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DSC_0917What is the difference between a seven month and an eight month old baby, you ask? Three more teeth, for one thing. And that’s just the last time I checked. They keep popping out.

Lillian has always wanted to be freely mobile, and now she’s gotten her wish. She crawls everywhere, and pulls herself up to standing on anything, no matter how unstable. Then she climbs on top of whatever she pulled herself up on and tries to pull up on whatever is above it.
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She stuffs everything in her mouth. We’ve had some fun incidents with paper, leaves, and some unidentifiable substances.  She’s also expanding her actual food eating repetoire. She enjoys broccoli, potatoes, bits of chicken, and she really loves coconut milk ice cream.

The weather has turned bearable but not cool here in Texas. I’m really looking forward to some cooler weather so we can break out her unbelievably cute fall wardrobe. She’s got an adorable sweater from Grandpa and Grandma Oster, and a bunch of super cute outfits from Auntie Michelann. I would change her clothes three times a day, but she’s not so fond of it and protests loudly.

She has the cutest Halloween costume ever! Pictures soon.

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Lillian and DaddyYes, I’ve been a slacker. Being a new mom is not conducive to well, anything except nursing, changing diapers, and trying to sleep. In addition, we’ve been dealing with some digestive issues with Lillian that have necessitated me cutting out dairy and soy. Do you know how hard it is to avoid all dairy and soy? Really freaking hard. Pretty much eating out and any prepared food at all – anything that comes frozen or bottled – is out. I now have to read ingredient lists obsessively, call restaurants in advance and ask about what they cook with, and mostly just cook all my own food. And while this is probably way healthier than the plethora of junk food we enjoyed during Lillian’s first six weeks, it is very time consuming. I’m kind of over it. It’s been three weeks so far and there’s no end in sight. Some of Lillian’s more distressing symptoms are gone (specs of blood in the diaper, discomfort) but some remain (lots and lots of green poop. you asked).

Have you ever heard of soy lethicin? Neither had I until this happened. It’s in EVERYTHING. And so is soy oil. Crisco, margarine, and vegetable oil are all made from soy. It turns out soy is way harder to avoid than dairy.

On the plus side, we’ve re-upped our CSA (Community Supported Agriculture – weekly organic vegetables) subscription and have started shopping at the farmer’s market on the weekend. I’ve also become a huge fan of Jamie Oliver’s Food Nation. He’s right – there are way too many ingredients in most of the food we get at the store. Everything at the farmer’s market is made locally and doesn’t have ingredients you don’t recognize. It’s nice. We’re subsisting mainly on rice, vegetables, and meat. And that’s not a bad thing really. Because bacon is meat. Bacon is my new cheese.

Meanwhile, the baby is doing great. Her skin looks great, she’s sleeping great. She’s cute as a button. Well, cuter because who ever said buttons were cute? But she’s dang cute. She’s 10 weeks old, is hopefully approaching 10 lbs, and is 10x more fun than she was a few weeks ago. Lots of smiling, happy shrieking, scooting, and general trouble-making. And mama is having a hard time not buying her cute new clothes every day.

Lillian and Daddy

Hanging out with Daddy

Playgroup

Rocking the Bjorn

Two months!

Modeling the latest in Carter's Coture

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Hospital beds: not as comfy as they look

The 48 hours ish we spent in post-partum at the hospital were not great fun. People come in and wake you up all the freaking time. Nurses, doctors, other random people. They just knock and walk in. Even if I had wanted to sleep I was so wired up from the birth that I only slept about an hour at a time, even with drugs. I had a couple of nice nurses, and several annoying, incompetent, or belittling nurses. Sometimes all in one!

I’m not sure where some of these ladies got their make-you-feel-like-a-stupid-asshole skillz, but they must have learned from the best. I had one night nurse both nights who did everything she could to show me how little I knew about anything baby. She’d spout of statistics or numbers after a checkup with exactly no explanation of what they meant, and smile at me ingratiatingly. Her nursing technique sucked and involved squeezing my breast painfully without authorization. That was a recurring theme. Nothing in there yet ladies, thanks. Our final nurse who checked us out was totally lame. Lackadaisical doesn’t begin to cover it. She forgot to stop at the pharmacy for my meds, didn’t feel like answering questions, and would disappear for long periods when we were trying to get out of the room and get home.

