Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Grapefruit jewels and why you should drink lemon water

Picnik collage

All of a sudden you realize, everything you eat, the baby eats! And the responsibility is like, whoa. And now I’m thinking about things like, 100 grams of protein? How much iron is in these dried apricots? Am I getting enough vitamin C? FINE, I’ll get out of bed to take the pre-natal vitamin I forgot to take today. Etc. etc.

Speaking of the Vitamin C - besides my recent addiction of eating whole grapefruits (Costco has the best ones), I’ve gotten into the habit of having water with lemon squeezed into it every morning. I love it because I haven’t been drinking coffee, which is usually what motivates me to leave the house in the morning, and somehow this citrus boost in my water gives me a perk AND gets me to drink a lot of water first thing in the morning. Apparently, there are a host of other benefits too, all of which I am a fan:

  1. Boosts immune system
  2. Lemons are high in potassium which stimulates brain and nerve function and helps control blood pressure (good for pregnant ladies)
  3. Balances your body’s pH
  4. Some people think it helps with weight loss
  5. Helps digestion! Which could help with heartburn and constipation.
  6. Apparently its also a diuretic – which is good for cleansing toxins, but not as good for a pregnant lady that already goes to the bathroom way too much.
  7. Clears your skin
  8. Freshens breath, but be careful, the citric acid could erode tooth enamel, so don’t go overboard.
Sources here, here.

The list goes on and on. Do your own research and try it. Aaand one more thing that has a whole ton of Vitamin C and is a whole ton of delicious: kiwi juice. Get on it.

Sunday, January 29, 2012

A few things I’ve learned so far

14 weeks! and the baby is the size of an orange

  1. At first, when your bump is growing, it feels more like you are harboring a muffin top instead of a bebe.
  2. EXHAUSTION usually wins. Sleep is my best friend.
  3. The first check-up at 8 weeks is a long one. For all check-ups, be ready to feel vulnerable.
  4. The list of foods-to-avoid gets ever so long.
  5. It is good to do research and get recommendations on OBYNs and hospitals. It’s okay feel lost at first.
  6. Tears come more readily.
  7. I can’t eat green spinach anymore.
  8. Pre-natal vitamins are gross.
  9. Worrying about what’s going to happen to my body is totally normal.
  10. It IS possible for me to go to the bathroom more than I usually do!
  11. It is fun going through this with husband.
  12. This is kind of an adventure.

Saturday, January 28, 2012

new life

I have this very small, perhaps irrational fear, of pregnant ladies. I don’t know if anyone else feels this way, but I attribute it to a combination of things. It’s probably partly because the concept of growing a belly was foreign to me, something that I had yet to learn fully about or experience. Maybe it had something to do with how the baby bump is a giant blatant symbol of a life-change and I felt overwhelmed just trying to imagine what the woman was going through. It also probably had to do with a fear that the woman would go into labor and that I would have no idea what to do. It may also have something to do with how I felt when I came across an ostrich egg.

The first time I saw an ostrich egg was at a Whole Foods in NYC. It was huge, maybe a little smaller than a volleyball. I picked it up, and it was heavy, and felt smooth and glossy to the touch. I also instantly felt strange. I had picked up a chicken egg before, and knew what it felt like, and rarely did I shake the egg and think, hm, a tiny chick could have grown up in here. But that’s what I did with the ostrich egg. And I pictured an ostrich, laying these eggs, and then hatching little baby ostriches, or, in this case, being taken to the grocery store. I felt like I was breaking a rule by holding an ostrich egg. The thoughts going through my head were, 'An ostrich??' 'An ostrich lays eggs?' 'An ostrich lays eggs this big?' It was a poignant moment of feeling a mix of awe, discomfort, nausea and fascination.

I share all this because it is all extremely relevant to me right now, seeing as I'm PREGNANT! Yes, I am now one of them pregnant ladies. Espousing fear of pregnant women may be a strange way to announce my own pregnancy, but this is real life! And I guess what I’m saying is, in a roundabout way through a silly story about ostrich eggs, that I feel both fear and wonder in my heart when I think about how a person can grow another human being inside of themselves. I mean, as normal as it is, it is wild. When people ask me if I am happy about this baby, I think the most accurate answer right now is that I'm still in awe of the fact that there IS a baby. The first few months have definitely been a mixed feeling of awe, discomfort, nausea (barely any, thank God), and fascination. I always wanted to have a family and I am enthralled by the idea of meeting this new little person, but it doesn’t take away from the fact that it blows my mind. I know I’m not giving birth to Jesus, and yes, this is perhaps an disporportinate comparison, but sometimes I feel like Mary must have felt when the angel came to tell her that she was going to give birth to Jesus. NOT the, ‘Wait, but I’m a virgin….’ part, or ‘Savior of the world, what?’, but the ‘WHO, ME?!??!’ part. I sometimes feel like looking around and saying, ‘Wait, seriously, me? A baby? A human baby??’ As much as I feel blessed to be given this responsibility and gift, I also feel unworthy to be a mom to a whole other person. I am realizing how much I need and will need the help and encouragement of my husband and people around me, and most of all, the daily grace to grow into this new identity.

