Saturday, July 25, 2015

Future Mommy Ponderings

As I sit here, in my third trimester, with my feet propped up and a charley horse in one calf, my brain swarms.  One moment I'm all about the now, focused on how my purse has become a tiny Walgreens full of antacids, acid reflux tabs, stool softener (TMI, sorry), and baby powder (for chafing, because I'm preggo and it's 96-OMFing-degrees outside)...the next moment, I'm wondering about "The Future".  Will this become a mommy blog?  Will I talk about homemade baby food and DIY-nursery projects and adorable anecdotes?  Will it be the place I come to try & humorously vent about 2am feedings and diaper explosions?  Or will I be so completely overwhelmed that I forget I ever even had a blog? ("FeauxWho?  You realize there's no 'e' in 'faux', right?")

What kind of mom will I be?  I like to think I'll be laid-back, super-casual, taking everything in stride.  Perhaps a little anxious at times, but always moving forward.  That I'll be more than happy to hand the kiddo over to friends (whether or not they just used hand-sani), and that I'll be totally okay with getting away from the Wee One for a weekend while Gma & Gpa babysit, so that I can sleep in somewhere and then eat a breakfast buffet I didn't have to make.  I will happily let my husband help with childcare and revel in watching them bond.  I will enjoy my 12 weeks of FMLA leave and then be moderately conflicted as I wean myself off my baby and go back to work, sad to not be sharing re-runs of Fringe over midnight feedings with him anymore, but happy to see my coworkers & have conversations with adults again.  I won't freak out over every tiny thing and feel the need to post on an online baby forum, asking if it's okay that my 6-week old baby hasn't started laughing yet, or uploading photos of suspect red spots to see if the general online mommy community thinks my baby has thrush (NOTE: I obviously have no idea what thrush is, based on that link.)  I won't obsess about having a perfectly clean house (Lord knows I don't right now) or get upset if I can't breastfeed.  As he gets bigger I will teach him about science and dinosaurs and geocaching and be totally okay with him playing in the dirt with the dog.  I will eventually send my kid to public school and periodically have to tell him the toddler-appropriate version of "tough turds" and "sometimes life ain't fair".

But the truth is, I don't know.  I have no idea what instincts or hormones will come flooding forth the second that tiny babbin makes his first appearance.

I may start snarling like a wolf and hide under the hospital bed with him clutched to my chest, and bite the first person who reaches for the baby (If so, sorry..I promise I've had all my shots.)  I may become a total germaphobe and place the baby in a bubble.  I may fall down a shame spiral over my dirty house and my inability to produce food for my tiny human.  I may stalk the online forums and NEED ALL THE ANSWERS OMGRIGHTNOW BECAUSE I HAVE NO IDEA WTF I'M DOING.  I will decide my husband is a moron & should never be left alone with an infant. I may not leave the house for a year and convince my boss to let me telecommute, or suddenly decide that my career and saving the environment means nothing because I NEED TO MOTHER.  I will use my Master's degree to homeschool my kids so I can be sure they know MY VERSION of Genesis vs. The Dinosaurs.  I will be on Pinterest when I should be sleeping so I can research all of the best life-development activities and make sure their lives are as enriched as organic wheat flour.  Oh, and they'll only be getting organic nitrate-free super foods--I will probably butcher the cow myself (while babywearing) just to be 100% sure.  He will never see the inside of a McDonalds or know the joy of a cheeseburger Happy Meal.  Forget helicopter parenting, I'm going Blackhawk on that kid, and every boo-boo will be nursed and totally the grass/rock/other kid's fault. And we'll sell the dog, of course, the first time he licks the baby's eyeball. Maybe we'll even rid ourselves of all technology & go full Amish on him.

