

Oh you guys. I don’t know if I’m looking for help here, or just someone to prop my emotions back up and tell me it’s going to be ok, and that he’s not the first kid to go through this. Please tell me you knew a kid like this, and you weren’t totally offended and judging those parents into the ground for it.

 

Friday Digest

These quickie lists have become sort of my thang for Fridays. I have to come up with some clever title/category for them. Ideas?

1. I’m excited to get caught up in fashion when I’m out of maternity wear. For one thing, I’m very optimistic about my post-baby weight loss. Being on the diabetic diet has helped me stay at a nice, healthy pregnancy weight, and while baby continues to grow, my weight dropped a little, and is now hovering in the area of 160, just 10 measly pounds over where I was before I got pregnant. The OB wasn’t all too happy about my weight at my checkup, but as long as the little man’s doing fine, I’m not going to change my routine. I can’t really do anything differently anyway, I’m not eating any less, just less of the stuff they TOLD me to eat less of! Ok, and also, I spent the year before I got pregnant either thinking I’d be pregnant or feeling pretty depressed, and deciding what to wear everyday was such an afterthought. One of the three pairs of jeans that fit me, a plain t-shirt, a plain sweatshirt, and my Sauconys. Every day. So, I’m excited to break that mold. Experiment with color. Get exciting. And since nothing I owned before will fit me anyway: SHOPPING! I won’t be able to go crazy or anything but, SHOPPING!

2. Yesterday was our 9th wedding anniversary (holla!). Since both of our babysitters recently relocated, and because we’re not super on the ball about making plans ahead of time, we pretty well resigned ourselves to the fact that Bowie would be accompanying us if we decided to go out to dinner. We made reservations at a semi-fancy place, and prepared Bowie for it in the morning. “We’re going to have dinner at a fancy restaurant because today is the day mommy and daddy got married. It’s our ann-i-ver-sary.” He was very excited and chatty about it all the way to school that morning. And, our usual routine at school is to grab a book and get cozy and read it until it’s time to sign in and sing welcome songs. When we got to school he made a mad dash for a “special book”, searching the many bookshelves that dot the whole building, finally finding the book he wanted. It was Froggy Eats Out, which is not only about a little froggy who goes out to eat at a fancy restaurant, but it’s also this froggy’s parents’ anniversary. What?! My kid is so smart and cute, you guys. And he was a (mostly) perfect little angel, and we all had a great dinner. He “dressed up” in his favorite shirt from Hawaii and he even got his own glass tumbler of juice, which was just a little bit too cute. Exhibit A:

3. I’m starting to have those “what was I thinking?!” moments of pregnancy, thinking about the near future. Not in any way like I wish I weren’t pregnant or anything like that, but just, you know, what was I thinking?! I remember having those thoughts with Bowie too. What have I done to our marriage? What have I done to the pets? Will life ever be as simple and carefree as before? (Hints: Improved it. Nothing. No, but you won’t care.) I know it’s just regular old cold feet, but I need those thoughts to just skee-daddle already, I don’t need any extra anxiety right now. No, I really don’t.

4. Today was Bowie’s final therapy session. We might do what the therapist called a “refresher” right after school starts, but he’s pretty well done. It seems like it went so fast, but then I remember we started this whole process back in April. Well, late February if you want to count the first time we met with the teachers about it. Of course he still has his moments, but there have been improvements by leaps and bounds. Today at school, I got to witness him enter into a sensitive situation (another kid got too close for Bowie’s comfort) and raise his hand to act out violently, and then change his mind and not follow through. One of the biggest exhales of my life. His newest challenge is allowing the adults to deal with a peer who is not following the rules. He’s been extremely sensitive to it lately, and the therapist says it’s just because he’s aware now that he’s trying so hard to stay in line, and he doesn’t get why everyone else can’t do that too. Makes sense. But still, another hurdle to overcome.

5. Today was the last day of summer school. Regular school starts back up again August 22. I am 33 weeks pregnant and will be alone with a 4 year old for the next 3 1/2 weeks. Deep breaths, deep breaths.

Have a fantastic weekend!

