Thursday, September 22, 2011

Newsflash: I'm not Superwoman.

"I was always hearing talk about golden mystical baby things and precious time,” she recalls. “And I was like, ‘Who are you talking to?!?’ If you could see me naked, you would weep. Children are like crazy, drunken small people in your house.” ~ Julie Bowen, star of Modern Family, on her pregnancy.

I bet I'm not the only mom that can totally relate to this quote! Don't get me wrong, pregnancy is an amazing thing, and definitely worth it, but honey, it ain't no picnic! And while children are beautiful, wonderful, incredible little miracles, they do wreak havoc on your life, your house, your sleep, your schedule, your everything! It's really refreshing to hear people tell it like it is.

I try to take it with a grain of salt, but when I read an article about how Jessica Alba got her pre-baby body back in two weeks, or hear Giselle Bundchen talk about how childbirth “wasn’t painful, not even a little bit,” I can't help but have two simultaneous reactions: mostly smug eye-rolling, with a dash of motherly guilt. I start with the thought of, "of course it's easy to get your baby body back when you have a nanny, personal trainer, and a chef to prepare all of your meals" (though, to be fair, I have no idea about the status of Jessica Alba's household help). But there's a little voice that sneaks into the back of my mind that says, "You could try harder. You could exercise, eat better, keep the house cleaner, be more mellow."

We had a bit of a scare with preterm labor this week. I started having contractions that were 2-3 minutes apart, and ended up in the hospital on Monday night. Thankfully, with the help of doctor-ordered temporary bed rest, all seems to be well now. I won't lie and say that it's been a horrible experience, lounging on the couch and taking mid-day naps. But is has been hard being home all day, faced with everything that I want to do. The floors need to be swept and mopped. The bathrooms need to be cleaned. There are areas of clutter that are awaiting organization. I make the mental list of chores while sitting in front of the TV eating a bowl of ice cream, and the voice in the back of my mind comes back. "You could try harder. You could exercise, eat better, keep the house cleaner, be more mellow."

I think I'm going to listen to that voice... but only the last part. I could be more mellow. I could come to terms with the realization that I can't move at the same pace that I once did. I will spend more time at my desk when I return to work, and less time running around the halls. I will ask for favors. I will not try to tackle everything myself. I will take my amazing husband up on his countless offers to do whatever it is that I need. I will mellow out for my sake, the baby's sake, and the sake of my family. I will listen to my body and slow down. I will take care of myself. I won't feel guilty about it.

(And, because every blog post needs a picture, here's a recent belly shot. Sorry baby brother, we're not going all out on the maternity photos this time like we did with Ethan. I won't feel guilty about that, either.)

Monday, September 12, 2011

Nursery Rhymes Creep Me Out

Ethan sang me a new song this afternoon. It's a common tune that he thinks goes a little something like this:

Flea flying mice
Flea flying mice
See how day one
See how day one
(incoherent mumbling)
(more incoherent mumbling)
(continued incoherent mumbling)
Flea flying mice

I think we all know that the real story goes more like this:

I'm kind of okay with him not knowing that those poor visually impaired rodents met with a violent end. I don't fancy myself super sensitive, so I'm sure that some of you reading this are with me on the creep-out factor of most nursery rhymes. Humpty Dumpty? Dies. Jack who went tumbling down a hill? Probably dies. And Jill may have too, for that matter.

Some of my least favorite classics:

Goosey Goosey Gander
Is an old man refusing to say his prayers one night justification for throwing him down the stairs? Seems harsh.

Rock A Bye Baby
Call me crazy, but a cradle crashing to the ground after a gust of wind is not the most comforting image to fall asleep to.

There Was an Old Woman Who Lived in a Shoe
Overwhelmed by the parenting responsibilities of many, many, many small children, the woman starves and beats them.

