Thursday, May 26, 2011

A New Blog to Follow

I found this new blog and had to share. I can't remember how I found it... and it has nothing to do with single moms, pregnancy, or infertility... [but] it is damn funny, and totally irreverent, and I think it's awesome.

So if you need more irreverence and "cussing" in your life, check it out.

PS She's really into goats, and I adore goats, so that's another reason why this blog is great.

Weight Gain... Or a Lack Thereof

I just went to see the midwife today (biweekly visits now -- yay, progress!) and I didn't gain any weight, again. It's been a month now with no gain.

My total weight gain to date, from nine weeks pregnant, is ten pounds. I don't know what my starting weight was, because I was all out of whack from OHSS -- I barely ate for two weeks, and lost weight, and then gained it all back and then some, probably... but didn't weigh myself after I started eating.

Catherine, my midwife said, "If you don't have any gain by thirty-four weeks, I'm sending you for a sonogram, end of story."

I asked nervously, "Should we do it sooner? I mean, I'm good to go now, if you think I should."

At that point, she reassured me, and measured my belly, which is perfectly on target at 29.5 cm. She counseled me on eating things like oatmeal with butter, cream, nuts, walnuts and raw honey. She also wants me to make a big pot of brown rice and eat some of that with my protein. Surprisingly enough, she didn't seem suitably impressed with my multiple days of eating cheesecake after my shower!

I'm conflicted.

Of course there's a crazy part of me that thinks, wow, cool, maybe I'll be skinny after I give birth (like I used to be, before I went on hormonal birth control and started gaining weight... no, it didn't go away after I finally stopped the birth control... only my periods stopped, and I got acne -- awesome!) But another part of me is freaked out, and worried that I'm starving my little girl.

The thing is, I'm eating when I'm hungry. I try to eat healthy, but I'm not depriving myself of anything, ever. I've had cookies and whole fat milk at bedtime the last several nights. I have whole fat yogurt and fruit for breakfast every day, and whole fat cheese or Cliff Mojo Bars for snacks. I had roasted chicken (skin on), sweet potatoes with butter, and two clementines for lunch today. Then, since it wasn't much chicken... I added a California Roll. Plus a mid-afternoon Mojo bar.

My personal hypothesis is that pregnancy is keeping my PCOS in check, a temporary cure, and that my body wants to re-adjust back to its old weight of a few years ago. So I'm inclined to not worry.

Plus, it's hard to imagine that listening my hunger and fullness cues is wrong. I'm a HUGE believer in listening to one's body. It's true that I don't like to feel very full... but paying attention to this never made me lose weight in the past! So it's hard to imagine that this is unhealthy behavior.

But what if my little girl is hungry??? What if I'm hurting her?

Nerve wracking.

Tuesday, May 24, 2011


I have a guilty confession to make.

I, alone, amongst ?millions of women... don't mind maternity clothes.

< I wait patiently why you gasp and sputter. >

Here's the thing: I was woefully out of fashion before I got pregnant. I had clothes ranging from size 4 to 10, or maybe 12, some well more than ten years old. A lot of them didn't look great on me. The shirts were all too short by current fashion standards -- certainly not belly-baring (until my breasts went on a growth spurt about week six of pregnancy, and rendered every shirt too short) but not long enough to tug down over one's hips, either. But if I got rid of them, I'd have to go shopping, forcing me to a) shop -- duh, b) spend money, and c) face my appearance in the mirror.

I loathe shopping. And I often didn't love what my body looked like.

Enter pregnancy.

Suddenly everything is of a contemporary style, because I bought everything new, this year, from either Motherhood Maternity, Old Navy or the Gap. Everything has a stretchy waistband (which I still prefer to wear under, rather than over, the belly). Contrary to popular maternity-clothing-wisdom, nothing is a smock or is festuned with a giant bow. And best of all... I am not expected to look skinny! Or really, to look all that good at all.

It's liberating.

Is this wrong?

And can I maintain my "who cares?" attitude post-pregnancy?

Here's hoping.

Monday, May 23, 2011

A Little Bit Disgusted

Friends, I'm a little bit disgusted with myself.

Nah, I didn't do anything disgusting. I wish I had. It would liven things up a bit.

No, I'm disgusted (a little) with myself because I am turning into the most boring person.

I have no interests outside of my pregnancy. And while pregnancy is a fascinating, wild ride, well, there's not a lot to do during it. I mean, my body is doing all sorts of fascinating things, and so is hers, but none of these require my concentration.

And yet, I am detached from the rest of life. Tonight I seriously contemplated dressing the pink Gund teddy bear in baby clothes. Because I'm just that impatient to dress someone in baby clothes.

This seems a tiny bit pathetic.

Please tell me: have any of you experienced this? And if you did, what did you do to combat it?

Obsessing on my pregnancy will not make it go by any faster (if only). And I don't want to be this boring, bored person (with a big belly) that I don't recognize. 