Ready to Rock (Mama, at least)

The bump, 32 weeks:

We took a tour this week of the labor and delivery ward, and the recovery floor at the hospital. We had Bowie at the same hospital, and truthfully could have lived without taking the tour a second time. But, it’s free and the last time we were there is a bit of a blur for me, so I signed us up.

I remember taking the tour the first time, and how anxious and nervous and unprepared it made me feel. The sight of the OR made me break out into a cold sweat. I had no idea what I was in for. I knew contractions hurt, and I was afraid I wouldn’t be able to handle it. And I had just learned the term “Ring of Fire” as applied to labor and delivery. I was freaking out.

We were the only couple on the tour this time who had an older child, and I could see the fear in the other women’s eyes, but me? I was cool as a cucumber. I wanted to give them all a big hug and let them know, “Yes, you CAN do this! It’s not that scary! It’s not that bad!” One of the women even asked in horror if she might poo on the table. Adorable.

My attitude was more like, “Ok, there’s a free room? Let’s do this thing people. What? You mean I still have two months left? Come on.”

Neither I nor my husband could really remember for sure, but we think the recovery room she took everyone in to see was the one we were staying in when we had Bowie. And, it probably wasn’t the same delivery room she showed us, but they’re all the same. I remember everything looking so much bigger before. More intimidating or something. Kind of like when I left middle school for high school, and a year or so later I was back in the middle school building and everything looked so tiny to me. It was that exact feeling.

Especially the hallway from the recovery room to the front desk. That hallway was LONG and OMINOUS at 18 hours into recovery, when everyone was saying, “Just go take a walk around!” Yeah, no big deal, it’s not like you have half a dozen stitches in your hoo-ha or anything! When I looked at that “hallway” on the tour, I realized it was more like…a corner?

I don’t feel like a totally seasoned expert or anything. I mean, I’ve only done this once before, 4 years ago. There’s still a small amount of fear, given that I actually know this time what contractions feel like. And I pretty well remember the anarchist revolt that was my digestive system reacting to labor. And I don’t think I want another epidural, but what will that be like? What if I do want one, will it be the same as before? And recovery with a 4 year old, what’s that like?

But, I do feel pretty confident and empowered. Not at all like I did on my first tour all those years ago. So, get all your growing on, little man, but feel free to make your grand entrance a little early, it’s okay with mama.

The Inadvertent Activist

I’ve been drafting and writing and rewriting a post about breastfeeding ever since I became pregnant the second time, last spring. I can’t seem to get my words out without sounding like I’m trying to be an activist of some type. But, I swear I’m not. I just found the whole thing to be a rewarding, positive experience, and I want society to ditch their hang ups about breasts in general.

I was reminded that I had this draft sitting in my files after a recent experience at Babies R Us. I’ve already explained to Bowie, after he asked if the baby would eat out of a bottle, that the baby would actually get milk from mommy’s boobies. An idea that made him stop and think, but didn’t shock or scare him. Yesterday, at the store, we passed a display of breast pumps, and the ever-inquisitive four year old asked what they were for and what they did. And I explained how sometimes that’s how mommies get the milk out of their boobies for the babies. A woman shopping nearby overheard and clucked her tongue at me and looked at us very disapprovingly. Judgment from a stranger about a private, yet perfectly normal and legitimate conversation I was having with my son.

What would that woman have me do instead? Am I to lie to my son about what a breast pump is used for? Am I to not explain how it is I will be feeding his little brother for at least his first year? How he was fed? How many babies are fed? I’m sorry if the conversation makes some people uncomfortable, but I will absolutely be having it with my son. And this is my debate: I should have given her a whole, big, long speech about it, but I didn’t. Because I don’t like being put into the activist role. I didn’t educate that woman at all about the normalcy of breastfeeding, but is that my responsibility?

I can’t recall whether or not there was such an uproar about breastfeeding as there is now when I was nursing Bowie. Whether or not a woman breastfeeds, how much support she gets, how long she breastfeeds, whether she covers up in public or not, whether she continues when she goes back to work or not. All of it really none of anyone’s business except the mom and the baby, but all of it the center of a large online debate.

