Friday, September 30, 2011

On raising a boy vs a girl

As I sit here on my EIGHTH day of maternity leave, I've gotten a nice lovely chance to catch up on reading some of my favorite blogs.  

I talk about her all the time.  Remember Rebecca from Girls Gone Child?  She wrote this wonderful post in response to another article somewhere else about complimenting your daughter.

Basically, the original article related complimenting young girls on their looks to telling them beauty is more important than brains and by complimenting them on their looks you are encouraging them to diet as a pre-teen and expect surgery at 17.  Along with other things.  

Rebecca disagrees.  Her post is fascinating to read because she really knows how to say it, ya know?

With my impending D Day, and with it the impending knowledge of whether I will be raising a son or a daughter, the topic really struck a cord with me.  Why do we focus so much on topics such as these for girls?  Maybe it's why I think a boy would be easier to raise.  There isn't so much controversy on what to say and when to say it.  How to raise them.  Why is that, by the way?

Like Rebecca, I don't see the topic as polar opposites.  Why do people think you can be beautiful, or you can be smart.  You can be a successful career woman, or you can be a mother and wife.  You can be an adventurer, or you can have a family.  This has probably been the hardest thing to get past as I have come out of the college world and into the working world.  My mom struggles with seeing this, and I have never understood it.  Why can't you be a little of everything?

I was raised in a world of compliments.  I was also teased in school for my good grades (and really bad athletic skills).  I was not a pretty child, but I never really saw that because my family is so loving and complimenting.  My grandpa always told me I should be a model!  HA!  And while I wish I had learned a little more about fashion and beauty at a young age (I still know squat) I at least learned the value of cleanliness and taking care of yourself.  First impressions are important, and they often start with how you look.  While I was not a gorgeous child I was always clean and dressed appropriately and I was confident in my body.  Isn't that the important piece?  

I'm actually of the mindset that the opposite is true when you don't compliment a young girl.  Telling her she is pretty is going to instill confidence.  Avoiding compliments is going to make an already self-conscious teen question herself and make her wonder if she needed something more.  Like... surgery?  a diet?

I think for the most part parents need to just chill out and stop over-researching every tiny little detail.  You raise your daughter in a world where everything is possible- beauty AND brains, successful in the classroom and on the field.  Yes, it is possible to have a little bit of it all.  You don't worry about what you say and when you say it- you worry about the examples you show her (AND HIM).  You teach them the importance of a healthy lifestyle by HAVING a healthy lifestyle.  You teach them confidence by HAVING confidence.

But seriously... Why does it seem like there are way too many complicating things to think about when raising a girl vs raising a boy?

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

24 Hours Later....

I think I'm going to go insane.

Already.  I'm just not the "stay at home" type of person.  Or rather, I am.  I just like to have stuff to do, and to be honest I'm not quite in shape to be "to-doing" it up around here.  But we're trying.

I finished the bib.  With the except of adding on the button.  Because I don't have buttons.  But we are going to a fabric store tonight so my mama can make my nursery curtains, and I plan on stocking up on some extra bright and extra big and extra adorable buttons tonight.

I also made a pot of homemade chili last night.  MMMMMMM it was so good.  And so fitting for this fall weather that I have recently fallen in love with.  I can have windows open.  It's been YEARS since I could do that!  Last year, we didn't have functioning windows/screens.  Mike has since fixed that.  All the college years before that- it wasn't safe on campus to keep windows open.  Before that?   I had a bird.  It has literally been since my first year at UC, or maybe even my senior year of high school since I've been able to freely have my windows open. And my first year at UC- it was one dinky window in a tiny dorm.

Oh, chili, you say?  I love my chili.  I will look for the recipe today to see if I've ever posted it.  I don't think I have, since I've been working on perfecting it for a while.  I finally think I have it to where I like it, though.  And since it's chili, it's high protein, high veggies, and LOW CARB!  Meaning very good for the gestationally diabetic.  The cornbread that goes with it?  Not so much...

I also started one of my organizational projects- Organizing my bookcases!  I'm already not happy with it, to be honest.  Who wants to come help?  There are a few constraints that are really bugging me, and I'm just not sure how to work around them and keep things aesthetically pleasing.  This whole room needs the furniture rearranged, though... Maybe that would be enough to fix my woes.  I'm just not sure how!  Maybe if I draw the room and furniture proportionally from a 2D view from above... that might help me out.  Hmmmm....

Other things I've done, because apparently this blog is now going to be a play-by-play of maternity leave?  I walked a mall for an hour and a half.

And then after eating chili for dinner and sitting on an exercise ball, along with walking a flight of stairs every time I needed to pee, I spent about 4 hours awake with contractions in the wee hours of this morning.

I'm seriously hoping these things get a little more serious around here.  Practice is really cramping my style.

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Holy Maternity Week

Friday marked the beginning of the end.  Or at least I hope.

(Pregnancy DOES in fact end, right????)

I started maternity leave.  Which seems weird to me.  It's been a long time since I didn't have a job.  Ok, it was 2008, and again it was for a medical reason (knee surgery, anyone?) but outside of that awful time, it's been a while.  And holy cow, 3 months?  More?  That's amazing.

