Friday, May 30, 2014

Thursday, May 29, 2014

Twenty Four

I have been excited about this week for a while...I am now officially six months pregnant. Does anyone else find that hard to believe?

I literally live for Thursdays at the moment. Not just because it's one day away from the start of the weekend, but because every Thursday, baby and I grow a teensy little bit more and I can tick another week off my pregnancy countdown.

I now have just 16 weeks left. It's my sixth month of pregnancy. This baffles me because six months is always the month people use when they go: "Oh she looks like she's about six months pregnant!" And if people say that about me I can now say: "HA! I am!"

Life at 24 weeks...
This may sound insane but you have no idea how much I love this little wriggler. It's like counting down to Christmas when you are little but SO much more exciting. I don't know if I am much bigger this week, mainly because he likes to switch position so often that often that my bump doesn't really have a shape. I would say I am probably a little rounder and higher up, but I'm still feeling a lot of movement "down below" where it feels like he's trying to kick my lady parts out of the way to make some room. This is most uncomfortable and makes me twitch and pull a funny face every time it happens, something which is difficult to control and manipulate into something half-normal in public.

Baby at 24 Weeks...
Happy Viability Day Baby JaAdam! We don't want to meet baby boy for a few more months but today is a huge milestone and one I'm thankful we've reached. Well done baby. He's starting to get that cute baby chub that we all know and love now and he's well proportioned, losing much of that alien-esque quality he was so fond of earlier on. His brain is growing rapidly, tastebuds have fully developed, and his footprints and fingerprints are continuing to form, which I think is adorable. One day I'll be tickling those feet and giving those hands a little high five!




Wednesday, May 28, 2014

(Almost) Wordless Wednesday

If Leonardo da Vinci posted the Mona Lisa on Instagram today, it would get 30 likes, tops.

via 

Monday, May 26, 2014

How To Be A Badass

Yes, I am a grown ass woman. Yes, I have a very (had) "adult" job and yes, I still face bullies. Their tactics get more insidious as you get older but bullies are still out there. They may be long time players or they may just be hitting their bullying stride as people who were formerly victims and seeking revenge on the world. Regardless, they can be easily managed. I am so over them. Now get those Chumbawumba lyrics in your head and get ready to "get up again" with these simple pieces of armor.

All bullies have a weak spot
Remember when Buffy finally had the “a ha!” moment with Turok Han, the ubervamps? Well, even they can be dusted. You just need to cut off his head. My point is not that you should cut off a bully’s head or kill him/her but simply that everyone has their vulnerable spot. This is comforting to know deep down when you are facing a bully. I repeat, do not try to literally cut off his/her head (just know that you could).

All bullies are afraid of something and usually that is what drives them to bully
Bullies commonly feel bad about themselves and thus need to knock you down. I know all of our parents told us this but I swear it’s true. Those pretty girls who try to make you feel ugly and nerdy? I guarantee you that they cry as they stare into the mirror for hours at home every now and then.

Bullies, like sharks, get super pumped when they smell blood
I cannot emphasize enough how important it is to act totally unaware of any bullying being thrown your way. Much like some animals "play dead", it is important to act rather bored when a bully comes at you. Not bored with a sassy teen attitude but just plain bored as in "nothing is happening right now". If they see you un-phased, they quickly move on.

Bullies get confused when people are just nice to them
It’s pretty true. They are used to people scurrying around, being scared. When they are addressed as a fellow mere human, they are often just stunned into submission. Asking them about their weekend, their hobbies, remembering something about their family… all of this stuns them into treating you like a human right back. At least for a bit.

Remember that rising above the conflict and bullying shenanigans is what makes the real badass. Bullying is easy; staying above it takes a strong person.

There you have it...You are a cool, level-headed badass. Now go enjoy feeling free from that nonsense...Bullying is so boring.




Thursday, May 22, 2014

Speaking From The Heart

Sometimes speaking your mind is harder than it should be. Whether it’s confronting an intimidating coworker or telling your BFF you don’t approve of her actions, occasionally we find ourselves hushing our hearts in difficult situations. This is a huge problem because the more you hush your heart, the more likely it is to freak out, and eventually get into screaming matches with people. No one likes a fight, but what do you expect when you bottle up your feelings? Of course they will ultimately Molotov Cocktail your relationships.

