Friday, January 28, 2011

A Room With a View

I know I'm barely pregnant (if there is such a thing!) at 13 weeks, but I'm also a planner. A planner and procrastinator. Which means I like to plan months and months in advance, but I won't actually do anything until it is almost too late.

Like my 30th birthday (!!!!) happening in a few months. I've planned it all to perfection. . . in my head. On paper nothing has been done. But that's another story.

Today I want to talk about decoration and the art of making a nursery.

See, The Hubs and I have been having some fights discussions regarding the use of the third bedroom.We have a three bedroom house. The Hubs and I live in one, Bjorn lives in one and the third . . . . is a holding pen for crafts, gifts, sewing supplies and paraphernalia, my wedding dress, my work uniforms, the Hubs's suits, every jacket and sweatshirt the Hubs and I own and wear for exactly three weeks in Arizona, the books I can't fit in the huge bookcase in our office, and a guest bed.

So now what? We need the third bedroom for the babe in August. We also need the third bedroom for my parents, whom are bound to visit their grandkiddos even more often now, my in-laws, for the same reason, and our friends and other family, since all family lives out of state. And what I am to do with all these yards of extra fabric that I swear I will use one day?

The Hubs and I have debated some options. Bjorn gets a futon with a side rail so when peeps come in town, we can instantly turn it into a guest bed. Or he gets a toddler bed and all our fam can sleep on couches or the air bed on the floor. Or we put him right into a full or queen bed with side rails. What to do . . . . what to do. . . .

I wasn't just debating this with The Hubs, though. I was talking about this with friends, other Mommies, co-workers. Getting all their opinions on this minor, silly little decorating issue.

Until finally I realized why I am having such difficulty with this decision.

It has nothing to do with Bjorn growing up and being in a big boy bed. Nothing to do with changing rooms and giving him less baby stuff and more boy stuff.

It has to do with Peanut.

I mean, Bjorn got this awesome room, that we (ahem, I mean, The Hubs) painstakingly taped and surveyed and painted and painted again. We added a fresh wall color and stripes, a chair rail and decor. Everything was perfect and pristine and ready for our first babe.

And now Peanut will get his leftovers. We will move Bjorn to a new room, where, once again, he will get a new bed and a new wall color and new decorations better fitting to a boy who likes cars and football (ball ball). He will get new bedding and new curtains and a Book Nook while Peanut. . . . . Peanut will get Bjorn's leftover room.

We might change some things. I've always wanted new curtains in the nursery. And we will definitely take down Bjorn's name and put up Peanut's. But. . . it will still all have been Bjorn's. The crib, the changing table, the colors. . . . it wasn't done for Peanut.

Am I already giving Peanut all the leftovers and not enough of the good stuff? I know that for the rest of their lives, Bjorn will get things first. He will probably get the new (or at least newly consigned) toys and clothes and cars. Because he will use them first. But is it fair to begin this already by giving Peanut a used room?

Obviously there are good reasons to give Bjorn's room and things to Peanut. Everything is green and brown, neutral colors, so it would work for Peanut. I am not going to buy all new crib bedding and blankets and a new crib and clothes, when Bjorn's will work just fine. Spending that money when it's unnecessary is just wasteful.

But that doesn't mean it makes me feel good to be "green" and recycle Bjorn's things. Instead I just feel guilty. Am I already giving Peanut less than his fair share? And if I having this much of an issue with a room and the things that are in it, how am I going to feel when I can't give Peanut the time and attention I gave Bjorn as a newborn because now I am busy running after a crazed 2 year old?

I have the feeling this room issue is only the beginning of a tug-of-war inside myself. About more than a room. About time and attention and care and fairness. And I don't think there is a right answer.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Pregnant Do's and Don'ts

I know it's not politically correct or the popular idea, but I've said it once and I'll say it again. . . I love being pregnant.

I love eating as much as a small horse or two.

I love maternity clothes with stretchy panels and built-in space for growing. I love leggings and sweatpants and t-shirts that are finally long enough to cover the crack of my hiphugger jeans. I may just have to make all my waists elastic and all my shirts large enough to be "eatin' pants". Let's be honest here. Maternity clothes are sooooo comfortable.

