33.5 weeks

Im going to start scheduling all my appointments for Fridays. Mr A and I had the most fabulous day yesterday. The hilarious part is that we didnt even do anything. It was just a nice night. Maybe thats what being older is all about - just having nice nights. When I was younger it was all about the pursuit of excitement and the stranger the better. Man, Ive had some strange nights... Now Im thrilled when its nice! Haha, does that mean Ive "settled down"?!

Almost missed my check up because I overslept and by the time we pulled up to the midwives office at 4:20 (appointment was at 4) Beth was just leaving. Literally, she was getting into her car. Lucky we caught her! I hate rescheduling stuff like that.

The appointment was fantastic. This pregnancy is so uneventful and I like it that way. We talked more about delivery. Its crazy to think that right now Im almost 34 weeks and one would be considered "full term" at 37 weeks. So come October 1st, that baby could arrive anyday. Beth mentioned this and Mr A got very still and said quietly, "oh my god we are having a baby". The reality of all this tends to sink in at weird times for him.

Its funny when people ask me about if the baby is moving or contractions or things like that. Its not even quantifiable! I couldnt count it if I wanted to. He is ALWAYS moving (unless of course someone wants to feel him moving, then he mysteriously settles down right away)! Beth told me that having lots of these contractions is good because that usually means the uterus will be in better condition for delivery. Super news! Even when she was poking the belly to determine the babys position the damn thing started contracting! Its wild.

I was really surprised to see how long the baby is. His head is way far down by my public bone and his butt is all the way up by my ribs! I realize that hes normal sized but it just seems to be big when someone points that information out. Also, when he moves around now its more obvious what is moving. You can feel the skinny little arm or leg or a pokey knee or a big round butt, etc. Its very alien-esque.

She listened to the heartbeat and hes at about 120. Apparently "normal" is anywhere between 120-160 and it gets slower as they get bigger. So hes still considered normal but I was joking that he must take after his dad because Mr As resting heart rate is practically comatose! It gets below 50!

Great checkup. I still have to find a pediatrition and some other birth-prep chores. Two more weeks and then I start the every week appointments. Crazy. Wild.

Then we went to Holy Familys annual BBQ/Father Bobs birthday party and got some deliciously free chicken sausage dinner. I finally met the choir director that I see every week and have never spoken with. Apparently she also married an older man whom she is crazy about and instantly became a step-grandma! We had a very hilarious conversation over dinner.

Mr A went out this morning to fly a kite with Avary. For some reason he really wanted to specifically fly a kite with her. Its cute when he gets these ideas and hes so excited to do these things with her that he can barely wait until Saturday! I think he used to fly kites as a kid or something. We went to Fred Meyer yesterday and they just happened to have some nice kites on sale. I should clean up the house before the two of them come home for lunch. Or at least change out of my pajamas...


Belly Shots

Just to keep you updated on my growing progeny...

This is my view.

Here I am laying on the floor because 1) I look like I have better posture 2) I couldnt find anything to prop the camera up and 3) it makes gravity work in my favor.

More Diapers & Stuff

Heres fitted diaper attempt #1. Long story about seam allowances short - I think I made the front a little too tall so it may or may not fit an actual baby. Also, the elastic is still in the experimental phase, so again, no idea how its going to work in real life.

My computer isnt letting me rotate my images, which is annoying. This is just a flat view of the diaper with the doublers taken out. I made a stuffable diaper because if it were all one thing it would probably take a lifetime to dry. I was clever enough to make one of my doublers capable of being partially folded in half. This is to offer the baby that extra absorbency in the front that most dudes seem to need.
The ladies at the craft store gave me a hard time about my velcro selection. "oh that is SO WIDE for a diaper! ...doesnt that seem too wide? Are you sure you want it that big?"
Sorry ladies, but it looks fine to me.

Then, from the ashes of all these tshirts, came breast pads for leaky boobs. Gross, I know. The thing below it is a hat. It was supposed to be a gift for Mr As coworker (one of the many expecting this autumn) but I didnt like it enough to gift it so Ill just keep it for Ika.

This picture is a pair of red cotton booties that I knit awhile ago. I think they are cute enough and easy enough to make, I will likely make more in the future and in different colors. The thing about booties is I always wonder how well it will stay on a real babys foot. Geez, are we starting to detect a theme here? I need a real baby to try this stuff on!
There is also a cotton bib, which is a gift for Mr As other coworker. They are all having girls. I like this bib and it was fast so I will probably make one for my own child in blue or green.

