Sunday, May 30, 2010

15 Weeks!

I feel like I hit a plateau this week - not much belly growth, no new developments. A lull. It seemed hard to imagine I'd get bigger and eventually the baby would be here. But I woke up this morning and could no longer fit into my stretchy yoga pants. And I do see a difference in this week's belly picture:

The baby is now 4 inches long and 2.5 ounces (size of an apple, apparently). I've gained one pound at most which is starting to make me a little nervous. I'm trying to eat a bit more and eat healthier things, now that my appetite is back and I have more energy to cook.

Summer feels in full swing in North Carolina even though it's just the end of May. I usually LOVE the heat but it's harder when pregnant. I need water with me everywhere and the sun wears me out. I think it's time to start visiting the pool!

I'm thankful to be getting a belly throughout the summer, though. Even though it's wicked hot here, it's easier to get away with stretchy skirts, empire waist sundresses or a bathing suit almost all the time. I don't think I'll need to buy much maternity stuff at all. I think if I get a belly band for work pants I don't need to get maternity pants at all - sweet!

Still waiting anxiously for the flutters - I felt a couple weird movements this week but it's so easy to write off as gas or something else. I'm looking forward to knowing it's my little one flopping around in there. And our next ultrasound is in three weeks - can't wait to see how much he or she has grown! Last time we saw a picture the little one was the size of a kidney bean.  They grow up so fast :)

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Alysa vs. the DMV

We moved to NC last August 1st and new residents have 60 days to get a new driver's license. Since I knew I was changing my name the end of October I thought it made sense to wait a bit longer. (Plus I procrastinate, a habit I will kick one of these days.)  So I got back in November from the honeymoon and now it's the end of May. But it's not like I didn't try. I went to the DMV which was PACKED and waited in line to be told they were booked solid and I was advised to take an appt. time 3 weeks out.  Ok. So I come back 3 weeks later FOUR minutes late and stand at the desk waiting for any worker to notice me. They noticed me, but did not acknowledge me. Finally someone comes over and I explain I had an appt. She looked at the clock and said 'that was half an hour ago'. I explained that is was half an hour ago because nobody came over to help me for half an hour. The lady then had the gall to say I was lying! I was in so much shock that my only defense was a sweeping gesture of the room and a high pitched 'ask anybody here!!'.  Nobody came to my rescue, and they reluctantly saw me another half an hour later only to tell me I was missing some documentation. That entailed a visit to another administrative building and you can see why at this point I put off the DMV for a while. 

When I got the energy again I discovered that you needed car insurance here before your license and registration, so I got NC insurance. I can't however cancel my MA insurance until I send the plates in, which I can't do until the license is physically mailed 20 days after your temporary license, and then after you go get the registration and all. I asked the lady if this makes any sense to her, and she said no because it's not true. I don't need NC insurance, just any insurance. So I'm double paying two months for no reason, lovely.  But I'm getting ahead of myself. 

So today I ventured out absolutely determined to make this happen. I gathered up documents, copies of documents, my cat's immunization records, everything they could possibly ask me for. I drove there and collected my things in the parking lot. But oh, lady luck was playing a nasty trick on me. I had gone to the dog park earlier with my tiny over the shoulder bag and I had thrown my license in there (a habit instilled by concerned mothers everywhere who believe when bodies get destroyed beyond recognition a license will be found intact on top of the remains). Sorry I just wrote that. Anyway, I wasn't deterred. I drove back home trying not to stress out. I drove back to the DMV and was told that was the wrong branch. Determined not to curse, I got back in the car and drove to the new branch. (The original building with the nasty people.)

I walked in and there was a magically short line, and I had all the right documents. I also didn't have the person assume I was here for an initial driving test. (Seriously people. I'm flattered I look youngish, but 16?? That's ridiculous.) I passed the written test, but that was no joke. I haven't looked at driving rules for 15 years. I did not want to have to come back to that building again to re-take a stupid driving test. I only got 1 out of 4 road signs correct when they just gave you the outline of the shape. I am not sure if I'm really that unobservant or that is an undeveloped part of my brain. In either case, the latent straight A student in me was mortified. In my defense it was not multiple choice. I also learned from the test that they don't mess around with DWIs here, which is a good thing. An automatic 13 month license suspension.  I had an impression that traffic laws were on the lax side - perhaps because of unexposure- I've never gotten a ticket for anything, or because I'm from the northeast where it's full of aggressive entitled maniac drivers that somehow remain on the road. 

My temper only flared once during the day, when I drank some water and was told 'sorry honey no food or drink allowed'.  She explained how they used to have spaghetti stains on the floor. I could have said that water would only clean this place up. I could have pulled the pregnancy card, which is based in truth - I need to have water with me absolutely everywhere I go now.  But I smiled pleasantly and tried to keep the peace.  I just don't understand how they usually make people wait for hours - yell at you for leaving the building while waiting (saw it happen) - but don't allow even water. 

