That Moment When You Go From: I LOVE This Baby… to Get This Thing Out of Me!

I think every woman who’s been pregnant knows this feeling I’m having: I’m 36 weeks (so I’ve been pregnant for 9 months but the person that created the whole “9 month” concept was actually just screwing with us because we’re actually pregnant for a full 10 months (40 weeks)) and READY TO HAVE THIS BABY. I just hit that moment…. I’ve gone from “I can’t wait to have this baby, he’s going to be so beautiful, I love him so much” to “GET THIS THING OUT OF ME!”

On top of everything… I’ve gotten stretch marks this time around and they’re getting worse the longer he’s cooking. Please moms, don’t hate on me. I know stretch marks are a super common thing and that many women who get pregnant get them. But… I didn’t get them with my first baby so I was really hoping I’d luck out and not get them this time! When I showed my husband he said, “Those are battle scars… you’ve been carrying these kids and of course they’ll leave a mark. They’re not ugly… they’re part of the journey.” So sweet, right? Why can’t I think the same way?

Is it crazy that I hoped that, even though my body wouldn’t be the same as it was before I got pregnant, I wouldn’t have any permanent marks on my body? Does that make me anti-feminist? I saw this amazing picture of a woman’s belly who has had a child: excess skin, stretch marks, and it was beautiful. It had these amazing words written under it, basically saying that every hiccup, every kick, every time the perfect baby moved was documented on the skin of the mother. That’s a beautiful thought but honestly, I was wearing a bikini a couple of months after my first was born (I wasn’t perfectly flat on my front or sides but that’s okay!). How long will it take for these f’ing stretch marks to fade?!

On another note, I am just READY FOR THIS BABY! I am sick of waking up every hour to pee and having to ask my husband for a push out of the bed. I am tired of my maternity clothes…. I just want to feel stylish and sexy again! I was joking with a stylist where I work that my proportions are so off right now: I’ll come up with a cute outfit in my head and when I put it on, everything looks SO tight because of the belly. I just want to be trendy again and not worry that if I raise my arms my stretch mark-covered belly is hanging out the bottom!!

I realize that this is by far my whiniest post. However, if you’ve ever been pregnant I think you’ll understand. I’m not trying to be whiny, I just want to have this child. I just want to hold the beautiful baby boy I’ve been carrying for 9 months in my arms… and I also want to be able to stand up without having to brace myself and go pelvis first. Is that too hard to ask?!

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Sir, Please Remove Your Hand From My Belly. Immediately.

I’m sure this topic has been written about extensively but I can’t help myself. I was at the park the other day with the tyrant also known as Fiona (she’s 20 months old now!). She was owning the park, flying down the slide, trying to climb up the rock wall meant for 10 year olds (that I can’t physically follow her on because I am the size of a house and have my own orbit). At 8.5 months pregnant, I surprise myself when I make it all the way to the park without having to stop for a snack break (let alone attempt to climb a rock wall).

So it’s only 9 AM because I won’t go after that because I’ll start melting once it hits 80 degrees (pregnancy is very glamorous) so we’re alone at the park (except for the geese that are NOT afraid of us and put the “squeeze” on us by coming right up to the edge of the park and daring us to go out into their field). All of a sudden, these 2 guys walk up and I assumed they were just casually strolling until they park it on a bench nearby. The weather is unusually crappy for summer in Minnesota: super humid, 85 (feels like 100) and kind of misting/raining. I brought a towel to be a dutiful slide wiper-offer for Fiona so she could get in her daily kicks.

One of the guys waves at me and points up to the sky and shouts, “RAIN!” It was barely sprinkling… as in, I wasn’t worried about my IPhone sitting out. I’m on level 199 on Candy Crush; trust me, if anyone’s worried about their phone getting destroyed (and all that hard work), it’s me.

