Thursday, May 31, 2012

Franklet Update

One of my sorority sisters is also pregnant, and just a few weeks behind me. She has been doing some really fun updates on her blog...so I thought I would start this on my own.

                       Size of the baby?  
About 6 inches long and 1/2 pound
The size of a large mango....


Maternity Clothes?  
I am officially now in exclusively maternity clothes. With the exception of dresses. They're pretty comfy, but I have to say, it's tough to look at a closet full of clothes that you cannot wear. But, you better believe I WILL be wearing those clothes again soon. Well maybe not soon, but again.
My favorite maternity clothes? Gap. Or the crazy expensive designers, but practically speaking, Gap.

Stretch marks?  
Nope, not yet, but I have been vigilant about lotion. They say it doesn't really help, but it makes me feel like I'm doing something to help the cause.

Best Moments?  
Sitting in a meeting at work and feeling the baby move all around. I swear, during my annual review, the baby was in the midst of a Zumba class. I have a distinct feeling this kid is going to have a very high energy level, like it's mother.

Movement? 
I'm feeling more and more each day. I can't wait for everyone else to see/feel it.

Food Cravings? 
 
Not really. Last night I really wanted a smoothie with dinner. Jeremy thought I was nuts, and convinced me that a smoothie was not the ideal side dish to flat-bread pizza. But I am still sad I didn't get my smoothie. 

Anything making you queasy or sick? 
Chicken, white fish and broccoli.



What I'm looking forward to?  
Next Wednesday we have our 20 week ultrasound and will find out the gender of the Franklet!!!!! I absolutely do not care one way or the other, but I must know what it is. I feel like I have a stranger living inside of me, at a minimum, I need to know if its a boy or girl.

Symptoms? 
INDIGESTION. Holy Hannah. No more spicy food. No more greasy food. No more laying down after eating meals for 2 hours. Oh my gosh I feel as though my esophagus is on fire.
  One of my friends said that some people believe indigestion during pregnancy is tied to the hormone that grows hair on the baby's head. Well, this must be one hairy baby.

Gender? 
6 days, and we'll let you know!

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Seattle and Airplanes

Over Memorial Day weekend, Jeremy and I traveled to Seattle for a little vacation. With our upcoming little arrival in October, we are trying to travel as much as possible right now, assuming, after October, we will never leave the house, let alone the state again after baby arrives. Ever.

I'm not sure if I have mentioned this before, but dear husband, has airplane issues. He hates to fly, but loves airplanes. Normal, I know. So when planning the trip to Seattle, he really wanted to visit the Boeing headquarters to tour, and see his favorite airplanes in production.

Again, loves planes....
Hates to fly...

On our way out to Seattle, Jeremy selected a flight that was on a Boeing 767, one of his favorite airplanes, due to its wide body style, and safety record. We had great seats in the middle section of the plane, bulkhead, with lots of leg room. I had the aisle, due to my mid-pregnancy need to pee every 20 minutes, and he took the middle.

We sat in our seats, and got ready for the flight.
For me, this means, I begin to snooze.
For Jeremy, this means he pulls out the airline safety card, and begins to review, while checking to make sure our seat cushion life rafts are in place, and surveying all emergency exits.

Our 3rd seatmate wandered over to our seat, in a surprisingly loud and boisterous fashion. She told the person behind us that she, "Works for the airline company". In those terms. We were confused, but went about our respective business. Snoozing for me. Panicking for Jeremy.

Seatmate sat down and began to twirl her very, very long hair. She leaned her head towards Jeremy while pulling and playing with her hair. He was visibly grossed out, but too concerned with proper airplane takeoff procedures to pay much attention.

Then, out of nowhere, the girl goes limp, and her head falls onto Jeremy. Instead of having great concern for this, now obviously drunk girl next to us, he screams at the top of his lungs, as her hair is now all over him, and her head is in his lap. He screams and throws her whole body back into its seat. Then the girl literally collapses into her own lap in a heap.

