Gelato-4 Month Update

Yep, they all said it would happen. The second child syndrome- Mom wasted all her energy on documenting and fawning over the first child’s “firsts” so the second child has no pictures, no dates, and no mementoes to prove he even existed apart from big sib. Well, Gelato, you are not the exception to the rule. Sure, I have some great shots of you throughout your life. But they’re basically all of you doing the exact same thing- lying on your back and looking up. You just do it so cute!

Plus, you haven’t really done much else yet. I am not going to make this a compare-you-to-your-sister post, but let me just remind the readers: by 4 months of age, Hula Girl was proficient at rolling both ways, grabbing on to toys, playing with her feet, and was well on her way to crawling and sitting up. Little Man, on the other hand, has rolled a grand total of maybe 10 times in his life (always front to back), can hold toys that are handed to him (actually, he did work for and grab onto a toy today during tummy time), doesn’t know his body exists beyond his hands and ears, and slumps over like a little ol’ grandpa any time we try to sit him vertical. 🙂

That’s not to say he’s not reaching age-appropriate milestones. We had his 4-month checkup yesterday and he actually tested at 5 months 3 weeks according to the pediatrician’s development “test”. I circled yes for everything up until “pushes body up with arms fully extended” and “swallows purees off a spoon”. Poor little guy. He hasn’t even had a chance to try purees- he never will! We’ll always have to circle no on that one! (We will be using Baby-Led Weaning again with him.)

Gelato is 16 pounds 4 ounces, up 4 ounces since I took him about a week ago. That means he’s actually on trajectory to double his birth weight by 6 months. Wowza. He’s in the 75th percentile for weight. He’s 25 inches long, in the 50th percentile, and his head is back up into the 50th percentile as well. Basically, he’s growing along his growth curves nicely.

He is healthy in every way. Eyes, ears, nose, mouth, chest, hips, skin. Check, check, check, check, check, check, check. The doctor noted that his top two teeth are definitely moving down through the gum; it’s only a matter of time until we see those little pearly whites. I will be sad, again, to see my baby get his first teeth. I just adore those gummy baby smiles so very much, and once they get teeth, it’s like they grow up SO much SO fast and the sweet infant days are gone forever. I think my heart just shed a tear in preparation for Gelato’s first tooth breaking through.

I really am hating having him grow up. It is flying by so fast, too fast. I remember just being so darn bored with Hula Girl because she couldn’t DO anything at this stage. But now that I have a toddler who does it all, I am rather enjoying the do-nothingness that comes with the infant stage. I am SO glad this boy isn’t light years ahead of his peers. Who needs to roll when Big Sister just fetches toys for you? Stay still, Little Man, there’s no rush.

I will, however, be glad to have a 12-hour sleeper sometime. I definitely took that for granted when Hula Girl was the only little munchkin boppin’ around the house. 12 whole hours to rest, relax, enjoy my husband, pig out on popcorn and ice cream (without having to share it or do “duck-under-the-kitchen-counter-while-she-sits-at-the-table-so-she-can’t-see-you-take-a-bite-of-that-cookie” maneuvers), and sleep.

This boy’s sleep is taking a LOOOOOONG time to iron itself out. But we’re getting there. Right now, we’re basically doing this schedule (within 30 minutes)

  • 6:30 wake, nurse, lay in Mommy and Daddy’s bed laughing and squealing and talking
  • 7:30 nap
  • 9:30 wake, nurse, independent playtime, possible sibling time, read books, some tummy time
  • 10:35 nap
  • 12:30 wake, nurse, tummy time, outside time (unless it’s FREEZING), lots of physical activities
  • 1:40 nap
  • 3:30 wake, nurse, sibling time, read books, hang out
  • 4:40 catnap
  • 5:20 wake, family time
  • 6:00 bath, lotion, jammies (all with Daddy)
  • 6:30 nurse
  • 6:45 bed
  • 10:00 dreamfeed (I take him out of his crib and nurse him without waking him)

SOMETIMES he has a middle-of-the-night feeding… other times he sleeps until our waketime in the morning. I can’t WAIT for this to get consistent.