This guy was probably late forties and had a huge smile on his face. Fiona said, “HI!” with a huge smile and walked up to them and started dancing. My little ham. I walk over in case she attacks them with hugs (or, let’s be real about my biggest concern, they pick her up and run away). The guy LITERALLY STANDS UP AND TOUCHED MY BELLY FOR A FULL 7 SECONDS (I counted) and said, “What are you, 7 months pregnant?” I was horrified. Not only was he way off (although let’s be honest, I was a little flattered that I look like I’m ready to pop and he thought I had 2-3 months left but that wasn’t the important part!!) but he was touching my belly! It wasn’t in a weird, sexual way that made me uncomfortable it was the fact that, oh, I don’t know, A GROWN MAN WAS TOUCHING MY BELLY. I literally moved away while he was touching it, grabbed Fiona’s hand and said, “Well, have a good day. Hope it doesn’t rain all over you” and I put Fiona in her stroller and we left. I’ve never been more uncomfortable (okay that might not be true… I’m very awkward by nature).

Why is it that people think it’s okay to touch a pregnant woman’s belly? Have you ever walked up to someone that isn’t pregnant and stroked their stomach? Oh, that’d be weird? SO IS TOUCHING THE BELLY OF A PREGNANT PERSON! Okay, if you know me you can touch my belly— it’s hard not to when it’s likely in your personal space. If you don’t know me and just want to remember the days when you/your partner was pregnant… hands off! I wish this was a singular event but this is probably the 3rd stranger to touch my stomach this pregnancy (and the 7th from both my pregnancies). I don’t understand the motivation or frankly, the balls someone must have to reach out and touch someone’s body in such a weird way.

If you’re someone who touches pregnant bellies and you can’t help yourself, please enlighten me. Is there something I’m missing? Is it now socially acceptable to grab the belly of a stranger?

Here’s a picture of Fiona on the way to the park that day. I am no longer posting photos of myself because when I see a camera aimed at me I literally scream and ninja jump away (nothing against pregnant women… I’m all for women being beautiful at every size but I just don’t really want to see myself through a lens right now…).

Fiona- before walk

Fall Cleaning (of the Most Important Space: Your Closet!)

I read this really great article a couple of years ago and am surprised everyday when I find out that others haven’t heard of this idea. Therefore, I’ve decided to share it here! 🙂

You know how we hoard fall clothes…. as in I hear myself telling my husband, “But I wore that faux fur shawl 3 years ago at the outdoor concert in October.” Sure, it might not be appropriate for a barbecue (the smoke gets in the fur), or a nice dinner out (because it’s pretty cheap faux fur), or even a realistic daytime outfit (the color is off and it hits me in a funny way)… but it’s my faux fur shawl I got in New York 6 years ago! That’s when it hits me: I can donate (or sell) my old clothes that I’m not wearing anymore and buy shiny NEW clothes for fall!

Last fall, when hanging up my fall and winter clothes, I turned all of the hangers around so they were facing backwards. The clothes were organized on the rack in ROYGBIV colors (I did learn something in High School science class) and, as I wore each piece, I turned the hanger back the correct way. By springtime, anything that was still on a backwards hanger was donated or sold (unless it was actually a memory celebrated in a piece of clothing), and I am now using the money I’ll get back from a tax refund to buy new fall clothes! Plus, I’m 8 months pregnant so I am currently shopping for an ideal body type (I am under the assumption that within 6 weeks after this baby is born I’ll have Jillian Michaels’ abs).

Are there any tricks you’ve learned to clean out your closet? Share them with me— I’m dying to know!!

Closet

Well That’s Why You Have a Black Eye…..

Fiona and I were at Target last weekend. Please note the context of the situation: the two of us flew down to Florida to see my mom (my mom was hospitalized with pneumonia but had to drive back a couple of days later. My 19-month old and I went down to help… then we realized that we were the saddest road trip group of all time: my mom had to stop every 4 hours to avoid blood clots since she still had pneumonia, I had to stop every 1.5-2 hours to avoid blood clots since I’m pregnant and the size of the house, and Fiona…. well, let’s just say bringing a 19-month old on a road trip isn’t the most fun thing in the world. Also, none of us were allowed to lift over 20 lbs. Winners.).

Below is a picture of Fiona passed out in the car… she did such a great job on the trip!

