Tuesday, December 27, 2011

He's Here!

I have been totally MIA, but there is a really good reason for it.
The Peanut arrived on Wednesday at 6:16 P.M. 8 pounds 10 ounces, 21 inches long. We were both fine... albeit a little traumatized. My epidural didn't work and he had to be vacuumed out by his poor little head. I will post a longer birth story at some point. Right now it's hard to typing when my fingers could be tickling his little face.

Saturday, December 17, 2011

A definitive moment

I could blame this on hormones-- and I think I will just a little bit-- but I had a major turning point in how I viewed myself and The Peanut this week.

I have been so self-consumed throughout this pregnancy. Part of that, I know, comes from the simple surprise of it all. I had made so many plans for myself that did not include a baby for at least five more years. I was a newlywed and completely in love with my husband and content to spend the next few years living with him alone. And then that pink line.

You see, I struggle anyway with the idea that I will never amount to anything. Sometimes I believe that lie, usually at night or when I'm by myself, and I spend at least a few hours in absolute misery because I've always preached that there is a plan for all of us and that it's important. And I believe that for everyone on the planet, except myself sometimes.

When I found out I was pregnant and we started telling people, one of the first things that someone said to me was, "Just wait. You won't be Kasey anymore. You'll be so and so's mom." I know that this person thought it was a compliment (honestly, I don't even remember who said it anymore), but it horrified me. Absolutely horrified me. I didn't want my entire existence to revolve around anyone else, even my child. It still horrifies me to a certain extent. Because I have to believe that God still has plans for me outside of motherhood.

It might be that kind of thinking that causes moms to not know what to do with themselves anymore after the kids go to college.

So I fought the idea. Eventually, I realized that I was in my 7th month of pregnancy and when someone called me "mom" it immediately sent chills down my spine (and not in a good way). My immediate thought was always "I'm not a mom yet!" And usually this interaction was followed by a quick trip to a restroom to regain my composure and pinch myself to be sure that I was still Kasey, and not just somebody's incubator.

So when I realized that the birth of my child was only a month or so away, I changed the name of my blog. And it took everything within me to do so. I didn't want to think about motherhood at 24. I didn't want motherhood until at least 28. But I knew I needed to face my fear head on. And this was the way to do it.

Then this week happened. The week before The Peanut arrives. Nothing like the Lord to wait until the last minute, right?

I viewed a blog of a friend of mine who lost her precious daughter just moments after birth. They whisked her out of the room so quickly that my friend didn't see her and ended up never seeing her daughter alive. I looked at the pictures. And I cried and cried. And for the first time since I've been pregnant, I actively and genuinely prayed for Noah. For his health and for his safety. It's awful to say that I didn't pray for him this entire nine months, but it's the blatant and honest truth. It took me looking at an awful situation and realizing how unworthy I am of this blessing of life. How selfish I've been-- resenting being pregnant when there are many women around me that are wishing that they could have what I have. And so I begged God to make him healthy, so I could have another chance to love this little being.

I know that hormones bring you up and down, but that experience has left me with such an appreciation for this child that I didn't know before in all of my pregnancy. It's also given me a new found will to make my own dreams come true so that he will have a mom that he can be truly proud of and can look up to as an example of overcoming the odds.

Monday, December 12, 2011

Weekend Recap- Madrigal Feaste and Feed My Starving Children

What a crazy and busy weekend. It was so great, though. I'm really enjoying maternity leave, although I have to say that it's ending up being more like a vacation because The Peanut still hasn't arrived on the scene.

I did want to show off some pictures from the high school's Madrigal Feaste. It was a blast. Here's some rehearsal photos:











Friday night I got to see the lovely production.  But I would say the highlight of the evening was the shout out to The Peanut. It might be a little hard to understand, but it's the thought that counts. :)
video

That's the Husband, way back in the background of the picture. He's directing the handbell choir

These were our table wenches, the "Holey, Moley Sisters. They were afraid of my camera.

It's really dark, but that's a good friend of ours in the stockades for "pinching the wenches"






Saturday morning we headed to the park center to take part in Feed My Starving Children. If you don't know what this organization is, you really should check it out. It's an awesome organization, with 93% of all proceeds going directly to feed children around the world. It only costs 24 cents per meal, which is really pretty phenomenal. The goal for our (very small) region was to pay for and pack 600,000 meals this weekend.  632,016 meals ended up being packed, which is so awesome. That means that 1,732 children will get to eat for a whole year because of our small community. I definitely challenge you to do it if it's offered in your community, and to give to it if it's not. It's so rewarding.

