14 Things I’m Looking Forward to After Pregnancy

  1. Wearing zip-up pants
  2. Holding Future President on my lap
  3. Making sharp left and right turns while driving without wincing in pain
  4. Walking for more than 5 minutes without getting breathless
  5. Wearing high heels
  6. Eating ice cream (or any sugary treats) without feeling guilty
  7. Turning over in bed without effort or pain
  8. Being able to lift Future President without worrying I’m going to go into labor
  9. Taking a step out of bed without shooting pains going up my feet
  10. Going clothes shopping at regular stores
  11. Making meals that involve more than the microwave or toaster
  12. Reading in bed without needing 5 pillows as props
  13. Eating sushi
  14. Spooning with my husband

TOMS on Sale, or Why My Shoe Compulsion is Out of Control

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Orange TOMS

Guys! TOMS are on sale again on zulily! And if I had my way, I’d buy most of them. I’ve had my eye on these orange TOMS for Future President. Aren’t they the best color? I love the design, and from past experience, I know the velcro actually keeps these shoes on little feet!

And for myself: I’ve been eyeing these ballet flats, since they are one TOMS style I don’t have yet. Unfortunately I’ve never tried on a pair, so I don’t know if they would accommodate my wide foot like the other styles do. (And can we talk about how pregnancy causes foot swelling, so my feet are extra wide right now? Is there any body part that isn’t affected by pregnancy?!?) Aren’t they cute? 

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TOMS Ballet Flats

Over the weekend, my friend H, an organizing wizard, came over and helped me organize my shoes. As you can see, I already have quite a few TOMS shoes but I’m so tempted to buy more! They are so comfortable!!

An organized shoe cabinet!

An organized shoe cabinet!

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Preschool, Day 4

In what might be the shortest time spent at preschool, today Future President spent an hour and half at preschool before being picked up by his grandma. 

The short version of this preschool drama: it’s not going well. 

The longer version of this preschool drama: here’s why — I haven’t blogged about this before, but Future President has sensory processing disorder (SPD), which makes transitions to new environments tough. In particular, loud new environments are very difficult for him. I didn’t anticipate how terrifying it would be for him to be around so many other 3 and 4 year old boys, some of whom are sensory seekers and over the course of the day, or even hour, get louder and louder. Of course, my own 3 year old can be rambunctious and loud, just like any other kid, but in loud situations he withdraws and gets distressed.

So now what? 

The search for a new preschool begins. Maybe there isn’t a preschool out there that can meet his needs and the whole idea of preschool gets scrapped. But I’m not willing to give up yet. There are many reasons why preschool is a good idea for him, including learning to adjust to group settings and louder environments. I want him to love school like I did, but in order for this to happen, he needs to feel successful and comfortable in his environment. So well in advance of first grade, I want him to get used to new (and even loud) places, to learn how to thrive in group environments and play well with other children.

I have read books and blogs and joined support groups and I honestly thought my first-choice preschool was the right place for him. After three days of hell, I’m not so sure. No mother wants to get a phone call from a teacher saying their child needs to be picked up because he is too “emotionally distressed.” I work an hour away from preschool and my husband’s court schedule doesn’t allow him to pick up Future President when phone calls like this are made. We are lucky that we have mothers that can help in a pinch, but they have their own lives and schedules. 

So stay tuned. Maybe tomorrow he’ll make it a full two hours? 

34 Weeks

We made it to 34 weeks! According to my pregnancy app, if I make it full term, there are 42 days left in this pregnancy. But baby boy, listen up: please come sooner than that. Mommy can’t take this much longer. But not too soon. Future President predicted on Monday that baby brother would arrive in four days. I’d take 37 weeks though, which would mean there are only 21 days left. A September baby instead of an October baby? I can barely wrap my mind around it.

Just yesterday someone told me, “I have to say, you look really uncomfortable.” And while that’s probably the nicest pregnancy-related insult I’ve received to date, I still didn’t appreciate it. Yes, I’m uncomfortable. In fact, if I add up all of the aches and pains related to pregnancy, I think I would cover almost every part of the body. From the burning and tingling sensation in my legs, feet, arms and hands to the leg cramps and round ligament pain, from the sciatica nerve pain and headaches to the tingling in my face, the gestational diabetes, and the fact that my teeth are turning a weird color because of the vitamins I’m taking, not to mention the preterm contractions and genetic testing scares and unresolved kidney problems for baby boy…this pregnancy has been far from easy. To top things off, I’ve come down with a terrible cold where my nose basically drips constantly and I have a terrible sore throat. Pregnancy-induced insomnia makes it hard to recover from even a cold and Tylenol does almost nothing for pain. Where are the women who love being pregnant? I’d love to hear from them.