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Twenty-Nine Weeks aka Restless and Tired

I'm feeling restless and tired. These words don't really go together, but there it is: another paradox of pregnancy.

Yesterday I met with my garden buddies, and things are growing beautifully! Alas, there weren't too many weeds to pluck out, but instead we got to harvest three big bags of lettuce! What's very cool about the lettuce is now that we've shorn it down to the crown, it will apparently grow back, and give us another beautiful crop!

(the lettuce, pre-harvest, in the very front of the garden with marigolds, pre-planting, in front of it. isn't that lettuce just luscious and gorgeous?)

We constructed a trellis for a string beans to grow up, and I also planted some more marigolds, as these (apparently) keep away the various critters. Today I went back for my first membership meeting, and was officially voted in -- yay! Now I have my own key and can go visit our plot -- or lounge on a bench under a shady tree -- whenever I want.

I also planted several cherry tomato plants today. I've got basil growing in my bedroom window in pots. I adore fresh tomato and basil! And hopefully, energy levels permitting, I will go to a celebration of roses (members only) on Wednesday night at the Brooklyn Botanic Garden. Celebrating spring in every way I can... even from the depths of Brooklyn.

After gardening yesterday, I came home to shower and change before heading back out for fellow-SMC'er Catherine's baby shower. Her family and friends hosted a very nice "ladies' tea" event in Manhattan. I was glad that I sat across from Catherine, as we both asked the waiter for not two, but three extra rounds of finger sandwiches!

After she dropped me at home (thanks Catherine!), I was exhausted, and lay around for a while. I had deliberately not made other plans for the day, not knowing what my energy level would be. But then I started to feel better, and to wish, hard, that I had plans to be out, hiking on trails, the next day (Sunday). But with my garden membership meeting, and a lack of a car, and the very great distance it feels from Brooklyn to the wilds of New Jersey... it felt hopeless. Very discouraging.

Today after my time in the garden, I was at least less discouraged, since the weather wasn't so great, anyway. And then I took not one, but two naps. And now I feel noticeably less restless. And totally exhausted. Reading blogs makes me have to go lie on the couch. So go figure. Was my restlessness really a cover for fatigue?

(Lentila has been moving a lot this afternoon, while I've been resting. Maybe she needed my energy supply?)

Friday, May 20, 2011

Tired, and a Little Scared of It

I've been dragging all week.

Last week, I felt great. This week, starting on Sunday, I've been tired. Sunday I was completely exhausted. At one point I was standing up, talking to my sister, and felt a wave of fatigue so intense it made me dizzy. I've been trying to take it easy, and to get plenty of rest -- while not napping, since it screws with night time sleep -- and have succeeded. But suddenly the commute to work feels noticeably harder. Rushing to catch the train is long a thing of the past. I get noticeably more winded on the stairs. I may start going to a subway station a little further away, just to avoid the long hike up the stairs (the further station is below ground instead of well above it.)

Just being at work feels like a trial sometimes. The last day and a half has been a bit better, but still.

I'm fortunate to have five whole weeks off after school ends and before Baby Girl is due to arrive. It would be wrong to have the previous six weeks of work be torturous. Worst of all, my first trimester fatigue lasted so long into my second trimester, it seems wrong that that fatigue has come back so quickly.

I'm keeping my fingers crossed that it was just a bad week, a reaction to the busy baby shower-cum-apartment rearranging extravaganza of last weekend. I'm scared that I have eleven exhausting weeks ahead of me. I reckon the five weeks of sitting around shouldn't be so hard, so I guess I'm just scared of six weeks of hating having to go to work every day. That's not how I want to live.

In the meantime... I got diagnosed with anemia, so I've started taking iron a few days ago. (Unfortunately, I'm sure it didn't come on quickly enough to cause my fatigue.) And I think I will go back on my Vitamin D supplements, since I just stopped those a few weeks ago. Could stopping them cause my symptoms?  Maybe they will add a little more spring to my step! And in a bit of positive news, despite my fatigue, I did manage to pull off five days of elliptical workouts! Short and easy workouts, but workouts nonetheless.

And tomorrow, I have a date with my gardening buddies to tend our patch, which we missed last weekend. I can't wait to see what kind of weeds have sprung up in our absence! Weeding is so satisfying.

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Best Patient Comment of the Day

I had a sixteen year old girl come in today for a scheduled appointment, and when I asked how she was feeling, she said she has been peeing a lot. And she's not peeing very much at a time, even when she feels like she really has to go (urgency). But no pain when she pees. (And no fever, back pain, abdominal pain, chills, incontinence, foul smelling urine, or anything else, for Shannon and any other medically minded folks reading this!)

So I did a pregnancy test, and it was negative. (First step with adolescent patients for just about anything: confirm they are not pregnant!)

Then I did a urine dipstick. I wasn't sure what to make of the results... might be a urinary tract infection, might not. So I shared them with her.

"Hmm," I say, "you've got some protein in your urine."

"Protein? Is that because of what I am eating?"