But the good news is you don’t have to wage war to have feelings or let them be known. All you need is honesty and love, and you can never go wrong. Sounds too simple, right? That’s because it is.

Personally, I absolutely abhor confrontation of any kind. The lyrics to the theme of the cartoon The Grinch Who Stole Christmas also double for how I deal with conflicts– wouldn't touch them with a thirty nine & a half foot pole, dude. But coping with quarrels and clashes has become much simpler for me now that I've found self-assuredness in being sincere. Here are the tips I used for myself, and I hope they help you stop stressing out and start speaking up too.


Articulate Your Feelings Logically
Don't just be like, “You know, it really bugs me when you do this.” That is not acceptable. We’re working on being adults here. If you are going to speak up, be able to articulate how you feel and why it is problematic. Being able to rationally explain why you are feeling this way and why it is an issue will help you stay confident in your opinion, as well as instill confidence in your opinion with who you are explaining it to. You want the person you’re addressing to take you seriously, so don’t be vague or wishy-washy. This should be pretty easy if you know your intentions. If you cannot articulate the how and why of your feelings, then you should probably take another look at the first step, because they’re probably stemming from totally not-legit reasons to be getting up in someone’s grill about.


Speak From A Genuine Place
This is very important, not just for this particular skill set, but for interacting with others in general. Make sure that you are acting from a genuine place. Really look at why you are feeling the way you are feeling. Sometimes, it may be out of an insincere place; the most common being jealousy, contempt or frustration. That’s fine if you feel those things, but those are your issues, not anyone else’s. You should always do your best to act from a place of love. It doesn't matter if it’s self-love or love for another, what’s important is that it should be because you are standing up for the well-being of yourself or someone you care about.


Know When To Walk Away
Some things may never be resolved– especially right there on the spot– so it’s okay to walk away. This isn’t about winning, it’s about being honest with yourself and the people in your life. And you did it. You were honest. You let them know how you felt. So, go ahead, walk away. Walk away with your chin up knowing that you spoke your piece, that you acted from a place of love and that you were an adult about it. Judging by what I see on reality TV, this is something rare and definitely something to be proud of.


Have Confidence In Your Intentions
Now that you know you’re acting from a place of love, when you speak up, have conviction in your feelings and your intentions. You are entitled to your feelings and you are entitled to express them appropriately. Of course, this doesn’t mean that people are going to necessarily like them. They may try to tell you you are wrong, or try to make you feel like a bad person for feeling the way you do. Guess what? You’re not. You’re not wrong for having feelings and you’re definitely not wrong for looking out for the welfare of yourself & those you care about. If who you’re talking to doesn’t like what you have to say, you just take stock in the fact that you know what your intentions are and so does the universe.


Eventually, all this will be second nature. No more prepping or pumping yourself up; you’ll just be able to have your feelings and confidently express them because you’ll know exactly where they are coming from– your heart.


Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Level II Ultrasound

Today I am 22 weeks 5 days pregnant!

This morning we had our Level II ultrasound and OB appointment. Why a Level II you might be wondering...I have a PFO (patent foramen ovale) a small hole in my heart. It's a congenital heart defect. Because of this, baby automatically gets a Level II.

While baby's heart and all of his other bits look great, we discovered that I have a marginal cord insertion. What this means is that the umbilical cord is attached near the edge of the placenta instead of the usual spot, which is in the middle. As it stands now, maintain the status quo. Once I enter the 3rd trimester, I'll have extra monitoring and appointments in the high risk clinic at the hospital.  A marginal cord insertion raises the risk of baby not getting what he needs and could result in lower birth weight so we will keep a close watch to ensure that he's growing properly. My OB  assured us that while this raises the risk some, most pregnancies proceed normally with a baby delivered at term.

I love the little hand and knee up by his face

The rest of my OB appointment went very well...I've gained 15 pounds, blood pressure is fantastic and I'm feeling pretty good. Next appointment and ultrasound are June 18th. Until then...hang out and continue to grow my tiny human!

Anyone else have any experience with a marginal cord insertion?




Saturday, May 17, 2014

Friday, May 16, 2014

Forty Minus Twenty Two Equals....

Eighteen. 

Twenty two weeks down, eighteen to go. It's surreal to be past the halfway point in this pregnancy. Crazy even! 

While I'm finding it hard to be thankful for things like constipation, morning sickness, and the inability to see one's own feet, there are plenty of things about pregnancy I am thankful for. 

