teeth-2I had my first root canal on Monday. Whee! It wasn’t too bad, except for the drilling, all the stuff they clamp on your mouth, and the gagging. And the fact that I have to go back for the filling, and then again for the crown. Blah. Getting my teeth checked was on my list of things to do before I got pregnant, but nobody told me I’d only have a few weeks! Did I miss the memo? Anyway, at least it’s underway. No nuts or chips for me for a little while.

Tiny Miss Quimby spent yesterday using my bladder as a trampoline. She apparently wanted to give me a preview of the ENTIRE THIRD TRIMESTER. Fun to feel her moving, not so much fun having to pee every five minutes or so. She mightily protests waistbands of any kind, so I’ve been wearing a pair of jeans that really won’t fit me until  a couple months from now.

I think about half the female population of Austin is pregnant right now. I know a bunch of other pregnant ladies, and they know a bunch – most of my dentist’s office is pregnant (or recently gave birth). They told me not to drink the water – but it’s too late. I call them recession babies. We all stayed at home a lot this last year and availed ourselves of free entertainment. By which I mean cable TV and the internet, of course.

In other news I have a new article coming out in the next issue of The Systems Thinker, and am pitching a series to Austin Woman. So keep your fingers and toes crossed on that one!


Decorating is coming together – though I haven’t actually touched anything in the room yet. We’ve picked the color for the walls and the two pieces of furniture we’re painting, and are waiting on carpet samples for the floor. The grandmas generously teamed up to buy me the coolest glider on the planet, which I got to pick a custom cover for (charcoal microfiber with big textured swirls). This is going to be one hip baby space. The walls are going to be a lavender-gray, and the carpet will probably be a combo of dark gray and purple (with possibly a little pink throw in – don’t tell David!). I am soliciting help for the furniture. I will have to sand, prime, and paint a large dresser and large bookcase. You will be compensated in cookies and undying gratitude.

I’m visiting IKEA on Monday with the Design Guru with plans to buy the crib, mattress, and possibly some bedding and frames. And that’s pretty much going to do it for furniture for the nursery, since we’re using a lot of existing stuff.

TMQ is not only wiggling a lot, but sometimes I suspect she’s remodeling . And she’s way too close to my bladder. That can be fun. All the sensation is still very low in my abdomen so far, though I guess my uterus has expanded up to my belly button by now. As of Thursday she was 12 ounces. I see my regular OB on Friday this week, she usually does an ultrasound, but I don’t know if I’ll get one this time since we had one at the perinatal doctor on Thursday. I hope so anyway. I need some good pictures!




Today was our 20 week anatomy ultrasound and all is well with Tiny Miss Quimby. She has cute feet. The scans look kind of crap but we could see a lot of detail during the process. She’s wiggling like crazy. I get little bonks in my low abdomen, which are her hands, and the occasional big bonk higher up which is feet. I guess for the first 19 weeks or so the legs are all scrunched up, but now  – not scrunched. Hence kicking!

I’m recovering from the head cold of doom. The cough is annoying, I’m hoping it’s gone in time for my FUN root canal on Monday. Other than that, not much to report. Wiggly baby, good anatomy, recovery from ick.

Shopping for baby stuff is a blast; shopping for maternity clothes BLOWS


WTF? It's like a denim potato sack.

Grumble. I ordered a few things from Old Navy Maternity several weeks back and it all fit just fine. But I stuck with stuff that looked like it was sized a little smaller. I got a larger shipment of things I’m going to need for work and winter today and it SUCKED. This stuff hangs down to my knees! And my belly is already good and big, so I can be sure that it’s all not going to magically fit in a month. Plus I need stuff NOW. My work outfits are getting scary looking and I don’t want to scare my clients, thanks. Being petite, round, and pregnant sucks. There’s no such thing as a petite maternity top. I end getting stuff that’s cut loose around the hips and sizing down as much as I can to keep things as short as I can.

Pants and jeans have been relatively easy to find, it’s the tops that are so challenging. So I’m sending back most of what I ordered and this afternoon I dragged my ass to the mall (how I loathe thee). Why is it that maternity designers think that getting pregnant makes you age 20 years? Some of this crap is so matronly my grandmother wouldn’t wear it. Harumph.

Anyway, I found a couple of blouses, a cardigan, and a good pair of essentially yoga pants masquerading as slacks. I still need some kind of sweater coat that doesn’t brush the floor so TMQ and I don’t freeze to death during the 3 days of really cold weather here.

I’m starting to feel the pull of gravity more acutely. The round ligament pain makes it harder to get around, and especially to get up from a low seated position. My lower back is just plain pissed. But we persevere with the walking, and I think it helps more than it hurts. I think I’m starting to feel some movement, but it’s hard to tell at first. I keep feeling like she’s bopping me in the same part of my low abdomen. We get to peek at her next week when we go for the anatomy ultrasound.