I still had a port in my hand for the first 24 hours, and I had to get 4 more doses of antibiotic through it. This was supposed to take about 20 minutes, but sometimes it stretched out to 1.5 hours, because apparently nobody had taught the nurses how to administer a fucking IV. They’d flush out the port with saline, which hurt like hell, and then start the drug. And invariably fuck it up – it wouldn’t pump, or the line would be jammed. The bitch nurse fucked the last one up really badly at like 1am and acted as if I was just being whiny. It took like 2 hours to finish it. Did I mention how much that shit hurt? I did however talk to the charge nurse about it. Go me. I also called the charge nurse to ask for feedback forms on all my nurses and guess what? She never showed. The OD consultant in me was not impressed.

Trying to learn to breast feed, which is wicked hard anyway, was impossible with the awful hospital pillows. Plus I didn’t seem to be producing anything which was stressful. I had one day nurse who was great and I at least got an idea of what a good latch felt like. Lillian was all about the boob, but she chewed with her surprisingly strong gums and it hurt like hell. I guess I lucked out with the latch, but OW.

David was in a world of pain from the horrible bed in L&D, and the one in the recovery room was far worse. Fortunately, that nice nurse got him a cot which was a bit better. It royally sucks that you can’t sleep with your husband when you need snuggles incredibly badly.

The food was really pretty good. Who knew? They had a killer veggie burger, and decent breakfast tacos. Of course, I would have eaten a tire happily at that point, but it really wasn’t bad.

Yeah, so I couldn’t wind down. This did not bode well for when we got home. There was serious boding. We wanted to get home so badly, but at the same time, how were we going to take care of this tiny being without anyone qualified around to help? How are we allowed to take her home without a medical degree? Does not compute.

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Biological Imperative Win

The other thing that happened while we were there was we both fell madly in love. People don’t always bond with babies right away. For us, it was like one of those cartoon 10 ton weights dropped on our heads. It helps that she’s so dang cute.

Not much of a narrative, I know, but hold on to your hats. Next up, postpartum depression/anxiety/craziness and extra extra sleep deprivation!

Tomorrow I’m 30 weeks pregnant and today I’m 38 years old. I could be giving birth in 8 weeks! This is a little freaky. I’m getting a bit nervous about it, but it’s not like there’s anything I can do. I don’t know if the baby is in the right position yet, I’m getting some mighty painful kicks in tender southerly areas, but it’s hard to know if that’s from hands or feet. She was really active yesterday.

I’ve got some new insomnia rocking (check the time on this post). Mostly it’s because I’m waking up with hip pain again, and it’s become a bad idea to sleep on my back any more (last night I woke up with my hands going numb).

Even though my hands and feet swell intermittently, I’ve been hanging onto my engagement and wedding rings. Until last night when I burnt the crap out of my ring finger on the stove. Oops.

I’m still amazed by how I seem to have a different body every day. How it reacts to food, movement, temperature, etc. still changes all the time. The main problem I’m having is the baby is sitting really low lately, so I need to remember to wear a support thingy when I’m out and about to avoid a whole lot of uncomfortable pelvic pressure and pummeling.

We met with our doula this week and talked about birth. That was trippy. We’re now working on a birth plan and also a list of crap to bring to the hospital. It’s not like David can’t run home at certain points after the fun part is over, but we’re delivering at a hospital about 10 miles north of us, so it’s a bit of a haul (especially during rush hour).

Today I’m managing to get a massage and David is taking me to the Alamo Drafthouse for dinner and a movie. On the less glamorous side, I’m also going to the dentist and waiting around the house for pest control. Still, not a bad day. Also, yoga.

So the room is progressing. A few weeks ago David and his father started on the painting. The wall color is a lavender-tinged grey; neutral, but a little girly. The carpet is made of tiles from Flor. They’re great because you can mix them up, switch them out, and replace them piece by piece if they’re damaged. If you have a bad spill you just pull up the offending tile, wash it, let it dry, and lay it back down. The only issue is if you’re doing wall to wall carpet and you have an irregularly shaped room, you have to do some interesting cutting to make everything fit. And if your husband and father in law are engineers, this becomes a task of epic proportions:

Look closely and you'll see all sorts of measuring devices, graph paper, and much seriousness.