I don’t remember public breastfeeding being such a big deal when Bowie was small. But then again I was new to the whole thing, I wasn’t really paying attention to the topic on the Internetz like I am now, and I covered up in public so I never really took any flak.

Somewhere over the course of the past 4 years, the topic has become a lot more public and a lot more controversial (in my mind), and given the way I react to certain controversies as they arise makes me feel like I became a big advocate for public breastfeeding, and other breastfeeding issues (like pumping at work, extended breastfeeding, etc.).

Not that I was a real rebel about all of it. Like I said already, I covered up when I fed Bowie in public. I think that came from my Midwestern upbringing. It was more out of modesty than feeling required to do so. Actually, there were a couple of times that I’d either forgotten my cover, or I was tucked into the corner of a restaurant booth, or something like that, and I didn’t cover up. I also never covered up at home, unless an older male was present (again with the modesty). I was shocked to hear that there are even breastfeeding mothers themselves who ridicule those who feed in public without covering up. I’ve actually read comments online that they think these other women want to “show off” their breasts, and have “secret desires to be a stripper”. Really? I mean…really?!

Also, I didn’t go back to work, so pumping at work wasn’t an issue for me. But I do have friends who had to do that, and even here in the land of the hippies where breastfeeding is so fully embraced, they were forced to pump in the bathroom stall, or had to lock their office door for a few minutes and then offer a full explanation to inquiring (and often not understanding) minds afterward.

I also didn’t do extended breastfeeding, I weaned Bowie at 13 months. I could have gone longer, and I may go longer with the new little guy. But, Bowie and I were just ready, it was our time to quit. I realize though, that’s not the case for all mothers and children, and I really don’t care how long you nurse your kids, as long as it’s what works for your family.

Anyway, I’m sort of preparing myself to deal with these kinds of battles as I get ready to breastfeed my second son. I feel like I have to brace myself in a way I never had to with Bowie. Again, I don’t know if this is because I was so naive back then, or if the issues just hadn’t been brought to light, but I never had problems back then, and sadly I am anticipating problems to come. People probably thought things about me when they saw me nursing in public (because I’ve also come to learn that it still offends people, even if you cover up), but they didn’t have the courage to say anything. Will the new tone of the debate give people that courage this time? Will I have the courage/strength to give them an intelligent, non-sarcastic response?

I also wonder if I should try to push the buck, because I feel so strongly about these issues, or if I should just fade into the background like I did before. Quietly nursing my son under a nursing cover (even though he’s going to be born during San Francisco’s hottest time of year, and I’m dreading the thought of putting a cover over him). I’m not the type of person to do something solely out of defiance. So, it’s unlikely I will breastfeed, uncovered, in public just to make a point. But, does that hurt the cause?

Also, can I just touch base on the (very small) possibility I’d have to give my second son formula instead? Because it’s a reality for a lot of moms, and I feel like they’re just as chastised as the mom who whips ’em out in public. Will people see me giving him a bottle, and automatically assume I’m a terrible mother for not breastfeeding? Without even knowing my story, and not knowing that I successfully breastfed one son for a full year?

I guess the point of this post is not to bring up the issues and start a bunch of debates. What I’m trying to say is, do you feel like the issue of breastfeeding itself is getting more and more heated? And is the flaming public debate hurting the already much misunderstood cause of breastfeeding? It’s like everything else, only the very extreme ideas seem to make it to the public eye.

And I feel like people who are already unaware of what it really means to be a breastfeeding mom, will take the extremes (like the famous TIME magazine cover) and feel like that’s the whole movement. Just like American politics–there’s no room for moderates.

The crux of what I’m trying to get at here is that I will feel like I’m being forced into some activist role simply by doing as women have done for centuries to feed my baby. I don’t want to be called an activist, but that might happen just because of this simple, normal, natural choice to breastfeed my son. The conversation has picked up in a major way since I first became a mom. And I know what side of that conversation that I’m on, not because of some heavy duty belief system and the desire to defend tooth and nail that belief system. But instead because breastfeeding worked for me and my child. And I want the world to know how well it worked for us, and that I encourage other moms to give it a try.