He is in the middle of a wonder week. I have definitely noticed it for the past week or so. He has been waking 45 minutes into his naps and has not fallen back asleep easily. This is common during this stage, but it’s hard on me when I am trying to keep things normal for Hula Girl while balancing his needs as well. It’s extra hard because Gelato will not fall back asleep with ANY kind of help- he will not be rocked to sleep, he will not sleep in his swing, he will not take a pacifier. So it’s either let him talk/play/cry in his crib until the next feeding time or get him up early and hope we can adjust somehow. We usually opt for the second choice  because I can’t emotionally hack it when I have to listen to him crying and Hula Girl whining (another post, coming later tonight).

Nursing is going well regardless of his crazy sleeping habits. If I am not sure he’ll be  hungry enough to eat in the morning (due to eating in the early hours, close to our waketime), I just have to get him as soon as he stirs and nurse him while he’s drowsy. Then he’ll eat.

Also, I am still doing a partial elimination diet. I tried introducing wheat and soy a couple months ago- that didn’t go too well. His arms and legs got some eczema. However, I’m not sure if it was diet related or if it was because we had just switched his soap and lotion (we switched back). Anyway, his skin is all cleared up again (has been for a month) and so I decided to try introducing something else. This time I tried dairy. I had lasagna (with rice noodles) on Sunday night, and so far things seem to be going fine! I’m going to eat some cheese again tonight and if he’s still doing okay by the end of the week, I’m going to get myself some yogurt this weekend so I can munch on that next week. If dairy goes smoothly, I will try the soy again. I will keep wheat for last. I am very excited to eat something terribly delicious again soon, though. Like cheesecake. Mmmmm.

Anyway, let me share something else with you. I may have written it somewhere in a previous post, but even if I have, it’s worth restating. My friend Jennie once posted on her blog something that her mom said. It was something like, “As a mom, you will love your daughter so deeply it will hurt and then some. But you will have a crush on your son.”

OH.MY.GOODNESS. It is so true. I have the biggest crush on this little guy. Perhaps it’s because he looks so much like his Daddy? Maybe it’s because he has the qualities I have always admired so much in others (mild-tempered, easygoing)? Maybe it’s because he’s just so darn sweet? I don’t know what it is. But I cannot tell you just how much happiness is squeezed into my heart whenever I’m with that baby boy. It doesn’t hurt- it just makes my heart feel glad. I am so thankful that God allowed me to feel that way about this child- what a blessing to rejoice SO MUCH in someone five or six times daily!

He really rounds out our family, and I think all of us have little crushes on him, even Hula Girl. Several times a day, I hear her saying, “I just YOVE [Gelato]!” Melt.

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7 Weeks Postpartum Visit

I was scheduled to go in for a 6-week visit, but due to recent car issues, I had to reschedule my appointment. So Gelato and I went today.

First of all, my OB’s office has not changed. They called me back an HOUR past my appointment time. PTL this was my very last appointment with them. I am sick and tired of waiting in the waiting room so much. (They could really use a sprucing, too. The wallpaper is soft peach, seafoam green, and cream. Like my mom’s living room… when I was five. That’s 1990, folks. The art on the walls is faux Monet-style waterlily art prints. The whole thing is just a washed-out pastel blah. )

Aside from the interminable wait times and the drab decor, today’s visit was fine.

I had to bring Gelato with me since I still haven’t pumped any milk to start getting him to take a bottle every once in a while*. He was kind of fussy, but nothing a little walking around and letting him lie on the ground (on a blanket!) for a while couldn’t cure. He was also very chatty with the nurse. She was quite taken with him. I think she wanted to keep him. 🙂

*I promised myself I would do that this time around so I wasn’t so tied to the baby… but I just plain don’t feel like it. I have to scald all the milk that I pump before freezing it because I have extra lipase in my milk. Basically, it breaks down the milk proteins faster than it should and so my milk ends up tasting like soap and smelling like a rusty can. It’s not “spoiled” per se, but really… what baby wants to drink that?! So instead of pumping, then scalding, then cooling, then freezing, I just don’t. But I really need to. Maybe I’ll start doing that this weekend. It’ll be much easier when Jonathan’s around to Hula-wrangle.

