Aug 31, 2011

what I wore: 13 weeks

I grew right out of my regular clothes this week.  Hello, maternity pants!  I guess it's about time to accept that getting bigger is part of the whole baby deal.  I have to expand in order to grow one of those.  Bring on the ice cream.

It's not so bad from the front...
but it's a whole different perspective from the side.
I'm particularly thankful for maternity clothes from my friend Melissa and from my sister.  I feel like I went shopping for free!  WooHoo!

pleated poppy

Aug 30, 2011

my truth about motherhood

I've been reading a little of this, this, and this lately, and I've found myself wondering what honesty about motherhood really means.  I think that nearly all mothers would agree that motherhood is a drastic, permanent, life-changing event, but I doubt that many of us would seriously consider taking it back.  I'm not talking about in those moments when your toddler just pitched a giant screamfest over riding in the cart and had to have a time-out in the Target bathroom (ok, that might just be me...); in the quiet moments of honest reflection, after baths and bedtime stories, what is the truth about motherhood?

I've written a little about this before, but I struggled bad for several months after Cara was born.  I was exhausted, overwhelmed, and lost.  I couldn't remember who I was, mainly because I didn't have the time or energy to think about it.  I wanted a break from my life so badly that one night in the parking lot of Staples, I wondered exactly how badly it would hurt to get hit by a car.  I didn't want to die from it, but a little time to myself sounded so nice that I was considering spending it in a hospital bed.  Obviously, that is not a normal thought process, and I am so grateful to my dear friends who sent my ass straight to a counselor. 

I am thankful in a way for those low points because I get it when I see other moms looking a little glazed over, and I promised myself I would be honest with my friends when they had babies.  No one warned me about those first few months, and I didn't want anyone else to go through what I went through without realizing that those feelings do not mean you are a bad mother.  I think for a lot of people, it's pretty typical to reach a breaking point (or several breaking points). 

However, I've been wondering lately if I'm so focused on the difficulty that I forget to mention the joy.  I will admit that there are nights when I groan in my head when it's time to read bedtime stories because I really just want that child to go to sleep, but it's all forgotten as soon as she plops in my lap with her book.  At that moment, there is nowhere else I would rather be.  I remember the stress of pumping at 5 in the morning and twice at work and nursing almost all evening, of walking my newborn up and down the hallway way too late at night, of hearing her tiny cries right when I poured the bubbles into my bath, but nothing can replace catching that first glimpse of a smile or hearing that sweet baby laugh for the first time.  I will never regret the hours I spent rocking my girl to sleep or pushing her in a swing.  "Mommy, higher!"

I feel like I have grown into my new identity as a mother, and I like this person better than the one I was before.  My purpose is so much larger, even though it's so much more exhausting and overwhelming sometimes.  Honestly, I can't wait to start it all over again.  March sounds pretty good to me.

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Aug 27, 2011

Cara's perfect Saturday

I love to listen to this child talk.  It is the cutest thing I have ever heard.

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Aug 24, 2011

what I wore: 12 weeks

At 12 weeks, the baby bump still looks more like a beer gut, so it seems best to keep it under wraps.  Thank goodness for drapey tops with strategic pleats and for belly bands.

(I have to admit that I feel a little silly doing a weekly post about my clothes, but it seems like a good excuse to take a full length picture each week to document my pregnancy.  I only did pictures every 4 or 5 weeks with Cara, so this will give me a good excuse to watch the progression.)

Speaking of fashion awesomeness, one of my amazing school buddies cleaned out her jewelry collection and donated some fun costume jewelry to Baby Cara.  I don't think there's a more perfect gift for my girlie girl.

The green watch was quite a hit.

pleated poppy

Aug 23, 2011

yesterday was a good day

for several reasons.  PJ got some awesome news on the job front, and we got to see the first shots of Baby #2 dancing around in my tummy. 

I felt more nervous about the first trimester this go around than I did with Cara.  Add that to some scheduling issues at the doctor's office, and you have one crazy mama who had to wait 12 weeks to even hear a heartbeat!  (And your mind can play some silly tricks on you in that span of time.  I had moments of wondering if I was making up this pregnancy thing to make myself feel better for getting chubby.  Seriously.)  Even though I was worried, I kind of think waiting until 12 weeks was better because the ultrasound pictures were great.  I could definitely see a real baby, not just the tadpole blob that first ultrasounds usually show.  I was so relieved and excited that I almost cried.

That totally looks like a baby, right?

I've been trying to explain the situation to Cara.  Here's how the conversation went yesterday:

Me:  Cara, do you want to be a big sister? (lots of enthusiasm and smiles)
Cara:  (without even looking up) Not right now, Mommy.
Me:  Cara, there's a baby in Mommy's tummy, remember?
Cara:  No, Cara tummy.
Me:  No, Mommy's tummy!
Cara:  No, Cara tummy! (lots and lots of giggles)

I guess we'll keep working on that one...

Aug 21, 2011

note to self

Dear Self, 
You have got to get it together because this is entirely unacceptable:

Thursday's dinner:
Quinoa with tomatoes (and marscarpone!)


