Monday, January 30, 2012


When I was young, I remember being in a church - probably my grandparents' church - and all the little kids were sitting up front.  One by one, we were asked what we wanted to be when we grew up.  I said I wanted to be a ballerina.  Now, maybe I'm remembering this incorrectly, but it has always stuck out to me that the lady replied, "Oh, you can't be that; pick something else!"  I can't recall what my response was, but I knew in my head that YES I COULD BE A BALLERINA IF I WANTED TO!  My parents had always made sure I understood the age-old saying, "You can do anything if you put your mind to it."  I am hoping this is something I can pass on to Ava.

What do I want to be right now?  A good mom.  But in the midst of a two-year-old-asserting-her-independence, making the right discipline decisions is hard.  I've read countless articles and have talked to lots of moms, but knowing what to do in the heat of the moment is a challenge. 

Ava has gone through a hitting phase off and on the past year.  She doesn't hit her friends at day care; she hits us.  It almost always happens when we are trying to get her ready for bed.  I know it's been a long day; I know she doesn't want to stop playing; I know it's a way to express the feelings for which she doesn't have words.  But how to deal with it is another story.  We have tried time-outs: she comes back from time-out and hits again.  We've tried threats: "Okay, hitting means straight to bed!"...but then we still have to finish putting jammies on and brush her teeth so the consequence is not immediate.  We've tried holding her hands and not letting her use them for a period of time, explaining that we don't hit and since she hit us, she can't use her hands right now. 

And, I admit, I even tried hitting her back.  Just a small tap on her head, but she cried.  I asked her if it hurt and tried to explain that it hurts me when she hits.   She went to bed, I came downstairs, and sobbed.  Yep, never doing that again!

We make her say sorry and then have a hug, but the next night, she'll be at it again.  I'm not sure what the magic answer is in this hitting situation.  Not to mention, an added challenge - not just to the hitting thing but to disciplining her in general - is that Jeremy and I have different patience levels.  This presents a whole other challenge.  I want to maintain a calm but firm demeanor and I strive for that in most situations where she is acting out.  Jeremy has a harder time with this and from talking with friends, it seems that most men do.  They are quicker to lose their tempers and it's harder for them to understand she's only two years old

I'm sure these are challenges that a lot of parents face.  I know each age is going to bring on a whole new set of behavior issues and that we are constantly going to question ourselves.  But that's good.  If we didn't question our decisions, I would be worried.  And for now, we'll continue to read articles and talk to other parents!

If you have any suggestions about this hitting situation, feel free to share!  I'd love it if you left a comment directly on my blog so that others who may be in the same boat can read it (whereas if you leave the comment on Facebook, not everyone can see it).  Thanks!   

Monday, January 23, 2012

Pregnancy: Week 35 Random Thoughts

I've had a few pregnancy-related things on my mind lately and decided I'd share them here.  If you've been pregnant, perhaps you can relate.  If not, here's a preview of things to come.  And if you're a dude...please just sympathize if the woman in your life is currently carrying your unborn child. 

1. Asking a pregnant woman to give a urine sample past about...oh...30ish weeks is a total joke.  Tiny cup to pee into + huge belly = can't see what you're doing one bit.  Hence the pee that inevitably gets on your hands every.single.time.  At least urine is sterile, right?   

2. Speaking of pee, I've been doing that a lot these days.  Combine doctor's orders to drink a lot of water with a baby who likes to sit on, punch, and kick my bladder and you can bet I'm rushing to the toilet about every 30 minutes, which is quite inconvenient at night...  Not to mention this urge to go, go, go, only to dribble, dribble, dribble once I'm there.

3. "Get as much rest as you can now before that baby comes!"  HA.  What rest?  Besides the fact that I'm up peeing every half hour, there are baby belly dance parties at 3am, hormones raging through my body that think I'm okay with only five hours of sleep, and hips that ache after lying in one position for more than 10 minutes.  I think our bodies try to prepare us for the newborn days, but I don't need preparation!  Let me sleep now! 

4.  Rolling over in bed.  Getting out of bed.  Add a huge, beached whale to the picture.  That pretty much covers it. 

5.  You know what's good?  Chocolate.  Cookies.  Ice cream with chocolate sprinkles.  A Pinterest board with over 20 desserts to try.  I wouldn't say I've had many cravings this pregnancy, just...preferences.  With Ava, I craved root beer, movie popcorn and...desserts.  This pregnancy I went through a cinnamon phase, but now I'm just all about desserts.  I don't CRAVE them.  I just want them.  It's not the same, I tell you!

6.  Nesting instinct?  My nesting instinct is that I want someone else to do all the work.  Well, technically someone else SHOULD be doing all of the work since I am supposed to be on bed rest...

7.  Oh, bed rest.  I'm so glad mine is not restrictive.  I've definitely tested the waters a few times - hello, trip to Once Upon a Child.  My contractions have not gotten worse and I haven't had to go to the hospital again, so I think I'm good as long as I continue to take it as easy as possible...with a couple outings here and there to maintain my sanity!

8.  Last week my OB said the baby was breech.  I looked up all kinds of funky techniques to do at home to try to get the baby to turn.  I shined flashlights in there, used cold packs, boosted my hips up with pillows, and inverted my body on the stairs into a downward-dog position.  The baby has definitely moved, but I'm not sure WHERE.  Kicks and jabs mostly come on the top of my belly, which would indicate a head-down position, but I still sometimes feel movements on my bladder/cervix area.  And it is NOT comfortable.  I think this kid is doing acrobatics in there...