All was fine with the exam. I have been cleared for all activities. I told Hula Girl that she and I will go outside this weekend and pull out all the weeds that have sprung up in the front of the house, around the mailbox, and in our pumpkin patch. Actually, I will be pulling all the weeds while she plays nearby. The weeds have WICKED burrs that are the size of marbles. No joke. And yes, we’ve been too busy to pull them, so yes, we’ve ended up with a few in our house. As a rule, we don’t wear shoes in our home, but still… these crazy stickers get tracked in and when they get stepped on, massive tears flow freely.

And the biggest news: my weight loss! I am back down to 6 pounds less than my 6-weeks-pregnant weight. I can zip my size 0/1 jeans, though not comfortably. This probably means that I still need to lose about 10 pounds to be at my ideal weight. But the goal is a lot closer than it was at this point in my postpartum period with Hula Girl. I blame the elimination diet. And the toddler.

Well, there ya go. All is well. Except now Gelato’s been awake (aside from a 20-minute car nap) for three hours straight. Thank you, OB-Who-Can’t-Keep-Track-Of-Time. Hey, you win some, you lose some, right?

39 Weeks

THIRTY-NINE WEEKS.

When I was pregnant with Hula Girl, thirty-nine weeks didn’t seem so bad. After all, I was still required to attend work days at the school, and so I had something (kind of) to occupy my mind. It didn’t seem so dull and awful to be stuck there at 39 weeks. After all, pregnancy is supposed to last 40 weeks, right?!

This time, I am bored. Bored, bored, bored. I have been trying my hardest to keep Hula Girl on a good schedule and not throw anything else in her world out of whack just before her world turns upside-down. Therefore, we’ve done a few outings here and there, and we’ve stayed home a decent number of days. But there has been less and less enthusiasm from me. Partly because I am unable to jump up and down; partly because I am just really looking forward to the next chapter in our little lives.

Anyway, our appointment went well today.

I forgot what time our appointment was scheduled. I had it written down on this little card that held the dates and times of all the rest of my appointments until Gelato’s little cuteness is due to be out in public. However, I was desperate for a place to put my gum the other day, and so I pulled out the card and carefully placed the gum inside it and folded it so I could still clearly see the dates and times. Lo and behold, I actually took cleaning out my purse seriously, and threw away the gum holder. I have never actually cleaned out a purse in a decent amount of time before. I don’t know what came over me. So here we were, lying in bed at 7:00 this morning, wondering if perhaps the emergency line answerer would have the schedule. Nope.

It wouldn’t have been that big of a deal, except for a few things. First, we live at least 30 minutes away from the doctor’s office. Next, they don’t start answering phones until 8:30, even though they open for appointments at 8. And finally, my appointments tend to be somewhere around 8:45-9:30. So I just left the house at 8:15 and Jonathan and Hula Girl followed after she finished her breakfast. I arrived at 8:45 and was actually called back right at my appointment time- 9:00- which was surprising, since they’re so very rarely on time (or within 20 minutes of it). Jonathan and Hula Girl got there just after I was weighed and had my BP checked. Great timing for everyone!

The nurse told me that the doctor would be “checking my progress” today, and I responded, “Does she have to?”

She was quite perplexed by that question. After all, what 39-weeks-pregnant lady doesn’t want hope that the end is in sight?! But that’s the thing- it doesn’t really matter how dilated and/or effaced one is- the measurements don’t predict anything! I could be 3 cm dilated and 75% effaced and still not deliver until August 14th! Or I could be 0 cm dilated and 0% effaced and deliver in the next 4 hours! So the measurements are basically meaningless, unless one really needs that hope.

The nurse asked the doctor if I really needed to be “checked” today and the doctor said, “Well, that’s unusual that she doesn’t want to be, but it’s fine. She doesn’t have to be.”

