Monday, November 19, 2012

Things I will NEVER do as a mom...

She dragged the kids by the arm to the spot where she had been watching the football game and scolded, "Don't you DARE move or touch one another!" She turned her back to watch the tail end of the game and the brother and sister continued to make faces at each other. Sister took a swing, brother stuck out his tongue. The mom whipped back around, pointed her finger at them both and said, "You're about to get taken to the bathroom!" I looked at my mom and said those horrid words, "I will never let my kids behave like that in public...."

Hahahaha. Go ahead and laugh, mamas. 'Cause you already know what I'm about to learn: I'm going to do things as a mom that I promised myself I'd never do. Like... ignore my children's misbehavior for the last 10 minutes of the football game so I don't have to drag them half a mile to the bathroom and straighten them out.

So, I was thinking about all the things that I'd ideally like to do (or not do) with  my own kids. In a picture-perfect world, all of these things would happen and my kids would be well-behaved 100% of the time and I'd never get judged for the decisions I make. But, this isn't a picture perfect world so I'm already reminding myself that, sometimes, reality is going to win. It's nice to still have some goals of things we'd like to strive for as parents, but... we all know some of these will go down the drain pretty quickly! :)

In no particular order:

1. Toys will get picked up before bed every night. (I should go ahead and mark this off my list because even Arnold's toys don't get put away nightly... or... ever...)

2. Maleah won't watch TV or play with the iPad/iPhone until she's a year old. And, even then, screen time will be very limited.

3. We won't eat in the car. In fact, Maleah will only eat at the dining table. (We may stick to this one pretty well simply because we have carpet... carpet + food/juice = bad!)

4. We will not punish (read: spank; and let's not even get into that debate...) her in public (we'll take her to a bathroom).

5. Blake and I will not argue in front of her and we certainly won't "vent" to her about one another as she gets older.

6. Maleah will sleep in her own room and we will not stay in the room to help her fall asleep or go through a nightly song and dance to lull her to sleep (I mean, a reasonable nighttime routine is fine... just none of this craziness like you see on Super Nanny!!).

7. We will not use candy/toys/activities as bribery.

8. We will read to her every night.

9. Maleah will learn to entertain herself when we are out in public (particularly when we are with a bunch of adults) - meaning, we won't let her play with the iPhone or iPad to keep her quiet. This also goes for riding in the car.

10. We will NEVER use "Because I said so!".

Now that you've had your 10 minutes of hysterical laughter, I hope you'll drop me a note and fill me in on anything you thought you'd never do as a parent!!

Friday, November 16, 2012

Baby Ball: 29 weeks

Weight Gained: +6 pounds (+12 lbs total; 22 if you count the 10 pounds I lost & gained back)

Belly Measurement: 28 cm

Maleah's Heart Rate: 154

Other things going on over the last four weeks:

Movement: Her movements started to change around 27 weeks. It went from random kicks and jabs to much more rolling, wiggling, and fidgiting. It feels sometimes like she's doing a little happy dance! She also gets the hiccups almost daily, sometimes multiple times a day. Her movements are much stronger than before and she has more regular periods of sleep and awake time.

Symptoms: One of the funnier symptoms I've been experiencing has to do with mobility. I find myself waddling just a tad from time to time - I know I'm doing it, but it feels better for my hips to walk that way sometimes. I try not to waddle purposefully in public. I'm sure there will come a time when I waddle just because that's the only way I can walk. :) I also have started to have a hard time bending over to pick things up. I drop about a thousand things a day (my pen, ice from the ice maker, paper, socks, etc.), so the difficulty in bending over is getting annoying.

Treats: My husband rocks. He let me buy a Groupon for a massage ($35 for 1 hr!!) and he ordered me a subscription to Birchbox ($10/mo). I'll get the massage at 34 weeks, so it will be much-deserved (and long-awaited) relief to my achy back! The Birchbox is just for fun... we can't afford for me to have super nice beauty products, so this is a cheap way to get to try out some fun new stuff and pamper myself just a little.

Cravings: Lately I've really wanted spicy food. I haven't let myself eat much of it to avoid heartburn, but some XX-hot wings sound really good right about now!

Aversions: Nothing, still, except for certain sweets!

Prepping for Baby: We've really come a long way in the baby gear department! Her dresser, crib, and two bookshelves have been put together and found their home in the nursery. Her bedding also came in and looks adorable with her crib! Something I hadn't thought about before was how to organize all the stuff! Where to keep diapers, onesies, pajamas, extra crib sheets, burp cloths, bath towels, etc., so that we have what we need within reach. Organizing is one of my favorite things, so it's a challenge I'm enjoying! We've had one shower so far - hosted by my cousins and aunts. It was a PINK themed shower - the food was pink, the decor was pink, the plates were pink and most of the gifts were pink! It was so much fun and I felt so loved by my family!