A side note. When they took my picture the lady said look here and smile on the count of three. She stopped at one, and told me my hair looked funny. I ran my fingers through it and said ok, because I don't really care so much about that. I don't own a brush and never blow dry my hair.  She insisted I look in a mirror so I assumed I had make-up somewhere weird (oh wait, I haven't worn make-up since I was pregnant), or I had snot running down my nose. As far as I could tell I looked totally normal. I pretended to flatten my hair again and sat down. She shook her head and said she wanted me to have a cute picture and I needed to fix my hair. She came over and pointed out the little piece of hair out of place. I suppose I should be grateful for her good intentions. She has worked at the DMV 18 1/2 years and she wants to fix someone's hair and not shoot everyone one day at work. Good for her. 

Monday, May 24, 2010

today is just ridiculous

After a week of horrible sleeping, yesterday I fell asleep by 1 a.m. and woke up at 11.  ELEVEN!  I had a work email waiting that said I had missed a meeting so I spent the next hour feeling totally incompetent. By the time my husband had come home for lunch it had all devolved into me whining that my life was totally unproductive and purposeless. I felt like an uninspired lazy mess. He lovingly suggested I go get a paleta and take a drive into the country. I whined that I'll just stay home and clean so it can get messy by tomorrow. 

What I did next surprised me. I went shopping. I am not the type of person that shops for fun. It's not really fun. I don't like traffic, and crowds, the background music, and spending money on things just because they're there in front of me. However, once I set foot in a store I am apt to daydream and wander for an hour, imagining I'm a fashion designer, or imagining my house with certain furniture or getting ideas for art. 

The next surprise today was that I cried in every store. In Kohl's because I got my husband a shirt and I thought about how loving he is. In Kohl's again because I saw the tiny newborn clothes. In AC Moore because I thought of art projects I'd like to make with future kids. In Old Navy because I found stretchy skirts that will be awesome for my pregnant belly this summer. In Old Navy again because they had dog toys. In the car multiple times because of random songs. In Buy Buy Baby because I asked a lady questions about car seats. And again because I bought the baby a stuffed animal. And then I truly shed some tears reading a great little children's book, and imagining all the books I'd be reading to the little one (and maybe writing one day?). Walking home I got teary because I saw how quickly the grass grows here, and how green since March..and the red clay, all so different than Boston. At home when I let the puppy out of the crate and he sat on my lap and gave me a big kiss on the face.

I am aware that part of this may be hormones, and part may be the last week full of grey and rain, and part may be the fact that I'm feeling more and more disconnected from things I like to do and things I am good at. I am hoping this is a minor funk that just gets me prepared and energized for something better, something more inspiring to come.

In the meantime I can feel good about this dress I got at Old Navy for $4:


















And our baby's first stuffed animal which is super soft and sweet:













The only other thing we have gotten for the baby so far is a pair of cute socks we got when we first found out. They have been up on the mantle, waiting for some cute little toes to curl up inside them.

Sunday, May 23, 2010

14 weeks

Happy -26 week birthday little one! You're getting bigger (3.5 inches crown to rump) and so am I:

This is the first week that I have enough of a belly that I feel like I can rub it and talk to the baby. It's easier to believe that there is actually something in there!  The little one is making lots of faces and movement now, and in a few weeks I should be feeling its tiny kicks!

I'm also feeling loads better and have forgotten all about morning sickness. I still have heartburn and other random body issues, and am still waiting for this mad rush of energy people talk about, but overall I'm feeling SO much better. It's nice to leave the house and not have to wonder if I'm actually going to make it to where I'm going.

I started the beginnings of a registry, to help me organize my thoughts about what is necessary and what is silly, what our preferences are, etc.  If anyone has any special recommendations please let me know!  Babyland is overwhelming to say the least. I keep thinking back to when my husband and I first talked about 'baby stuff'. He said, don't we just need a boob and a pelt, really?  I don't think we'll be quite that minimalist, but we're definitely not the type that are going to turn our house into one big nursery with lots of  plastic contraptions. (Did I just jinx it?)

Speaking of houses, we're looking to move August 1st, and we just looked at a house. We would LOVE to buy, but alas Gabe has some work to do on his credit report :(  So at least one more year of renting. It was fun to walk into a home and imagine where the nursery would be. 

Four more weeks until we find out if Baby Cantor is a little boy or girl. This week I'm feeling girl, based on two more dreams. Once we know that will help a bit more with registry stuff, which alarms me. I never thought I'd fall into the pink/blue trap. I'm not going to have a princess room or a car room for sure, and I don't think I'm gender biased as far as toys.... but I'm a sucker for the pink girly outfits and the cute tiny blue suits. Sorry to disappoint you, my inner feminist. 