I am excited, especially when I think about what it means to grow a family with K. After thinking about it for a while, I think this is a very honest way for me to deal with this - I feel awe and a slight twinge of fear when I think about what the baby means to who I am, I feel excitement when I think about meeting baby, and I feel joy when I think about raising the baby together with a husband in a family. All in all, this gestation time for the baby has been the best sort of a prepartion time for me - to humble me, to grow in me a deeper gratitude and wider perspective, and to get me back to the place yet again where I relearn how to trust... and you know what? I am more than okay with that.

me at 10 weeks. plus a little bit of rusty in the corner

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

mind's break

Public diary, if that's what you are, I apologize for neglecting you. And the public, if you are out there, I guess this entry is me explaining why I've been taken extended amounts of time away from blogging. I especially make note because I can't help notice the vast contrast between the enthusiastic holiday posts of last year compared to silence of this year. I usually like blogging even more during the holidays because the crafty activities and cooking dishes abound (See here, here, here, and here) but this year, even though there were plenty of craftiness and cooking, I didn't have the spare energy to write about it.

This year, I've had the kind of past two months that have me feeling, almost every morning, like I just might not make it through the day. I am tired.all.the.time. and anxiety is always waiting behind dark corners to jump and stomp on my resolve. That sneaky bugger. The thing that makes it worse, is that I try fight off the exhaustion and anxiety with my own strength, which makes me more tired. See the problem? And the cold really isn't helping.

I shall not detail the woes here, but make clear that I need a vacation. Not a going-away-vacation (not right now, at least). What I need is a stay-cation, where I can stay at home and mostly sleep. For the sake of fantasy, self-therapy, and fun, I thought specifically about what that week of stay-cation might look like. Here it is.

Sunday: Go to church, and then to the grocery where I stock up on a week's worth of fruits and vegetables, as much as I want. It would be warm outside, and there would be grass (yes, I know its winter. it's my fantasy, leave me alone) and I would find a patch of really green grass on a roof of a low building, where I would take a blanket to take an outside afternoon nap in the sun. Then I would go to Target to browse, and then go home to try baking some black-bean brownies. A bath, then sleep.

Monday: After 9-10 hours of sleep, I make a giant bowl of fruit salad and eat it while watching one of the documentaries on our Netflix queue. Then I go to the library or bookstore to get a stack of books I've been meaning to read. I come home and put M.Ward's Hold Time album through the speakers and organize my life, i.e. closet, and get rid of the excess. Then I'll spend the rest of the night reading a book while eating bread, cheese, grapes, and salami.

Tuesday: After 9-10 hours of sleep, I take my laptop to a café that has big tables and huge windows and spend most of the day writing. I write half of a short story and feel good about it. Then I go to a craft store and get some new brushes, pick up some newspapers, and go home to spend the night painting while listening to French love songs.

Wednesday: After 9-10 hours of sleep, I either go to the gym, or walk with Rusty to Cary Town and do some window shopping. I hit up the thrift stores and snag some great finds. I go to Whole Foods to get a fruit pastry and eat the whole thing by myself while reading another book, maybe two. If there is time, I start on the DIY cheese-making kit.

Thursday: After 9-10 hours of sleep, I spend the morning looking for jobs and grad programs, dreaming of a career, reading blogs and maybe some online shopping. I spend the rest of the afternoon finishing my short story. At night, I watch a good movie, take a bath, and have a DIY spa session.

Friday: After 9-10 hours of sleep, I do some yoga or pilates. I do some more painting while listening to electronica and then spend the rest of the day practicing on the sewing machine. I learn how to make a skirt. At night, my husband takes me out on a date where we eat a delicious steak with the perfect wine, and then we go to an art gallery where they have a local band playing clear and honest melodies, and we don't' mind standing to listen because they are just that good.

Saturday: In the morning, after glorious sleep, husband and I go on a walk/jog with Rusty, or go play some volleyball, or go do some WOD exercises. We come home to a shower and then spend the afternoon playing Magic, eat sushi for dinner, and then watch an excellent movie at night.

The end.

After a week like that, I might be ready to go back to real life. And see, just writing about it helps a teeny tiny bit.