The baby’s nursery is almost ready and except for the infant insert in the pack ‘n play and installing the car seat, we are ready to welcome him home. I haven’t packed a hospital bag yet or found the Boppy pillow, and new nursing-friendly pjs are on my to-do list, but really, if he decided to come in 21 days and none of those things were done beforehand, we would be still be ready. We might not have a name picked out (oh the drama!), but we’re ready. 

What’s on Baby’s Bookshelf?

My kindly coworkers asked if I needed anything in particular for baby #2. Besides the Ergo baby carrier that I’m still coveting, my number one pick is books!

I asked my well-read group of friends what books are on their must-read list for babies and toddlers and they responded with the following titles.

And favorite children’s’ book authors include Sandra Bonynton, Richard Scarry, Mo Willems, and Oliver Jeffers.

I would add Little Blue Truck, Ferdinand, Chu’s Day, A Camping Spree with Mr. Magee, Llama Llama Time to Share, and If Jesus Came to My House. 

What books are on your top 10 list for babies and/or toddlers? 

FMLA, or Frack Mothers’ Leave in America

It’s that time of my pregnancy that I’m thinking about what happens after baby is born regarding work – when I should start my maternity leave, how long I’ll be gone, how pumping will work when I come back, etc. 

And so I begin to read the HR policies regarding FMLA. Seriously, America? I’ve now deemed FMLA to stand for Frack Mothers’ Leave in America. Because it’s dismal reading. Sorry if you run out of vacation and/or sick time. You won’t get paid after that. And once you’re in unpaid status, guess what? You get to pay your health care premiums, not your employer. And I’m supposed to be grateful that my job is preserved for up to 12 weeks. This is the type of thing that makes me want to move to a family-friendly European country or Canada. 

I know I should be grateful that I have a job that continues to give me benefits for even part of my leave, but when I calculate how much money I will lose by taking my full leave, in addition to the money I will have to pay to my employer to continue to receive health care benefits, I just get mad. And to top it all off? When I come back from my maternity leave, all of my sick time will be gone and doesn’t reset until September 2015. So if I or one of my kids gets sick from January until September, I will have to use vacation time to care for them (or myself). And once that vacation time is gone? Good luck. 

And don’t even get me started about the inequality of parental leave benefits for faculty vs. staff. It’s amazing how cushy faculty have it when it comes to parental leave. I’m not saying their benefits should be taken away, but that their much-enhanced options should be given to staff, too. 

I jokingly told another staff person on campus that we should start a revolution and her first suggestion was that we should elect more women to public office. Hillary, are you listening? When are you officially throwing your hat into the race for POTUS?

Top 5 Things You Should Never Say to a Pregnant Woman

1. But you’re so big already!

2. Have you seen your belly? You could balance a cup on it!

3. Did your belly explode overnight?

4. Are you okay? You look really tired.

5. I thought you were a lot further along than that!

All of these things have been said to me in the past month.

If you see a pregnant lady, instead of commenting on the size of her belly or touching her stomach, how about saying something nice or saying nothing at all. Better yet, treat her like you normally would: with respect.

I post my pregnancy-related insults of the day on Facebook to a select group – moms and pregnant women only and the stories I hear about what people have said to them make me so mad. At this point in my pregnancy, 32 weeks and 6 days, I am thankful to still be pregnant. But I don’t want to hear what other people think, especially if it’s negative. Pregnancy is hard enough. I almost cried when a woman said, “But you’re so big already!” I know I am. Don’t people realize pregnant women are hyper aware of their size? I know exactly how much weight I’ve gained and how hard it is to turn over in bed and how uncomfortable I am all the time. I don’t have the time or energy to explain to these rude people that I am more than grateful to still be pregnant and that my baby is a normal size, which is a blessing considering all of the scares we’ve had.

The next time you see a pregnant woman, do me a favor. Tell her she’s beautiful and doing a great job.