9.  Thank you to the waitress at Northside Social restaurant for telling me that I am tiny.  Most people like to say, "Are you sure it's not twins?" or "I bet you're gonna pop any day now."  There should be at least one class for everyone on HOW to talk to pregnant women.  How easy is it to just say, "You look great!" or "You look so cute!" 

10.  I'm ready.  Ready to meet this baby.  Ready to find out if it's a boy or girl.  Ready to introduce Ava to her new sibling.  And yet, I'm also trying to cherish the little kicks and jabs, even if they do hurt sometimes.  I will probably miss my belly once it's gone.  I'll miss Ava being my only baby.  I'll miss those 5 hours of sleep!  But...I'm ready. 

Ava's ready too.

Thursday, January 19, 2012

A Girl and Her Daddy

What is it about the father/daughter relationship?

Daddy can get her to giggle and laugh in the middle of a whining fit.  He pretends to be a puppy, a dinosaur, a horse, or any other thing that her little mind imagines.  He's big and warm, protective, caring, and the most important guy in Ava's life right now - just as it should be.

As time ticks by and we wonder if this baby is going to be a boy or another girl, I am finding myself pausing frequently to take in the sight of Ava and Daddy playing.  It's not going to be "just the two of them" for much longer...but Ava will always be the first born, the first (maybe only?) daughter, and there is definitely something special about that. 

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Tales From Bed Rest

I have been trying for days now to write this post.  I've typed, deleted...repeat.  I'm not sure why I'm struggling so much.  Part of it is my need to justify why it's been so long since I have blogged.  I completely missed three major holidays and feel a twinge of guilt over not "recording" those memories in a place where I'll have them forever.  I have excuses out the wazoo: I was super busy with my photography business, I didn't MAKE the time, the thought of editing personal photos while I was already editing so many clients' photos seemed overwhelming, I'm pregnant (best excuse for anything!), it's not how I wanted to spend my free time...etc.

The truth is that if I had truly wanted to write down those memories of Halloween, Thanksgiving, and Christmas...I would have found the time.  Clearly, I didn't.  And I'm not lying when I say that I was overwhelmed with a lot of other things on my plate.  Blogging fell by the wayside.

But I'm back!

I'm 34 weeks pregnant and on "bed rest."  It's not total bed rest, more like "put your feet up as much as possible; only get up to shower, use the bathroom, and fix yourself meals.  Only leave the house if you feel you're going to explode and your mental health is suffering...or for doctor's visits."  I thankfully am not confined to the bed for the majority of the day - my only "bed" visits are for naps.  :)

Why bed rest?  I started having contractions almost four weeks ago.  At first it only happened here and there.  I'd have maybe two occasions during the week where I could time them, always at night.  Then they started happening randomly during the day as well.  My doctor took me off work right before we were due to go back after winter break, but I was just told to "take it easy."  I thought...this is going to be great!  I can tackle my to-do list, make yummy dinners, and just spend the next few weeks RELAXING before the baby comes.

Cue Sunday morning, 2am.  I'm awakened by severe cramping so bad that I curl up in the fetal position and clutch the sheets.  I felt almost nauseous because of the pain.  It didn't subside after about a half hour, so I finally woke Jeremy up and we decided to go to the hospital.  I'd actually made a tiny bit of progress since my OB appointment just five days ago; at that time, I was still closed up, but now they were telling me I was 1 cm dilated and 50% effaced.  I was given a shot of Terbutaline to stop the contractions.  It slowed them down significantly and after two hours of monitoring, I was sent home.  I saw my OB the next day and got my official orders for "bed rest." 

So, here I am, in the midst of all kinds of paperwork for maternity leave, benefits, short-term disability, FMLA, insurance, worries worries worries.  I know we'll make it work financially.  We have to!  We've already started cutting back on a few luxury items (bye-bye, once-a-month cleaning lady...sniff...I will MISS YOU).  And I know I can start back up with photography stuff as soon as I feel up to it after giving birth, which will provide a little extra here and there.  I'm actually VERY anxious to schedule photo shoots and I HATE that I can't do any sessions right now! 

Despite all of this, there are some bright sides to being on bed rest:

*I have a REASON to be lazy.  And I don't have to feel guilty about it!
*It's a great time to catch up on my DVR shows or watch movies or read magazines or books...
*Can't leave the house?  No need for make-up, a bra, styling my hair, nice clothes...hello sweatpants, t-shirts, and ponytails!  Ultimate comfort every day.
*I don't have to go to work.  No lesson planning, no grading, no discipline issues to deal with from students, no meetings, no 5:30am wake-ups, no exposure to, these are probably the BEST things about bed rest.  :)
*Awesome friends who offer to help, who bring dinners over, who stop by to chat and hang out so that I can get some social interaction...I've been thinking lately you quickly find out who your "true" friends are in a time of "need."  And it makes me think maybe I haven't always been the greatest friend when others have needed it.  Note to self: wear someone else's shoes, so to speak, and figure out how to make friends' lives better.
*A husband who has stepped up to the plate, dropping off and picking up Ava from day care, coming home after a long day of work and making dinner, doing the dishes, giving Ava a bath, running errands for me, cleaning up the house, etc.  In sickness and in health, right?  I married a good one!  :)

And finally, since I am being forced to take it easy and rest, I have more time to focus on Ava.  More time for tea parties, coloring, reading books, being silly together...and more time to take pictures of her. 

All with my feet up, of course.