Orientation

Don't let those smiles fool you

These guys mean business

The packing stations


Hearing the numbers so far and learning about some awesome kids that get to eat now because of us!

Husband and I rocking our hairnets for Jesus!

It was a great weekend, rounded out by a trip to see my dad for his birthday and hearing a friend of ours play at a concert in town. Way too busy to update, but I think that this long long long long post definitely made up for lost time.

In other news, I really need a nice camera so that I can stop torturing all of you with the point and shoot. Gross pictures.

Friday, December 9, 2011

Countdown

14 Days til my due date!!!

Madrigal Feaste

Tonight I went to the local high school's madrigal feaste. It was spectacular and lots and lots of fun. With lots and lots of food. I shall post some pictures from it tomorrow. Tonight, however, I think I will just be content with laziness and shut the computer to cuddle with the husband.

Wassail! What, ho! Huzzah!

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Thursday Book Review

You know, this blog basically started as a reading blog. And I failed a little lot with that. I kind of hope to remedy that to a certain extent, even though the blog has now taken a new (and really, better) direction. I really hate to not finish what I started, even though I have miserably missed my deadline of one year to read 100 books. Besides, I really believe that moms still need to set expectations of themselves that have nothing to do with baby. I want The Peanut to know that his mom can accomplish big tasks. And this is really just a place to start.

This past week I finally finished "Baby Wise." It was recommended to us by approximately 800,000 people. The subtitle is "Giving your baby the gift of night time sleep." I'm already wary, since I've been oh so politely told by many women that my days of sleeping are forever gone. Why does everyone like to pass their misery on to the next pregnant woman. Maybe I will sleep! You don't know!

....ahem...

The book really is great, though. It's a step by step guide through feeding and sleeping times. It gives you approximate baby weights by age and how many times in a day your baby should poo (which is something every pregnant woman should know). Not only this, but there are CHARTS in the back of the book for you to keep track of how many times your baby has poo'd! It's like a miracle in paperback.

I would definitely suggest that if you read this book you answer the "review" questions at the end of each chapter. I didn't, because I thought, "How hard could it be to just find the chapter that it's in and look it up?" Well, considering that the chapters overlap (the way that, really, good self-help book chapters should) it could be a major pain.

I would also suggest that you read the next to last chapter "Parenting Potpourri" at a time in your pregnancy when you are not feeling particularly vulnerable. There was a section on SIDS in that chapter, and I almost had a meltdown.

**Husband and I are sitting in the family room reading together quietly**

Me: **random outburst** OUR BABY IS GOING TO DIE!!!
Husband: **slowly looks up from book**
Me: I mean it. I can't remember to do all this stuff!
Husband: What?
Me: EVERYTHING causes SIDS! Everything!! I can't leave a bottle with him in his crib? How am I ever going to remember that? What if I lay him on his back, but he rolls over anyway? He'll suffocate in his Snoopy comforter!
Husband: **pats me on the leg, slowly turns back to book**
Me: **weeps in corner of couch**

Overall, though, reading it WAS a pretty enjoyable experience, although I think I already ascribed to that view point anyway. It's always good to feel reaffirmed, though.

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

New layout!

Do you dig it? Hate it? Opinions, please!

Whiz Cleaning Wednesday

I've decided to try a kind of experiment. It's so easy to get bogged down with housework and chores, and I know that some women just want to scream all the time because it just doesn't seem like it's ever done. In fact, some women totally work themselves to the bone trying to make sure that their house is spotless.

Just a disclaimer: I am not a spotless house kind of person. I used to be, when I was in high school and my first year of college. But I soon realized that when you're sharing a living space with others you only have three options: 1. Clean up after everyone  2. Be the crazy witch lady who yells at everyone all the time  3. Loosen up and live

I decided on option three. And it's suited me well so far. Of course, things tend to get behind a lot easier because of this attitude. And that's why I'm experimenting with a new plan.

This week the experiment was to clean like a mad person for 3 hours, one day a week. Just imagine that you JUST found out that someone (preferably someone that you want to impress with your beautiful house) is coming over. In three hours. This plan should be fairly easy to maintain- given that my child isn't colicky. Basically, it's just necessary to remember to give yourself forgiveness if you can't get in all 3 hours every single week. You will probably make it up some other week.