So my goal is every day I will get up and get dressed still.  What, don't tell me you get dressed every day of every weekend!  I will make breakfast and then set to work on at least 1 project, preferably one that requires movement (today I've somewhat failed).  After lunch I will spend the afternoon doing a sit down activity, and then my evenings will be whatever they would normally be.  

This will keep me sane during this waiting game, no?

So far, the entire upstairs is clean (woohoo!!!!!).  And after a lot of work, the main level is mostly clean too!  We just need to basically sweep and do a few project organization things, and we're good.  Next up- the downstairs.  I'm mad excited here.  My house, for probably the first time ever, is close to being completely clean!

I've also started to crochet.  I already knit, but I was kind of getting bored with it.  So I bought a set of crochet hooks and a book on how-to, and found some patterns on Ravelry, and set to work.  We now have a newborn sized pumpkin hat (that is OMG adorable) and about 20 rows worth of a bib.  :-D  Hopefully by the end of things I'll have a few bibs, and a papoose.  Unfortunately the yarn I bought for the papoose is not very crochetable.  I can't see my stitches!  So I'm going to have to see if I can find a knitting pattern.  Because I want this papoose.  And this yarn was semi expensive (hello soft and fluffy).

And in the mean time I'm totally getting my arms the workout they need.  By throwing a miserable looking "hot dog" dog toy once every 10 seconds for my extremely happy puppy.  He has spent a month learning to live at home all day by himself, and now all of a sudden Mama is home every day all day.  Holyfreakincowhowmanytoyscanwefindforhertothrowtoday?

And fortunately by noon he's zonked.  Like now.  He's curled in a ball in my lap. Gotta love tiny dogs.  So much energy that honestly runs out so fast.

I'll maybe get some cute pictures of the hat and soon-to-be bibs before long.  I'm sure you're dying to see a newborn pumpkin hat, right?  Me too... On the newborn, that is.  Any day now.... Any day now.....

Monday, September 19, 2011

A Dr Seuss Gender Neutral Nursery

Here's what you've all been waiting for!  And so far, according to my blown up facebook account, it's a hit!  That makes me happy.  I put a lot of effort into this one.  Ladies and gentlemen, we have a nursery!

And none too soon.  I'm 37 weeks 3 days.  And I just split wide open the ass of my favorite pajama pants, so... ya know.  It's about time.

Ok.  Here's the tour.  I'll point out the important aspects- those hand made with love... Not necessarily by me, unfortunately.  I just make the baby.  If you like what you see, I'd be happy to tell you where I got it, so feel free to ask!!!!

Who wants yellow and green all over?  Not us.  Our gender neutral- orange and lime green.

The framed art pieces are actually pages from my favorite Dr Seuss book- Oh Say Can You Say (I just realized I've read several more pages recently).  Hand made by my Aunt.  There are 5 pages around the room.

Bookshelves- made by my awesome husband after I realized that my huge self couldn't handle power tools.  There are 3 and they are really awesome.

Blanket made with love by my grandmother.  There are 3 others, along with booties, hats, and even a poncho (if it's a girl).

Banner was made by my artsy friend for my baby shower.  It's made out of fabric, however, so it could be kept and hung in the nursery.

More detailed view of the bookshelves.

The only thing missing- curtains!  And you should see the material we bought for them.  

Sunday, September 18, 2011

I am still alive

We gotta stop meeting like this.  I'm such a better friend than that.  And I do consider you my friend!

I have been lazy with pregnancy.  And then third trimester hit and the laziness went away because, oh my god, we're having a baby soon and I need to get my shit together!  But here's the thing- there is so much around me that got neglected, I'm still WAY behind!  And holy wow, people.  Third trimester is THE HARDEST to get things done.  Ok, maybe I'm forgetting all the sickness and exhaustion of first, but... I'm going with it.


Pregnancy news!

As of today I am 37 weeks 1 day.  :)  This means full term, people!  We are all on baby lookout around here.  Not that you really want to know, but I am 1 cm dialated, and the baby's head has dropped.  This thing is for real.

And that also means that I have of course survived what I may have described as a hellacious gestational diabetes diagnosis and diet.  I won't lie, it's been hard at times.  Especially after the first few months when you start getting bored with what you eat.  But for the most part, I'm enjoying the food I can actually eat, and I'm honestly trying to think of ways to incorporate this style of eating (which is super healthy) into my every day life post baby and post GD.  It's really good for you.  And it's really been my saving grace.  I've only gained about 34 pounds, 30 of which I had gained BEFORE BEING DIAGNOSED.  That means for the entire third trimester I have gained 4 pounds.  Don't worry about the baby- he or she has been gaining in a very healthy way.  At my 36 week appointment (and ultrasound... I get them weekly now thanks to the GD) they estimate the baby to weigh 6 lbs 2 oz.

But with all said and done, I have a list of foods that I will be eating post-baby.  Included are spaghetti, a hot fudge cake from frisch's, and my birthday dinner, including cake.  Oh, and eventually pumpkin pie.  pumpkin muffins.  and breakfast foods.  I miss cereal and biscuits and french toast.

