Sunday, February 28, 2010

Oh, Look at the Time

Yes it is 4:21 am on a Sunday morning. Ainsley and Ian are in blissful dreamland and here I sit finally up after 1.5 hours of restless tossing and turning in bed. The dreaded event has finally happened. I AM NO LONGER ABLE TO SLEEP ON MY STOMACH.

For some women, the worst part of pregnancy may be the nausea, extreme exhaustion, or later issues of discomfort and anticipation, my worst part is this. I am a 100% stomach sleeper. I can ONLY sleep on my stomach. This was the milestone I dreaded hitting the most with Ainsley, yes, even above being able to wear any of my normal pants.

I must say I got through it. I purchased a cheap body pillow from target that helped with side sleeping. And lets face it, towards the end a 6 hour night of sleep was a gift. But this my friends is WAY too early to be up before dawn. I thought I'd give in this morning as Ian is around today to watch Ainsley while I (presumably) nap later.

To make matters more interesting the things on my mind this morning to aid in the not going back to sleep were also completely pregnancy related delirium. I woke with a start at 3:06 paranoid that the cool mist humidifier in Ainsley's room had run out of water, was still running, and was surely about to start a fire. So I crept into her room only to startle her forcing me to do the whole bottle, diaper change routine that we've done so well weaning her off of. Once back in bed I proceeded to attempt to find a comfortable non stomach sleep position while contemplating the merits of getting up to make home made caramel rolls for breakfast. This was a tricky one as I also made my first batch of bread machine bread yesterday and have been salivating over the french toast that it would make ever since. Oh how food has taken over my life, again.

This time around, as far as the food goes, I am trying to live by the advice in my favorite pregnancy book, "make every calorie count". While I gained within the "normal" weight range with Ainsley I was on the outside especially for my short stature and I'm determined to be as healthy as I can with this baby. I never went nuts, well, maybe not never, but I definitely chose convenience and quantity over quality many a time. To aid in this attempt I have tried setting a rule for myself to only make a dessert once a week and once it's gone it's gone. SO hard to do. I have also tried re-focusing on meals (for the first few weeks we did lots of Trader Joe's pre-made meals, I couldn't fathom making dinner). This past week I must say, was a good success in that department. I pulled out a few old favorites (Smothered Chicken and Barley, Baked Bird's in a Nest) and made a few new dishes (Julie's Tarragon Chicken). OK, so a quarter pounder with cheese did sneak in there one night, but I couldn't help that Ainsley got sick and Ian didn't get home until after 6!

I have been watching tivoed (is that a verb?) episodes of Ina Garten's Back to Basics and am excited to make some of her recipes. I am thinking of using some of my birthday money to buy a few cookbooks on amazon. Is Mastering the Art of French Cooking practical at all?

Part of my new obsession with eating right and cooking with only the best ingredients (organic, free range, fair trade) came from a documentary that Ian and I watched Food Inc. If you haven't watched it DO, but only if you are ready to put aside some extra money for food each month because I guarantee it will change you. It is all about the plight of the american farmer, the mistreatment of both the workers and the animals and that every time we buy food we are voting for what we think is right. While the decision to support sustainable food practices is easy in theory, it is not on the pocket book. Luckily places like Costco sell free range organic meats (chicken and beef) in bulk and I've found ways to work a few vegetarian dishes in without Ian getting too antsy for meat. Thanks to places like Trader Joes and the 365 brand buying organic pantry items and shockingly produce and even dairy is very affordable. Sure I buy less food, but I think that's because I'm really savoring the food that I do eat.

A Sample Daily Menu:

Breakfast: Oatmeal with sweet milk, dried blueberries and chopped pecans or walnuts.

Lunch: Trader Joes veggie patch soup with homemade bread, cheese, and jam.

Snack: Organic pink lady apple

Dinner: Grilled wild caught Alaskan salmon, organic rice pilaf, roasted asparagus

Dessert: Sweet Milk chocolate chip cookies

Okay okay, the cookies are a stretch, but they are made with mostly organic ingredients as well and a GREAT alternative to the traditional nestle tollhouse recipe. They taste more like little chocolate chip shortbread bites. SO good.

You would think after getting all of these thoughts out I would be ready to go back to bed. No, I think I'll look up some gender neutral nursery ideas (we're contemplating not finding out the gender of this baby) and Ikea rugs (we still need a hallway runner and a bigger rug for Ainsley's room). So much to do. WAY too little time, but maybe not if I keep getting up at 4:21.

Saturday, February 27, 2010

Good Day

So, even though I woke up completely overwhelmed by all that I have to do this weekend I am feeling optimistic and relatively relaxed after a productive morning.