Or maybe I won't connect with my baby at all.  He'll hate the beach, and rocks, and dinosaurs, and books, and food, and ME, and I'll swear he was switched at the hospital and forever long for my "lost" baby while resenting the one sleeping in that crib...that FAKE baby.  I'll refuse to breastfeed & become withdrawn, depressed, and never leave my bed ever again.  Our house will gradually fill with refuse and stray cats (no idea where they came from, but I will love them more than that Fake Baby) and eventually Family Services and the ASPCA will show up on our doorstep at the same time.

Or maybe I'll love him to bits but accidentally swaddle him to death. *shrugs*

All I know is it will be a new adventure, and life will never be the same.  (And I'm still really hoping for Option #1.  And definitely not Death-Swaddle.)

I vow to love & protect you, Wee One.  And I promise to REALLY try not to kill you via accidental or intentional means.

Thursday, July 23, 2015

Thirsty Thursday: Watermelon Margaritas (Virgin or Non)

When my mom was pregnant with me, all she ever wanted were cherry shakes from our local Dari-Kup.  Lo and behold, I too have an addiction to cherry shakes.  So I feel relatively certain that our future baby is going to LOVE watermelon, because I have been eating it non-stop all summer.  No lie--I finished off a 5 cup container of it today over the course of about 4 hours.  I can't necessarily call this an irrational "craving", as watermelon has been my favorite fruit my entire life...but I'm definitely eating more of it this summer than usual.

Question:  Do you sprinkle salt or sugar on your watermelon?  My grandma always did salt, but the Hubs tells me he's only seen people sprinkle sugar.  That just seems silly--watermelon is usually plenty sweet, and the salt makes that sweetness really pop.

I guess I should be glad--there are FAR WORSE things I could be craving (and have...I made a batch of no-bake cookies two nights ago just to fend off a craving...and we won't even talk about how many Sonic Slushes or Kum & Go Coolee's I've had in the last few months).  After all, watermelon is 92% water and contains a goodly amount of Vitamins A, B6 & C, along with lycopene...and there's only about 200 calories in that 5-cup container I just downed.

Sadly, no matter how fast I seem to eat watermelon, since my Hubs is not a huge watermelon fan, that means if I buy a full size melon, I have to eat it all myself...before it goes bad.  That MAY not be an issue this year, but any other year we almost always end up having some that goes bad or we have to freeze it for smoothies.  
If you've got a watermelon addiction like me, or need to use up a bunch of melon before it starts to go south--here's an awesome option to help beat the summertime heat!  These watermelon margaritas are perfect for sipping on the porch while your husband grills...or while a tiny alien kicks the crap out of you from the inside. :)

INGREDIENTS: (makes 2-4 margaritas, depending on your glass size)

  • 4 cups fresh (or frozen) watermelon
  • Juice of 4 limes (or about 4 Tbsp)
  • 2 Tbsp sugar (or Splenda/Stevia to taste--DON'T use the full 2 Tbsp if you replace the sugar, both are WAY sweeter than sugar & don't require as much)
  • 4 cups ice (if you start with frozen watermelon, you can skip this)
  • 1/2-1 tsp salt (to taste--I like a little more because it makes the flavors pop)
  • salt & lime wedge for garnish (optional)
  • BOOZY VERSION: Add 1-2 oz of good tequila to each boozy-rita
Combine the first 5 ingredients in a blender & pulse until smooth, then pour into glasses (or hey, mason jars) & garnish (if you do the salt on the rim thing, you'll have to do that in advance--just wet the rim with lime juice & then dip the glass in a shallow tray of salt---or hey, sugar if you'd rather. I won't judge.)  For the boozy ones, stir in the tequila post-blending (or if you're making a full batch of boozy-ritas, add it during the blending process).
Add a straw and ENJOY!

Tuesday, July 21, 2015

29 Weeks: More Nursery Prep & Blackberries

Welcome to the third trimester!  Hello acid reflux, heartburn, gestational diabetes test, RhoGam shot (because I'm O- blood type), nice to meet you.  I'll be honest--I'd never had acid reflux before.   I asked The Hubs what it was, and he told me it felt like burping up acid.  I said, " thought that was just bile, but apparently I have acid reflux."  Zantac 75 is my new BFF.
(Technically 27 week photo, but you get the idea.)

