Calm In The Chaos

Today is my last day of maternity leave. To say my heart is breaking is an understatement. My eyes and heart have been teary all day. I can’t imagine not spending every waking hour with my babies. Thanks to bed rest and laws that don’t support mothers, I am being forced back three weeks early. I am trying to trust in this struggle. I am trying to have faith that this is all part of God’s plan, there is a reason for all of this. Lord grant me strength.

Instead, let’s focus on the good. Grace passed her swim lessons! We’ll probably sign her up for another over the winter. But who knows? Grace has shown an interest in archery, and there’s a youth league we could sign her up for. I myself have been thinking over getting into bow hunting. Her interest finally gave me the push I needed to express my interest to Chris. He’s positively giddy. I don’t know if Grace’s interest will ever expand beyond archery and into bow hunting, but I want to support her varied interests in every way I can. So, I’ve been researching and test shooting bows. You can expect to find me decked out in camo and in a tree stand for the 2014 deer season.

My garden was left untouched for just over a week. It’s an untamed jungle and I’m afraid to step foot in it. The radishes have disappeared, but I did unbury the lettuce! It’s going to take a lot of work to get that jungle tamed, but I’m up for the challenge.

This is going to be a very emotional week. I know I’ll survive, I know that everything is going to be ok. But damn, it would be so nice to be a stay at home mom…

20130722-162714.jpg

So Far So Good

Guess who baked muffins today? I did! And it was hectic. Little man started fussing the moment I started measuring ingredients. Into the bouncer with a pacifier he went. For the next 20 minutes or so I was running back and forth between him and the batter. I also got bread dough started. This is far and away my favorite blueberry muffin recipe. It’s light and fluffy and wonderfully lemony. The only change I make is to sprinkle a heavy layer of cinnamon and sugar on top. There’s always a fight for the last one.

Little man is such a sweet baby. He loves, loves, loves being snuggled. He’s a pretty decent sleeper, and he’s finally starting to get nursing down. Luke started off nursing for 40-60 minutes every hour and a half! Can you believe that?! Now we’re down to 20-30 minutes every 2-3 hours. Much better. He’s put on quite a bit of weight this last week. Little man is still wearing newborn sized clothing, but I don’t think that’ll last much longer!

As for me, every day is a little bit better. My feet are still a little swollen, but I can walk around with minimal discomfort! I’ve started doing a post-natal yoga sequence in the mornings. No surprise, it’s pretty painful! It’ll be quite a long time before I’ve fully recovered from this pregnancy. I have to keep reminding myself about that. I have been on bed rest and restrictions of some sort since December. My muscles and my stamina are long gone. I won’t get them back overnight. One step at a time, I will win this battle.

Other than that, life is pretty quiet around here. Grace is excited for summer. She’s going to be taking swim lessons and growing a flower fort. We are getting the garden ready this weekend. Can’t wait for fresh veggies! If you’ll excuse me, those muffins are calling my name…

20130530-142551.jpg

Deep Breath

I hate waiting. It seems that’s all I do these days. Wait for baby. Wait for test results. Wait, wait, wait. Spent an hour and a half at the doctor yesterday. Blood tests and I had to be hooked to a fetal monitor. Sumo is fine, my blood pressure is still high. I can’t even remember what the blood test is for. My kidneys? Eventually the results will come in and I’ll know what I’ve been tested for. Although, now that I think about it, I took a strep B test last Monday and I still don’t know the results. Oh well.

Yesterday I finally became a true Minnesotan. I made (with a lot of help from Chris!) a tater tot hotdish.

20130502-114409.jpg

I used:
2 lbs browned hamburger
2 boxes all-natural cream of mushroom
1 small bag frozen corn
1 bag Trader Joe’s tater tots
1 bag of cheddar cheese
Salt pepper

Preheat oven to 400. Brown the burger, season with salt and pepper. Stir in cream of mushroom and corn. Pour into 9×13 pan and top with cheddar cheese and then pop the tater tots on. Bake for around 20 minutes. Done! It was absolutely delicious!

I’m going to spend the rest of the week with my feet up. I need to rest and relax. Take my mind off my numb fingertips and toes. Soon. Sumo will be here soon.