So, yesterday at 12:30 I began. I took pictures... and I'm a little ashamed to share them, but I will, for the experiment's sake.

Living Room Before

  
Living Room After
This was really just a matter of picking up a couple things and hanging a stocking. No big. Took about 2 minutes.


Breakfast Nook Before

Breakfast Nook After

It doesn't look like it, but this part probably took the longest. After the baby shower on Saturday, we had so much stuff! And I didn't want to just move this to the baby's room for look's sake. So all the bags that are gone from the floor had their contents removed and put away. It took me about 45 minutes before I finally decided I had to move on.

Kitchen Counter Before

Kitchen Counter After
Kitchen Sink Before

Kitchen Sink After
The kitchen. Oh the kitchen.

I got the counter cleaned off pretty quickly and then went to work on the sink. I couldn't fit all the dishes in the dishwasher... because I hadn't done dishes in so long. I'm bad. So I did what I could, then rinsed out the rest so that when I emptied the dishwasher I could just throw them in. At least that looks respectable. And it doesn't smell bad.

My Office Before

My Office After?
Didn't really do a whole lot with this. I just couldn't get to it. Which is a crying shame because it looks awful. If you'll notice, though, I felt bad for my office, so I did take the brown paper bag full of hangers and put it away and I threw away a plastic filing cabinet that was broken. Go me!

Master Bedroom Before (yes, there are clothes in that bassinet)

Master Bedroom after
Yes, I am ashamed that we had piled clothes into the baby's bassinet. It's so "Hoarders" of us. But can I just say that my husband did it? Also, they were clean clothes. So at least we have that going for us.

Laundry Basket Before

Laundry Basket After
Will the shame never end??? Now, not all of that laundry is done, mind you, but I did get three loads dried and folded. And all the dirty clothes are where they belong- in the laundry room. Where I can keep people out.

I would say that that's a pretty successful 3 hours. Especially for a very pregnant woman.

The other great thing about giving yourself a time limit on cleaning is that you tend to prioritize what needs to be done and when. You begin to combine trips up and down the stairs with missions to do other things. It really does help get a lot more done in a lot less time.

Am I suggesting that three hours a week alone is enough to keep a house sparkling clean? No. I will be trying to mostly keep the dishes washed and things picked up a little better than they were so that I can keep moving forward. But I don't see a need for mothers to guilt trip themselves over not deep cleaning every day. I am hoping that with this plan I can have a decent place for my child to live as well as a decent life outside of cleaning.

Do you have a clean regiment? What has worked for you in the past?

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Facebook Following

If you would like to follow me on facebook, just give this a click.

I'm trying to figure out how to put the "like" button on this page, but, honestly, I don't quite understand the instructions. If anyone can help me, please drop me a comment or an email!

Part One: Baby Shower, Part Two: Something men don't want to read

A recap of the last couple days? Don't mind if I do.

Saturday after I posted my enlightening blog about sleeping positions, I went to my second and final baby shower. It was awesome. Lots and lots of lovely people. Lots of lovely presents. And check out these decorations!



Is that not the cutest baby shower in the world? Well, of course I think it is. The husband and I met (for all intents and purposes) during the show "You're a Good Man, Charlie Brown." He was Schroeder, I was Sally, it was love at first sight three years later. Since then, I've done the production a total of three times and was also in a production of "Snoopy!", so you could definitely say that Peanuts has been a pretty consistent marker in our lives since 2006.

Also, would you please LOOK AT THIS CAKE?

Gah! It just slays me.


It pretty much goes without saying that we made out like bandits, but in case there was any doubt at all, here are some pictures of all our crap.


Yeah. We did good.

The nursery seems to be in good shape as well.

So, crib, bassinet, changing table, and car seat? Check.

All we need now is a baby.

Which leads me to the section of the blog that should make all men run in terror. It certainly did my husband. So if you continue to read, don't say I didn't warn you. Because I did.

Yesterday I had a doctor's appointment (all the men that thought they could handle whatever I was about to say just fled the blogosphere). It was one of THOSE doctor's appointments. And, you know, I was actually a little excited about it. See how far we've come, how far we have to go still. Get a general idea of when The Peanut will arrive. Besides that, I had had one the week before. What did I have to fear?