Here's what my belly looks like to the outside world. I feel surprised when people don't notice I'm pregnant, but I guess the changes are always bigger to yourself. I suppose in a few more weeks it'll start to be more obvious that I'm pregnant rather than a person who perhaps just ate way too much at a buffet :)


Friday, May 21, 2010

Wedding pictures

Our fabulous photographers from LunahZon have wrapped up our gallery. (It's amazing.) You can find it here:

www.collages.net
Username: Alysa & Gabe Cantor Tulum
Password: 22183

Looking at the pictures it seems like so long ago. I suppose for our one year anniversary we won't be scuba diving in Mexico or Belize as previously thought - we'll be having a babymoon somewhere a bit closer. But that is ok. Maybe the next one. If this cat can scuba dive I'm sure we can figure out how to get an infant suited up :)

Sunday, May 16, 2010

End of First Trimester!

Woo-hoo!  Today is 13 weeks and officially the beginning of the second trimester. I have heard this is the best time of pregnancy: the sickness and exhaustion passes, but you're not so big as to be uncomfortable. Here's a peek at the belly:

If you are observant you will notice two things. First, there's a baby in there. Two, I have made no attempt in any of these belly pictures to look at all presentable. Sorry about that, and sorry to my husband, but really I haven't put any effort into my appearance in the past couple months. I've been in more of a survival mode. But I think things are changing. I shaved my legs at least twice this past week AND have scheduled a haircut and 'caribbean body treatment' for Tuesday. I also started prenatal yoga weekly so I don't feel like such a blob. 

I had my first prenatal appointment this past Thursday and got to hear the little one's heartbeat again! As soon as I heard it I thought 'my little boy'. But I also have my girl moments, such as when I dreamed last night, in graphic detail, how I gave birth to a little baby girl in the corner of a parking garage all by myself. (Let's hope that doesn't happen.) I've had equal boy/girl dreams so that isn't so helpful. Gabe is thinking girl, as well as my parents. Sister thinks boy. Obviously there is lack of consensus. BUT!  Hopefully this riddle will resolve June 22nd!  That is the date of my ultrasound and let's hope baby will cooperate by being an exhibitionist. 

Our little creature seems to be doing just great and we couldn't be happier. He or she is now about the size of a peach - 3 inches crown to rump. It has fingerprints, is making insulin, and had its first poop. It's getting eyebrows, or more likely eyebrow, if it takes after either of its parents. I've gained maybe a pound or two, but most likely nothing, so I expect some weight gain to start soon. I'm trying to eat more, and hopefully I can given that I have a little more energy to cook. This weekend I made a sort of short rib stew and it felt like the first time I really cooked since getting pregnant.  (It was awesome, too, despite the 93 degree heat.)


Here is another pic with my shirt down, and you can see the beginnings of a baby bump that is visible to the outside world. It's a bit of a weird angle, but check out the shadow on the door frame:









Sunday, May 9, 2010

12 weeks

Here I am at 12 weeks:


































I'm pretty amazed at my new little bump, and it's helping to make the pregnancy feel real and not something I totally imagined. However, once I looked at this picture I came to the realization that to other people I probably am just looking fat. Look at all that WIDTH I've never had before in the middle! Gabe took pictures to the left, right, head on, and then told me to turn around. I said and exactly how does that monitor the pregnancy?  And he replied that we'll get to see my pregnancy butt grow and grow. Ouch.  This general feeling of expansion is perplexing because I think I've gained 2 pounds at most. 

I have my first big prenatal appt. this Thursday and I'm really excited to hear the little one's heartbeat again. Given my lingering symptoms and expanding belly I'm pretty sure all is well in there. My nausea is a lot better - I went quite a few days in a row without any, but then it hit again in puppy training class. I had a screwy morning though - sleeping til 11 a.m., and not eating til 1 (which is BAD news for anyone that knows my blood sugar issues), and then being around pet hair and smells - yuck. Even though I slept a good 9 hours last night I came home and passed out for another 2. My husband has a bad cold so I hope I'm not busy fighting the beginnings of something. 

In other excitement, I am going to schedule the next ultrasound this week! It'll be sometime in late June/ early July and we'll get to see how things are progressing and also, if baby cooperates, we'll get to find out the gender!!  We're so excited about that.  I've been leaning towards thinking it's a boy and Gabe is leaning towards girl, but who ever knows. I expected to know magically once I became pregnant but I'm clueless. If all my dreams about babies are premonitions that means I'll be having about 16 children. My dreams are proving unreliable in this department. I'd love a boy because he'll be a big brother, and Gabe is great with boys, and because of this video. I'd love a girl because the clothes are ridiculously adorable, because the mother-daughter bond is special, and because I am much more familiar with little girls than little boys. So either way, I'm thrilled. I just can't wait to find out so I can bond a bit more with the unknown creature inside me, and so I can prepare a bit more with furniture, clothes, etc.