The clock is swifting ticking away...NOTE: isn't it odd how units seem to make all the difference in the world when it comes to that sort of countdown?  When I think "I have about 2.5 months left", that FEELS like a longer time than "11 weeks" or *gulp* 75 DAYS.  Plus I'm in a weird spot where I don't have much baby-prep to do--I can't do much more with the nursery or organizing until after baby showers next month (since I'd rather hold off on making too many purchases until after then).  I started prepping a hospital bag--but there's only so much I can put in it that I'm not going to need at some point between now & then.  So really, it's a bag with a bathrobe, a bottle of lotion, and a hospital bag checklist sitting in it.  (I am paranoid about getting the hospital bag ready as soon as reasonable, since my cousin just had her baby 5 weeks early.)  Our chest freezer is completely full of freezer meals & the like, so there's no more room for that sort of prep...

So I guess it's time to just twiddle my thumbs for a few weekends & enjoy pre-baby life.  This past weekend we did an 11-mile float with a bunch of friends, and this weekend we'll be driving up to Kansas City for a family reunion.  Last weekend, we went berry-picking at my cousin's blackberry patch & came home with about 2 gallons' worth.  1.5 gallons went into the freezer, but the rest we either ate fresh or used to make blackberry cobbler and a blackberry-balsamic glazed chicken.

In the meantime, thought I'd share what little bit of progress we have been able to make on the nursery.  We went with a Beach theme for the nursery so that it could be gender neutral (disclaimer--please ignore the giant Yoda poster that's still hanging in many of these photos--I haven't found a good new home for him yet).

So, as a reminder, this is what our nursery looked like at the last update (24 weeks):

And this is it about 2 weeks ago:

We only have a mattress at this point (holding off on the crib until after showers), but I have it laying where we plan on putting the crib (though we have joked about not getting a crib at all & just leaving him on the mattress...I mean, it's only a 4-inch fall, right?) :)

The nightstand will be for the nursing area, and the basket on the floor is full of blankets at the moment.  The dresser is a family heirloom from the Hubs' grandparents that was in our guest room before.  The cube-bookcase is mine and had been filled with office-stuff before.  As you can see, there are several pictures that need frames or need to be hung (Ooh...frame shopping--NEW MISSION).  The hamper, believe it or not, is mine from college.  I have no idea why I kept it so long, aside from the fact that it folded up flat & was easy to store for the last 15 years or so.  There's also now a changing pad on top of the dresser.

Just a bit of beachy decor on the dresser (thinking about painting that lighthouse all one color, but I haven't decided).  No lie--I've had that little pelican for about 6 years.  I found it while shopping for a friend's baby shower gift & couldn't help myself.  So...I guess I've had my nursery theme picked out in my head for a while. :)

And of course, there IS a little Star Wars nook in the nursery. :)

Then we got the curtains hung:
Those boxes are FULL of clothes a friend gave us.  We are so good on 3-6 month clothes.  I moved everything that was 6+ months into a storage tote that's under the mattress (will eventually be under the crib), but the rest are waiting to be washed & put away. (Yes...much washing to be done before baby comes...guess I could get started on that task at some point...)

And then, this past week we found a glider on Craigslist.  Getting it home (and then IN to this room) was quite a challenge (had to take the door off the hinge), but I'm pretty happy with it.  But I'm not in love with the pattern on the cushions (plus the ottoman has some stains) so thinking about making slipcovers for it.

I found this netting in with my crafting supplies, so I decided to use it to add a little visual interest to the mirror on the dresser (and to hide the gold frame a bit).  It still needs a little tweaking, and I might add a few more bits & baubles to the net (more shells, driftwood, maybe a lil' crab...)

More updates to come in the next few weeks!  