But, where does that encouragement leave me? There’s no room for a mom who’s just passing along her positive experiences. Either we are activists (or rather, “lactivists”) or we are against the movement. No in-betweens. And I find that to be a shame.

You may wonder why I’d resist the “activist” label so much. I just don’t like to invite controversy into my life. I simply don’t like to get involved in heated debates about really anything. I prefer a live-and-let-live lifestyle, and there are very few topics out there where I can’t at least empathize with what people on the other side of the fence are saying. I have my beliefs, and I stick to them, I just don’t feel the need to push the agenda.

What do you think has sparked the big breastfeeding debate recently? Is there a place for a happy breastfeeding mom that doesn’t want to be labeled as an activist?

It’s Friday, Friday, Gotta Get Down on Friday

1. I can’t believe how busy I’ve been lately. This week we had three doctor’s appointments in one day. And that was only Tuesday. There were more. On the plus side, it’s been making the weeks of pregnancy fly by maniacally. On the minus side, I’m so exhausted by the end of every day, I don’t have the energy to clean the house, feed us, read blogs, write my own blog, really anything that involves movement. Even if the only movement involved is of my eyes. I have to store up all the energy I have left to heave my huge pregnant body off the couch to pee every 20 minutes.

2. I’ve been hammering away at a lengthy, possibly controversial, emotional? post about breastfeeding. Hoping to gather the courage to hit “publish” one of these days.

3. The gestational diabetes thing has been going well. I only had a couple of readings over the limit, and the nurse said I only need to be at 80% to avoid needing medication or insulin, so I’m doing really well. But, when I went in for my second appointment, to go over the numbers, the receptionist took my meter and totally downloaded all the numbers into a computer. Didn’t even know they were gonna do that. I can’t flub the numbers. At all. (Not that the thought ever crossed my mind of course. Ahem.) I can’t go indulge once in the bacon waffle from Beachside and then just sort of make something up to make it all look normal. Suddenly I feel really confined by it, not being able to say, “Just eff it.” Just for one meal, one day, after weeks of behaving myself. I’m in this for the long haul. Nine more weeks of “Yay, my post-dinner blood sugar looks ok, I can have one small bite of that brownie.” In case you’re keeping track, that means approximately 250 more finger pokings, give or take.

4. I feel enormous. Ok, I know I said that before, like months ago. Stupid me. How could I forget how much bigger I would be feeling. And getting. And I just read something yesterday that said the baby now weighs about 3 pounds. Which means in the next 9 weeks, he’s going to gain somewhere in the area of 5 or 6 more pounds. And judging by his movement lately, he’s gonna need a lot more belly room for that. So, the mama expands. I can barely bend over to pick anything up. I’ve been enlisting Bowie’s help a lot with this lately (because how cruel is it that as pregnancy progresses, you can’t bend over to pick anything up, but you also become a lot more clumsy?) and PLEASE DON’T HATE ME but last week I dropped a gum wrapper on the sidewalk and I…totally left it there PLEASE DON’T HATE ME.

5. But, I’m trying to remember that I will, for some screwball reason, miss being pregnant. I know I did after having Bowie. It was so much easier having him safe inside me. And I had some mega crazy postpartum ugly cries about not being able to shove Bowie back in because why did I bring a helpless little person into this crazy world?! Why?! So yeah, the 9 weeks will pass, and the baby will be here, and I will be a frazzled, hormonal mess. Let’s enjoy the “quiet” time of only having one kid, and having the world be perfectly content to wait on me hand and foot because of the belly.

6. Because I know I got the earwig stuck in your head anyway, a bonus:

Let There Be Carbs

I just returned home from my appointment with the diabetes center at my hospital, and all I can say is HALLELUJA.

The nurse I spoke with was shocked at how much I’d cut back on the carbs. But, I explained, the women’s clinic didn’t offer me much information at all, except to “cut way back” and I wanted to play it safe.

This makes me wonder why hospital policy isn’t that someone from the diabetes center calls you within 48 hours of your diagnosis to just give you a quick run-down of things over the phone, rather than make you wait 10 days in the dark until you can get an appointment. But, I know none of you are part of my hospital’s administration so…end of rant.