Fiona- Road Trip

Below is a picture of Fiona with her new shades on in Florida… She had so much fun!

FIona- FL

When we came back, we had one day without my husband and my 11 year old stepdaughter. Fiona did so well at Target, she said “Hi” to everyone there at least 15 times (or until they said, “Hi” back). I’ve noticed she gets very forceful with her “Hi’s” when it’s a frat-looking type guy… I think she already has a “type.”

When Fiona says, “Hi” her whole face lights up, she waves and she has a huge smile on her face. It’s impossible to be upset when a toddler says hi. Am I right?

Except for this one B (I didn’t really set that up so you could make an objective opinion, did I? Oh well, I forgive myself). We were in line at checkout (Fiona had done wonderfully…. even after just getting back from a 5-day road trip). She was saying, “Hi” to everyone and the woman behind us was probably mid-50’s and had a black eye. Fiona said, “Hi” to her and she said, “Hi” in an unhappy voice. Then Fiona said it again (okay maybe like 3 more times) and the woman said, “Ummm… can’t you say anything else?” with a super snotty tone. She continued, “Can’t you say puppy? Happy? Anything? How old are you, 1 1/2? You should be able to say more than, ‘Hi.’”

WOW was I annoyed. Fiona was being so sweet and here this woman is, reprimanding her on her vocabulary. I replied (maybe in a bit of an aggressive tone), “She can say about 50 words… she just chooses to say, “Hi” to everyone because she’s in such a good mood.” The cashier got uncomfortable… I could tell she agreed with me and she kept smiling and saying, “Hi” every time Fiona said it first. Everyone else in the store was eating out of the palm of her hand… except for the crazy woman with the black eye.

So the woman responds, “Well… I guess I’m just sick of hearing her say, “Hi.’” I went silent because otherwise I might say something else… something that I would either regret or be SUPER proud of later. On our way out, the black-eyed woman said, “Can you say bye? Puppy? SOMETHING other than, ‘Hi?’” Fiona looked at her, said, “Hi” and then said, “Bye” to everyone else while waving. That’s my girl- NEVER GIVE IN!

It reminded me of one of my super close friends on a trip to Macy’s. She was there with her 10-month old and 3-year old who was being pretty difficult. My poor friend had been by herself with the kids for a week while her husband was out of town. She was in the state that all moms know: sweaty, trying to wrangle both kids while somehow completing your mission. Her oldest let out a really high-pitched shriek while laughing and a woman nearby said, “Well, THAT hurt my ears.” My friend turned to her (she had been putting up with her toddler’s mood swings all day) and said, “You know, it’s people like you that make moms feel bad about themselves” and walked away.

When my friend first told me this story, I thought, WOW she must have been fed up with her kid to say that! Then about 2 minutes later, I thought…. wow… that stranger who said snapped at her was so rude. I hope I would have just said what my friend said (and not included anything that showcased my sailor’s mouth).

I’m not one of those people that brings my young kids to nice restaurants and expects everyone to be accepting when they throw tantrums. However, as a stay-at-home mom, I have errands to run and I expect to be able to bring my kids to the coffee shop, the mall, Target, etc. and not have other people say rude things to me (whether it be, “Can you say SOMETHING other than ‘Hi’? or “Well, that hurt my ears”) just because my toddler/child is acting like… well, a toddler/child. Kids throw fits… it doesn’t make me a bad mom. I think it’s better for me to let them sort it out than to give in and rush out of wherever I am without getting my errands done.

Now, when we were in St. Charles, MO on our road trip last week and Fiona had what I think the book of world records would even admit was the biggest blowout of all time… I get why we got some dirty looks. I’ll accept wrinkled noses when my toddler gets shit out of her diaper, up her back and even on the floor (REALLY? THE FLOOR? Yes, the floor.). Okay, I get it. But is it too much to ask for people to be civil when my kid’s saying, “Hi” or when my friend’s kid has had enough and let’s out a shriek? Thanks for the commentary but…. no thanks. How should we respond? My friend is right… it is people like her that make us feel bad about ourselves… but we shouldn’t be put in that awkward position of having to apologize when we’re the ones dealing with our kids, right? So what should we say?

