Saturday, December 25, 2010

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Baby Mama Field Report

Okay, I should probably follow up by last post with a little more INFO, yes?

Tomorrow I will be 15 weeks pregnant! It's hard for me to believe this sometimes, and yet here I am, living the dream! A dream that goes both quickly and slowly, depending on the lens.

Quickly in the sense that mere months from now, we'll be parental units and Gus will be designated second fiddle (or perhaps dubbed Appropriately-Sized Personal Baby Assistant?) without his consent. Slowly in the sense of having to wade through the cruel uncertainty of the 1st trimester, feeling so invested and yet not holding a GO card in any sense. And it's also very hard to find drinks at work happy hours that don't contain alcohol OR caffeine that won't arounse suspicion. Believe me, I've tried. Oh yes, I tried to pass off the Pink Princess as THE BEST. The bartender got a nice tip for coming up with that a PUB.

Well, considering the sobering fact that we are about 3-4 hours of wacko snowfall from being totally snowbound in our house this weekend, I see no excuse not to post a little juicy Q&A that may be of interest.

Did you know right away?
No! I was kind of tired, but since tiredness can brought on by work, sports, stress, sleeping too little, sleeping too much, and pretty much everything else in life, I didn't read into it too much. However, after Micah finished Ironman Wisconsin, he felt "fine" 24 hours later, whereas I was the panting coyote from The Sword in the Stone for a 10 days after the race and couldn't even pull it together to keep up at Master's swim practice. That did arouse some suspicion. But I was determined not to spend unnecessary money on pregnancy tests taken at unreasonable times, especially since that whole "Results 6 Days Earlier!" claim is hogwash because the accuracy rate that early is like 50/50. Now there's some assurance!

So how did you find out?
Even though I was dead set on not testing before it was reasonable, by a Friday at the end of September (about two weeks after Micah's Ironman), I started having some other little symptoms, though extremely subtle. Micah and I did a 40" run together at a nice clip that Thursday, and even though the run went great, I was feeling uncharacteristically achy. But yes, still very subtle. By the end of a slow Friday at work, I convinced myself that stopping at Walgreens after work to buy a test and take it two days early when I got home wasn't going to influence the actual outcome. (A mindset that is all too easy to slip into. I tell you this as you laugh now.) I didn't tell Micah I was going to take it. Spent three minutes frantically rearranging the medicine cabinet to avoiding looking at the result too early. And then, whoa. Two lines. I showed Micah immediately and was met with the face of distrust itself over the question its accuracy (though I had no doubt). We agreed to take another one the next morning. Haha - 5:30am! Same result.

How have you been feeling?
Good! I can't complain. I've had my days of wanting to aggressively plow over everything in my path, particularly while driving, but that was thankfully short-lived. I haven't been sick, thanks to my hearty Polish/German stock that did not pass down morning sickness genes. (Thanks, Mom!) That was one I didn't expect. Why would I deserve to fall into the minority that doesn't deal with nausea for a cruel and unusual amount of time? I just assumed I'd be among them. Yes, I did have a few days that I would not like to relive. But it was at the end of our London trip, and you know what vacations do to one's digestive system in general. Waking up at 3am from an upset stomach is the worst. But like I said, this lasted MAYBE 72 hours. And I'm not looking back.

No, I didn't get out completely unscathed. There is no way around The Fatigue. Something like jet lag from about Week 3-4 through Week 9 that appears every day at 1pm and makes 6pm seem late. As in falling asleep on top of the covers with shoes on and not caring in any way. As in thinking "What the heck were these nurses thinking when they scheduled a prenatal class at 6:30pm?! No one will be awake!" I think Micah was highly amused by my ability for once to fall asleep before him, allowing him to sleep in darkness without the glow of my reading light. But at this point, I'm back to my usual read-before-sleep ways where 10pm doesn't seem like a far-off place.

Will you find out the gender?
Definitely. I see no reason not to. We can either be surprised at 40 weeks, or we can punctuate the 40 weeks with an additional exclamation point. And then I only have to think about girl names or boy names, not both. I'm also not a fan of the gender ambiguous green frog motif.

We will find out about XX or XY on Thurs. 1/13.

Any cravings?
Not ones that will provide you with a lot of entertainment value. I actually think I had more cravings while training for triathlons and marathons. (Fried chicken, anyone?) But also, to me a craving is something that you would leave a warm bed for, and in that sense I've had very few. Just grapefruit, orange juice, and I kid you not: Minnesota Public Radio. Not that I ever woke up to listen to it.