Another big reason I don’t want to be checked is that I read that if you’re positive for GBS, the checks can actually push the bacteria closer to the baby, endangering that little kiddo even more. So, it wasn’t really worth it for me to get checked today.

So the doctor took the normal measurements to check Gelato’s growth and then we heard his heartbeat (which was between 130 and 140 bpm today- I finally remembered to ask!). She said everything’s looking good.

Then she asked me how far along I was when I delivered Hula Girl. I reminded her that I was induced on Hula Girl’s due date, and her response was, “Hm.” (She also furrowed her brow quite a bit.) Then she told me that she’ll be here through next Thursday (which is Gelato’s actual due date), but after that she’s going to be on vacation for two weeks.* So the best time for me to deliver will be this weekend, when she’s on call. I told her that I would work on it.

*Frankly, I don’t really care which doctor is down there catching the baby. The OB is so uninvolved in the whole delivery process that the only way I’d really freak out about someone’s absence is if I had a specific nurse who’d worked with me all the way through pregnancy and who would be there the whole time during L&D. Guess that’s why some women want midwives and doulas!

Anyway, I do plan to go into labor before next week. I have been having some encouraging signs and symptoms lately (ones that I can actually feel free to share on my blog- don’t worry, they’re not the gross ones)!

Contractions– Nothing regular like I had a few weeks ago, but the contractions I’ve been feeling have been stronger and longer than the ones I had previously. I have been feeling them throughout the day for the past week or so (the other ones were limited to the evenings pretty much).

Back Pain- When I lie down in the evenings, my lower back starts to hurt. Like, really bad. Last night I was awakened several times in the night due to strong back pain. It’s constant, so it’s not contractions. However, I am concerned that this will equate to back labor for me. We’ll have to see.

Other Pain- Gelato moves at very consistent times of day now. So when we put Hula Girl down for bed at night, I can pretty much sit down and predict how long it will take for me to feel Gelato kick it up. And when he does- oh, man, does it hurt. It almost feels like I have no amniotic fluid surrounding him. Or like something inside there is swollen and receiving a brutal beating. Seriously, sometimes the pain is so bad that I can’t even talk or breathe through it.

Hip Pain- One of the essential hormones in pregnancy, relaxin, has done a number on the tendons around my hip. Last time I had sciatica, but that was totally different pain. This time, if I turn my right foot out and put pressure on the leg at the same time, I am guaranteeing myself the inability to walk unassisted for at least four hours afterward. (Yes, I have even had to crawl through the house and up and down stairs several times in the past week. That’s a sight to behold!) Last night I did something weird to it and I couldn’t even move to sit down, so Jonathan had to carry my poor sobbing self to bed. Even lying down hurt my hip, so I had him prop my leg up on a pillow, which helped. But I felt so helpless and I got scared that pushing this child out is going to cause permanent damage. (My doctor so kindly informed me that she has yet to see a patient lose a leg during delivery. So I guess I have nothing to worry about.) I felt like a big gigantic baby. And I cried like one, too. Poor Jonathan.

Nausea- It’s baaaaaaaaaack! When I woke in the night with my back pain, I felt an overwhelming urge to vomit. I didn’t. Ha. And then when I was brushing my teeth this morning, I was contemplating going downstairs for Hula Girl’s fruit toothpaste because our mint toothpaste was bringing back memories from Christmas and the following months- not the good kind of memories. The memories that make me want to vomit just thinking about how truly awful I felt. But I am embracing this nausea because I have read that it is a very good sign that things will start happening sooner than later.

Well, that’s where we are. I am going to go downstairs now and make myself some rice and beans. Oh yes, the meal of champions. Champion elimination dieters, that is. (By the way, the elimination diet is going well. I have only lost one more pound, which is common at the end of pregnancy. Woohoo! I think the constant intake of Lays and french fries has really boosted my ability to maintain my weight! That’s a good thing, right!?)

 

36 Week (dis)Appointment

This week’s visit was full of… extraordinary events. I don’t mean extraordinary as in, “Wow! This is amazing! I’ve never experienced anything so wonderful in my entire life!” I just mean extraordinary in the proper sense of the word: out of the ordinary (and I’d like to add that it was slightly unpleasant, too).