Ainsley was sick again this week hence I got NOTHING done over the past three days. I always thought that when my baby was sick I would actually be able to be more productive as they would be sleeping or lying around all day. This is true however I never knew that it would be on my chest that she would be sleeping ALL day and ALL night. She would not leave my side. Very uncharacteristic for such an independent child. It was nice for the first 12 hours or so to catch up on my favorite shows while lying on the couch with my sleeping baby. I must admit after that it got old. Sucking boogs out of her nose, forcing medicine down her throat, listening to her cough and moan in pain. It was rough. Thankfully she's on the mend today and at least spent a few solid hours in her own crib last night.

In other news I tried on all of my summer clothes this morning, and, drumroll....they ALL fit!!! I was prepared to look like a stuffed sausage in everything as I weighed in 5 pounds heavier than I thought I was at my first prenatal appointment, but I am now chalking that up to water retention, and/or holiday weight as everything fits just like it did last summer. Now how long it will fit is a whole other story, but I'm taking things one day at a time.

For my birthday I revceived two great dresses from my mom that should work all summer long. I am particularly excited about this one...
So cute right? It is an actual maternity dress but I may just wear it all the time regardless. It's so comfy. Summer weddings here I come!

I am also pretty excited about Ian's gift. He gave me a bread maker! I know most women request that their husbands get them things without plugs for their birthdays, but I must be different. I had asked for one a while ago and was impressed to see that he remembered. I am going to make my first loaf today. I have been making bread by hand for a while now and every once and a while I get a good loaf, but mostly I just lose patience kneading or don't let it rise enough and end up with a hard lump of bread like stuff. I am excited to give a try for the first time today!

Here's to hoping the day continues well. There's still lots to do.

P.S. Can anyone walk me through putting pictures up on here? Everytime I try they go right to the top and then I can't move them to where I want in the post or if I can move them they goof up the script. What am I doing wrong? Thanks!

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

I'm So Excited

I'm pregnant again, if you haven't already read on facebook. It feels so great to have the news out and get all of the great support and congratulations from people. The first few weeks are always such an interesting time filled with joy, anticipation, and a tidge of hesitation. Now that the world knows it feels so much more real, well that and the fact that I couldn't button the top button of my snowpants this past week in Montana.

So far I have felt really good. I can't tell if it's just that this time around I have a 14 month old running around hence WAY less time to sit around thinking about how nauseaus and exhausted I feel or that I actually just feel great. On the weekends I tend to crash pretty hard because Ian is around to watch Ainsley so I take advantage of rest time.

I am getting anxious about getting big again. I feel like I was just getting used to being my old self again and here we go! I am thrilled though. Ian and I have both always wanted a. a big family and b. children close together. We didn't want Ainsley getting too used to the idea that she gets all the attention, she's a girl that would run with that in a big way.

Montana was amazing. I skiied twice (no worries, at the speeds I was going my worst injury would be from a yawn) went for a mountain jog, and went snowshoeing. While there was more snow than Chicago it was BEAUTIFUL. Blue skies, fresh snowcapped mountains, log cabins. I love Montana. I hope to get out there is in the summer sometime to take advantage of hiking and rafting.

Next on the docket is a trip to Sanibel. This will be Ian's first time experiencing the wonder that is southwest Florida. I am already salivating over the fried grouper sandwich at Grandma Dots and the fresh grapefruit and beach jogs in the morning. Now if only I can still fit into some of my summer clothes.

I can't wait to see what the coming months and weeks bring. We have been so blessed and I can only imagine what God has in store for us.

Friday, February 12, 2010

Some Thoughts

Disclaimer: Please don't judge me for the ranting to follow. I'm only human.

So...Ainsley is napping, good girl, and I've had a few things on my mind lately that I need to vent about. True, I should be doing any number or things on my to do list to get ready to leave for Big Sky in two days, but I have my priorities.

I am feeling a bit miffed at the moment. While for the most part I have enjoyed the little blogging that I do and reading other new mom's thoughts, every once in a while I come across something that I have a very strong, and negative reaction to. Here comes the venting.

While pre-Ainsley I was completely opposed to gushing about the wonder of your child I understand now the pride that every parent feels for their child and their whole hearted belief that their child/children are the best, brightest, and most loved. I still hold strongly that these opinions should be mostly kept to oneself because as every parent (hopefully) feels this way about their children it would make sense that sharing this with every other parent would become problematic. I've learned to accept that there are some parents that just can't help but relate every little accomplishment but there is one thing I am VERY sensitive about and don't feel that I tolerate well at all: Ainsley's temperament.

If you haven't met Ainsley let me break it down for you as briefly as I can. Before Ainsley was even born I knew we were going to be dealing with a cantankerous child. After she was born, and I mean immediately, my hunch was confirmed. When I was put on bedrest assured that I would have Ainsley weeks early the midwife checking me each week was amazed that she hadn't come yet saying, "just wait, this one knows exactly when she wants to be born watch out for her! I'm thinking New Years day or Christmas." Lo and behold, Christmas Eve was the day Ainsley chose.