You will never see a puzzle that fits together better than the irregular tiles in this carpet.

Anyway, it looks great in the room:

This is as close as I could get to true color, but it's still a little off.

The inset carpet matches the walls pretty closely. The outer layer is dark gray (we used a really cool post-consumer tile called Fedora that we also use in the  rest of the house), the inner border is a plummy purple, and the center is a gray-lavender. It’s really cool. Now we start layering in the furniture, some of which we’ve painted complimentary colors. Then the fun decorating!

My 29 week appointment went just fine. All systems seem to continue to be normal. I’m back in three weeks, and then down to two, and then every week until TMQ makes her appearance. I can’t believe how fast it’s going now! I thought the first trimester would last FOREVER. But boy does it pick up speed towards the end.

I still haven’t totally shaken the round ligament pain and I’ve got a little mid back strain, but it’s all pretty tolerable. Starting to get some heartburn which is ick. Tums is my new friend. One of my regular yoga teachers is on vacation this week, so I guess I’m going to have to venture out and try some new ones.

Our main holiday activity is going to see movies at the Alamo, an activity that will be seriously curtailed after the baby gets here. We saw Avatar last night which was pretty cool. Very imaginative, great use of CGI, but rather clunky in the Good vs. Evil department. Still, it’s so nice to just chill out and eat dinner and watch a movie. I also finally tried Gourdoughs, which may signal the end of my relatively healthy eating habits. We had this amazing, fresh fried huge doughnut covered in caramelized bananas and brown sugar.  I’m already craving another one. But hey, at least I had milk with it…

Santa Barbara Baby ShowerNext week I’ll be officially in my third trimester. Holy. Crap. We took a whirlwind visit to California this last week and among the multiple festivities was a baby shower hosted by my mom. I get that foodie thing by way of genetics, by the way, and she’s really especially good at candies and pastries. There was lots of both on hand, and we also got to seem some great friends and family.

Friends:

Santa Barbara Baby ShowerElender

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Roxanna and Maxine

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My friends Jen and Scott from LA and family friend Venky

Food:

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Lemon Rosemary Shortbread Cookies

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Chocolate Chipotle Cupcakes

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A whole lotta goodies

Family:

Santa Barbara Baby ShowerMy cousin Evan
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My Godmother and namesake Michelann

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My mom working her kitchen magic (and David missing the top of his head)

I had my prenatal appointment this morning and everything is looking good. Strong heartbeat, right sized belly, doctor is happy with the minimal weight gain. I had my glucose screening as well. Bleah. I hope I don’t have to take the 3 hour test because yuck. I had to go upstairs to get my blood drawn in another clinic. Even though I told them it was a timed test, they fubared it and I had to wander into the back to find someone to stick me. Then she failed to find a vein (which has never happened on me before) and chose to dig around in my arm rather than withdrawing the needle and trying again. I’m predicting a large, ugly bruise.

Here’s the progress in the belly department:


Sorry for the overexposed. Shining a flash in the mirror has unpredictable effects.

People keep saying I don’t look all that big yet, but man do I feel huge. TMQ is very active at times, and pummels various bits of me repeatedly. Not quite so much pummeling to the bladder this week, though it still happens.

Yoga continues to be a back-saver, along with my new shall-not-be-named pregnancy support pillow. Where has that thing been all my life? Sleep is a beautiful thing. I’ve definitely also hit the weepy phase. I melt down a lot for very lame reasons.

We’re headed to California next week for a family Thanksgiving and a baby shower. Looking forward to good company and good grub!

I can go several days with relatively little pain (though I won’t say discomfort  – having a tiny person inside you is not always comfortable), and then all hell breaks loose and my body goes into full rebellion mode. Currently I’ve got some round ligament pain – it was bad yesterday, not so bad today – lower back pain, and my latest issue is hip pain while sleeping. I used to get this once in a while when I slept on a soft surface like a couch, and assumed it was circulation-related. That makes sense, since pregnancy messes with circulation quite a bit. But now I wake up with one or both hips burning every couple hours and have to stretch them a bit to get back to sleep.