Of course, we did have the ordinary 20-minutes late appointment. I always arrive 10-15 minutes early because that’s the way I was raised. It’s good etiquette to be slightly early for appointments. So today we arrived at 9:45 for a 10:00 appointment. Today “we” included Jonathan, Hula Girl, and me. Hula Girl and Jonathan dug right in to the toys in the waiting area and Hula Girl started getting lessons on using her “inside voice”… again. Oh well, at least the other patients in the waiting room thought she was cute. Anyway, we sat there and kept a busy 2-year-old entertained for 35 minutes before we were seen. This is NOT an extraordinary event in this particular office. I hate that- I mean, really, I understand if an office is running behind every now and then… but every single time I visit (which just so happens to be a LOT during pregnancy)??

However, things turned extraordinary quickly after we were called back. First, I hopped on the scale… and thought to myself, “Hm, that can’t be right.” So I said to the nurse, “Did I lose weight since last time?” She said she didn’t have that exact info in her hands but that it’s common for women to lose a couple pounds toward the end of the pregnancy. Okay, cool.

Next she took my blood pressure. I said, “What is it this time?” (You’ll remember it’s slowly creeping up… it started at 100/56, then went to 100/58, then 100/60.) She said it was 100/70. I was like, “Wow, it jumped a bit in two weeks! I’m surprised.” So she took a glance at her sheet, and decided to check it again. Yup, it was really 100/60. So, I’m still alienesque, Jenn.

Then we waited another 15 minutes to see the OB. 15 minutes in a small exam room with a 2-year-old isn’t super fun, especially since that toddler doesn’t want to sit and read like we had planned. Daddy came up with several ways of entertaining her, such as putting her on her tummy on the stool and spinning her around. I suggested they wash her hands, which was well-received. Fortunately when the doctor came in, my slightly stern lecture about sitting quietly with Daddy and listening to the doctor was effective.

The first thing the doctor did, of course, was have me lay back so she could measure my stomach and listen to Gelato’s heartbeat. Both went well. My stomach (meaning, Gelato) is growing well. His heartbeat was right where it should be. Hula Girl thought it was cool to listen to his heartbeat.

Next, the doctor checked to make sure his head is down since I have been having so many contractions. All clear there, too. He’s riding upside-down now and his head is somewhat engaged in my pelvis.

After a couple of other tests and procedures (ahem, the group B strep test-if you don’t know what it is and how it’s done, good for you!), I sat up and we talked about her wishes as far as when to contact her, and when to head in to the hospital. This was a frustrating conversation for me. She said that she’d like us to just go in to the hospital without even calling her first if the contractions get to be 3-5 minutes apart for more than an hour straight. I told her that I had been having several episodes like this but that I was pretty sure it wasn’t the right time (obviously I was right-I’m still ginormous). She then just changed her explanation and said that I should just head in to the hospital when I thought it was the right time. She told me to trust my instincts… after all, I’ve done this before. I agreed with the trusting my instincts part, but I felt irritated that she’d tell me to just go when I thought it was right. I mean, actually, NO, I HAVEN’T done this before. I never felt contractions with Hula Girl. They induced me and then pressured me to get an epidural so that I didn’t feel anything. So no, I’ve never gone into labor before. At least not that I could feel. She just kind of laughed that off again and said, “Well, you’ll know.” Um, okay.

