Tuesday, July 24, 2012

The Gestation Period and the Kindness of Strangers

Yes, I'm pregnant.

12 weeks along.

Being a woman of a certain shape, that of a pear, a delicious round pear that would probably taste so good braised in a red wine reduction or caramelized and set over a custard or in a tart; announcing to people in person that you are pregnant, their eyes go directly to your stomach, as if you are due in a matter of weeks.

Then as you notice their eyes refocus on your face, you politely say, "Oh, I'm only X weeks along."


Back in November, I decided I was ready to have another baby.  I thought I would get pregnant as fast as I did with my first and that wasn't the case.  Granted, it's still a blessing to want to be pregnant and then get pregnant because I have so many friends that have tried and couldn't.  Every month I thought I was pregnant, I was let down.  I decided that maybe my body was not healthy enough to be pregnant.  I decided to switch up some eating habits and since I cook a lot at home, I could control my ingredients and my intake (sometimes).  I did my best to not think about getting pregnant, being pregnant and not being upset if I wasn't pregnant. The key was to not think about it.  If it happens, it happens.  I tend to over think...a lot.

I found out on June 9th that I was carrying a second child.  My first thought was, "Holy crap."

I've had three appointments and labs done.  This last appointment was a bit of a bombshell.

I am pre-diabetic....possibly.

Gestational diabetes?


My doctor recommended that I start on a diabetic diet but to make sure I get 2200 healthy calories a day and 8 glasses of water.  2200 calories.  That's a lot.

I'll have to admit once I found out I was with child I threw caution to the wind and heard Gramma's voice in my head, "Whatever baby wants, baby will get."  I did get morning sickness but also craved a certain flame grilled burger from a fast food chain, rhymes with hopper.  But now I had to think about consequences of being unhealthy.  I'm going to be re-tested in 4 months, hopefully with a better result otherwise it's medication and/or insulin.  I don't like pills and I sure as hell don't want to stab myself everyday.  So I made a decision to do better.

We're lucky in the fact that if we need information on anything, the internet provides.  Right when I got home from my appointment I searched and searched.  Today when I went grocery shopping I told myself, "Buying healthier options will be pricey but your health and baby's health and the rest of your family's health is very much worth it.  Plus we'll save from eating out."

I did fine with buying produce but things can be tricky with "whole grains" or things marked as such.  I went down my pasta aisle and saw a very fit woman looking at pasta.  She was holding a whole grain box of penne and reading the label.  She was also wearing work out clothes.  I was unsure of what to buy and being the outgoing person that I am I asked her, "What are you looking for in a healthy pasta?"  This woman was amazing.  She talked about healthy carbs, whole grains, enriched flour, duram wheat flour, servings, pairings, compared regular pasta with whole grain pasta, sugars, folic acid - this woman knew her stuff and I was so glad asked.  I wish I would have made a better effort and said with all dorkiness, "Do you want to be my friend?"

As we parted ways down different aisles of the store, I felt more confident in my choices I was making and reassured that I can do without all of the foods I've loved for a long time.  I can alter my recipes to be healthier and still have it be satisfying.  And as an added bonus, it turned out that I saved $30 on my grocery bill.

People are usually kind to pregnant women and I appreciate it and yet I know that as I get more shapely with this baby, people will feel so moved as to touch my stomach, forgetting that touching anyone without invitation is weird and not welcome.  Just to let you know, it's weird and not welcome. Unless you're my immediate family, they're "touchy" people.

Friday, July 20, 2012

I-10, 405, Detour, 605, 91 = Home

The day at Santa Monica Pier was AMAZING.  Even if all I got on was the ferris wheel but I did play a lot of carnival games which my niece proved to be the master of.  Rigged?  Maybe not.  Lunch was great, beach was sandy and waves constant. Even walking back to the car with damp clothes and feet trudging in the sand was great.  Plus, my legs were exfoliated and I got a great tan.  I love when the sun is out but it's not a reminder of the 9th circle of hell.

We pack up the car and head home.  We planned to leave the beach at 4:30 because my aunt was going to have dinner ready for us and with traffic it would take us an hour and a half to get back to the house.  An hour and a half car ride seems bad but it got worse...much worse.

As we are driving (more like crawling) along the freeway I see a plume of smoke come out from under the hood.  Great.  We pull over and my husband sees that we have a crack in the radiator about 4 inches long and there's coolant leaking everywhere.  My husband is a great mechanic.  Did I freak out?  Yes.  Luckily, my husband is the complete opposite and he hops on the smart phone and looks up an auto repair shop.  It wasn't far and after we park he lifts the hood.  I join him (as if I know what any of it is) and ask, is it an easy fix?  He says, "It's six bolts, long as they have a radiator."  Luckily they had a radiator and my husband went to work.  It was not even a big deal for him.

He makes it look so easy.

Radiator fan, bolts being removed.