"No, protein in your urine has to do with your kidneys. They are supposed to screen out the protein. Sometimes they don't do this because you have a urinary tract infection. Sometimes there are other reasons for this."

Apparently not hearing my answer, she adds hesitantly, "Because on Monday, well, I had oral sex. And we, um, used whipped cream. That has protein in it, right?"

Poor girl.

(For the record, whipped cream on your genitalia, especially two days ago, would not  cause protein in your urine.)

Tuesday, May 17, 2011


I've been eating a lot of sugar (by my standards) since the shower.

I got sent home with a bunch of leftover Junior's Cheesecake (born in Brooklyn!), which was "too good to throw away" (stupid logic). And my sister and cousin and I got pints of Ben and Jerry's, the last of which I polished off for "dinner." And then I've been tired from the weekend -- in addition to the shower, I had both my sister and cousin stay for the weekend. Cousin B brought loads of baby stuff (mostly from my sister, but stored at my mom's, and transported by my cousin... ahh, family logistics) and so we spent hours organizing everything and stashing it away. Their help was immensely helpful -- I'm sure I'd still be swimming in baby gear if not for their help, and instead my apartment looks beautiful and is well organized -- but the weekend left me exhausted.

I went to bed early last night plus got to sleep in an extra hour late (due to once a month staff meeting that starts later than I would be at the clinic), so I thought I'd feel great today... but I was tired again by the afternoon.

I am hoping it's just a delayed reaction to the extra sleep, and that by tomorrow I will feel great. (To those of you who would suggest that maybe it's 3rd trimester fatigue kicking in: bite your tongues! C'mon... I just started my 3rd trimester! It would be wrong, and totally unfair, to be tired already. It took so long just to start feeling really good.)

But in the meantime, it's making me hungrier than usual, and lazier about getting proper nutrition. Oh, and did I mention, being this tired sucks? Especially at work.

I didn't gain any weight at my last prenatal visit, and my midwife wants me to work on that, but I'm quite sure she did NOT say to fill up on sugar and white flour. (She did text me last night to say, however, that I am anemic and that she wants me to take iron supplements twice a day. But I don't feel anemic. Does dilution of your blood volume leading to apparent anemia really count as true anemia?)

Plus, eating this crap makes me feel like crap.

So I'm hoping tomorrow is a better day. Sharing my intentions with you will hopefully make it more likely to come true.

Here's a photo of my sister and I plus the gorgeous quilt she made me. Isn't it, and she, amazing???

Monday, May 16, 2011

Baby Shower

I had my Baby Shower this past weekend.

It was a dream come true.

I'm not really down with traditional showers. For reasons I won't get into here, because I will surely offend someone. (Please note: to my friends, especially those who journeyed to my shower... I will gladly attend your showers! With joy and love. Seriously. Please don't not invite me because of this blog post!)

For me, I wanted something less present oriented and more... I wanted it to focus on the life transition I am making, and not on the stuff I will need for it. Because babies quickly outgrow rattles and cute onesies (and they are cute!) and teddy bears... but parenthood is forever.

Especially because of not having a wedding, I wanted something a bit ceremonial. Something to celebrate a life passage.

My shower was amazing because my sister created a Blessingway ceremony for me. A Blessingway is originally from a Navaho tradition. I don't remember the exact meaning of it, but basically, it's a way to celebrate, honor, and support the mother-to-be.

My sister had everyone bring a bead, and go around the circle telling a story about their bead. Afterwards, she strung them together to make a necklace on a silver chain. I am meant to wear the necklace during labor (to the extent that I want to) so that I will remember the love and support I felt.

She also had everyone bring a story, poem, or song to share.

Both things had me cry at times. It was all so beautiful and amazing and touching.

I feel so blessed.

Like I said, onesies are awfully cute.

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Fashion Crisis... I Need Your Help

Hey gang,

I need your help.

I hate shopping.

I ordered three dresses online from Old Navy/Gap, hoping that amongst those three, I would have something suitable for my baby shower (this weekend) as well as for my niece's bat mitzvah in two weeks.

(Bethany also graciously offered to let me go through her closet, as she has several maternity dresses, but she's all the way on the Upper East Side. Italics because I'm mocking my own laziness a bit. But seriously, I have a lot to get done today. And yesterday I was very, very tired after work. I'm worried it's third trimester fatigue kicking in... and praying it's not. So far, so good today. But I'm trying to pace myself. I need to get my hall closet cleared out for the influx of baby hand me downs that are arriving Friday night. I can't STAND a mess in my apartment, so I need space to hide things away until I have time to organize everything.)

We are having croquet at the shower, and it's being held in Prospect Park (the big park in Brooklyn). I posted some pics a while back of folks in croquet costumes which I also shared with my invitees. So some of my guests may dress up for that. I wanted to dress festively as well, though given the pregnancy, I knew my options would be limited.