Then there is the herbal neck pillow. This is so cool! Its a pillow thats filled with rice and lavender so it smells very relaxing. It can go in the microwave to be warm and soothing or it can go in the freezer to be cold and therapeutic! Its called a neck pillow but its also great for back, shoulder and anywhere else since the rice made it very mouldy (made up word!). The pink flannel outer part is a case so it can be removed for laundering purposes. I like the pattern so much I took a close up pic of it.

This is a gift as well. The problem is that Im not sure if this woman has the same taste as I do. As in, would she find this pattern charming (like I do) or childish? Its risky business - gift giving.

***I dont know if you guessed this already or not, but I got off work a bit early today so I had some extra time on my hands. Would we consider this "nesting"? Should I be concerned about going into labor at any moment?!


August 24th, 2008

At church we heard the story of Jesus giving the keys to Peter and telling him that hes the rock. I like that story.

Hawaii won the Little League World Series. They also won in 2005, the summer Mr A and I began dating, and I have many pleasant and vivid memories of watching that series as well. In fact, I think it was during that very series that Mr A first told me about his affinity for the name Ikaika (the pitcher was named Ikaika if I remember correctly). This team was from Waipahu. They played Mexico for the championship and won 11-3. It has been a very exciting week of LLWS watching.

I also made two bibs. The embroidered one didnt turn out as nice as I wanted because I dont really know what Im doing with the bias tape. Also, the Velcro wasnt as strong as I hoped. But ultimately they both turned out pretty darn cute. Cute and reversible!

Granny made a comment about how I was going to an awful lot of trouble for a bib (with the embroidery). Of course, I know better, and quickly asked her what she made when she was expecting uncle Bruce, her first child. She informed me that she knit a seed stitch sweater on size 0 needles in the blistering heat of Key West, Florida. AND she cant recall if Bruce ever even wore the sweater! So after putting everything in perspective, I guess my 3 hours of bib making isnt all that much trouble.


Woe Is My Swollen Feet

Oh man, my feet are swelling all the time! Its always when Im sitting, which means little to no "relaxation" time at home. What a bummer! Then I either have to put my feet up (that requires me to take up the entire length of the couch and is rather unfair for Mr A) or lay down in bed where I cant watch the TV. Again, what a bummer!

I hope my feet go back to the size they were because I dont necessarily want to buy all new shoes. I am looking forward to getting some new sneakers. But thats it. I like all my other shoes! So far I have been avoiding any shoe issues by just wearing slippers all the time. Id like to thank Old Navy and their $1 per pair sale. Ive even been wearing slippers on the treadmill at the gym sometimes because my sneakers are too tight and uncomfortable (not to mention my toe is busting out of a hole on the side). Dont worry, its only walking. What am I going to do come October when Im still preggo and its too cold for flip flops?!

Speaking of the gym, I should probably write this down for posterity...

Ive been what I would consider "okay" when it comes to working out during pregnancy. Since Curtis has taken a job as a personal trainer at the Avalon Spa & Hotel down on the Willamette River, I have been going once or twice a week depending on what my own work schedule permits. But, unless there is some unforeseen conflict, can always go on Tuesdays because he spends his mornings with Avary and by the time I get off work at 1pm, we just load up in the car and drop Avary off at her mom's house on our way to the gym. The point is, I have been regularly going at least once a week since April.

When Im at the gym I usually spend the time between 3/3:30-4 o'clock on the treadmill or the elliptical. I watch Bringing Home Baby (a winner of a show on TLC) and rejoice at other peoples ineptitude while I walk at a pace anywhere between "brisk" and "might as well pull up a chair". After that I try to do some sort of a weight routine. During my second trimester I was really gung-ho about it. I did 3 sets of 15 reps on 4 circuits, etc. Now that Im bigger and pregnanter, Im lucky to make it through one circuit. Sigh...

Occasionally, although not as often as I would like, I do a workout video my mom got me called The Perfect Pregnancy Workout. AND IT IS! I love that video! I should do it right now. Ideally, I would like to be doing that video at least once a week as well. I also liked the Crunch Gym Yoga Mama video during my first trimester, but then the public library wanted it back. Boo hoo!

Up until about a month ago I had been riding my bicycle to work. Pregnant lady on a bike = totally cute! I work about two miles from my house and the roads are fairly flat and about 90% of them have bike lanes, so it worked out well. The reason I had to stop wasnt because I got off balance or because it was too exhausting. I had to stop because the weight of my uterus makes me feel like Im going to pee my pants whenever I hit even the smallest of bumps!!! I was so sure that it was going to happen that for a couple days I had packed an extra pair of pants in my bag! When I told this to my husband he kindly suggested that now might be a good time to temporarily retire the bike! But, while I was doing it, it was an awesome way to sneak in some exercise.