Anyway, when that conversation was over, I decided to ask her about my weight loss. She didn’t mention numbers, but by that time I had remembered how much I weighed last time. And I have lost 4-5 pounds in two weeks. And that’s not exactly what we’re shooting for. She gave me a very stern look and told me I need to be eating small meals all throughout the day. I told her that I do, but that my diet has changed drastically recently. She then asked for an explanation, and I told her that I’m doing the elimination diet, cutting out all 8 major allergens. “Why?” I pointed to Hula Girl and told her that she had reflux, eczema, and constipation as an infant and that the only thing that worked was the elimination diet, so we’re getting a head-start on this one, just in case. She seemed to accept that as a reasonable answer, and then reminded me (again,very sternly and in a school-marmish fashion) to eat protein. I asked her if she raised range-fed turkeys in her backyard because that’s pretty much the only place I can get protein outside quinoa and beans. She told me to drive an hour away to Whole Foods. Oh, okay, sure. Will do. NOT.*

The last thing to make our appointment extraordinary (and slightly unpleasant) was our check-out with the scheduler. She informed us that not only would my OB be out that day, but that the only other available OB had only one available opening, at 3:40. Just FYI- that’s right at the end of Hula Girl’s nap time, which would mean that I would have to wake her about halfway through her nap in order to get us there on time. I sighed, said, “Well, okay…” and then she miraculously produced an opening at 9:10 instead. So we’ll do that. Next Thursday, 9:10, 37-week appointment, all by myself with an OB I don’t know and a 2-year-old I do know. Sounds like an adventure, right?

*I should note that I am going to try really really hard to keep my weight up. I just went and bought a bunch of beans this afternoon (protein). I will also be cooking several things in advance so it’s not like a huge major kitchen effort every time I feel hungry (which, by the way, is really often). And one last really big thing is that Jonathan’s going to bake some allergen-free oatmeal cookies just for me. What a sacrifice I’ll be making when I have to choke THOSE down, eh? Let’s just hope this all works and that Gelato miraculously doesn’t have reflux.

Contractions

Can’t. Won’t. Haven’t. Ain’t.

No, wait, not those. (Insert “You’re a big dork” comment from my close friends and family, followed by a cheesy, “You said another one- you’re!” by me.)

When I had Hula Girl, I had no idea what a contraction felt like until I was actually hooked up to the monitor and I actually saw the lines going up and down. Then I was like, “Oh, is that one?” Yes, they were pain-free (sorry all other moms in the world) to the point where I couldn’t even tell. I seriously just thought Hula Girl was moving around a lot.

However, this time has been different. (Yet again. I don’t know why differences in this pregnancy continue to surprise/amaze me.) Let’s see. I started having Braxton-Hicks contractions a while back, around 25 weeks. But they pretty much went away by 28ish weeks. I mean, I’d have them almost daily, but not frequently throughout the day.

I was 35 weeks and 2 days on Saturday, when I started feeling contraction after contraction. My BFF Jo was down visiting us and we were out and about, when I started noticing my stomach squeeze and tighten pretty frequently. I thought nothing of it really- after all, we’re close enough that I expected to start seeing some signs of labor. But they just didn’t stop. All day, all night that night. They weren’t super close together, and definitely weren’t anything beyond noticeable on the intensity scale.

Sunday was quiet. Hardly any contractions, and nothing earth-shattering.

Monday- BAM. I got hit by the contraction train right after dinner. I camped out on the couch while Jonathan and Hula Girl played and had several contractions within 20 minutes or so. Then I came upstairs to draw Hula Girl’s bath and get her room ready for the night. Then I sat in the rocking chair and downloaded a contraction timer app, and recorded five contractions in 30 minutes. They were 30-40 seconds long and 3-6 minutes apart. Whoa.

I continued to have contractions throughout the evening. They actually decreased in frequency… but increased in intensity. I even got to the point where I had an aching back and the contractions were slightly painful. Then… they stopped for the evening. Around 10:30, I felt my last one and we went to sleep. I fully expected to feel more in the night, but nope. (Do keep in mind that I am a very heavy sleeper. So maybe I had a few?)

Today I have had more aches and pains in my lower back and upper thighs. My stomach cringes when I have to bend over (frequent occasion when your job is taking care of a two-year-old). I have had several contractions each hour, but only a few painful ones. I have not called the doctor because I am waiting to have more regularity- in duration, frequency, and intensity.