At this point, I try my hardest to maintain composure, and not laugh hysterically, and then bound from my seat to find the nearest flight attendant to help this girl. The flight attendant shakes the drunk girl awake which then causes drunk seatmate to scream at the top of her lungs due to the surprise of being woken.

Drunk girl comes to, and convinces the flight attendant she's okay to fly..and that she travels a lot, because she works for BOEING. Yes, Boeing. Jeremy's trust in airplanes has now been shattered due to drunk seatmates behavior.

Regardless, we made it to Seattle safely, toured Boeing, ate fish, ate pastries, walked, saw an amazing Chihuly art exhibit, ate more pastries, visited the aquarium, and then ate a bit more.
Jeremy behind the wheel of a Boeing aircraft at the Museum of Flight

Jeremy instructing me how to fly this airplane at the Museum of Flight

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Lessons from the 1st trimester


I am happy that my 1st trimester is over. Jeremy is even happier. It wasn't easy. Don't get me wrong, I am thrilled to be pregnant, but that 1st trimester. It's a doozy. So, if you are ever thinking about getting pregnant, ever considering marrying someone who may ever get pregnant, have a child and can commiserate, then you may be interested in some of my lessons from the 1st trimester.
Disclaimer: these are just my personal lessons. Everyone is different. You may feel differently. But I kind-of think #9 is universal for everyone.

1. Bella Bands were not for me. I mean, they're okay for a few weeks while your pants are kind-of getting tight, but personally, I did not like them. They add a lot of bulk to the waist, and well, it's pretty hard to mentally get over the fact that your pants are unbuttoned and unzipped. In my head I was like, "That person knows, they know that my pants are unzipped...yep, they can tell". This is probably just my crazy neurosis, but I couldn't walk around with my pants undone. (In case you've never heard of them, they are elastic bands that you wear over your unbuttoned pants so that you can make your regular pants last longer while your belly grows.)

2. Tums are your friend. You can take tums all you want. They are safe for you, and safe for baby. Eventually, Pepcid will become your friend. And, Pepcid is safe for you, and safe for your baby.

3. You may never eat saltine crackers again, but invest in some NOW. Have them around. Keep them in your nightstand drawer. Eat them immediately upon waking. And, even though you have been told all of your life not to eat before bed...do NOT go to bed hungry. You will be sleeping for +-8 hours, and that will make you an unhappy person if you wake up with a totally empty stomach. Eat a little snack before bed. Even better than saltine crackers...almonds. They are bland, but also provide a little protein.

4. Slow down. This mostly just applies to me. But, generally, in the 2nd and 3rd month of pregnancy, don't make a lot of plans. You won't want to go. You're building a placenta and that takes a lot of work. If you make a lot of night/weekend plans, you will be too sad to cancel them, and you will go...and you will be exhausted...   It's not worth it. Make as few plans as possible in the coming weeks. You will really just want to sleep, and that's ok. It's also really awkward to be around people who are drinking and you have to lie and make up fake excuses of why you are not. So just skip those occasions.

5. Don't go far from a bathroom. The need to pee is one of the earliest signs of pregnancy. We made innumerable emergency stops on the side of the road at gas stations, Targets, coffee shops, etc...to go to the bathroom. I almost had to knock on the door of a stranger who lived on Lake of the Isles to ask if I could use their bathroom. And it's not always #1. Your gastrointestinal system is going through some crazy things right now. Graphic, sorry, but true.

6. Maternity stores sell special pregnancy suckers that are supposed to help with morning sickness. They are basically expensive, and less delicious tasting Jolly Ranchers. Skip the expensive pregnancy suckers, go for jolly ranchers. Keep them in your purse, your car, your office drawer. They are your friend. Drop in blood sugar can lead to more nausea. Eat jolly ranchers.