At first I could mitigate it by using the dreaded foam roller before bed, but now it doesn’t seem to make a dent in the pain. Luckily, I have yoga tonight and a visit to the chiropractor tomorrow (which includes a blessed massage).

However, I’m going to have to resort to buying yet another horribly named pregnancy aid, the Snoogle. Who the fuck comes up with these names? Preggie Pops? Snoogle? Could they be any more annoying? I think not. Yes, pregnant women are kind of cute. I revel in my pregnant cuteness. But please do some market research on your audience and recognize that some of us still have two brain cells to rub together. /end rant

Next week we’re flying to Santa Barbara for Thanksgiving, baby shower #1 and other assorted revelry. I’m not looking forward to the flight, but hopefully it will go smoothly. And there will be much tasty food on hand that I can enjoy. Bonus!

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mmmmmm. suuuuuugaaaaaar.

Pregnancy continues to be an adventure. I had a bad cold a few weeks ago, and since then I’ve “relapsed” twice. But I think it’s actually Pregnancy Rhinitis, which is freaky allergy/cold symptoms linked to hormones (and probably the dryer weather). Whatever, it’s no fun and it feels like I get a short lived cold every week or so. I’m on the somewhat mend from the latest but it’s wicked  inconvenient. I think if I remember to hydrate better in between bouts they may be milder. I hope so. More tea for me!

Back pain reached an all time high a few days ago. Between round ligament pain, IT band pain, and SI joint pain it was pretty dang painful just to walk. Plus painting furniture for the baby’s room involves a lot of squatting which doesn’t help. But I got a massage and went to yoga and aaaaaahhhh. Sooo much better. Note to self. Go. To. Yoga. So I’m going back tonight and am planning to make sure I take at least 2 classes a week. My back thanks me.

My appetite, sweet tooth included, is back in action but I find if I don’t eat relatively small amounts about 10 minutes later I feel like I ate a bowling ball. So more snacks, less meals. Unfortunately it’s easy to snack on the sweet stuff but I’m trying to cut back. Except I made these and it’s a little hard to not eat them all. I continue to not gain weight, which is awesome, but I have to remember it’s also not an excuse to eat too much unhealthy food.

I’m 23 weeks pregnant as of today. The belly is large and round. Tiny Miss Quimby does a lot of kicking, punching, and rolling. Not all of it feels comfortable (please stop head butting my bladder!), but I’m glad to know she’s doing her thing. My emotions are definitely kicked up more. I can cry at the drop of a hat. Or a feather or pebble or whatever. But again, I think that any symptom that necessitates me taking better care of myself, physically or emotionally is not a bad thing.

chicken_soupDespite my best efforts to avoid all the viruses making the rounds in Austin right now, I finally succumbed to a nasty head cold. While certainly better than the flu for many reasons, it’s wicked uncomfortable and lame. I’m going to the doctor to get checked out just in case, mostly because any virus tends to kick up my asthma which is no fun. I seriously wish I had avoided this, but at least it’s not an ass-kicking flu, which I continue to hope to avoid. Luckily, I’ve been on a soup kick, so I have some good leftovers. I’m headed to the doc this afternoon just to be on the safe side. Any cold or flu tends to wreak havoc on my asthma.

On the good news front, I didn’t get sick until Saturday night, so David and I had a great Saturday walking around the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center taking pictures. Best. Light. Ever. Cloudy days rock for the photography. David got some particularly nice shots – he kept stealing the big camera from me.

Tiny Miss Quimby is definitely kicking up a storm now. As we speak. At first it seemed like only when I was sitting up and had something elastic-y on my lower abdomen, now it’s pretty much whenever. And I can feel it in several points in the same general area, rather than just one spot like at first. I’m looking forward to looking in on her on Thursday at the anatomy ultrasound. I guess I could be paranoid about that too, but since we made it through all the genetic mishigas I’m feeling a bit more pragmatic. I’ll post more pictures after the appointment!

* Update: after two frustrating and painful  hours – a big swab stuck way up the nose and twisted around when you have swollen sinuses is NOT FUN – I do not have the flu. Just an annoying cold.

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