I had no idea that this was what a radiator looked like. Oh well, it's in some dumpster in California now.
The next thing we had to figure out was a fast way to get home.  I didn't have my cell phone because I forgot to charge it and my sister's phone was dead.  My husband's phone was fine but he didn't have my cousin's number.  My sister told me a number that sounded right so I tried it.  She's got a great memory, pretty eerie how good it is.  I got a hold of my cousin and there was no way around it, there is going to be traffic and it will suck.  It took us nearly two hours to get home.

During that time the story of how my husband  used his incredible automotive smarts had been spread to my aunt, uncle and cousins and he pretty much got a hero's welcome.  I thought it was fitting that he was wearing a Superman t-shirt because he really did save the day.

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Pick Up Where You Left Off.......Part Two

Last Friday was a "can't sleep out of anticipation" night.  We were going to get up at 3:30 am to hit the road at 4am-ish.  I woke up at 3:25, beating out my alarm clock by five minutes....after going to bed at 10:30pm.  I was so ready to go and hit the road, I might have been a little too chipper.  My sister's face as I woke her up pretty much told me that.

About 40 minutes out of town, we hit quite a downpour.  My husband was telling me all the things he did to the car to make sure it was in great condition for a road trip, including installing wipers.  As they swished back and forth, I was asking about costs of repair and joking about how much he charged for labor.  The rain was getting heavier and as he fiddled with the wiper switch the funniest thing happened, the wiper blades got tangled.

We pulled over to the next rest stop, and my husband untangled the wipers.  He ended up switching the wiper blades around, they were working perfectly as we left.  Less than 2 minutes after we left the torrential downpour, the rain stopped.  We all laughed.  The rest of the drive was smooth sailing.  We stopped at IHOP to eat breakfast and got to my aunt's house at noon.

She and the family had since moved from that house I remember but once you walk in, it's that same warm welcoming feeling.  When we would visit as kids, my aunt would make us beds out of blankets and sheets on the floor.  She would ask, "Do you want a queen sized or king sized bed?"

It's amazing how we are able to jump into conversation as if no time had passed.  There is never any awkward moments.  We quickly catch up in the kitchen about what's been happening since we last saw each other, start eating and laughing...seems almost instantly.  Then my aunt suggests, "Do you want to go in the pool?"  The weather is a cool 75 degrees and the pool water is even colder but we jump in anyway.  When someone's backyard is so lush and green with a crystal clear pool in the back, how can you say no?

The next day was a trip to Corona Del Mar (near Newport Beach) for some light beach fun.  My kiddo had a blast with destroying sand castles and getting splashed by the waves.  

Looks like my kiddo is only getting her feet wet right?  I'm so glad we brought another outfit.

On Monday we headed out to Santa Monica Pier which was a bit of a drive but we left early hit up the rides and carnival games.  

From the view of the ferris wheel.

My three year old is in there!
 You can't hit up the pier and not hit up the beach.  We did exactly that.

Taking a break from being splashed by the waves.

This was a perfect day.....the evening was.....adventurous? There was maps, superheroes and my sister's amazing memory.

More to come tomorrow.

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Pick Up Where You Left Off.....Part One

When I was a kid, my Dad would take us on an annual summer vacation to my aunt and uncle's house.  It was a 7 hour car ride that he would drive overnight so we could sleep then wake up at our destination.  I would try to stay up really late, thinking I could beat sleep by think child like existential thoughts like, "Are we moving or is someone turning a crank and the road is moving underneath us?"  "Are there dinosaurs under those mountains?"  "Who turned on the cloud machine?"  I used to make my own seismographs by holding my pen lightly and letting the bumps of the drive make lines on my paper.  I never could stay awake for the whole drive.  

We usually got into town at about 6:30 am, sometimes earlier.  I remember waking up as we pulled into the Donut Hole.  Sometimes we'd have donuts and milk or hot chocolate in the parking lot because Dad thought it was too early to pull up to my aunt's house.  I would be so excited, bouncing around in my seat because I knew we were minutes away from seeing some of the most wonderfully kind and fun people. 

During our week long trip, we usually went to the happiest place on earth which is kind of no fun when you're too afraid to ride anything and who wants to stand in line all day?  The best part was spending time with my family.  My uncle made sure we had fun while we were there. We played games, ran around, heard scary stories, ate happily, all things kids needed.  I remember my uncle gathered all of us kids and we played hide and go seek in the outside in the dark.  He jumped out and scared almost peed my pants scared.....crying scared.  He instantly stopped being "scary" and hugged me...with a little chuckle.

In a few years after that experience, my parents got divorced and our annual trip had been cancelled indefinitely during my remaining childhood.  

I'm so happy/sad to say that I've just made it back home from visiting my lovely SoCal family.  I had seen them before a few years back but not for long periods of time, not for 5 days in a row.  This vacation was very much needed.  My husband needed a break and we needed to get out to cooler temperatures.  

More to come tomorrow.