I was thinking of pairing whichever dress with cowboy boots and my faux cowboy hat. I LOVE my cowboy hat because it does a GREAT job of keeping the sun out of my face. Too much sun makes me headachy and tired. Not good when you are the guest of honor. And I thought the cowboy boots might make an otherwise plain outfit a little more fun?

My medical assistant prefers my other idea, black sequin-y thongs (a fancy version of flip flops).

I like the black dress best, in terms of how it looks on me. I plan to wear it for the bat mitzvah. Though I'm a slightly uneasy about the cleavage in combination with family, so I may pin it. Also, the V-neck part doesn't lie flat. This always happens to me with wrap-around things. Does anyone know why this happens? Solutions?

However, I feel like wearing a plain black dress to my own shower is BORING.

(By the way, if any of the rest of you are pregnant and have an event to go to... get this dress. Even if you don't. It feels AMAZING. And you might as well enjoy your pregnancy cleavage!)

The white dress could, I thought, look really cute and croquet-themed, especially in combination with a cowboy hat and boots. But then I tried it on. It's a little too big, and a little too long. And looks like a nightgown. Apart from that, it's perfect. The bottom part is that cotton-y sort of lace. I forget what it's called.

Try to ignore the fact that it's very wrinkled from having just come out of the package it was shipped in.

The tangerine one seems like maybe the best compromise. It looks a little more festive than the black, and more fun than the one that ought to be paired with angel wings. But it just looks so cotton and practical, like a beach dress. And it's definitely less flattering than the black one, especially. I think it makes my belly look big and looming. Not very festive. At least there's some interesting trim on the front.

So... I need your votes!

Also, please tell me honestly... does the cowboy hat and boots seem overly contrived? Given that it's sort of a costume party?

Monday, May 9, 2011

Baby Showers

This is from my sister (who doesn't know I have a blog).

"So this morning I put up a message about the baby shower, and then I couldn't resist drawing a picture.  T (my 12 year old niece) was worried that the 'poor babies!' would get hurt, so she drew the hammock underneath them."

Sunday, May 8, 2011

Consult with the Holistic Health Counselor... Plus a Rant

Last night I finally had my phone consult with the Holistic Health Counselor, the one who is an expert on all things Weston Price.

First, let me get this off my chest. I said to her that I had gained a bit less weight than the average woman in pregnancy thus far, and she said, "Yes, but isn't that typical for a woman who was overweight when she started?"


That stung.

This woman doesn't know me, she only knows what information I have shared with her.

And my pre-pregnancy BMI was 25.3, so yes, technically, I was overweight (overweight is a BMI of 25 or higher). But somehow, I had never thought of myself as a person who was overweight.

I feel mad at myself that this is bothering me. I keep calling myself stupidwhitegirl for letting this bother me. Labeling me as overweight is NOT personal. She's not saying I'm mean, or selfish, or unproductive, or unlikeable, or even unattractive. She's just using the medical terms that I gave her.

Why is it that in my culture (white, urban, middle class or upper middle class), being overweight is in anyway connected to self worth?

The fact that we have an epidemic of both obesity and eating disorders is not surprising to me in the slightest. We use food as a secret friend and protector, while simultaneously worshiping those who are extremely thin. What if we just saw food for what it is and saw weight and body size as a lot less important? I bet that there would be a lot fewer people at the extremes of weight, and a lot more healthy folks congregating in the middle.

I've done so much work to commit to never dieting again, and more importantly, to never dieting again... WHO CARES (aka "why do I care") what my weight is???

At this point, I don't know if I even want to go back to my old pre-PCOS weight. I finally got rid of the clothes that fit me back then, since they were woefully out of fashion by now anyway. I just don't know that I need to live life as a size 4-6.

But what I do want is to be healthy for my baby. To produce uber-healthy breastmilk for her, to start out, and later, to be strong and vibrant and long living for my girl.

To that end, I do want to continue to work on my eating. I think I am making wonderful progress, and I very much want to stay focused on that, the great work I am doing (and the dividends it is already paying, like my improved skin).

So here were her suggestions, based on the food recall I gave her.