Monday, July 13, 2015

Fourth Wedding Anniversary: Fruit 'n Flowers

The day: July 10, 2011.
The place: Rogersville, Missouri
The weather: 103F & Sunny, with a brief (and blessed) breeze right around 1pm (the same time as our ceremony).
The peeps:  Me and this awesome dude I've known since I was 16, and about 150 of our friends & family.
The Cake: AWESOME.  As always.

This Friday, the Hubs & I celebrated our Fourth wedding anniversary--four years of marital bliss!  I still love being married to my best friend, staring at his beautiful blue eyes every morning (but like, not in a creepy way or anything), and laughing with him as much as possible.  I love him in spite of his mischievous inner child that thinks it's funny to wait until all the lights are out in the house and then let out a pterodactyl scream at the end of the hallway...and hilarious to hide in closets & jump out at you...

Year Four has been a good one for us.  We visited the Smoky Mountains together, sold our side business, and managed to (finally) make a baby after about a year & a half of trying (HINT: a relaxing week in Mexico with unlimited access to mojitos apparently REALLY helps).

If you missed it, I did a Wedding Week a few years ago—here’s the links if you’re interested:
For our first anniversary (Paper), I did this heart map collage; and for our second anniversary (Cotton), I made The Hubs a pillow with a collage of ticket stubs.
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The third anniversary is Leather (or Glass for the “modern” interpretation), so he got a personalized leather luggage tag, a leather-bound men’s devotional book, and a fancy-schmancy tulip glass from Deschutes.

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Fourth Anniversary is "Fruit or Flowers".  Sure, that's easy...if you're the guy.  (FYI--the "modern" option is "Appliances".  I tend to be of the opinion that an appliance is generally never a good romantic gift.)  So what do you get for the man in your life that's fruity, flowery, and yet still manly?

A)  A pie.  His favorite pie, in fact. (Coconut Cream, homemade--and let's not get into a debate over whether coconut is really a "fruit".  Most pies are fruit-filled, so that's the general idea--make yo' man a fruit-filled pie.  You know what he likes.  Aaaaand he'll probably share.)
B)  An iTunes gift card (Apple--get it?  Eh?  EHHH????)
C)  A kit to brew his own fruit beer, or a mixed pack of fruit beers (because the hops cover the whole "flowers" bit).  If your man's not a home brewer and you go for the latter, my personal recommendations are Leaky Roof's Bond Burner (Smoked Jalapeno & Pineapple--though TECHNICALLY this is a mead), Lazy Magnolia's Bramblin' Man (blackberry), Abita's StrawGator (strawberry), Shiner's Ruby Redbird (grapefruit), Piney River's Hot Date Ale (dates), and O'Fallon's Wheach (peach).  If you want to add another flower layer to the theme, hibiscus beers are trending right now (try Boulevard's Hibiscus Gose, Stone's Stochasticity Series Hibiscuscity...Or, if you live in the NOLA area & can get it, Courtyard Brewery's Mike's Hibiscus AleNOTE: I picked these because they're not overwhelmingly sweet or fruity--very well balanced beers.  Most dudes I know are not into super-sweet fruit beers/ciders, so your man should hopefully appreciate these.  If he's more of a wine guy--grapes are fruit.  Buy a bottle of his fave.  If he prefers hard liquor, find a distillery near you that makes infused liquors (our personal favorite--Copper Run sells infusion kits on their website; the apple pie moonshine is UH.MAZE.ING).  
D) A bottle of sparkling grape juice for you to share (since the baby belly has you playing permanent DD for a few more months)

For our anniversary celebration, we had a delicious dinner at Touch restaurant in Springfield, MO (though I was tempted to go with Aviary Creperie so we could gorge ourselves on fruit-filled crepes), followed by a showing of "Hairspray" at Tent Theater.

Dessert at Touch--chocolate flourless cake w/ raspberry coulee & mint chip frozen custard.  YUM.

Happy anniversary, love--and here's to four........ty plus more awesome years!