Ah! Sitting at this computer has made my feet swell up again! WHAT A BUMMER!


Diapers: A Pain in the Poo

Im hesitant to write about any sort of "ideas" or "plans" I might have for child-rearing, less they dont work out and I end up looking like I *gasp* have no clue what Im doing! Im also self conscious about coming across as the naive first-time mother. But, for the sake of showing off my sewing prowess, Im willing to break the seal here tonight. Lucky you.

Ive put quite a bit of thought into babys fecal matter. What am I going to do with all of it? How will I afford to do anything with it? How many hours out of the day am I willing to spend with it? And so on and so on.


Anyone who knows my deep and undying love of the Diva Cup could probably have seen the cloth diapers coming from a mile away. Fortunately, Mr A did cloth before so that makes our decision a little less burdensome.

People think cloth is going to save them money. Maybe in the long run it will - I dont know and Im unwilling to do the math. All I know is that to buy a stash of Fuzzi Bunz (the Cadillac of cloth diapers) would set you back $15 per diaper! And they come in 4 different sizes! Yikes. A diaper service is great but runs about $70+ a month! Thats more than internet service! Yikes. Even a good sized stash of used dipes will clock in at around $150. I thought the $30 for my Diva Cup was an investment!

Im willing to make a financial committment to cloth diapering, but not until I figure out if this is really going to work for us.

Enter: my sewing machine.

First, I found Frugal Diapering online. Then I found a bag of leftover scraps from Mr As Christmas T-shirt Quilt. Then I found some time on a lazy Monday night (post-work, pre-Olympics).


I made two cloth diapers (newborn sized, 14") and seven wipes for FREE! Its funny because I have absolutely NO way of proving that these work at the moment. But Im still proud of myself.

Next, Im going to make the stuffable prefold and some soakers because these dipes are quite thick and I can see why it would be nice to have CDs with fast-drying capabilities.

The wipes are meant to be used with a spray bottle full of:

2.25 C Water
2 Tbs Shaklee (or any) Baby Wash/Shampoo
1 Tbs Baby Oil

Spray & Wipe. Nothin' to it.

I also got three used but cute diaper wraps. Theres a little bit of staining but who cares? Babys just going to poop in it anyway.

The two with patterns are 100% organic cotton and SO adorable! Best part is they were A DOLLAR EACH! I know, I kick ass.

By the way -BETH- worry not. The post on bucket training will be coming shortly.


...you have my permission to punch me in the face.

When I was a child and we were stuck in some kind of stalemate, my parents would say "you'll understand someday when you have children." I approve of this tactic and will use it liberally with my own child/ren.

That being said, when an adult (most often a woman) uses it with another adult (most often me), this is not only highly offensive but also extremely annoying. Its mind boggling to me how these people seem to be under the impression that squirting out a kid, no matter the conditions, puts them in some sort of a position where they dont have to come up with any sort of reasonable or rational explanation for their behavior!

Im sure that having a kid is a life changing experience. Im not arguing that point. But going to college is a life changing experience and Im not running around, waving my degree in other peoples faces, telling them that they might understand why I feel self righteous about this that or the other thing if only they would graduate from college someday. Because people who say things like that are total morons with, ironically, very little perspective.

There is also the equally annoying but possibly more contemptuous "you cant understand because you dont have children." That one pisses me off just typing it.

I hope that having children is the ne plus ultra of my life. I hope that I give and gain and all that junk. I sincerely hope that I learn more from being a mother than from anything else I do in my life. But, even with all that in mind, I really dont want to start being "that lady" who pushes my agenda onto other people and treats them as if they are somehow incapable of relating to me as a human being just because they dont have kids.

I am so different from 10... 5... 2 years ago! I dont know what Im going to be like in the future. But I do know that Im pretty darn sure I dont want to end up as "that lady". So Im writing this down as a testament to my pre-child mindset (which I would argue is quite clear and probably less biased than my mindset after I give birth to the most wonderful and perfect child in the history of all mankind) and I am telling you, my friends and family, that if you EVER catch me uttering these ridiculous phrases instead of giving logic (or at least BS) the ole college try, you have my permission to punch me in the face.


Whos the Catcher?