7. Take monthly pictures of your belly and don't let your husband tell you it's stupid. It's fun.
8. Don't buy a "maternity pillow". They are really uncomfortable, and they are huge, and there's nowhere to put them, and they look ugly on your bed. Also, enjoy sleeping on your back while you can. Once the 2nd trimester comes along, you can no longer sleep on your back because it restricts blood flow to the baby.

9. Try not to punch your husband in the face while you are so exhausted you are not sure if it's a better idea to just throw up on the couch, because walking to the bathroom would be too much work. Also try to refrain from using the words, "YOU DID THIS TO ME". Those came out of my mouth almost daily for about 3.5 weeks. They were usually followed by tears of both joy and frustration.

10. ENJOY EVERY MINUTE! (even #5. Try to enjoy #5. It will be hard, but try.)

Just a few of my lessons. 

Monday, May 21, 2012

Adopt these puppies!

If you read my blog, it has likely become very clear that I am a big animal lover. All animals, of all shapes and sizes (with the exception of birds). My family has had countless dogs, cats, hamsters, goldfish, hedgehogs, guinea-pigs, racoons, deer etc...

We are all animal lovers in my family, but there is one ringleader to the animal circus. My cousin Jen (or Jen-Jen as I have called her since a young age). This topic of Jen and my family, and our crazy love for animals deserves its own blog post, but let's get to the real meat of the issue.

Jen works for an animal rescue organization, and yesterday, she rescued two, 10 month old Golden Retriever puppies whose family could not care for them anymore because they had a premature baby. She needs to find a home for these beautiful puppies...
  • 10 months old
  • Do not necessarily need to be adopted together
  • Fully trained and housebroken
  • Neutered, shots, vet checks etc...
Comment or email me if you or someone you know is interested. Look at those beautiful faces! Please help us find a home quickly for these gorgeous dogs!

And honestly...raising a puppy sucks. What an amazing opportunity to get a trained, well cared for dog.

Friday, May 18, 2012

The difference

I am Jewish. I have mentioned this in the past. I love people of every religion, and I really don't see very many differences. I have Jewish friends, Christian friends, Muslim friends, it really makes no difference to me. However, there is one, very, extremely critical difference.

Food quantity.

Yes, the Jewish people have extreme neurosis regarding the quantity of food served at an event, and I am no exception.

I am thinking about this because I just overheard a conversation in my office that went something like this:

Person A: I'm hosting a graduation party at my house and trying to figure out how much food to order.
Person B: Order less, it's better to run out than have too much.
This is when I have chills running down my spine, and I feel as though my throat is closing in.
Person A: Yes, you are right, we don't want leftovers.

Yes, this is the difference in religions.
My answer to person A would have been: Order 3 times the amount you are intending to order, that is in NO way enough food. You might run out. People might go hungry. There might not be enough food to send everyone home with leftovers. You need a lot more food. What if you...heaven forbid....ran out of food....

We are neurotic about food quantity and the potential of running out of food. Literally, I'm still shaking at the thought that this person might run out of food for their graduation party. I might need to offer to bake so they have enough. I'm not even invited to this party, and yet, I'm still panicking.

P.s. speaking of food...my iPhone app says the baby is the size of a turnip this week (week 17). This is what a turnip looks like. Turnips are big!

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Baby Gifts

I had dinner with a great friend from college last night who has an amazing talent. Well, she has many talents, but one of her best talents is her ability to find the most perfect gift for anyone, for any occasion.

She is not satisfied with going to Target/Macy's etc... to pick out something practical and boring (like I would do). No, she goes above and beyond to find the most perfect gift ever. Ordering gifts from far and wide. Waiting for months for the perfect item to arrive. She is incredible, that Holly.

And so arrived our first baby gift. Thanks to Holly. Best gift giver ever.
Baby Frank may just be coming home from the hospital in this amazing onesie. I laughed for hours.

Love you Holly Jo, and your ability to give the BEST GIFTS EVER.

Monday, May 14, 2012

Farmer Franks

If you have been reading my blog for a while, you may remember that our landscaping was a disaster when we moved into our new house. Between construction, and an elderly previous owner who could not maintain her yard, we were left with a disaster. We spent last summer planting, planting and planting. And now this summer, we thought we could sit back and enjoy our hard work from last summer...