She had a lot more info than I found anywhere on the Internet too. She tailored a diet plan for me based on my results and my health (before and during pregnancy), which is so helpful. And she said I can probably afford to have a much more significant amount of carbs than other women. This means bread! Crackers! Pasta! Just keeping it to a reasonable amount, of course.

I treated myself to a tuna sub from Subway for lunch, just to see what numbers came up and: totally normal. So, that slice of pizza I “indulged” in Sunday night? Probably no biggie whatsoever. I can still eat (basically) what I want to. I’m so relieved. I’ll be full for more than a half hour at a time! I won’t be so crabby all the time!

The womp womp news is that I do have to test my blood sugar periodically. FOUR TIMES A DAY at least for this first week. But, our insurance got me a pretty sweet little monitor with “gentle” lancets.

I’ve already tested twice today and it’s not so bad. I’m even typing away with the fingers I’ve tested, no issue whatsoever. I had this image in my head of me having to test like, every hour, and my fingertips would be so sore I couldn’t do anything. Not so. Still a pain to do, and to remember to do, but I only have 11 weeks left. And I actually have to birth this little man. So, you know, I can handle this.

I want to really give a shout out to the fellow moms who gave me so much info on past posts. It really helped me feel better, and I got some much needed firsthand info when I was totally clueless. Thank you thank you thank you!

Highlights for the Week

>>I’m a lot less worried now about the whole gestational diabetes thing than I was. I had an appointment with a different midwife, who was much more informed, and she said I’m a very borderline case, and to not really sweat it. I also made an appointment for next week with the diabetes clinic, and I hope to leave there finally fully informed. I am managing to get through the days, but I carry hardboiled eggs or cheese sticks with me wherever I go now, in case hunger strikes. Before, if I was out and about and got hungry, I’d get a soft pretzel or a Jamba Juice, or some other terrible convenience food item. But that’s all off limits now so…better carry something with me. And I’m trying to get more vegetables in there, even though I don’t enjoy most veggies cooked, and raw veggies have a tendency to wreak havoc on my overly sensitive digestive system. I ate vegetables before, of course, but I had the carbs to sort of carry things along, and give my stomach more to work on than just raw vegetables. Work in progress. I’m hoping I get some permission to indulge in some carbs once in a while. The longer I go without the sugary stuff, the less I miss it. But the carbs? Oh man, what I wouldn’t do to rip into a crusty baguette right now.

>>We went on a mini little staycation to Davis over the weekend, and on Sunday Bowie started showing signs of a bladder infection. Symptoms had mostly cleared up by Tuesday morning when I finally got him in to see the doctor, so we figured it was a reaction to the chemicals in the hotel swimming pool, common with young kids. But she took a urine sample anyway. Yesterday she told me the culture had shown something a little worrisome, so now he’s on antibiotics. Whenever we give him medicine, he is very curious as to why he’s getting it, what it’s for. So I said, “Remember when your penis was hurting when you went potty? It’s to make sure that won’t happen anymore.” So now he’s telling everyone he’s taking “penis medicine”. Thankfully most of the people we spend time with also have preschoolers at home and figure there’s some logical explanation that goes along with that.

>>I was thinking forward to the holiday season, and the little traditional get-togethers we have both here in the city and with family across the country, and I was (very shallowly) bummed I wouldn’t be able to drink wine for some of it, but then it dawned on me that Yes! I can! I will have the baby by New Year’s. I will have the baby by Christmas. I will have the baby by Thanksgiving. YOU GUYS: I’m going to be the mother of two sons by Halloween. Every time that “X more weeks” makes me feel like I’ve got forever to go, I’m going to try to remember this. And that by this time next year, I’ll be lamenting that baby is getting too big too fast.