  1. Eat more (high quality) protein. Apparently fruit with yogurt (for breakfast every day) and smoothies with whole milk (for dinner most days) do not have enough protein. 
  2. Eat more high quality snacks, focusing mainly on animal products and nuts. 
    1. Try to avoid the Cliff Mojo Bars (too high in sugar). 
    2. Try raw milk keffir -- more filling than yogurt. Try not to drink it ice cold. 
    3. Nuts are also good. I should try soaked, dehydrated ones since regular nuts nauseate me. 
    4. Raw milk cheese is very filling, especially from her favored vendor 
    5. Organic, nitrate free, sweetener free processed meats like prosciutto and and beef sausage are also quick, filling snacks that I can grab on the go, even while I am working.
    6. Vegetables do not make not filling snacks. Except for avocado. 
  3. Balance the protein at each meal with ample quantities of fat, vegetable if desired, plus something fermented or with probiotics to aid absorption (the Weston Price folks are huge on fermented foods... I wish I knew of any that I liked). Oh, and drink broth with meals... another way to aid absorption and stay full, longer. 
  4. Make sure I am eating enough -- my meals may not be providing enough sustenance.
  5. Try to limit fruit a little... meals may be more filling with less fruit (I did find this to be the case pre-pregnancy -- a salad with chicken kept me full longer if I didn't have a piece of fruit for "dessert" afterwards). Try substituting "sweet" vegetables for fruit -- things like acorn squash, sweet potatoes, carrots -- when I crave fruit. 
  6. Order my food from her farmers' group -- it can all either be stored in the refrigerator for long periods of time or else can be frozen. Things to order: 
    1. raw milk
    2. raw keffir
    3. chicken carcasses for broth, preferably including the feet (yuck! but apparently they contain tons of gelatin, which increases the absorption of nutrients)
    4. pastured lard, especially important for those lacking in Vitamin D, which I have been in the past (vitamin D deficiency is a bitch -- do consider getting yourselves tested -- getting supplemented has made a world of difference to my energy levels)
    5. pastured eggs

She is going to send me recipes to make my own dark chocolate (cool!), my own coconut oil (rich is lauric acid, especially important for babies -- it's even added to commercial formulas), my own ketchup and ginger ale (I hate carbonated things, so I will make mine with plain water instead of Pellegrino), kavass (a fermented beet beverage, and with a subtle flavor) plus a summary of all of her suggestions.

Now I'm off to try eating my yogurt plain, without fruit. Here goes!

Saturday, May 7, 2011

Saturday morning high (27 weeks... third trimester!)

Are you guys sick of hearing about my Happiness Project yet? 

Because I think I've discovered a new Happiness Secret!

Get my errands and housework done during the week, a little bit each evening, so that the weekend is all about FUN. Life feels a lot happier when I have two whole days devoted to nothing but pleasure. 

It's not that I dislike being home and tidying up, far from it, I enjoy it. But not as much as I enjoy having adventures! And why not maximize the time I have to do those fun things???

(Once I have a kid, if I don't have time to squeeze everything in during the week, I plan to hire someone to help with cleaning and laundry. I don't make a lot, but I think this is well worth it, if I can find any way to swing it. I'm already trying to do errands during my lunch break, so that helps, too.)

And now, once I finish my tea, I'm off to the community garden!

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Patients Make My Heart Sing

"Hi Abby!" said enthusiastically by a baby faced African American pre-kindergartener girl.

"Hi, Ella!"

"Abby, I know you're having a baby."

"You do? How do you know that?"

"Because you're PREGNANT," she told me delightedly.

"Abby, I'm here because I'm having lots of fever," said emphatically by her stocky male classmate, Roberto. Only he pronounced it as "fee-ber," presumably because he's of Hispanic descent, and speaks Spanish at home.

He coughed forcibly to make his point.

"You are?"

"Yes, lots and lots of fee-ber."

"Do you mean phlegm?" I asked, puzzled.

"Yes," he nodded with confidence.

"Who is the friend you brought with you?" I ask, pointing to the stuffed tiger he's carrying.

"That's my tiger!"

"Oh, I see. What do you call him?"

"Oh, I call him... Tiger."


"Hey, Roberto, isn't your mom having a baby?"

"Yes, she is. She's having a baby today."

"Today! Really? Is she at the hospital?"

"Actually, today she is at work. She left the baby with someone because she can't work when the baby is with her."

"Oh, she left the baby with a babysitter?"

"No, it's a baby brother."

(I have had this confusion with preschoolers before.. they don't know that "having a baby" is the same as "giving birth." They think "having a baby" is more like "possessing" a baby, in the longer term sense. "Flema" (I'm guessing on the spelling of the Spanish word for phlegm) and fever are not so different. And "babysitter" sounds like "baby sister" to one who doesn't speak English all the time, I suppose.

Anyway, these two lovely little ones made me laugh, and indeed, made my whole day. Thank goodness I work with children.

Just to be clear, my teens are just as cute and sweet as the little ones. The trust they put in me, into adults who show them kindness, is heartbreaking.

Redemption Through Housecleaning?

After my post last night, my mood just got worse and worse.

I am not sure if I was completely freaking out about that email being forwarded to my boss ("good girl" HATES "getting in trouble," just the idea of it, even if the mishap is slight) or what.

On top of that, I was filled with rage because a friend of mine, who has left her stuff here since early last fall (with my blessing) still has belongings here, despite my polite request in February to have it gone by April. She came a couple of weeks ago, and took less than half away... and finally, after my THIRD email to her this week, admitted that she won't be able to come again for at least two more weeks. Grrrrr. It's not that it's so much stuff, it's that I feel completely taken advantage of -- slept here for weeks, somehow managed to triple my electric bill, ate my food (nothing like looking for a loaf of artisinal bread in the freezer and finding only the two heels)... and then disappeared for months when I asked if she would contribute to the cost of electricity and groceries.