Anxiety: As I noted in an earlier post, I have been having some anxiety regarding labor and delivery and how to make the best decisions for Maleah's arrival. I was able to ask my doctor all sorts of questions during our visit and she was so reassuring. It made me feel so much more at peace and I'm praying hard that Maleah decides to come on a day when Dr. Ray is on call! Even if she's not, the information Dr. Ray shared gave me the confidence to make informed decisions with a different doctor. I'm so thankful for her and for my nurse, Mandy (hey, Mandy, if you're reading this!!)!! I'm now going every two weeks and then start weekly appointments at 35 weeks. I love going to the baby doctor (even when there's a long wait!) because each appointment means we're just that much closer to January 27!

Well, yesterday we had our 3D/4D ultrasound scheduled and I was nervous all day about whether or not Maleah would cooperate. She was unusually active during the morning and early afternoon (which was fun!), but it made me think she'd probably wear herself out by 3:45. She had the hiccups while we were in the waiting room, so I hoped she would start to perk up... but, we didn't get our ultrasound until close to 5:30 and the little nugget was sound asleep with her face towards my back.

So, we didn't get to see a close-up of her cute face, although we could see glimpses of her forehead and nose when she would move just a little. We saw her little legs kicking away at my bladder (everyone thought that was funny... not me!) and she had her hands pulled up around her face. We did get to see a great shot of her AORTA (how cool is that!???), right shoulder and arm, right hand, right ear, and we saw that she has HAIR! I was 29 weeks 3 days at the visit and most everything on her measured around 28 weeks 4 days, which is normal. She weighs 2 pounds 12 oz and they couldn't really measure her length, but she is probably around 13-15 inches from head to toe. Even though we didn't get to see her face, it just did my heart good to see our little girl again and know she is healthy and strong.

Oh, and did I mention we get to do it again on Tuesday since she wasn't cooperative!? I can't really be upset about getting to see her all over again!

Here's a little glimpse of her sweet little hand:

She had her fingers pressed against her cheek with her palm facing outward. You can see her thump and four fingers (her pinky is a drifter, like mine!).

Friday, November 9, 2012

Planning a Birth

The urge to learn about childbirth has been nagging at me for the past several weeks. Now that I'm at the 28+ week mark, it's a necessity. I know a whole lot about babies - how to take care of one, how to entertain one, how to change one - but I don't really know much about how to deliver one.

I've read a thousand birth stories and watched several videos and they've all left me feeling very... perplexed. How do I go about "planning" (a loose term, obviously) a birth when I don't have the faintest idea what will happen?

Will she be breech? Who will the doctor on call be? Can I tolerate as much pain as I think I can? What if something terrible happens? Will I go past my due date? If I accept medicine, will my body tolerate it? What if I get exhausted? How long will I have to bond with Maleah before they have to take her away? Will I be nice to Blake?

It's overwhelming. At first, my reaction was to just completely go with the flow. Figure it out once I'm there. But, the closer we get to meeting our little girl, the more I'm realizing that "going with the flow" isn't the best option for me. There are things I need to go ahead and decide now because making decisions in the middle of labor isn't ideal. Obviously, I need to be flexible and remind myself of the ultimate goal: to have a healthy baby and healthy mama. But there are things I need to think about now so that, when the time comes, I can be [somewhat] prepared.

I'm not looking to share what I "plan" to do and I really don't care to hear advice on how great such-and-such was. Just more or less looking to share with the world the anxiety that comes along with childbirth. There's a natural fear of the unknown that I'm trying to resolve before the time comes. For me, that means learning and thinking about the different options and discussing them with Blake so I know we're both informed. It means praying for certain things (like, how awesome would it be if Maleah came on MY doctor's on-call day!?!?), but mostly praying for peace. It means talking with friends and hearing a variety of experiences and weighing my options carefully. And most of all, it means thinking about the moment when I finally get to hold my little girl and know that she is what He planned for me long, long ago.

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

My Thoughts on the Election

Just kidding!!!!!

This is just a post about my thoughts on life.

Since October, things have been VERY VERY VERY busy in the Ball household. I am not a busybody and definitely don't like having something on the calendar every night of the week. But, that's pretty much the way it's been for us for the past few weeks and it doesn't seem like there's any slowing down until after Christmas. It's all fun stuff - Christmas program rehearsals, dinner with friends who have new babies, child care classes, baby showers, even a planned weekend getaway for just me and Blake.

But the frustration is that I don't have time to do the chores or go to the grocery store. Is that silly? Yes. But my husband can tell you that those two things are big deals to me! I like to keep our little apartment moderately clean and I definitely like going to the grocery store (because I like eating...). Last week I pitched a fit because our house was a mess. This morning I pitched a fit because I had nothing to pack for lunch.

All this running around wears on me... but the good news is that there is an end to the madness. After Christmas, I'm calling in "pregnant" to life. I mean, I'll go to work and church and all that jazz. But... I'm going to take it easy. And after Maleah gets here? Still going to take it easy. I'll be in no hurry to get back to the hurriedness of life...