I love the way I now fill out shirts and swimsuits the way Baywatch has always told me I needed to.

I love how no matter what I do or how moody (Me? Moody? Nooooo.), I'm right. Because you knocked me up, Hubs, and you have to deal with the consequences.

But life isn't all fun and roses when you're pregnant. Even for the perfect Preggo.

I don't love the no-drinking rule. Sure, I have heard that in France and all across Europe the Preggo's have red wine with every meal and they are all so healthy and have perfect babies who walk at five months and are fluent in three languages by their second birthday, and never once have a symptom of FAS. Here in the good US of A, though, we know that drinking a beer would lower my kids IQ by 50 points, knock off any chance he has of passing kindergarten the first time and ensure that he doesn't get his first kiss until he's 17. If even then. We just don't do it.

And boy do I miss my beer.

As much as I miss my feta.

Ahhh, feta. The tastiest of the soft cheeses. Yes, those same soft cheeses that are forbidden to Preggo's. The same soft cheese that I tasted once in my last pregnancy, only to have a fellow Preggo scold me mercilessly. (Exact words: Her: OMG, that's feta! What are you doing?! Me: What? It's fine. I mean, what do they do in countries where they only have unpasteurized cheeses to eat? Her: Well, they have alot more dead babies. Yes, that's right. Dead babies. We are no longer friends.)

So as we now enter into salad season when fruits and veggies are on sale and fresh, I yearn for a good spinach salad with feta and cranberries and walnuts with a vinaigrette dressing. Or a cobb with eggs and bacon and a good sprinklin' of feta. Yummmm. Or a wrap with feta and peppers covered with a layer of avocado. . . . .

It sounds so yummy. And healthy. It can't be that bad, right?

I was desperate for feta, so I googled unpasteurized cheeses and feta and found the most wonderful websites ever. Site after site, from Webmd to Babycenter, told me, in plain English for anyone to see, that feta is ok for pregnant women. As long as it's made from pasteurized milk. Which would be listed in plain sight for all to see on the outside of the container. And most of the cheese in the US is made from pasteurized milk. Just to be sure, though, when in doubt, don't eat.

In other words. . . go for it, Preggo. Eat away. Let them eat feta.

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Get this Jillian: A New Way to Shred!

I am in the midst of simplifying my life. Call it nesting, call it throwing away. Whatever. I'm simplifying.

This simplifying means I am getting rid of everything from clothes and shoes to books, papers and, yes, friends.

Well, not friends, really, because if you are a friend, I am obviously not going to get rid of you. But yesterday Bjorn was fiddling with my phone and began dialing. #6 on my speed dial. And it took me a few minutes to remember who it was. We worked together almost two years ago. Once. And then I have not seen or talked to her since. The only reason I can think this person is #6 on my speed dial is because I must have gotten their number immediately after getting my phone.

I deleted her. And it didn't even hurt.

Obviously, I need some simplification.

I used to love my shredder. I would shred everything from old test papers to junk mail. My college roommate and I used to spend hours shredding. It was calming, relaxing. Not to mention fun when it contained pictures and notes from old boyfriends. Then my shredder broke, exhausted from over use, and I refused to spend the $40 to replace it. So there it sits, in a corner of my office, neglected and dusty. And the junk mail continues to pile up.

Right after Bjorn was born we realized that our current filing system was not going to be enough. The medical bills were piling up, and more files than we could handle were being created (Bjorn Medical, Me Too Medical, Bjorn Cards, etc.). I like files. I like filing. It keeps things neat.

In my defense, I . . . . will, there is no defense. This mammoth is 42 inches long.
 Except when you fill a filing cabinet large enough for a law office, things are not being organized and neat. They are being lost in the shuffle.

A few minutes ago I googled "How long do I keep utility bills" and google nicely sent me to a number of websites who all told me. . . . . to get rid of them. Three months is all you need to establish residency. Max. And considering that I pay my bills online and have a record of everything through both my bank account and the online electricity company, I can probably keep less than that. So why do I still have utility bills from my first apartment in college? ( I may keep one of those, though. Just for posterity. "Look kids, your mom used over 500 gallons of water when she lived in her first apartment!! Cool, huh?!")