I'm also freaking out about my baby shower. I know I can trust my friend Salt Lick, who is very organized... but I'm still worried, because we have to rent chairs and tables, and get them delivered, and this is becoming very complicated. She has promised that she is on top of it... but I'm still worried. Then I'm worried that my sister isn't on top of organizing the Blessingway (the ceremony part of the shower), and my sister-in-law isn't going to be on top of the RSVP list (she listed the RSVP date only EIGHT DAYS before the shower... huh???), and I offered to order the food to be grilled (groceries to be delivered via Fresh Direct), but I have no clue how much food to order. And finally, I'm worried, maybe most of all? because I don't feel emotionally ready for a baby shower. I'm not sure if it's because I don't feel physically far enough along in my pregnancy (currently 26+ weeks, will be 28 weeks at the shower) or I'm not all the way "there" yet in my emotional journey towards motherhood, or if I'm just freaked at the idea of all that attention.

Mostly, I'm just freaked out at the concept in an extremely nebulous kind of way.

I also wonder what role the hormone soup is playing in all this.

Anyway, last night, I was just a mess. Raging, hyper, exhausted, stressed, angry... you name it. I'm not used to feeling like this. It's very uncomfortable. I don't tend to get angry.

I was so stressed I couldn't even get anything done for a while, but eventually went stomping around and dealt with the laundry -- the wet clothes got hung up and the bed got made with clean sheets. I did the dishes, and then, in my quest to find a magazine to read in bed (I knew it would be tough to wind down), I even did a preliminary clean up of my desk -- recycled all the junk mail and stacked up the bills in one neat pile.

I didn't have as hard of a time falling asleep as I feared. But I woke up early, feeling just as bad as I did the night before. Luckily my girl likes to wake up right when I do, so we spent a few minutes in bed together, me with my hands on my increasingly taut, round belly, feeling her lurch from one side to the other. I love her. I always appreciate her antics... and also the fact that she has not yet been active enough to wake her mama up (save once, when I was worrying about catching a plane anyway).

So then I found solace in... house cleaning. Luckily my angry mania had already left things in a good place the night before. But this was how I found myself scrubbing the tub and toilet at 7:30 AM, causing me to be late to work. But it was worth it. By the time I got to work and settled in, I felt a bit better. Just thinking about how sparkling my apartment was made me think more clearly. The fifteen minute elliptical workout also took the edge off the angry jitters.

The rest of the day was better. I got my quarterly report done, and saw some cute kids. Then I came home and paid the bills, windexed the desk, and even did all my filing. Then I caught up on thank you notes. I'm still feeling a little pent up, but I know wandering around my clean, organized apartment will continue to help.

Now why I procrastinated for so long, and still have not started that damn brisket in the crockpot is a separate issue. I know that sleep would help me so much. Instead I'm at least 90 minutes off my goal of nine hours of sleep.

Has anyone else felt this hyperactive anger/nervousness? I really dislike it. Hoping for a better day tomorrow, and that another workout will help even more.

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Weston Price update

Well, not really. An update on my Weston Price style of eating, I guess.

I'm astounded to see that apart from my voracious consumption of Clif Mojo Bars (made with brown rice syrup, not sugar or high fructose corn syrup, and mostly organic ingredients, but still, certainly not health food, either!), often three per day... a [pregnant]] girl gets hungry with startling frequency!... I have only had a sugary treat once in the last week, when I enjoyed a rice krispie treat on friday after a long (okay, only three days, but it felt long, due to jet lag) week of work. I was worried it would be sickly sweet and not enjoyable, but nope, I enjoyed every mouthful. Oh, and I eat dark chocolate every day at lunchtime.

I've been cooking more, and eating more meat and also vegetables. Suddenly, green things look good to me! And definitely fewer processed carbohydrates. Last night, I roasted an organic, pastured chicken. It was slightly more salty than I am used to, on account of being kosher (I don't eat kosher, but that was what was available with my other criteria), and slightly more gamey than I am used to, presumably because of being truly range. But it was tasty. I also grilled asparagus, sauteed fresh shitake mushrooms, and cut up a whole carton of strawberries for my friend C and I to enjoy for dessert. She finished assembling my new Ikea dresser while I cooked all this deliciousness. Now I have a beautiful spot to put baby clothes for my Lentila... who needs a new fetal name! Please, does anyone have suggestions?

Amazingly enough, my skin seems to be clearing up a bit. I'm not sure if this is due to being back in my normal routine, including having my good Origins cleanser, plus my Burt's Bees moisturizer (with royal jelly!) which seems to do beautiful things to my face. Or.... is it possible... that eating better is actually having an impact?

Tonight I experimented with eating less protein, because good ol' WP doesn't say much about balancing carbs and proteins. So I had a smoothie with whole milk, and then two slices of wholewheat sourdough bread with butter (apparently sourdough bread is easier on your bloodstream than traditional whole wheat)... they like butter, especially pastured butter, which I have, and especially for pregnant folks. A few minutes later I went to the basement to do my laundry... and felt like crap.