Not quite yet.

While our hard work from last year paid off, and everything came back looking beautiful and lush, I still wanted to add in a few more things. I had plans to plant annual flowers, veggies in my vegetable garden, add in a few more perennials, and mulch the beds.

That is nothing compared to last year's project of turning this...
Into this...

This past weekend we visited our neighborhood landscaping store to buy the supplies for this year's landscaping. We walked up to the front door, and before we could walk inside, we were shocked at the condition of the landscaping beds at our local, fancy-pants, garden center. Yes, fancy pants garden center couldn't touch the lovely landscaping seen at the Frank household.

Fancy Garden Center

Frank Household

Turns out the Franks would be excellent Farmers. Maybe not excellent farmers. That might be an overstatement.

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Just Wait

With Mother's day coming up this weekend, I thought it would be a good time to share this little story.

When I first found out I was pregnant, people quickly started pointing out the negative aspects of children and pregnancy. Feeling a bit discouraged, I confided in my friend, Debra, that I wished people could think of the positive(the joy, and happiness, and unmatched excitement that we felt) , not just the negative (you're going to be nauseous, tired, broke). 

Debra sent over this blog post that she had seen and it described my feelings perfectly. It's heartwarming and honest, and...it's probably the hormones, but it brings me to tears every time I read it. (though it probably is the hormones, because I just cried over a greeting card at Target).

Though...I added my own pictures instead of the author's photos. Because mother's day is this weekend. And my mom is amazing. So amazing that after complaining that I didn't have pants to wear to work, she went out last night, shopping all night, until she found maternity dress pants for me, then dropped them off for me to try on, and return the ones that didn't fit. My mom...she's pretty incredible.

Joy, or “Just Wait?” 

Diving for Pearls 

 As I wait at Target, a young couple pushes a stroller in the line behind me. The stroller, brand new, appears to be on its maiden voyage. I  peer at the tiny sleeping newborn, his fingers curled up near his ruddy face.
“You guys do good work!” I comment. The parents beam with pride, but the weariness in their eyes lets me know that they are all still in the process of getting to know each other. The lady behind the couple glances at the stroller as well, and asks. “Is this your first?” They nod proudly.  ”Just wait…” she snorts, and then follows with a comment about unruly teenagers.
 
Inwardly, I wince. We seem to live in a country overrun by a great lot of negative naysayers when it comes to parenting. I remember hearing comments like that when I was a new (and overwhelmed!) mom.  It seemed that many parents were suffering from a chronic case of disappointment and dissatisfaction called ”Just-Wait-itis,” characterized by the inflammation of impending doom in parenthood….I felt trapped in a swirl of know-it-alls who were warning me that the worst was yet to come.
Of course, now that my kids are teenagers, I know the truth. Parenting is complicated; it’s wonderful and challenging. Exhausting and gut wrenching. Heart warming and heart breaking.


And, at the outset, parenting can be utterly daunting. It just doesn’t help when others douse young parents with stories leading to doubt and despair.
Instead, we seasoned moms could infuse joy into our “just waits…” As I regard this weary pair, I think of so many things I could say…
Just wait until your preschool son sees you in the hallway at pick up time and covertly grins and waves to you. (It’s the best flirting in the world.)
Just wait until you watch your kindergartener jump off the bus after that first day, triumphant and tired, melting into your arms.
Just wait until your son is up to bat, and strikes out, holding it together despite disappointment. And just wait until the crack of the bat meeting the ball surprises him and he races to first base…safe.
Just wait until your daughter stands up for a classmate who is struggling, and her peers, humbled, apologize.
Just wait until your child, painfully tethered to tubes and machines in the hospital, whispers, “I just want my mommy.” (and you are suddenly aware that your presence is more powerful than any prescription.)
Just wait until your son gets his very first summer job and he is, unmistakably, walking taller and more confidently as a result.
Just wait until your child’s quick sense of humor makes you double over with laughter.
Just wait until you hear your son invite a friend to church.
Just wait until your daughter receives her first college acceptance and you find yourself overcome with tears…not because she’s leaving, but because she’s ready.
The baby in the stroller whimpers, breaking my reverie.
I smile at the couple and look them straight in the eye.
“You have so much joy ahead of you…” I remark…
“Just wait.”