Lifeorganizers has a list of how long to keep all your bills and documents and I resolve to use this list to clear my space. Simplify my office.

It's a nice start.

Saturday, January 15, 2011

Bucket List

In one of the many magazines I find at work on the plane, I read that a while ago Brooke Burke made a Bucket List, with one of the items being "Appear on the cover of Shape Magazine".

I thought "Well, I want to be on the cover of Shape, too."

Immediately followed by "Ugh, no I don't." Because then I would have to work out really hard, eat healthy all the time and spend Saturdays and Sundays at the gym rather than hanging at the casa with my boys or browsing the nearest flea market.

But it got me thinking. Maybe being on the cover of Shape is not on my Bucket List, but what is? If time and money and resources were all available to me, what I do I really and truly want to do with my life? What are the things - the really important and really trivial things all together - that would mean so much to me when I was older? What were those items that I have been itching to scratch off my permanent to-do list?

And thus my Bucket List began.

Making a Bucket List isn't as easy as I had thought it would be, though. I wanted to ensure my Bucket List was distinctive and characteristic of me, not just what most people want to do. Did I really care about taking a cruise? Or is spending four to seven days cooped up on a boat, living on someone else's schedule of events something I just have a vague interest in from hearing friends' cruise stories? Did my butt really want to endure a cross country motorcycle ride or did I just want to pen an introspective bestseller like Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance from my experience?

What did I really want?

Finding out what you really want (really really really want) is not easy. It can be hard to separate all the voices - friends, family, experts - that have whispers in your head.  But I sat down, tried to clear my mind and thought "What is it that I really truly completely want?"

And it came to me in an instant.

I want my own action figure.

Silly, right?! Except it's not, because it is something I really want from my life. I really want to be an action figure.

Bucket Lists don't have to be serious and life-changing. They don't have to be about seeing the seven wonders or curing cancer. It's all about what you want from life. And what I want is to be an action figure.

My list isn't very long. I'm very discerning about what I write down, picking what I really want from all those things that I kind of want to to.

My Bucket List
*Get my own action figure
*Snorkel in Australia
*Hike to the top of a volcano
*Publish a book
*Have beautiful, long, real nails
*Hear mass from the Pope in Vatican City

What's on your list?

**I'm lucky that some of my Bucket List items are already crossed off. Those are: Hike the Grand Canyon, Be in a commercial, Star in a movie, Hit a home run, Get married, Have kids, Become a Flight Attendant.**

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Weight Scmeight

The day after Christmas, my scale broke.

Which is not necessarily a bad thing being that it was the day after Christmas (i.e. "your-tummy-hurts-so-bad-from-all-that-food-day") and I am pregnant, so who really cares what I weigh, right?!

Except I gained 51 pounds with the first babe. 51. That's about 40% of my total weight before preggo. Yeah. That's ALOT of weight.

And I really don't want to go through the agony of losing it all over again. Especially because I wasn't very good at losing it the first time (being that I was still so damned hungry all the time!) until I got stupidly sick and lost the final 9 lbs in three days.

So with my scale broken, I have been a bit worried what the next OB visit will bring. "Oh, my, you have been eating, haven't you?!"  comments reminiscent of my visits with Bjorn. And I'm busting out of my real clothes already at 11 1/2 weeks. While I know you usually show sooner with your second, I was hoping this really was showing and not just, well. . . fat.

Today I told the Hubs about the scale. (Because he doesn't need to weigh himself. As long as the jeans button, he's good!)

"Did you check the batteries?" he asked.

"Well, no."

"Sigh. . . . "

The batteries were then checked, changed and the scale (miraculously!) unbroken.

And the verdict?

I've gained 2.5 lbs since December 6. 2.5. I am deliriously happy with that.

Today at my Dr's appt, my OB said "We are really at the beginning of being able to hear the baby's heartbeat. It's very soon, and I wouldn't even be trying to hear it if you weren't skinny."