Oh, no picture for today but baby is about 2.5 inches crown to rump and is the size of a lime/plum.  He or she is developing reflexes and may be sucking its thumb..awwww. Next Sunday is officially the start of my second trimester!

Saturday, May 8, 2010

Puppy in the water

We took Conan to Lake Jordan to introduce him to water. We had an inkling he'd like it, given his big webbed paws and high tolerance for bathtime...


video

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

11 Weeks (+2 days)

It's now 10 p.m. and I've only been nauseous since 9 p.m.!!!  The past few days I don't get sick til after dark - it's amazing.  Yes, I just threw up in my mouth a little, literally, but I'll take it compared to things before. (It's also probably my fault for not eating very much today and then scarfing down jalapeno pierogies.) I'm also making it through more days without involuntarily napping. Today I had a long day at work (and a tough day) and I'm tired but not i'm-so-exhausted-i-want-to-maim-someone-tired. 

Here's a belly pic taken today. We have roughly 29 more weeks to get a decent picture:


































These are my stretchy buttonless work pants (worn often pre-pregnancy just because work is more fun when you feel like you're wearing sweatpants), but tonight I have a mark across my belly.  

And here is how our little gummy bear is faring this week:

 He or she is like a real person now, just super mini. I was telling my husband about a very clear memory I have from the third grade. It was recess. Each grade had their own entrance back into the school where you line up. While I lined up I looked over at the fourth graders. Wow. I was going to be in FOURTH grade next year, such a big kid. And around the bend, beyond sight, was FIFTH grade. I would be in the highest grade in the whole school. And then my mind wandered to sixth grade, the beginning of middle school for us, and I remember myself clearly thinking something like: whoa, slow down. I couldn't even grasp what life would look like right about the bend, much less even further down the road. 

And now, of course, at 32 those times seem a blink of an eye, a few years. This pregnancy thing is measured out in weeks, and at 11 weeks I can see the end of trimester right near me, and then much later is the gender ultrasound, and then at some point a birth. But WHOA SLOW DOWN. My brain can't quite get there yet.  And of course many years later, when my child or children are in school and even older, I'll look back at this time and it'll be a little blip, quicker than turning a single page in the Pregnancy Week to Week book. I think English needs a separate word for present-moment nostalgia.

Sunday, May 2, 2010

Dutch horror

Speaking of horror, has anyone seen this:  The Human Centipede?

That will be another one that must wait til after the baby comes. I already feel like my body is changing in so many not-so-pleasant ways that it will probably put me over the edge. The post compared it to Saw: I watched not nearly half of the first one and was neither scared nor interested. I usually give anything a chance, but I just turned it off and walked away it was so unwatchable. Imagine my surprise to just find out they've made SIX of those??  I don't get it. But I saw a brochure for a hobby club that reconstructs (remote control) WWII battleships, complete with cannons that shoot ball bearings. People meet up at lakes and set up battles. So there's a lot of things I just don't get. Including why this brochure was on my living room table.

Saturday, May 1, 2010

oh, the horror

I watched 30 Rock with Gabe last night and when Liz says this to Alec Baldwin:

Liz: I know this is a difficult time for you, but word of advice: if the will says that you have to spend the night in a haunted house, you better hope that everyone else there are black people or sluts.

I laughed hysterically. Gabe didn't really get it. This is because I was raised from a very young age on Stephen King and horror movies and he apparently was not. I found out a few months ago he hadn't even seen The Shining and we had a mandatory viewing session. Suddenly he got the million pop culture references from Family Guy, etc. (I mean, really, what did he think when people say Redrum all creepy and bend their finger? Wouldn't you want to know what was up with that?)

I also found out yesterday that there is a remake of Nightmare on Elm Street. I went on and on about how could anyone see a need to remake that, given how perfectly scary it was the first time around. And really how scary of a concept - you can't run away from the monster!  You HAVE to sleep at some point. And how creepy and haunting that lullaby is. That movie is right up there with the Exorcist. Etc. etc. Then I realize from the blank look that my husband hasn't seen either of those movies!  Besides missing the pop culture references again, he's missing out on some of the scariest films of all time. But he is refusing the viewing party because he thinks it's not good for the baby if I am terrified. I guess that's a good point. Given the vivid crazy dreams and nightmares I'm already having, it might be too much.

Baby update tomorrow - 11 weeks! I am currently on the couch eating through an entire deli pickle, the kind that come in barrels in the supermarket. I had a massive craving for one today despite how unbelievably cliche that is.  Gabe tried to tell me the bread and butter ones in the jar are basically the same and I had a conniption fit. Sometimes when something just does not compute logically I become like the robot with smoke out of the ears. I'm sure the pregnancy hormones didn't help the situation either. Oops.

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