It's really more about aversions anyway. I've had more of those. Mostly about the smell: the smell of cooked spinach, the fried cod in fish and chips, the smell of beef stew, fish in general. And I had to stop making our weekly Benihana-inspired grass-fed beef and mushrooms with sesame seeds. But I'd probably be fine at this point if I started making it again.

How did you tell your co-workers?
I sent them an "Update - Effective Immediately" email and told them to review an attachment that contained the news. It just felt weird to go up to a few people here and there and say it since I work with a fairly large team. Their "Ugh, what now?" responses turned to "Yays!" pretty quickly.

Have you thought of names?
There isn't a female on earth who hasn't thought of names since the age of eight. So yes. But we're ironically not decided on much. Luckily, we tend to like the same kinds of names. It's just a big responsibility to name someone! I've been going through my family Norwegian, Polish, and German family histories to see if there are any real gems. No, this child will not be named Pilot Inspecktor. But all the same, I would really like to avoid the Top 100 names of 2010.

Are you showing??
A bit! But mostly in my own mind. Strangers definitely aren't coming up to me yet. No okay, you can sort of tell now!
14.5 weeks

Are you wearing maternity clothes yet?
No, I'm still wearing my normal stuff and occasionally adjusting it. I don't need the Bella Band quite yet, but probably will soon. Work pants are really unforgiving.

Are you reading any good pregnancy books?
Sister, what haven't I read? A lot of the books just contain the same information: "Eat well, rest, and don't overheat for God's sake!", but one I've particularly enjoyed is Exercising Through Your Pregnancy. A must for anyone who doesn't view exercise as punishment and believes that being fit and being pregnant don't have to be mutually exclusive. Backed by real, scientific observation. It's actually really interesting.

Speaking of, what is your exercise routine like these days?
I know this isn't for anyone, but I've committed to a "no zeroes" approach to physical activity. No zeroes in the sense that every day I do something. Run, ride my tri bike on the indoor trainer, swim Master's practices, walk Gus, snowshoe, anything. I found this idea in a Gordo Byrn (triathlon guy) article about his active wife's pregnancy. Because of my pre-pregnancy fitness level, my OB cleared doing whatever I want as long as it's comfortable and not super intense. I'm not some endurance freak who's going to overdo it during what are potentially the most important 40 weeks of my life. I'm not dumb. But I also don't want to sit around and start developing back pain or something uncharacteristic because I've stopped MOVING. There are enough pregnancy symptoms that I will enjoy regardless, so I'm all about lessening those that I can affect.

So far I've found that committing to being strong for my sake and the sake of the baby is helping a lot. Staying in shape certainly won't guarantee a fast labor, prevent a C-section, or take away pain, but I do know that it will increase my confidence in myself and help me get through whatever happens...and recover quicker. So I guess the message is that it's a really good idea to work out before you're pregnant so you don't get shut down later.

That's all I've got for now. It's seriously snowing here. We're trapped.

Monday, November 29, 2010

Our Seat at the Thanksgiving Table

That means what you think it does!

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Saturday, November 13, 2010

October Into November

As November moves into the forefront, it would be a gross October oversight not to share a picture of Micah's triathlete pumpkin.

What else have we done lately? Last weekend we went to Art Attack in NE Minneapolis in the Northrup King Building. It's a huge artist studio facility, and they were having one big open house. We finally got to see what local bike poster designer extraordinaire Adam Turman looks like. One day we will meet him, since we are convinced that there are no more than three Turman families in Minnesota, and it only seems right.

There was a lot of interesting art on display from all genres. I appreciate most of it, but once in a while you come across certain objets d'art that I will never understand. Like perhaps the toilet seat covered in upward facing nails, bathed in a gold veneer. (Psst! Art appreciation rule of thumb: when in doubt, it signifies adversity.) But there is probably someone who collects gold toilet seats who will be very happy.

And last: the hats have been dug out of storage. And I will proceed to wear the same running clothes I've worn for roughly the last four winters and be very pleased that they have lasted this long. The hat collection, however, keeps growing.

I don't have a picture of it yet, but Gus's new black knitted turtleneck sweater is so cute on him. (Sue me.) I just want him to be warm, and he actually seems to tolerate it!

Anyway, this photo is so Gus: an untouchable blend of misgiving, curiosity, tentativeness, and I-need-to-be-by-you-constantly. None of which I mind, because as Charles Schulz did say, "Happiness is a warm puppy." And then I said, "Happiness is a warm puppy with an expressive mug shot."