Yeah, me. Skinny again. Sigh. Have I told you how much I love my OB?!

And, yes, we were able to hear the heartbeat. 149 beats. According to old wives tales, anything over 140 is a girl. Except that Bjorn was always consistently at 160+ beats and he, obviously, is a boy.

Other than that, all is good. Almost 12 weeks with no morning sickness, 2.5 lbs weight gain, a normal healthy baby heartbeat and the need for more maternity clothes pronto.

Monday, January 10, 2011

And finally. . . . .

This is my final Christmas post.

I think.

Merry Christmas from The Terror!
Waiting for Santa. . . or Amazon. Whoever brings the most presents!
Rudolph. Ugly Christmas sweater included.
Finding out they are going to be grandparents again.
We found out he likes cars. ALOT.
Camping in Parker AZ, NYE 2010-2011
C'mon in 2011 - I'm ready for you!!!

Sunday, January 9, 2011

Still talking Christmas. . . .

I feel a little silly writing about Christmas when all the bloggers I know are already talking Martin Luther King Day and Valentines Crafts, but my Christmas break was looooong, people. LONG.  (So long that I went back to work only two days ago and I needed a bit of a refresher. "Excuse me, sir, can you tell me where the emergency exits are?")

So I have alot to tell. Expect Christmas posts until Easter.

Lucky for me, I have a job that allows me to be as flexible with my working as I need to be. December 21st was my last day of working for 2010.

Even luckier for me, I have job that gives me great perks. Like free standby flights and free tickets to Sea World.

Yeah, you heard me. Free tickets to Sea World. You're jealous, I know.

These free tickets last as many times as you want to use them for a year. We got them last March. I've been holding off, making excuses to friends as to why I can't go to Sea World (Bjorn wouldn't really get it yet, I have to work, etc) when really my entire reasoning is that I want The Hubs to be there to experience Bjorn's first Sea World trip.

So, Christmas, when The Hubs was off (and my parents are in town!) would be the perfect idea, right?!

Except I forgot that people TRAVEL over Christmas. Specifically, the Monday after Christmas. The day we decided to go. Which means flights - no matter how empty they look the night before - tend to fill up last minute. Oops.

We got to San Diego fairly easily. And thus the adventure begins!!

Hunting for Polar Bears


You should have seen the one that got away!


The penguins were one of the coolest exhibits there. Get it?! Coolest? Ha!


Sea World was fun. Exciting. Exhausting. Worth every penny. (And, BTW, WHAT recession? Those tickets cost $69 a piece and there were a million people there! There cannot be a recession if a theme park is that full.)

Coming home? Not so fun and exciting.

Our flights were delayed and full and we were stuck in the San Diego airport for four hours waiting to get home.

In The Hubs defense he never once brought up that he "wanted to drive all long - it's only five hours!"  My Mom and Dad played with Bjorn, which is all they really wanted to do anyways. I lamented the fact that I hadn't brought my new Kindle.

And Bjorn?! Well, Bjorn was in his element. Lots of room to run and play. Pizza to eat. Little girls who wanted to share candies and dolls. He didn't stop once.

It was a merry, happy, long, exhausting, I-would-do-it-again kind of day.

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

The Town of Babble

We are driving across town to the awesomest restaurant ever (and the only one we ever take out-of-town- guests to). Hubs is driving, I'm in the passenger seat and Bjorn is in the middle of the backseat flanked by his grandparents.

"Ball." Bjorn says insistently, pointing ahead. "Ball. Ball."

I look ahead and see some of those huge balloons that fly above the local car dealership.

"That's right. They do look like balls." I turn around to reply to him. "But those are balloons. Balloons are the same shape as balls, but balloons are bigger and float in the air."

He nods, taking it all in.

"Do you always talk to him like that?" My Dad asks.

"You mean do I always explain stuff to him? I try to." I turn back around, confident that he is thinking what an intelligent grandson his daughter is raising, who will be able to describe the difference between a ball and balloon by age 2.

"Ohhh." My Dad says. "That's why Bjorn babbles so much. It's because you babble so much."