We have our 36-week appointment Thursday morning at 10. I am positive she’ll be checking me to see if we’ve made any progress since it is kind of early to be experiencing contractions, and it’s so different from last time for me. I should also mention that Gelato has “dropped.” This phenomenon, for those of you who don’t know, is also referred to as “lightening” and it means that the baby has moved lower down into my pelvis, in preparation for getting all the way out. It’s nice because my heartburn has gone away (well, it pretty much went away when I started the elimination diet anyway) and I can now breathe quite easily. However, it means I have been dying to use the restroom very often and my hips are just about done. Anyway, I am curious to see if Gelato is properly upside-down and at which station he is (meaning, is he close, not close, or closeish to coming on out).

Anyway, there ya go. Can’t wait to get this little guy out and meet him!

Bowls of Rice

Be warned: this post contains a confession of one of my strangest eccentricities. Don’t mock.

Rice holds a special place in my life right now. It is the staple of my diet. It is also saving my technology (I hope).

The elimination diet is going fine. I am hungry a lot… mostly because I don’t feel like cooking a vegetable and so all I can really eat is Rice Chex or fruit. Come on, Kim… it takes 8 minutes to microwave a potato. For realz. I will stop complaining about that right now. But since Monday I have eaten more bowls of rice (or rice cereal) than I had in the past month combined… so yeah, bowls of rice.

My cell phone was ceremoniously (and maddeningly purposefully) placed into a toddler pool in our backyard this morning by one age-appropriately-testing-her-limits toddler. Not once… twice.

I left my phone and umbrella on a chair next to her pool to run over to the back door (like, ten feet away, don’t freak out on me and call CPS) to get her towel. In the 3 seconds it took me to glance away, open the door, and return, she had grabbed my cell phone and dunked it. I saw that it was dripping wet, and I said the only thing a rational very upset parent says in a time like this, “Did you put my phone in the water?!?!” Um, duh, of course she did. What a stupid question. And of course it elicited the very best behavior in my child… as all stupid questions/responses to actions tend to do.

So she smiled, said, “[Hula Girl] put Mommy’s phone in the pool!!!” and crouched down to do it again. She was so gentle about it, she might as well have been returning a sea turtle to its natural habitat. But I…was…livid… so I did the next obvious thing: I sprinted across the backyard, over the rocky rocky ground, barefoot, 35 weeks pregnant, and grabbed the phone from the bottom of the pool. Then I engaged in the closest to yelling at my child I’ve ever done. I got a very firm and very loud voice (still not yelling… but I wish it had been softer) and said, “You must say sorry to me. You are not supposed to touch my phone! Now it’s broken!”

Typical two-year-old that she is, she did not say sorry. No, no. She turned, grabbed my water bottle, and drank out of it. Let me elaborate on why this sent me to the moon (in my head) and I almost raised my voice to a real yell.

See, Ido not share water bottles, chapstick, or food withanyone, not even my own child. Jonathan has learned to stay FAR away from my glasses of lemonade, and if he wants to surprise me with a Hershey’s bar, he’d better go ahead and get one for himself because there’s NO WAY he’s getting part of mine. Eeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeewwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwww. I can’t handle the thought of germs spreading through mouth-contact. (To be fair, this is majorly hyped up when I’m pregnant-hormones, people! But yes, I do let Jonathan kiss me… as long as his lips don’t leave a wet spot on mine… I will wipe my lips for days if that happens.)

K, so kid not only doused my only contact with the outside world in death-juice (aka water), but she slurped all over the mouthpiece of my water bottle with her toddler germs. As I fought back a wave of nausea, I had to be super firm with myself in order to gently and nicely take my water bottle away. But in the course of doing so, I asked stupid question number two: “Did you just drink out of my water bottle!? Seriously?!”

And in true toddler form, she grinned wickedly (or maybe just mischievously), and answered, “Yes, ee-yus-ee, Mommy.”

And then I forgave her a little. ‘Cuz that’s probably one of the smartest cutest things I’ve heard her say in a while.

So we held hands and she looked at my face while I explained to her the importance of not touching my things. I told her it made me sad and that she needs to say sorry. She said sorry this time. We hugged, and then she proceeded to empty her pool in the hopes of drowning all our flowers with the watering can.