Wishing you joy today~

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

4 months

We have reached the 4 month milestone! The baby can now hear and recognize our voices. The "experts" recommend you start singing to the baby to get it used to your voice, and songs you want to sing after it is born. Therein lies the problem.

I can't sing.
Jeremy can't sing.

And when I say "can't sing", I mean actually tone-deaf, hurts to hear, painful sounds come out of our mouths when we try to sing. So last night I told Jeremy that he needed to start singing to the baby. He refused, stating, probably accurately, that the baby would never want to come out if it heard us sing. Baby would be convinced, even before birth, that it's parents were crazy, and beyond their craziness, had the worst voices known to man.

Furthermore, we don't really know songs. Yes, neither of us can sing, and we also can't remember words to songs. So, when we 'sing', we make up the words. Jeremy knows the words to one song, it is one he learned in music class in elementary school. It is literally the only song in which he knows all of the words. The song...Mrs. Jenny Wren. It is some little song they learned in elementary school. It has something to do with a bird having a very fine voice...and on and on.

And me, I'm not much better. If its possible, I'm an even worse singer than him, and I really only know all of the words to one song, and it might be more embarrassing than his song. It's my high school alma matter. Yep...one of those songs that you sing every week for school meeting, and at convocation every year.

So we don't know any songs, and we can't sing. So this kid is only going to hear two songs, Mrs. Jenny Wren, and my high school theme song. I am concerned.

So we have a new Frank family plan. Learn some kids songs. We plan to download some, and really try to learn them, and sing them well. Perhaps we should take voice lessons. No, I think we're beyond help. But this kid needs to grow up with some music, and I don't think my high school song is the appropriate one.

Baby Franklet, I promise we are going to be good parents. I really promise. It's just that we can't sing. And we can't remember songs. But we have many other quality traits. Singing is just not among them.

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Compliment

I arrived at work today and walked into our office kitchen.

One of my coworkers looked at me and said, "You are looking absolutely adorable lately".

She did not know that I had just spent the last 30 minutes in my closet, tearful, trying to figure out what the heck to wear on this new body that has decided to arrive overnight.

Never underestimate the power of an honest compliment. It changed my whole morning.

Monday, May 7, 2012

Avocado

Today our baby is 4 months old and the size of an avocado. 
That feels both tiny and enormous at the same time.
Enormous when you think that it started so small that you could only see it under a microscope.
Tiny because I feel as though my belly looks like it is carrying an entire avocado FARM, not just 1 avocado.

Oh baby Franklet the avocado. Can it be October already? I'm ready to meet you.
I have a feeling you're going to be pretty darn amazing.

I also have a feeling that macaroni and cheese is going to be your favorite food as it is all that you want me to eat. Or it's possible you will hate macaroni and cheese due to the overdose your mother is currently subjecting you to.

Thursday, May 3, 2012

Priorities

I met some girlfriends downtown Minneapolis for lunch today.

I parked in the Target store parking ramp.

While riding the elevator down to the parking garage, there was a gentleman standing across from me.

The man was very well dressed. In one hand, the man was carrying a Chanel shopping bag tied with a beautiful gold bow. He had clearly just purchased a very, very nice, expensive gift for someone.

In his other hand, the man was carrying a 12 pack of single-ply, basic toilet paper.

I stared at this man for an inappropriately long time, thinking to myself, wow, do we have different priorities.

You see..I would go for the high end toilet paper. And the not-so-fancy gift.

You've only got one tush. Treat it well.

Really, single-ply, buddy?