Here are a few...

A supportive partner
Adam has been amazing. The love that I see radiating from him for baby boy and I is just the most incredible thing to be on the receiving end of. Pure joy. 

A whole new outlook
Pregnancy has taught me to be thankful for my own body. The opportunity to experience human growth and development inside of me has made me more understanding and compassionate of people in general. I 'get it' now. I get sacrifice. I get heartbreak. I get unadulterated happiness. I get unconditional love. 

Ultrasounds
That first ultrasound was a knee-weakening dose of reality, and subsequent ones gave us the chance to spy on baby's development, from height to heartbeat. In living, breathing black-and-white. Sometimes we had no idea what we were looking at, but I know he is actually in there and definitely ours.

The beauty of a big belly
I love being able to stand tall and proud with my stomach sticking out. No more sucking in abs! I feel more attractive when I'm pregnant. One advantages of having a big belly...I always have a place to rest my hands.

Be thankful (but a little bit sad) that it won't last forever
Once our beautiful, healthy, wonderful baby is born, he belongs to the world. Everyone will want to hold, hug, kiss and just plain stare at him. But for 22 weeks and eighteen more, he's all mine, known only to me. I alone feed him and feel his every move. He wakes me up in the middle of the night with his kicking and I sometimes wake him up when I get nervous because I haven’t felt him kick. I sing to him in the strongest voice (not best) he's ever heard, and in return, he dances for me. I will never be this close to him again, so I close my eyes and give my dancing belly a hug...and I always make time for one more song.




Wednesday, May 14, 2014

(Almost) Wordless Wednesday

Before you get all smug about "science" ask yourself why no microwave can penetrate the heart of a lasagna.

via Epic Objects


Monday, May 12, 2014

Worn Out

I keep my shoes, even though they’re worn down, even though they’re worn out. They are underneath my bed or lined along the walls. I admire them for what they were and the places they've gotten me. Sometimes I think about the places I ran from in certain shoes, usually boots from the winter.

There are holes in the bottom from my walks over sidewalks and gravel and sand. I remember all of the times I ended up in places I didn't intend to be, fueled by a curious mind and an eager spirit. My feet, like my shoes, were tortured by the conditions, and yet they kept moving, spurred by an uncontrollable desire to keep going. The going often led nowhere, but those few twists and turns that were fruitful make me less regretful.

I used to own a pair of riding boots that I bought online...they were heavy and weird and perfect. I purchased them at the end of spring, their purpose during the unbearable summer rather pointless. I remember sitting on the stairs of my front porch and looking out at the quiet street. They had just arrived and I wore them, tight on my toes. I was regretful, wondering if it would ever get better, if the purchase was useless because of the pain I endured. Eventually they loosed up and then conformed to the shape of my bones to such a degree that I found myself walking everywhere, all the time, oblivious to the separation of skin and pavement.

But on the stairs that day, I thought about all of the places we would go. I say we because the shoes are my companions for my long daily walks. They've been everywhere I've been, and will go everywhere I must go.



Do you have a favorite pair of shoes?



Friday, May 9, 2014

Friday...Also Know As...

My last day or work!

I took a voluntary layoff so at 21 weeks 1 day...I am officially unemployed. There are mixed emotions about this. Emotions that I'm going to have to process in the coming weeks and months. I do have a plan (and an online PMP certificate) to keep me busy and I think the key to my sanity is going to be maintaining some kind of schedule...but I guess we'll see just how sane I am (apart from my usual insanity of course) in a few months time. 


Happy weekend!



Thursday, May 8, 2014

Le Fromage

21 weeks into this pregnancy and I have to admit...I NEED cheese. I've been thinking of cheese so often, I decided to write a letter to the inventor of cheese and to thank them for making this pregnant lady very happy and full. 

Dear Inventor of Cheese,

Oh my goodness. Oh my word, you invented cheese. You did...you!

One day, you just had all this milk from these cows that you maybe already owned or "borrowed" from a neighbor and the next thing you knew the milk was molding but it sort of looked delicious even though it smelled like farts. Maybe you were on some sort of old timey version of Benadryl for your strange bovine allergy...like some kind of hallucinatory elixir that gave you the munchies real bad, so you thought to yourself, "Why not. I shall eat this stinky, smelly, moldy lump of cow excretion and then I shall call it cheese".