Our saga ends with my sad cell phone sitting in yet another bowl of rice. I am hoping, praying, that it turns out okay and was not super damaged. I’m pretty sick of rice right now.

 

Elimination Diet Day 1

I started the dreaded elimination diet today. Blech.

For those of you who are unaware, Hula Girl had very bad reflux, plus constipation (yes, an exclusively breastfed baby can get constipated) and eczema, when she was an infant. We finally saw a GI doctor when she was 4 months old. He was not super concerned about her reflux (she was gaining weight VERY well, even though there was blood in her vomit), but her constipation and eczema issues suggested to him that Hula Girl might have a food allergy or intolerance. Being the extremely patient person that I am I just plain ol’ jumped straight into a total elimination diet. And I kept it up for 4 months straight. And guess what- all her issues cleared up nicely. We still have yet to find more than one food she’s actually allergic to… so who knows what was up with that. But it worked for us for that time, and it made our little daughter much more comfortable.

Now, being the very calm and rational person that I am, I am terrified that Gelato will have some of the same issues. There is no guarantee that one child will have reflux just because his sibling had it. But there is also no guarantee that he won’t. I decided to be proactive and clear my system of the usual allergens for about a month prior to his birth. So here we are.

My food options have just become severely limited. I will say I am not going as hard-core as some diets like Dr. Sears’ Elimination Diet. Even though I am going to stick to the rice only for grains rule and the range-fed organic turkey only for meat rule, I am going to have a wider variety of fruits and veggies, and I’m going to eat beans. Dr. Sears’ ED is really only meant to be followed for about 2 weeks, after which time the mom starts adding extra foods back in, in order of their allergen-prone-ness. For example, one of the first things a mom would add back in is peaches since hardly anyone on the planet is allergic to peaches. Avocado as well. (Although I know several people, Jonathan included, who claim an allergy to avocado simply because they do not like it.)

Anyway, today I have eaten a bowl of Rice Chex with rice milk, a nectarine, a sweet potato, and rice. For dinner I expect to have some zucchini (cooked with a little salt and pepper- whoa! I’m going crazy!) and some more rice. The whole point of an elimination diet is not to starve oneself; rather, one is encouraged to eat lots and lots… of a very limited variety of foods.

My wider variety includes grapes, peaches, nectarines, avocados, spinach, carrots, and some other random non-citrus, non-gas producing fruits and veggies. I am thankful it’s summer.

I will continue to keep the top 8 allergens (dairy, soy, wheat/gluten, eggs, fish, shellfish, nuts, and tree nuts) and citrus out of my system until after Gelato arrives. Once we’re all settled in, probably around 3/4 months old, if we are not experiencing any major issues like reflux, constipation, or eczema, I will slowly start to add some of these delicious foods back in. It’s always a slow process, but I expect that I’ll be on a fully-incorporated diet again by the time he’s about 8 months old. Fortunately, he’ll be able to try some of the foods himself at 6 months (yogurt, for example). I figure it’ll be easier to link a reaction to foods if he’s the one eating them!

Last time I did this diet, when Hula Girl was 4-8 months old, I lost a lot of weight really quickly. I am rather concerned about this since a nursing mom MUST keep up her caloric intake in order to produce ample milk. One of the bes ways to boost a milk supply is by eating a bowl full of oatmeal daily. Sure, sure, oatmeal has no gluten… but it is processed in plants that also process wheat, so the threat of cross-contamination exists. So no oatmeal for me. Sad. Oatmeal cookies are the BEST when nursing.

Because of the limited foods, I will also have a longer road ahead of me before I can exercise again. This is not good, people. As previously mentioned, I am ginormous enough that people think I’m having twins (and I still have a month and some change to go)! But I am very excited to go ahead and start at least walking again. I told Jonathan that I’d really like to just take it slow for a while and then start training for a marathon again. I did that a few years back and it was great! I really enjoyed running. And I got in really good shape, too! So, that’s my long-term goal.

Wish me luck and send me lots of encouragement as I watch my family scarf down delicious burritos! 🙂

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