Saturday, November 6, 2010

Sunday, October 31, 2010

Notes on Halloween Weekend

In the spirit of Halloween, here's a shot I picked up at the Lady Gaga concert a couple months ago. My favorite thing going on is the Adidas paired with the teddy bears. It really grounds the outfit.

We will definitely have trick-or-treaters tonight. I should probably take a tally of costumes--the paper said Chilean coal miner and of course Lady Gaga are hot this year.

Micah ran the Monster Dash Half Marathon yesterday that went from Lake Nokomis to Lake Calhoun and finished at Lake Harriet. 86th out of 3600! Gus wore his bumblebee costume and got photographed multiple times by multiple official race photographers. Call it exploitation on my part, but really, I think we warmed a lot of hearts out there. Only the grinchiest Grinch doesn't break into a wide smile at the sight of a small dog with expressive eyebrows dressed as an even more diminutive creature.

The closest thing we've gotten to a horror movie this weekend would be watching Precious last night. I would consider chainsaws tame in comparison. And that's enough on that.

Gus's costume for this evening is undecided. We can reprise the bumblebee with now-tattered wings, or pull out the police man or the hot dog. Or a bumblebee police man. Notice that we stopped at three year's worth of costumes and are now recycling. Tonight's choice will, of course, depend on his mood. If I were to decide at this moment, I'd say static cling...with a dash of hot dog.

Thursday, October 21, 2010


Or shall I say the UK? Or Great Britain, considering Ireland wasn't part of the trip. And Great Britain only becomes the UK with the addition of Ireland. A little known fact!

We had a fabulous fall vacation, and by the end I was thinking with a British accent. Much less pretentious than trying to talk with one. It's just that when you hear "Train to Caah--diff," well, Cardiff just has to be Caah-diff.

Once again I will cheer for visiting Europe not in the summer. The fall is a million times better! Even if fall in London means you step in at least one ridiculous puddle and walk around in sopping wet charcoal gray tights for the rest of the day. Overall we had better than average weather!

In addition to London, we visited Oxford, Wales, and the Prime Meridian in Greenwich, which is basically London but felt like a different place. However, we did see a lot more in London than I imagined. Starting with Sutton Hoo at the British Museum--Google it. It's hard not to fall in love with a good archaeology excavation story.

Here are some pictures from vacay:

Tower of London!
Supposedly one of the most haunted sites in the city. And there are lots of cat-sized ominous-looking crows to remind you of that! Also home of the Crown Jewels. Now there's some heavy lifting.

After lunch at the Orangery outside Kensington Palace. We went to a very interesting and enigmatic? exhibit in the palace about all of the princesses who have lived there over time. It was half in the dark...not really sure why.

Trains! Love em. Especially compared to Slowey McSlowerson buses that require no less than one hour just to get OUT of London

Cardiff waterfront!
In a bilingual country. Where Welsh and English are displayed on all signage. The Welsh W is actually a vowel, which explains their total proliferation. Cardiff was the place to go when dodging people in London (who can't decide whether to veer left or right when approaching oncoming people traffic) gets old. It's still a big town but not all hectic-like

Ah, romance, if you will, at the Prime Meridian.
Then we ate at a Chinese restaurant
That's all for the moment.... Definitely enjoyed watching Midsomer Murders on BBC, eating Galaxy chocolate, shopping for groceries at Waitrose, oh, and ogling every last corner of Liberty of London. I could eat that store it's so cute. Signing off for now!

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

140.6 Miles

Micah did his first Ironman this weekend in Madison! A Turman first. And he did GREAT.

A montage, if you will:
-4am wakeup call
-Swim strategy worked: did not get kicked in the face
-High-fived mother after the swim
-6-person entourage...Family Circus!
-Megaphone hard at work; siren set off accidentally only twice
-Texas flag flown
-Stepped in pothole while photographing
-Knights of Columbus coffee, donuts, and brats
-Full pickup truck roving farmland point-to-point to cheer
-GPS working overtime
-Sprinting full speed from one end of Monona Terrace to the other to view both Bike In and Run Out
-Lake Mendota with sailboats to the right, runners blowing up at Mile 17 to the left
-State Street: marathon spectating...with pizza and bathrooms
-Videography and photography simultaneously, resulting in some great footage of pavement
-Did smooch count as illegal outside assistance?
-Salty, salty, salty
-A smiling Micah at most of the 11 times I saw him

What can I say? I'm pretty proud!