Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Tender Tennessee Christmas

A quick recap of our epic trip to TN for Christmas festivities:
  • It took 14.5 hours to get to our first destination. This was par for the course of other times we've made the drive and we were glad that baby didn't make the trip any longer. She didn't sleep well in the car, but was a trooper. She would wake up every time we stopped for gas. I'd take her inside to change her diaper and get milk as The Hater pumped gas in the car... and the people inside would look at me like we were aliens or like I was the worst mother in the universe for having my one year old at a gas station at 3 in the morning. Good times. She'd be awake for an hour to an hour and a half after each pit stop, then sleep for an hour to an hour and a half, when we'd have to get gas again and repeat the process. She didn't let Bryan play music as that made her even more fussy, so he made the entire drive in silence. He deserves a medal.
  • It was a tedious trip, but baby was a trooper.
  • She pet the calves, fed plastic fruit to a fake dog, and watched the snow.
  • We were able to have short visits with lots of family and friends that we've not seen since 2 Christmases ago when I was 6 months pregnant. (That feels like a thousand years ago.)
  • We are so very glad that we took our own pillows. The SUV was seriously packed to the hilt. We were slightly gagged that nobody listened to our space requirements regarding what they expected us to bring back. It worked out, but next time we're going to have to be more specific OR have them mail stuff back to us. (We're not going to sacrifice leg room again period.)
  • Baby slept better than either of us expected. She was up every morning about 5am (our time), but napped well and went down well at night. She also didn't wake up a dozen times in the night. I credit that to taking the sound machine with us. At The Dorks' house we ended up having to forgo the crib in our room to put her in her own room in the P&P. She wasn't used to Daddy's snoring.
  • My back did well on the trip. I'm almost to my pre-injury self.
  • Three states. Three Christmases. Six and a half days. (exhausting any way you cut it)
  • Baby did well, considering that everybody wanted to mess with her and that they were all well-meaning strangers. She warmed up rather quickly, sang her ABCs and Jingle Bells, counted to 20, and took people by the hand so they could "run run" in circles with her.
I think we're going to try to make this an every-other-year tradition.
This way we can have our own family traditions, too.

I hope all four of my readers had a blessed holiday. :)

I also hope that you have a fantastic New Year's!! I hope that 2011 brings you as many blessings as you need and as many adventures as you can stand.

Wednesday, December 15, 2010


This past weekend our little family lit the Advent candles at church. On our way back to the pew Baby ran the wrong way. The Hater grabbed her and pulled her back. She ran the other way, my direction, so I grabbed her and started to bring her back, but ended up pulling my back the wrong way. I handed her to The Hater and ended upon my back - in the floor.

It was really cold this past Sunday - like 22 and windy when we left the house. But I opted for fashion over practicality and wore a khaki skirt with leggins and cute boots. It would be the day that I ended up on my back and in so much pain that I couldn't put my knees together.

Somehow I ended up pulling myself back onto the pew and sat there the rest of the service. The Hater brought me communion and I didn't stand for anything. The rest of the day was spent stiff and very uncomfortable. I took a nap when Baby did and could hardly roll over when she woke up from her nap.

Monday morning I was still pitiful. I ended up calling my PCP, who didn't have an opening that day. My back-up was out of the office, so I defaulted to another DO in the office. He couldn't get me in until that afternoon. So I went about my day, uncomfortable wherever I was, sitting or standing, having to use the handicap rail to get up off the toilet, dropping things and begging other people to pick them up for me. I just prayed that nobody would come into our office and fall, which thankfully they did not. Anyway, in my goings on I figured out that when I walked it hurt worse on the left side, more lumbar and sacral area.

The DO was so very nice. He adjusted my back and turned me inside out. He gave me flexeril and a really strong anti-inflammatory.

I'm feeling a little better every day, but still uncomfortable.

And I've taken the flexeril already tonight, and I'm feeling it. I think I'll be going to sleep very soon.
But wanted to document a few fun Baby quips:

"cha-ka-ka" is what she calls chocolate milk. She loves it. It's baby crack... and sometimes she gets it on the weekends. (Elmo would call it a sometime food.)

"sha-shook" is the word she calls things that she doesn't know the word for. She's using this less and less often since she's learning more words.

Sunday after church I was walking around in circles on because my back hurt and I was trying to keep it from getting stiff. I had an ice pack belted to me and was walking with my hands holding it, too, like the pregnant waddle without the belly. Baby walked with me with her hands behind her back. She kept saying, "Mama! Fun!" I told her I was glad she was having fun.