So the answer to that question is, no, you may not skimp on protein. But thanks for asking!

I also found out that the parent coordinator forwarded my notes to her about our meeting with my boss... to my boss!!!

Why, oh why???

That put me in panic mode for a few minutes, even though truthfully, there was nothing too egregious in there. But still.

This reminds me of why I had a policy for so long of NEVER putting anything in writing that I wasn't okay with the world sharing.

It's just hard to do that when people are asking, via email, of how to craft an email.

I'm not happy with this person. She's a dear soul, and I consider her a friend... and I will get over it. But seriously??? Why would you ask me what to say, reply to me with a draft, and then forward the whole shebang???

Hopefully my boss won't read all the way to the bottom. Worst case scenario, we have an awkward conversation and I give a feeble excuse. But still. It wasn't what my night needed.

As a result, the brisket has yet to go in the crockpot, the wet laundry remains in the basket, and my bed is not made up with clean sheets (or dirty ones, either, for that matter). Target bedtime: ten minutes. And not a moment too soon. I'm tired.

Nine hours of sleep worked out beautifully for me last night. I'm finally getting to where I can go to bed early enough so that getting up early isn't a struggle. But today, I just did not  want to work out. It just didn't sound fun. So I didn't, even though I got up early just to do so. Hoping tomorrow is easier.

Monday, May 2, 2011

How to Create My Own Happiness Project

Copied from Gretchen Rubin's Happiness Project website Happiness Project Toolbox
  1. What makes me feel good? What activities do you find fun, energizing, or satisfying? 
  2. What makes me feel bad? What are sources of anger, irritation, boredom, frustration or anxiety in my life?
  3. Is there any way in which I don't feel right about my life? Do I wish you could change jobs, cities, family situation, or other circumstances? Am I living up to( your expectations for yourself? Does my life reflect your values? 
  4. Do I have sources of an atmosphere of growth? In what areas of my life do I find progress, learning, challenge, improvement and increased mastery? 
    (Do any of you want to try this exercise along with me? I think it would be fun and interesting to hear what others think.)

    What makes me feel good? What activities do I find fun, energizing, or satisfying? (In the book, the author talks about these activities are not necessarily the same as those we wish we find satisfying.)
      1. Hiking.  Being in the wilderness. Backpacking/camping used to be a blast for me as well. I haven't done it in a while now, but I think I would still enjoy it. Whether camping will be worth the effort with a baby remains to be seen... but I'd like to try it! 
      2. Gardening! Kind of a surprise to me, since I hated it as a child (forced to do it as a child at summer camp, we all assumed we hated it. What a surprise to find that I adore weeding!)
      3. Baking. I think. At least, I used to love it. I haven't tried it in a while. Cooking can also be fun, but only when I am not tired or rushed or too hungry... and I tend to wait until those conditions are present before I even consider heading to the kitchen. 
      4. Meeting up with my favorite friends. Conversations with them nourish my soul.  
      5. Making new friends. An unexpected treat when it happens!
      6. Reading. I don't prioritize this enough. Lying on the couch reading, making this the only thing I am doing, and not just for five minutes to wind down to go to sleep... this is a rare treat that makes me feel spoiled. Given that it makes me feel so good, why don't I do it more often?
      7. Work. So often recently, I dread it... but when I'm actually with a patient, and in the zone (most of the time, really), it's downright fun. It energizes me when I am tired. I'm lucky, and need to remember it. 
      8. Eating great meals at interesting restaurants. Luckily I have a best friend (also long term and now long ago ex boyfriend) who is happy to foot the bill. 
      9. Theater. This can be so fun and interesting and entertaining... if I don't do it too often, and if I am well rested. 
      10. Cleaning and organizing. This one sounds strange. I don't really enjoy the process so much, but the energy and mood boost I get when I see the result is astounding. 
      11. Crossing things off my to-do list. I've recently learned to reach for my to-do list when I am not enjoying being at work. ...Strange, but it works! (Interestingly, my energy level rarely flags when work is busy... more support for item six.)
      12. Travel. But only with people I enjoy traveling with, and who have free time when I do, and the interest to go with me. Which is almost impossible to arrange in recent years. But making time to be alone while traveling with others is important to my fun, too... and not always easy for me to promote -- I tend to feel guilty about my need for alone time. 
      13. Being well rested. Not very interesting, but hugely important to my happiness. As Gretchen Rubin quipped, "Sleep is the new sex." (I'm so glad I have a reason to justify why I'm not getting laid!) I am working on being more consistent in the hours I keep so that I don't start each way already tired from Sunday night insomnia. Hard to do because I also love sleeping in on weekends! Hopefully my new garden commitments willl help with this. 
      14. Blogging. A new and surprisingly satisfying hobby! I worry that I don't blog for the right reasons, though. 
      15. Feeling my baby (!) squirm inside me. A short-lived pleasure, to be sure, and thankfully so. But it's great for the time being! 
      16. Autonomy. I don't do well with authority. One of the wonderful things about my job is that there is no one looking over my shoulder, no one who even knows what I do, day to day. Being self motivated works so much better for me. A thing to remember to appreciate.
    What makes me feel bad? What are sources of anger, irritation, boredom, frustration or anxiety in my life?
      1. Worrying about/ being late. 
      2. Being tired. Boring, but true. 
      3. Being at parties with lots of people. Especially if I don't them. But usually, even if I do know them. Even large family gatherings are stressful -- I never know who, exactly, to talk to, or what to talk to them about. Brings out my social anxiety.
      4. Bars
      5. Alcohol (regardless of where I drink it), unless it's a small amount, and consumed with food.
      6. Listening to women talk about diets. It makes me simultaneously bored, anxious, and sad for them. I committed to not dieting 2.5 years ago, and have never looked back. And no, not because my body is perfect... but because life is too short to obsess about my appearance.
      7. Talking about music. Or listening to it, unless I'm house cleaning. 
      8. Poorly run meetings (at work)
    Is there any way in which I don't feel right about my life? Do I wish I could change jobs, cities, family situation, or other circumstances? Am I living up to your expectations for yourself? Does my life reflect your values? 