Ainsley has always had a LOUD voice, and let it be heard. The term "sassafrass" came to mind early on. She cried for most of the first six months of her life and while she mellowed considerably once she started being mobile (walking at 9 months) she is still a handful. Don't get me wrong, I would have it no other way. The hardest thing for me to come to terms with though is that I have SO LITTLE control over her temperament.

She is amazing and wonderful but she is who she is and she has been since birth. These mom's with these mellow happy babies claiming that their loving, breast fed only, minimally medicated ways are to thank DRIVE ME NUTS!!! I spent hours making Ainsley homemade organic baby food just to have her spit it out and throw it on the floor. I breast fed her solely for nearly 8 months until I was in tears about the decision to put her on formula because I just couldn't keep up with her needs. I use cloth diapers to be gentle on her cute bum. I stay at home with her all day singing her songs, reading her books, dancing and laughing. She is still a sassafrass. A wonderful, outspoken, zipping around the room exploring sassafrass. The fact that any parent would think that I am to blame for the fact that my child won't sit still for more than 2 seconds or screams when she's upset infuriates me. We all do our best and are given such a gift in each child. To think that you can choose who your child is going to be is absurd in my opinion. You take the wonderful gift that God has given you and you do with it the best that you can, hoping to instill morals, values, a sense of purpose and love in your child.

In short, I love my daughter and would change not one thing about her, but that doesn't mean that I don't hold out hope that God will choose for us next time a child a bit more "low-key"

Whew! That felt good.

And one more thing...PLEASE never tell a parent who's child's birthday is on or near a holiday "poor thing...they are going to have such a rough time". HELLO!!! Anyone who has ever had a baby knows that you have NO control over when your baby comes (if you're having a natural birth). If I hear one more time how awful it is for Ainsley to have her birthday on Christmas Eve I am going to either break down or flip out (same thing?) It is what it is and I can assure you that myself and my wonderful family and friends have and will continue to do everything we can to make her birthday as special as any other child's birthday.

Double Whew.

With that off my chest hopefully I can focus on packing, cleaning, and running last minute errands for Big Sky. I am SO excited to get out of Chicago for a week and breath in some fresh mountain air.

Saturday, February 6, 2010

New Shoes

This Saturday marks the near end of a fairly good week. While Ainsley and I didn't make it out as much as I would have liked (thanks sporadic snow storms and blustery winds) the days seemed full and for the most part, happy.

That little girl grows on me more every day. She is so entertaining and loving. While she still won't snuggle for more than 3 seconds, she'll run over and rest her head on my lap or pat my head. I'll take any affection I can get.

She's entering the new phase of bringing me every little thing that she finds and then promptly taking is back with a look that says "why would you take my stuff?"..."uh, because you gave it to me sassy pants." She's quite the kick.

While talking on the phone, "reading" to herself, and climbing EVERYTHING are still her favorites she can now descend the stairs unassisted, "brush" her teeth (she shakes her head rather than move her hand side to side) unzip her clothes and take them off, do the sign for milk and sort a few of the shapes in her shape sorter.

I will show her how to do something once and no matter how difficult it is she will at least attempt to mimic it. She gets REALLY frustrated when she can't do something (Ian's child much?) so problem solving is something we're working on. This week I asked her to bring me a book and she did! She then picked up her own favorite book, turned around, and backed up into my lap. Every day she has her own agenda. When she wants to go out she grabs her coat and puts her hood on to show me she'd like to GO OUT PLEASE! When she's hungry or thirsty she tells me and when she wants to go to sleep she finds the nearest pillow or stuffed animal and burries her face in it. It's hard to believe just months ago she was a little blob unable to communicate. I'm almost glad she's not talking too much yet. I don't know that I could handle it!

I bought Ainsley a new pair of shoes this week after much deliberation. We're going to Florida in a month and she needed some good walking sandals, but of course I wanted them to be cute as well. I found these on zappos and when they arrived and I took them out Ainsley immediately grabbed them, sat down in her stocking feet and held out her new shoes to me so that I could put them on. She hasn't wanted them off since. A girl after my own heart.

So far this weekend has been filled with paying bills, filling out taxes, emailing and making calls to book showings for the apartment, and showing the apartment. I'm ready for a nap already. I hope at some point adult life allows for some fun! Once the apartment is rented, finally! and all of the little house things are taken care of I'm hoping I can relax more. I am so looking forward to going to Montana in a week and Florida in March. I am ready to get out of this gloom and have some fun with family.

Here is a picture of Ainsley's new shoes. Pretty cute huh? I wish they came in my size.