So I asked Mr A the other day if he wanted to catch the baby. It seems like one of those things that you should discuss before the actual event - although it also seems like one of those things that if it happens, it happens. Like a "birth plan" - sounds good in theory but who knows.

Anyone who knows my ipo knows that he is Mr Confidence. He has, on multiple occasions, concluded that he has the expertise to fix various ailments including, but not limited to, an ear infection and a broken toe. He is also (what I would describe as) highly protective and has expressed apprehension about letting others care for the baby. Its reasonable for me to conclude that delivering a baby is something he would not only feel capable of doing but would take enormous pride in.

He looked at me with this weird expression/furrowed brow and said "uh...I dunno. Im afraid Id drop him."


They hand you the baby like two seconds after its born anyway! Its not even like this is your first newborn baby experience! You can catch a football flying through the air 60 yards away and you cant catch a baby on its way out of the birth canal?!

He sort of shrugged and said he would probably be crying, his hands would be shaking, etc.

He also commented that he is "tough on the outside but soft on the inside" - which was so damn cute that I just let the whole thing go!

Guess we will just have to wait and see whose arms this child will fall into.


The Long Weight

In the first 7 months of my pregnancy I was totally obsessed with weight.

"Am I gaining too much? Am I gaining enough? Am I gaining it in the right places? Am I eating enough food? Am I eating the right kind of food? How much more can I gain now so that later I wont be a walrus? etc."

I must have read What to Eat When You Are Expecting cover to cover at least a dozen times.

Every single appointment with my midwives, when they would ask if I have any questions or concerns, guess what we talked about? Ding Ding. WEIGHT!
And no amount of reassurance could get my mind off this. I knew I was being nutty but I could not stop thinking about it.

It didnt even really affect my food choices. I still ate bubble tea and ice cream - I just suffered from constantly thinking about it before, during, and afterwards.

The worst part of all this is that I have never, ever, in my whole life been someone who thinks about weight. I have never been a calorie counter. I have never been on a serious diet. I have always thought about weight in the same nacissistic, casual way that most young women around the world do.

So imagine my surprise when pregnancy suddenly turns me into this scale-watching monster!

I was certain that this entire blog, up to the point of delivery, would be nothing but obsessive rantings about weight control.

Then, quite suddenly, I completely stopped thinking about it. I havent picked up WTEWYAE in weeks, except to check a recipe for oatmeal. I weigh myself at the gym once a week, but thats only because the scale is next to the shower. I still eat bubble tea and ice cream, except now I enjoy it. Imagine that!

I have no idea if I would have gained more or less weight had I not spent the first 7 months constantly thinking about it. All I know is that I am about fifteen billion times happier just eating (always striving to cut corners and eat a little healthier) and letting the body do what the body is going to do.

The real test, of course, is going to be the condition of my body after baby. Right now, Im banking on being pleasantly surprised!


Ive learned a lot about nutrition from this adventure and I wont share all my insights here. But one of my favorite little cheats is rice or soy ice cream. Because we eat ice cream so infrequently, Mr A and I always buy the little pints and eat most of it in one night. (This tip wont work if you eat ice cream every day) I have discovered that soy and rice ice cream are just as delicious with a wide variety of yummy flavors - but the calorie, sugar, and fat content per serving are usually half or less of Haggen-Daaz or Ben & Jerrys. Which, of course, means that you can eat twice as much as you were planning on eating in the first place! Viva l'indulgence!


Seaside 08

We headed down on Friday with the dog in tow - Mr A and his partner Dave (alias: Big Daddy, The Big Unit) were all set to play two days of beach volleyball. We camped at a really cool RV park/campground that was dirt cheap and discovered that we own a double decker air mattress!

soooooo tired

The weather was autrocious at best. On Friday I spent half the day shivering and coughing (Ive had a cold all this week - great timing) under about 6 layers of clothes and a blanket covered in sand. Mr A spent half the day in the first aid tent getting TENS on his knees and bathing in Bio-Freeze.

Saturday, after a looooong sleep, we felt much better but the weather just didnt want to cooperate. It was raining full blast for awhile and then turned into the worst windstorm in Seaside VB history! Sand was blowing everywhere, into everyones eyes and lungs. I should explain now that my pathetic pictures can be blamed on this since I couldnt risk exposing my digital camera to the elements and, god forbid, have something happen to it right before the baby is due.