>>Bowie’s behavior at school has been so awesome lately (KNOCK ON WOOD). I know it has a lot to do with the fact that there’s about half the amount of other kids there as there are during the regular school year. But, I’d like to think the therapy is helping a bit (we’re 3 sessions in). The teachers and most of the other parents totally get it, and are super supportive and give me nice “you’ll get through it” arm squeezes, and still invite us on playdates because they know what’s going on. There are a handful though, that are overly concerned about his behavior, and have even tried to intervene (I mean, aside from their duties as a working parent at school). But lately he has been on par with just being an average 4 year old. He gets a toy taken away from him and pushes the other kid. Even though 10 minutes earlier, Sally Jo had a toy taken away from her and pushed the other kid, because it’s Bowie, they hone in on his behavior as something that needs to be fixed, rehabilitated, reformed, but Sally Jo? Oh, she’s just being a kid. It’s SO hard to deal with this. Bowie isn’t acting out, he’s reacting to stimuli that most of the other kids can easily brush off. And I also feel like a huge part of him getting past this is being treated like the other kids, especially when he’s acting like the other kids, when he’s back on their level. I’m a little emotional about lately it because I’m pregnant feeling protective of him, wondering what’s being said to him when I’m not around. And I’m proud of him for the incredible strides he’s already made. And when the therapist tells me how bright and creative and sweet he is, I just want to hug her until I break her in half. Now, if she could just hold a seminar at school where she just talks about how awesome my kid is if you just give him a chance…

>>I just wrote a whole paragraph about the weather, and then deleted it. Who blogs about the weather?! (A busy mama with writer’s block, that’s who.)

Happy weekend and happy Independence Day!

28 Weeks

I want to start off by issuing a retraction. I mentioned in an earlier post that I was in my 3rd trimester, but was soon reminded that you’re not in the 3rd trimester when you start month 6, but rather when you’re fully through month 6, which I am now. So defeating. But on a positive note, feeling like I was already in the 3rd trimester made the past 4 weeks go by pretty quickly.

So yeah, 28 weeks now. End of 2nd trimester.

The most common question I get these days is, “How are you feeling?” Every time I see a friend, run into an acquaintance, talk to family, “How are you feeling? How are you feeling? How are you FEELING?!”

And I have lost my ability to answer. I mean, it’s just like when someone asks a non-pregnant person, “How’s it going?”

You don’t say to them, “Well, I got a parking ticket, and I can’t believe how high gas prices are right now, and I have this weird clicky thing going on in my wrist, and I’m not getting along with my coworkers right now…” Because we all know no one really wants to hear you go on and on about your gripes. So, we all just say, “Fine.” And we move on. Right?

So, when you ask a pregnant woman, whose body has been completely taken over by hormones and the extra human being growing inside of her, how she’s feeling, what do you really want her to say?

If you read my last post, you know my real answer would likely be some variation of the phrase, “Not great.” But, no one really wants to hear that. So, it’s, “Well, I’m a little tired, but I feel ok.” Lies, all of it lies.

Also of note, I have developed a mild case of gestational dia-bee-tus. (Not only was the test hellish, leaving huge bruises on my arms that are still there, but it also delivered bad news. Come ON, universe.) I am supposed to hear from the hospital’s diabetes clinic sometime this week with some more information on managing the condition, but the doctor who called me on Friday with the results was very discouraging. “No sugar, no carbs.” Which is, you know, like, EVERYTHING.

I had a short consult with Dr. Google and it seems I can have carbs in moderation, spread out over the course of a day. And even a little bit of fruit. So, it won’t be all eggs and veggies from here on out like I first imagined. Not that I don’t enjoy eggs and veggies, but I’ve still got 12 more weeks with this pregnancy gig, and I’d like to not spend it learning to hate eggs and veggies. If you’ve been through this, and have any advice / words of encouragement, please pass them along. Who knows when I’ll actually hear from these people.

For me, the most discouraging part of it is that now I have a slightly higher risk of developing Type 2 diabetes when I get older. I had planned on creating a mega weight loss boot camp for myself after having the baby, and this is just more fuel for the fire under my butt that I’ll have to light. But, just something else for me to worry about for the remainder of my existence, whoopee!

But anyway, it’s here, the third trimester. Third trimester, let’s DO this. 40 weeks, here I come. I mean, here I waddle.