So that's the majority of the pregnancy stuff.  More to come.


Apparently the last thing I read was the Song of the Lioness Quartet?  That really can't be true, can it?  I love to read.  I read all the time.  No way.  I said I was going to read Harry Potter... Did I do that?  I can't remember, but I honestly don't think so because I don't remember nearly as much as I would had I just read it... So I guess I need to read that (again).  BUT to help me catch up on my reading (which I thought I was behind before... that's nothing now!!!) my wonderful husband got me the Kindle for my birthday.  I'm so excited, and I have already downloaded several books.  None of which I've finished yet, but I will soon!  And happily I will be updating my 11K in 2011 list here shortly with the pregnancy book that I have read not once, but actually TWICE.


The main reason I have been so lazy!  I thought the 4 months of training for the job was a little much and kind of overwhelming.  BOY WAS I WRONG!!!  So I guess they like me?  Because they gave me a lot more work than expected... It was supposed to be temporary while someone was on leave.  But then she came back, and never took back the work!  I love it, though!  My job is so much fun, and so interesting.  Yes, I plan the production for our making systems.  Yes, to some people that probably would be very boring.  But my job is far from boring.  There are issues every day, and the schedules are ALWAYS like putting together huge complicated and sometimes incorrectly cut puzzle pieces.  Now that I'm finally adjusting (and have only 4 days before maternity leave) I can tell that the work has been a major cause behind my exhaustion.  Not that pregnancy has been enough!  It's gotten a lot easier on me now, though.  I know my job better.  I'm at that stage where I'm ready to learn the next step (believe me... I'm still on a basic level at work).  But obviously with maternity leave starting in FOUR DAYS I'm not moving on until I return.

In other news- 

My house is a wreck still.  But it's majorly improved.  Remember how I said I was lazy?  This is where it's been the worst.  I have finally gotten most of the upstairs cleaned up.  Our bedroom is by far the easiest room to maintain in our house, and I've successfully done so now for over a month.  :)  The guest room is probably just as easy and I've been doing well with it too.  I haven't gotten the office cleaned up, but I at least get in there and dust, vacuum, and clean the window every now and then.  And of course the nursery.  It's been well worked on!  More on that later.  The bathrooms have been more difficult to maintain.  My husband is messiest in the bathroom, and it's honestly a crappy bathroom to begin with.  It's definitely near the top of the major remodeling project lists.

The downstairs, however... is a disaster.  I got the dining room cleaned up last week, though.  And I got the fall decorations out- I just need curtains.  I imagine I can keep it clean enough.  My kitchen is still a mess, and I haven't even touched the living and family rooms.  Both of which have been swallowed whole by books, fabric, papers, yarn, more papers, bags (and bags and bags) and shoes.  Oh, and empty boxes from all of the baby stuff.  But the living room is seriously on my hit list tomorrow.  It's going down.

Mike, a job, and childcare-

So my wonderful hubs found a wonderful (and well paying) job!!!!!!  It's full time (I could sing) with not only benefits (yay!) but AWESOME benefits (YAY!!!).  So we are just thrilled around here.  We're both working on the same shift now.  That's a plus.  We get our weekends together!  And seriously.  I haven't even looked back to the days where we didn't.  How did we seriously manage that for so long?  This is so nice.

And with his new job, and a rather long commute, we had to get rid of his car.  It wasn't reliable.  And definitely not functional as a family vehicle.  So with the new job, and shiny new paycheck, we traded in the little coupe for a CR-V.  :)  We had been planning this purchase for a long while, I'll admit.  Don't think we're rich or anything (we certainly aren't).  But we knew we'd never be able to afford a car payment until Mike had a better income.

There are downsides to the new job, though.  One of which is childcare.  Our baby will be at a daycare center 40 hours a week.  But it's literally down the street from my office, so I can go see him or her at lunch time if I wanted.  And we found a daycare that I'm really excited about.  They stress education.  They start teaching them in classroom style ish at the age of 2.  Geography, Music, Math, Science, and Writing.  There may have been others too.  I can't remember.  They play too, though.  And still have nap times.  They were very organized, had lots of information and were real exciting people.  The kids were all happy, and you could just tell.  It was a good place.  

The only other downside is our poor puppy is not used to us both being gone all day.  I can tell he hates it.  But we're trying to make sure he gets a walk in the evenings or at least something.  And he needs to get used to less attention- a baby is coming after all.  It's just sad to watch.  He's adjusting well, though.  No bad behavior.  He really is a big sweetheart.  You can't help but love him.  I don't care what people say, I don't think my feelings towards him are going to change much after baby arrives.  

Ok, so I've bombarded you with TONS of information tonight!  I'm going to write another post on the nursery, and maybe if you're lucky I'll include a post on Puerto Rico (cuz who doesn't want to see THOSE pictures?).  And maybe, just maybe, I'll get something read here soon and I'll update my reading challenge.  I'm scared to look at the numbers, though... I was so close to caught up.