Saturday's dinner
(no description necessary)

Let me explain.  You did so well all week long, especially since it was back-to-school week.  You served lots of fresh veggies and quinoa, and that lemon pepper chicken was delicious.  Your meal planning was right on target: easy, quick, and healthy.  You even spent less than usual at the grocery store last week! 

However, Saturday was a disaster.  The pizza wouldn't have been so bad except that it came after a day of burgers and hot dogs.  Really?  Burgers, hot dogs, and pizza all in the same day?  Can't you at least space these out a bit?  Let's not mention the number of calories and amount of chemicals you probably consumed.  It's too depressing.

Instead, let's focus on the new week ahead.  Go dig through your recipes and do a little meal planning.  Spend some quality time at Earth Fare.  And take some Mediterranean Chickpea Salad with you to the little get-together tonight.  Your hubby loves it, and it will make you feel better.

Aug 17, 2011

what I wore: 11 weeks

shirt: F21
skirt: self made
belt: Target
shoes: hand-me-downs from mom
toys: Baby Cara

At this point, I'm trying to camoflage the belly a bit since I'm really just looking chubby.  It's getting harder and harder to do though, as quite a few pairs of pants no longer button.  Enter this skirt, which I threw together last spring, and its fabulous elastic waist.  I still feel chubbalicious, but I hope it's not so noticeable at a glance.

I might need to get my Tyra on and practice some new poses...

Baby Cara has been all about accessories lately.  Every time we start to walk out the door, she squeals "Puuuurrrrrse!!" and dashes to her room to grab one of her many handbags.  She is so stylish.

a necklace, a medal, a bracelet, sunglasses, and a purse = absolute cool

pleated poppy

Aug 15, 2011

first trimesters are lovely

I think it kind of goes without saying, but I'll say it anyway:  PJ and I are thrilled about baby #2.  It just feels right.  When we told Cara that there was a baby in my tummy, she inspected my belly button very carefully to see if she could find it.  I guess she decided that we were crazy for thinking a baby could fit in there.  Silly parents.

I think we're also thrilled to see this first trimester winding down.  I'm not gonna lie.  There are days when it has felt difficult to be alive.  When I was pregnant with Cara, I don't think I had any symptoms.  I keep asking PJ if he remembers me being particularly tired or cranky or nauseous, and he swears he doesn't remember any of that.  (Good man.)  I don't remember even feeling pregnant until the baby belly arrived.  However, this go around, I feel pregnant.  The nausea and exhaustion have been pretty intense, although I'm starting to feel a little more like myself again. 

This biggest difference has been how quickly my body has changed.  Everything remembered what to do.  I swear my uterus went ahead and pushed itself forward a bit and all my other internal organs shifted to their preggo positions.  And don't get me started on the girls...they definitely remember nursing. 

At first, I was pretty certain that I would be able to keep this one a secret until 12 weeks or so, but when I went back to work, people noticed.  I guess I could have played it off, oh, it's just one too many Blue Moons this summer, but maybe I was a little excited.  And that's okay.  Babies are exciting!

There are so many questions hanging around, like where are we going to put this baby? or how are we going to pay for daycare for two? or when are we going to sleep again?? but I know that God will take care of us.  We had even more questions and concerns before Cara was born, and God arranged things in His perfect way.  That doesn't mean everything is or will be easy, but it does mean that He will provide the answers we need in His timing.  It feels good to let it all rest right there.

Aug 13, 2011

do you see that?

That, my friends, is an almost-11-week baby bump!  I don't even think you need to squint to see it.  

Aug 8, 2011

it's back to school for us!

Today was my first day back at school.  I was sort of in denial about heading back to work, as in, that day isn't really going to come.  But it did, and I went.  Turns out that I really enjoyed catching up with my teacher friends, my classroom isn't as messy as I thought (except for the mouse poop ALL IN MY DESK DRAWERS), and I'm actually looking forward to my schedule.  I'm teaching English 4 IB this year, which is new to me, but I'm really looking forward to digging into the literature that much more deeply with kids who will want to go there with me.  I'm a nerd, I know.  Not that I don't love my regular English 3 kids too.  They are never boring and always surprise me.  I'm sure a lot of people would find this hard to believe, but I really like teenagers.  They are a nice mix of silly and adult most of the time.

The really big news today is that Baby Cara is no longer in the toddler class but now in the 2K class at her school.  She had a pretty rough morning; between breakfast, putting on *gasp* SHORTS, and getting out the door, she melted into a crying mess.  All I heard on the way to school was "Cara sad, Mommy!"  She perked right up when we got to school and discovered that she was going to a new class.  Actually, we both discovered.  I must forget to read the newsletters or something because these things always take me by surprise.  I was a little sad because my baby is a toddler who is really a little girl, but I was also excited and proud because my girl is a smarty pants.  I know it's not polite to brag, but I'm doing it anyway.

Happy Monday!

Aug 7, 2011

cleaning day

Because we are such good cleaners around here:

I took apart Cara's favorite pink chair to wash the cover.  She thought it was really fun to lay on the pieces and pretend to be asleep.  I told her that was the oldest trick in the book and she was going to need to be more creative if she wanted to get out of cleaning day.

That's quite a devilish grin for a girl with no sheets on her bed.

She might be putting the toys and books away...

...but probably not.

(In case you are interested, here is the pattern for Cara's shorts!)
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