I think about you on a daily basis, I do. Sometimes up to sixteen times a day (but never seventeen). Mostly, I wonder what it is like living in Switzerland in the magical town of Fromage (not a real place) where everything smells like cheese and the cows can talk to the humans (I made that up). I imagine that sometimes they do reenactments of French people smoking cigarettes and/or Celine Dion (she's a fellow Canadian didn't ya know know).

You know, Inventor of Cheese, this one time I went to a town just outside of Amsterdam called Volendam and I got to tour a cheese factory. It smelled so bad but there were lots of free samples so I overlooked the smell and ate the cheese because I will never turn down free food. Also, the cheese was a delight.

Cheese, you are so good and without you I worry that someone else would have invented it and it would have only been Blue Cheese and probably then just the really stinky Blue Cheese. No one really likes Blue Cheese, even if they say they do. My favorite kind of cheese right now is Oka but later it will probably be Cheddar. It’s always goat cheese but rarely Feta. Oh, and why did you invent Cottage Cheese? That stuff is the pits. Not like the pit of an olive or fruit but the pits as in my armpits. As in gross.

But I have to say...I mean I wasn't legally compelled to say this but we've gotten this far in the letter so I might as well, right?...that I am just such a fan of cheese as a snack. It should be its own food group in general and is a booming faction of the dairy industry. It also makes a great occasional topping on a salad and on the token passed around trays at the nine hundred gazillion social events where cheese is served.

Oh, inventor of cheese, who are you? I want to hug you!

Your friend,
Janet





Wednesday, May 7, 2014

(Almost) Wordless Wednesday

I hope no videos surface of the time I opened a bag of potato chips and one flew out and hit me in the eye and I cried a little.




Tuesday, May 6, 2014

Letters & Writing

Writing is such a vulnerable and personal thing to share because it is the only way people can ever get a glimpse into your mind and understand how it is that you process the world as you experience it. Even as someone reads a letter you have written, they are in direct communication with your thoughts and heart.

Generally, I prefer to write on actual paper. I used to buy my journals from the nearest bookstore, before I just stopped buying them. I’d select the smoothest pages and take home the journals that were either college-ruled or unlined, and maybe had a beautiful design on the cover.

I've noticed though that as times passes, I write on paper/in my journal less and less. I send less personal letters and cards.

I still dream up stories but when the time comes to sit and write a story, my fingers get antsy and my neck gets stiff. I worry that I won’t create the connection that must exist between reader and author. I remember the compliment from a former friend who said, “You’re a great writer because you connect to your readers. You’re not just talking at them.”

But few genuinely great writers ever truly feel that they are any good. In fact, I loathe myself a little whenever I publish on my blog. I roll my eyes at my own words and think, Why in the world would anyone care to read this?

Whatever does become published in a wide open area is going to take on a life of its own. A blog will reach some, but miss others. It will connect the writer to the reader in a way that is briefly intimate, but real nonetheless. Someone will be moved to tears, while others will respond with terse words or indifference, or worse, strongly-worded reactions.

Yet letters will, for a moment, be a close and personal interaction that begins with the first stroke of the pen and moves along as the stamp is affixed, the letter is delivered, and then is promptly pulled part by the eager fingers of the receiver. 


I think I'll get back to writing and sending letters.



Monday, May 5, 2014

Normality

nor·mal·i·ty
nôrˈmalitē/
noun
noun: normalcy
the condition of being normal; the state of being usual, typical, or expected.
"let's try to get some normality back in our lives"
synonyms: normalcy, business as usual, the daily round

That's my goal for the coming days...find some balance and a sense of normality.

In my last post, I let you know that I had been sick with a gastro bug that landed me in the hospital for a few days. Well...that evil gastro bug made a reappearance and once again I ended up back in the hospital.

Last Thursday at 20 weeks 0 days, I spent a few hours at Labor & Delivery with contractions. As you can imagine, contractions at 20 weeks was a horribly frightening experience and one that I would not like to repeat. The gasto bug caused me to become very dehydrated and the dehydration caused contractions.



I'm very happy to report though although the contractions were coming every 7-8 minutes, they were never strong enough to make changes to my cervix. After 12 hours and many liters of fluid, I was allowed to go home. 

I spent the next few days in my Snoogle cacoon resting and taking good care of baby boy...


Today I'm feeling much, much better and looking forward to getting back to normal.



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