Ladybug Ladybug Fly Away Home
Your house is on fire and your children are gone?!? *shudders*

I realize the purpose that nursery rhymes once served. I get the necessity for oral tradition and coded messages due to political persecution back in the days of yore. But these are the days of free speech, and the internet, and social media. We'll slap ratings on our TV shows and movies and censor video games, but tell the most awful, depressing tales to our young impressionable children. I'm totally guilty of reading nursery rhymes before bed, or singing lullabyes to Ethan that are less than wholesome. Chalk it up to nostalgia, but even though some of the poems give me pause, I can't really picture childhood without thinking of Mother Goose.

But today, in the car on the way home from preschool, I took a quiet stand. As much as it drives me crazy when people sing the wrong lyrics to songs, I let Ethan belt out what he probably thinks is a song about a flea circus. In all honesty, I'll go right back to reciting poems about locking people up inside of London Bridge or imprisoning wives in pumpkin shells if Ethan requests a nursery rhyme book before bed.

But today, for a brief moment during our car ride home, I preserved a little bit of his innocence.

Saturday, September 3, 2011

It's a Boy (and other news)!

I've been trying to think of a witty way to convey over a month's worth of updates, but I'm coming up with bupkis.

Should I do an alphabet-themed post?

B is for it's a BOY!
C is for... ugh, this isn't working for me. Way too cheesy. Next!

Should I do a poem-themed post?

The days have flown by and the posts have built up,
And now I have so many things to write about that I am having trouble figuring out where to start and it's super overwhelming and makes me put off posting at all which just perpetuates my problem and...
(Uh oh, that doesn't rhyme. Epic poem fail.)

Should I do an all-photo post?

Yes! That's it! I'll let the pictures truly be worth a thousand words! And then all I have to come up with are the captions. Which is good, because - stick a fork in me - between going back to work and finishing grad school and being pregnant and having a toddler at home, I'm so done. *sigh of relief*

Aunt Mary came to visit us this summer!

Yes, I said summer, and yes, she and Ethan are all bundled up on the beach. That's San Francisco weather for ya.

Ethan had his first visit to Fairyland, where he rode the carousel all by himself! Good grief - I blinked my eyes for one quick second, and now he's all grown up.

We found out that we're having a boy! I decided not to post the pic of his baby boy bits so as to respect his privacy.
But trust me, it's a boy!

We also celebrated Ethan's 3rd birthday, with a special boat birthday cake made by Aunt Mary! Oooohhh, aaaahhh!

And, just because I don't want to leave anything out, here's a quick list of happenings that didn't manage to get captured on film in pixels:

- Ryan got an AMAZING new job! He's now the Senior Photographer for Monster Cable. He handles all of their product photography for packaging and marketing, as well as serves as a celebrity photographer, capturing shots of some of Monster's endorsement partners. So far he's photographed Neil Young, ProHoeZak, JYP (the #1 pop star in Asia), and Chris Botti. Next up are Manny Pacquiao and Lance Armstrong.

- As we'll be needing our third bedroom for a nursery soon, Ryan's office has moved out of the house and into the in-law unit in our backyard that was converted into a studio! It's a great space that not only gives him the room that he needs for freelance work, but will also serve as our guest quarters when out of town visitors arrive.

- We had a bit of a speed bump over the summer when we got the news that the baby only has a single umbilical artery. Apparently, babies are supposed to have two, but our fetus is a minimalist. Our OB sent us to be checked out by a geneticist and a perinatologist, as the single umbilical artery can be indicative of genetic abnormalities, heart problems, or kidney problems. After a bonus ultrasound and some blood tests, everything that can be checked before he's born checked out just fine.

- I designed, and redesigned, and reredesigned the nursery decor with my friend, Stacie, and finally settled on a non-theme theme for baby brother's room. Ethan's theme was monkeys, and this time around I wanted to focus on colors and patterns instead. However, the room has slowly evolved into a woodland theme, but not in an overly obvious way. I'm creating some custom art pieces for the wall, and Ryan spent an entire weekend assembling furniture for me. It's all coming together!
Now all we need is the baby...