Well, as you might guess, experience became the deciding factor during tournament play. You cant practice for these kinds of conditions. So Mr A & Dave were at a strong advantage from the start, being that they are true Seaside veterans and all around studly athletes to boot! They spent all day in the winners bracket and then suffered a devestating loss. Sparing no drama, they came back to defeat the team who had dropped them, not once, but TWICE!

Seaside Volleyball 2008 Masters Champions: "Hana Hou"!

It was such an exciting moment! Curt & Dave have been playing together at Seaside for years and have taken second, third and a multitude of other placements that fall just short of an actual title. I am so proud!

Right after they finished playing the weather mysteriously cleared up. We spent the rest of the evening with our new friends, The Yamamotos from the Big Island, watching the open finals and eating an amazing clam dinner.

(Not the Yamamotos but just as friendly - Gina & Marty)

The next morning, over tea and smoothies, Mr A taught me how to play dominoes. What a great weekend!


We are very excited to be able to tell our son that the year he was born was the year Daddy won Seaside!


How Small is SO Small?

I have heard "you are so small!" or some variation of it almost as much as Ive heard "so when are you due?"

What is it with these people?

Just because I may look small (or maybe I dont even look all that small but people are just trying to be polite/cheer me up/say something that sounds nice) does NOT mean that this baby is any smaller than other babies. I sometimes feel that people are implying that I dont feed myself well enough (trust me - I do). Its almost like they are trying to curb any sort of complaints I have by making me feel all fortunate to be "so tiny".

Well, it aint working.

For starters, at my last appointment my midwife informed me that the belly is perfectly on-track in measurement. So much for so tiny!
Secondly, this child is not only big enough to fill my entire body cavity at this point, but he is mighty strong. I am just over seven months now and I honestly dont know if my ribs can take 2 or more months of him growing! He is most definitely not small or tiny in my opinion. He is a baby-sized baby and hes kicking the crap out of my guts every day and night! Throw in a uterus that is CONSTANTLY contracting* and you have one exhausted midsection at the end of the day!

And, while we are on the topic, lugging around 30 extra pounds isnt exactly a cake walk. I may not be immobile, but I am constantly adjusting to keep up with my new body (and it seems I get a "new body" on a daily basis). I really truly wonder what other pregnant women went through/are going through and what made it feel so much more horrible because I dont really feel like this being "so small" stuff is easy peasy but they seem to be under the impression that it is.

Even though I am fortunate and feel very blessed for having a rather uneventful pregnancy thus far...well, actually, I guess thats it.
Hmm, that wasnt exactly the way I thought this post was going to end. Gotta just accept the good stuff when it comes, right?

*I read the other day somewhere that this woman used to think of her Brackston-Hicks contractions as her uterus' way of "warming up for the big event". I must say that, as an athlete, I appreciated that reference and found it very easy to imagine my own uterus participating in its own sort of "scrimmage".

Haha ~ now that I re-read this post I realized the weather today may have contributed to my whinning and complaining. It was like 96 degrees today in the shade and I can barely breathe in my house at night (we dont have AC or a fan). My feet are swollen and I think one of the kids at the preschool gave me their germs.


Hawai'i Aloha

E Hawai`i, e ku`u one hanau e
Ku`u home kulaiwi nei
`Oli no au i na pono lani e
E Hawai`i, aloha e

(O Hawaii, O sands of my birth
My native home
I rejoice in the blessings of heaven
O Hawaii, aloha)

Hui Chorus:

E hau`oli na `opio o Hawai`i nei
`Oli e! `Oli e!
Mai na aheahe makani e pa mai nei
Mau ke aloha, no Hawai`i

(Happy youth of Hawaii
Rejoice! Rejoice!
Gentle breezes blow
Love always for Hawaii)

...but I already bought the cow!

One of the first things my mother-in-law said to me when she found out about the baby:

"I hope you are the last person Dino has children with."

(feel free to laugh - I did)

You would probably have to know my mother-in-law to believe me when I say that she didnt mean anything - rude or otherwise. She wasnt necessarily calling me "Baby Mama #3" (I admit I sometimes feel self conscious that people are thinking about me in that way). She was just telling me how she honestly feels and, frankly, I agree with her sentiments so it would be hard for me to take it personal.

The other day I was thinking about how I will never have a family like the one I grew up in. We are never going to be the kind of cohesive unit that The Stranskys have always been; the "Us vs The World" attitude that brought me so much security when I was growing up. Theres always going to be an element of sharing. Maybe it will be easier for my kids to accept than it has been for me. If thats all they ever know, why would it even seem strange to them? After all, arent blended families the norm now?

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