She's really into running in circles around the couch and wanting us to chase her. She loves that. "Fun!"
Now I'm really tard. Too tard to type. Wish me flexeril dreams.

Friday, December 03, 2010

motherhood: the gift that keeps on giving

This is going to sound crazy. And there's PG-13 graphic content... so if that will offend you or yours please overlook this story.

At some point in the past three years or so I either read or heard something about the great benefits of jumping rope. If I remember correctly the story went that if you jumped rope for 3 minutes straight at least 3 days a week you'd burn a ton of calories.

I was inspired and bought an adult-sized jumprope. It lived in a drawer in the garage for a long time.

Then one day I decided I was going to jump rope. I took it out of its box and it stayed on top of the dryer for a couple of weeks before I put it back in the drawer in the garage where it previously lived.

And then I think I got pregnant. Or something like that. That happened at some point because I remember thinking, oh, too bad I'm pregnant or I'd jump rope!

The timeline makes a big jump because I didn't jump while I was pregnant or while I was home on maternity leave or even after I went back to work. No, the jumprope continued to live in its abandoned drawer in the garage until this week.

I decided it was time to liberate the jumprope from the drawer in the garage. It was a perfect time because I'd already put the baby down for the night and The Hater wasn't here. I wouldn't have to give any random excuses. I took the digital kitchen timer to the back porch with me and my trusty jumprope and set it to 3 minutes and 15 seconds.

I can't really remember the last time that I jumped rope. I remember doing it in elementary school. I remember wishing that I knew how to jump double dutch, but never was taught. I remember not liking to run into the twirling rope because it always hit me. I remember trying to jump and name the alphabet before messing up. But this was all in early elementary school... in college I remember hearing a program called "Jump Rope for Heart" (link), but I don't remember anything about the program.

You can say I just assumed that jumping rope would be like riding a bike - something that I'd just remember how to do. It was cool outside, but not cold. I turned on the timer and assumed the jumping position. As the clock ticked down to 3 minutes I began jumping. These were my thoughts:

This isn't so bad. (20 seconds had passed)
This is harder than I remember.
Ew. I can feel it. (It being my period.)
Is it the jumprope messing up or just me? (For whatever reason I couldn't do more than 23 consecutive jumps without messing up, although that was the max -- most times I was excited to get to 19 consecutive jumps, but I probably only averaged 12 consecutive jumps. My inner second grader would laugh that I couldn't even make it through the alphabet.)
I can really feel it now. This is gross.
Oh no. I'm only wearing a panty liner - I hope that's enough.
This is the longest 3 minutes of my life.
I'm sure the dogs in the neighborhood next to ours are barking at me.
GROSS. I didn't consider that jumping rope was going to jumpstart my period.
How do the people in the movies do this so well?
How do second graders do this so well?
(Then, finally, the alarm goes off and I take what's left of my dignity and the jumprope back into the house. As I walk...)
Why are my pants wet?
Oh no. I think I've overflowed my panty liner.
(walking to the bathroom) Oh, yeah... I've overflowed my panty liner.
Gag. (to clarify - that was a thought, not an action)

And in the process of discovering why my pants and panty liner were wet I realize it wasn't completely full of period blood (it was there - just not the saturation factor). No, in fact most of the wetness was pee. I apparently pee'd myself while jumping rope. I'm 32 years old and I pee'd myself while jumping rope on my back porch.

That was a few days ago. I was eager to share this story with women with whom I work who have also had children. They're always telling me not to make them laugh or they'll pee their pants. For the record (because at this point I certainly have to clarify) I've never pee'd myself while laughing or coughing or or any other time that I wasn't intentionally hovering over a toilet with full intentions to pee (at least not since my third trimester, but that's totally normal). They were very supportive and laughed with me as I retold the story. They told me not to bother with Kegals because it wouldn't make a difference.

I didn't believe them. I've been doing Kegals like I was pregnant again. I've been a hard core Kegal queen. I can't say that it's made any difference yet, but it's certainly led me to believe that I'm being productive. Calisthenics for my pelvic floor.

So tonight I decided that I was going to jump rope again after I put the baby down. And I'm tickled to report that I lived through 3 more minutes of jumping rope. My top was 20 consecutive jumps, but my average was probably 14. Furthermore (and frankly the reason for much more jubilation), I did not pee myself!

The small victories mean so much.
It's truly a day to celebrate.