20130502-115044.jpg

Is It Baby Time Yet

I can’t wait to be able to sleep pain free again. I was up most of last night. My right hand was on fire, and of course, I had to pee. The contractions are steadily becoming more intense. Sometimes I panic and start to hyperventilate. Nice deep breaths. Chris is having me track them now. It’s still varying from 1-3 per hour. They don’t become more frequent or regular. Just more painful.

Yesterday I did a little vacuuming and folded laundry. For whatever reason, it made my whole body swell. My feet looked like giant blisters. Lots of water and hours of having my feet propped up brought the swelling down. It’s a real pity I can no longer knit. Sitting stagnant for hours is pretty depressing. And look how nicely the blanket was coming along!

20130419-121416.jpg

On Monday, I baked the most delicious chocolate cinnamon bread. Thank God for standing mixers. This really should’ve been easy to make, but I’m unable to stand for more than a few minutes. This bread was totally worth the pain and discomfort. I didn’t make any changes to the recipe. Grace is i love with it, she’s had a slice every day. The recipe makes two loaves, which is really great. I froze the second loaf, but I know I’ll be pulling it out next week. Gotta satisfy my pregnant sweet tooth.

20130419-121241.jpg

I am so thankful for Chris. He does pretty much all of the cooking now. I sit on a chair and supervise. I can’t handle a knife or anything. He’s a good sport. I’m really looking forward to taking back control of my kitchen. And my knitting.

20130419-121540.jpg

Worn

Three days back at work. My body is worn out. It hurts as if I’ve run a marathon. My abdomen feels as though I’ve done 100 crunches. My joints ache. Today, I passed out on the couch for three hours when I got home. Isn’t that pathetic?  Luckily for me, tomorrow is my day off.  I don’t intend to do anything but rest.  Maybe bake a batch of Monster Cookies, but nothing too taxing.  Tonight I made an easy supper of Bubble Up Pizza.  It was pretty dang good, just needs a tad more sauce next time.  It was the perfect meal for me to whip up, so very simple and yummy.

What I really wish I could do is exercise.  I had been doing some gentle yoga sequences last week, but I started getting Braxton Hicks.  Now that I’m back at work, the contractions have gotten worse.  I don’t feel safe doing anything more than stretches.  Which are so amazing for my back and legs.  When I was pregnant with G, I would walk for hours every day.  It’s astounding how different pregnancies can be, isn’t it?  My pregnancies are almost polar opposites.  Chris has made it very clear this will our last baby.  He’s convinced I wouldn’t survive another.  Sad, but he’s probably right.  I’m just going to continue getting older, and my chances of complications are just going to keep getting higher.  I choose to never say never.

Lately, I’ve been listening to Worn by Tenth Avenue North.  “I’m worn, even before the day begins. Yes,  I’m worn I’ve lost my will to fight.  I’m worn, so heaven come and flood my eyes.”  It speaks to me. 

Anyways.  It’s time for me to catch up on Elementary.  Jonny Lee Miller is one of my favorite Sherlocks.  Cross your fingers I don’t eat all the cookies tomorrow!!!

9 To 5

First day back at work!  After 2 1/2 hours, I was forced to concede that Chris and the doctor were correct.  I am not in any shape to work full time.  I had a whopper of a contraction!  And I’ve had quite a few small ones since coming home.

To be safe, I’ve been taking it easy.  I did some stretches, but nothing intense.  Just light moves to relieve back and leg pain.  My plan was to bake this delicious looking chocolate cake when I got home, but it is definitely more than I can handle right now.  I hate having to admit that.  Baking a cake is too much work for my body right now. 

But that’s alright. I have nice, easy dinner planned that should be simple enough for Chris to make if I don’t feel up to it.  It has macaroni noodles and cheese, so I know my two nerds are going to love it.  It doesn’t take much to make them happy.  Last night, they had fun with science experiments.  I have no idea what they were doing, but they were burning things to see what colors the flames would turn.  It was pretty cute listening to Grace yammer on about sodium and oxygen and the periodic table.  It was all foreign to me!

Hopefully this week will continue to be a smooth return to my regular daily routine.  I’m now fully aware of my body’s need for rest.  If I’m really lucky, that cake will be in my tummy by the end of the week!