After getting back to my lonely, cold exam room and stripping down (by the way, is there even a point to those little cloths they give you to cover up with? They might as well rip off a sheet of cellophane and hand it to you. Sheesh) I literally had time to read an entire issue of People magazine before my doctor got there. She finally ran in and immediately got right down to business. And I when I say business, I mean business. There was actually a point in the exam when she said, "Whoa. Baby doesn't like that." What? You have your hand in so far that the BABY felt you and hit you? So she finally finishes, she simply says, "One centimeter." I went through all that for one lousy centimeter?

So I finally get out of there, grab my husband, and run out the door. Well, not run. More like waddle like I'd been riding a horse for three days straight. Then I hand him the keys and say, "Will you please drive? I feel slightly traumatized."

You know the seven stages of grief? I think I had the seven stages of post cervical exam.

  1. Shock
  2. Contractions
  3. Profound sadness
  4. Loss of innocence
  5. Urge to beat husband because, really, this is his fault
  6. Anger
  7. Fits of uncontrollable laughter caused by anti-jokes (Why did the clown fall out of the swing? Because he was shot in the face) and pictures of baby shower cakes
I still don't know what exactly happened yesterday, but I'm hoping the seven stages will help me eventually piece it all back together.




Saturday, December 3, 2011

Rock Paper Scissors

When you are pregnant, before going to sleep you must decide between three ways of laying down. Let me explain.

If you are having heartburn, you need to be propped up.

If you want to breathe, you need to lay on your side.

If your feet and ankles are swelling, people demand that you prop your feet up. Demand.

The problem is, if you did all of these things at once (which most of us really need to do), you end up looking like this:

Or, if you're really confused:


So it really becomes a game of rock, paper, scissors every night. It's a rotating game, really, since you never know when your desire to breathe will overcome the desire not to throw up stomach acid a little in your mouth which trumps that you don't want to tell people that, no, you didn't prop your feet up.

Well, we're off to the races today. First Saturday in December is when we celebrate the husband's grandma's birthday every year and this year we've also decided to cram in the baby shower. Ah. Life.

Friday, December 2, 2011

God Agrees with Me. Read About the Fall.

I had a chat with a friend of mine earlier today. I'm finding that it may be necessary to remind older moms what first trimester was like and to educate those who have never enjoyed the wonderland that is throwing up in a mexican restaurant bathroom. I also think that this post is important to all those poor mothers-to-be who feel like people just don't understand how they feel. I do. I understand how you feel. And I have to write this post before post-deliver endorphins attack my brain and take away all the memories I have of every terrible thing about pregnancy.

I found out I was pregnant because I took a pregnancy test as a joke. No kidding. It was not magical (although... I'm not sure how peeing on a stick can be that magical to begin with). I was blessed to have a good friend there to keep me from throwing myself down the stairs, though. So that was a definite plus.

First trimester is hard enough, but I have a serious special place in my heart for all of you out there who weren't planning a pregnancy. Some pre-moms have the opportunity to struggle through letting go of their independence and, really, dignity (and if you've ever been to weekly gyno appointments, you know exactly what I'm talking about). Not you. You get to wade through a sea of hormones, trying desperately to find that island of sanity so that you can accurately assess your situation and how your life is about to change. And when you do find that moment? You cry. And then you cry because you're crying. And then you cry because you're a bad mom. Yes, all of these things happen.

Then comes the sickness. For those of you who had no sickness at all and bursts of energy, I say this: Shut up, because we all hate you. You might still be our friend, but we hate you. Would you say to someone who had no legs that you are so happy that you entered a jump roping competition? No. You would not. So don't say it to us. And don't tell us to eat crackers. God love you, we know that crackers make people feel better. We aren't brain dead, just... swimming through a cloud of intense emotions. Instead, ask us if there's anything we require. Such as crackers. Or soda. Or ice cream. Or money.

So first-trimesterers, unite! Start letting people know how you feel! Don't just lay down and take it! Well, you can lay down, since every day you will feel like you have just ran the New York Marathon after eating 3 bowls of clam chowder, but don't take it! It's ok to let people know that, while you totally believe that they felt that way during their pregnancy, you most certainly do not. And loving pregnancy does not equal loving baby. Loving baby equals loving baby. If they protest anymore, refer them to Genesis while shouting, "God agrees with me!!!!!!!!"