    1. Things I don't feel right about. Mostly, I feel good about my life. I feel like my habits generally support my values. Losing hours inside my apartment on weekends is fun at first, but can end up making me feel vaguely depressed. My work is rewarding, if not as new and exciting and challenging as it once was. Fighting my conflicting feelings about exercise (knowing it will make me feel good, but not being in the mood to exert the effort to counteract inertia) can be stressful. 
    2. Things I might want to change.I am not sure, but I might want to change cities. I love and miss the Bay Area. I'm frustrated with the winters in NYC, and quite possibly the summers as well (this will be my first summer to stay home during the summer). But I'm scared about how unsettling it would be to move. I don't know how to put this quandary to rest. I don't know what, exactly, I'm scared of if I move. This is an issue to come back to. (Sorry, dear readers, I know you've already heard enough!) My friend's offer to use her apartment in Sausalito, just north of San Francisco, during the summers is a tempting one, and might be a good way to, at the very least, get to enjoy SF, and at the most, might make it easier to make a decision.

    Do I have sources of an atmosphere of growth? In what areas of my life do I find progress, learning, challenge, improvement and increased mastery?

    This is a poorly written question! I don't know what that first sentence means! I am, sort of, doing the coursework to become a lactation consultant. Or at least, I hope to finish said coursework once school ends and before the Girl comes.... it's been several months since I have looked at it. I figure it will be a good way to pass the time, stay busy, learn something, and possibly, learn a marketable skill for the future.

    I've also got my community garden to work in and learn from, and hopefully playing music (banjo and/or guitar.. banjo has been too frustrating, but I'd love to get back to it... I was loving it last summer). And learning about my window garden. And then there will be learning how to be a parent! And not just any parent, but a parent to my particular little girl. I'm also learning more about how to eat in keeping with the work of Weston Price, and I might even try a related but stricter diet. (In the meantime, I'm pleased with the progress I am making! Much less sugar than I used to have, but without any feelings of rebellion. And when I had a rice krispie treat last Friday... I enjoyed every bite!)

    I would love to hear what others think of these questions, if any of you are interesting in participating. 

    Sunday, May 1, 2011

    Beautiful Day

    I set my alarm, and with moderate struggle, managed to get up pretty early this morning. Once I heaved my body out of bed, it was awesome to see the sun shining and know I had many hours of sunshine ahead of me.

    Today's effort to promote happiness entailed scrapping all my household tasks (laundry, cleaning, etc.) and, after a lovely (and early!) trip to the farmer's market and food co-op, plus a little downtime to do some reading... a spontaneous trip to the Cherry Blossom Festival in Brooklyn's Botanic Gardens with my pregnant SMC friend Catherine.

    We both opted to become members, for a mere $50 a year, instead of the $20 single entrance fee. So now I have one more fun outdoor thing to look forward to -- future outings to the Botanic Gardens!

    The cherry blossoms were amazing. It was beautiful. I look forward to going back soon when it is a little less crowded. But it was lovely. We sat under a tree and watched people go by and Catherine flirted with the toddler sitting nearby. It was great.

    And it's always fun to hang out with other pregnant women... we laughed today to discover that we both ogle other people's strollers (not their kids or their dogs, necessarily... just their gear), and we can share our pregnancy complaints. And the difficulty of getting up from sitting on the grass. Though talking to someone who is five weeks ahead of me is a little hard, too, because then I start worrying about the things I have to look forward to (like not sleeping well) while simultaneously feeling like the less gifted younger sibling because I have longer to go than she does. I imagine that will be really tough when she is no longer pregnant and I still have a ways to go. Oh well! It's still great.