Below is Fiona with the crazy eyes… okay I can maybe see why she’d freak someone out.
Fiona- Crazy Eyes

I’ve Got 99 Problems and My Kids Are Most of Them

I had to go see my doctor last week and was lucky enough to bring along my stepdaughter, Alexis (11) and my toddler, Fiona (18 months).  Fiona was running around, unplugging things, trying to climb onto the bed thing (using multiple unstable drawer-steps), and Alexis was just being an 11 year old (asking a ton of questions, being a goofball, etc.). I snapped at Alexis that I needed her help and for her to quit messing around. I felt really bad about it later because I realized that I was treating her like I’d treat a 16-year old…. just because I have a tyrant for a toddler.

 

How do you juggle a much older child with such a young one? I need help with the toddler sometimes but I also don’t want to put too much pressure on Alexis. I try and make sure to carve out “us” time for Alexis and me (we’ll watch a movie together that Fiona wouldn’t be interested in or something like that) but, when we’re in public, I want to make sure I’m treating her like a normal 11 year old… just because Fiona is running around doesn’t mean Alexis has to act 5 years older than she is, right?

 

Fiona was having a tantrum earlier this morning and Alexis said, “Fiona, it isn’t all about you.” Also, last night when my husband tucked Alexis in, he said, “So Stevie has to work tomorrow so it’s just you, me and Fiona tomorrow.” Alexis replied, “Yeah, until Fiona takes all the attention.” Well that totally broke our hearts!

 

How do you balance: a) treating your self-proclaimed “pre-teen” as a young lady while simultaneously allowing her to be a kid and b) make sure you’re giving enough attention to both kids? Fiona goes to bed between 8 and 8:30 and Alexis goes between 9 and 9:30 so we try to spend that extra hour with Alexis doing something special (playing Harry Potter Uno, watching a movie, etc.) but it still isn’t enough.  What should I do to make it so both girls feel special? How on earth am I going to make both girls feel special when the baby boy comes in the fall? These are serious questions, people! HELP!!

 

Below is a picture of the girls playing in the pool today…. Yes, Alexis believes she’s too old for the kiddie pool but she still had fun!

 

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Maternity Style- 25 Weeks (6 months)

It’s been awhile since I posted photos of my maternity style. I was getting sick of the clothes I have so I made a trip to Target and spent like $30 on two items: the black dress and the white and powder blue striped, v neck tee! I realize that once I wash them they’ll likely lose their shape but, when you’re pregnant, you need a pick-me-up every once in awhile! 

 

Below is the cotton black dress from Target. I like the attention drawn to my waist– it makes it obvious I’m pregnant. I could easily dress this up by adding nice jewelry and wedges or heels. Since I’m pretty casual, I usually dress everything down– I paired it with hot pink Cole Haan sandals (from 2012) and jewelry from Hot Mama (rose gold to tie in the shoes!). At night, I’d throw a jean jacket or even a leather jacket, depending on where I’m going!

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Here’s another outfit: the powder blue striped tee from Target doesn’t fit very well in the shoulders and chest (I have a really big chest and also, I used to be a swimmer so I’m broad!). I’m okay with it because I throw the camo jacket on with it to make it trendier. I love mixing powder blue and olive/camo— the colors pair so well together! On bottom, I’m wearing the AG Maternity Ballad jeans which are actually a slim bootcut. Because I bought these a couple of years ago before boyfriend jeans were popular, rather than buying a new pair of premium denim, I’m flipping the cuff to make the slim bootcut into a slim boyfriend! The camo jacket is by Sanctuary and I got it from Hot Mama last spring. 

 

I added really low Cole Haan wedges (I don’t wear high wedges anymore… my belly is getting so big it’s throwing off my center of gravity!). I chose these instead of my Tod’s Oxfords because the outfit is pretty masculine with the boyfriend jeans and camo jacket.. adding a snakeskin wedge adds femininity that’s lacking!

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