More Stuff and Gadgets

elephantI’ve been asking around and it seems like all parents have one particular gadget that made their lives with newborn easier. So far I’ve heard about the papasan chair, a voice activated white noise and vibration gadget, the ergobaby carrier, and the drop in stroller. My goal is to stay as compact as possible, since babies are always developmentally cycling through everything and then needing new stuff. For example, in the interest of compacting, we’re going to ditch the traditional stroller and just get the drop in and the aforementioned Bob all-terrain. But seriously, if it lets me sleep or function, I want it. Tell me what it is.

When it comes to decorating, I’m allergic to pastels. This poses quite a challenge when designing a baby room. I’m not registering for many decor items because I’m hoping to refurbish or make many of them myself (with a little help from friends and family). The room “theme” (I hate themes) is eclectic with a little modern and some East Indian influence. And elephants. Can’t visualize it? Don’t worry, there will be lots of pictures when it’s finished.

On the pregnancy front I’m doing pretty well. The nausea and general squeamishness are mostly gone, except for isolated incidents. My appetite is better, but I’m still not gaining weight. I’m having intermittent round ligament pain and general lower back soreness, but am still able to walk a good distance so that helps. I have way more energy. I’m sleeping okay, though not nearly as heavily as the first trimester, but I’m having lots of vivid, creepy dreams. I could do without those. I had to ditch yoga this last week because of a conflict, so we’ll see if it kicks my ass this week.

So what gadgets could you have not survived early parenthood without? Leave me some ideas in the comments section!

Let the shopping frenzy begin!

What baby wouldnt want this?

What baby wouldn't want this?

God help me, I’m starting to have to physically restrain myself from buying kiddie stuff. The link from my last entry, Nerdy Baby, is full of the awesome. I’m going to have to get one of the prints for the nursery.

My mother in law bought me some totally adorable Carter’s onesie sets at Babies R Us today. All hot pink and purple and green with panda feet and things too unspeakably cute to mention.

But then there’s Threadless. I’m sunk. Where you can get this. And this. And this. Help!

Don’t even get me started on books. First, there’s shiny new copies of all the books I loved (and trashed) when I was a kid. And then there’s hip cool new books with Buddhist fables, and board books with Haiku, and Monsters! If I’m not careful I’m going to be dressing and diapering my kid in pages ripped from books because I forgot about everything else I’m going to need. Who needs a diaper pail when you have this?

I think I have some issues to work out.

And again, whew!

Cool stuff from Nerdy Baby. Check it out!

Cool stuff from Nerdy Baby. Check it out!

The final amnio results came back this morning and all is good in genetic babyland. Even though our insurance company will probably gouge us, getting the early results were well worth it, as I would have had several heart attacks by now if I’d been forced to wait. And while I’m mostly loving living chemical free, I’ve missed my xanex like you wouldn’t believe over the past two weeks.

Still, now we know stuff is good, and we can RELAX a bit. We’re having a high-power ultrasound in a couple weeks with Dr. Barry, and I think after that it’s back to regular old prenatal care.

Things are stretching. Ever heard of Round Ligament Pain? Look it up. I’m hoping it stays as intermittent as it is right now, because OW. I took a good long walk today, so hopefully that won’t make it worse.

Plans are underway for TMQ’s room. All I can say is it’s not going to involve any baby pink and it’s going to be wicked cool. I will probably want to move in. We should have the paint and carpet picked out shortly, and then Daddy and Grandpa will get to work! I may get enlisted to paint some furniture, but I’m cool with that. Anybody enjoy sanding? Anyone?

Strollers and Carseats and Gliders, oh my!

bobSo today I dragged David to USA Baby to see if we could get a stuff-for-your-kid 101 course. The amount of crap it is possible to buy is more than a little intimidating. Chuck, the owner, was really helpful. I now feel well-armed to make decisions about some of the more essential items. The stroller you see pictured is called the Bob. It’s way cool. We do a lot of walking with the dogs in the neighborhood, and that won’t change any time soon, so this puppy will get a lot of use. It’s pricey, but well worth it. We’re going to get a Graco infant car seat and regular stroller as well. We looked at a bunch of gliders, and are probably going to get one that’s kind of a modern take on the wood glider (I usually hate those). This one is fairly interesting looking and has some great fabrics to choose from. Unless I find something good on Craigslist that’s CHEAP.

Chilean SeabassIn news of the weird, Tiny Josephine seems to not like fish any more. I made some stew with the red fish David caught last weekend on Tuesday and all was well. But last night David grilled some more, and I couldn’t eat it. And then, and this is really strange, we went for dim sum at Chinatown today and ordered a plate of sea bass.  Chilean sea bass is one of the tastiest things on the planet – and I couldn’t eat it! David sure didn’t mind, but what gives? I had no problem with the shrimp, but the bass just tasted off to me. David assured me it was most certainly not. I know I’m only supposed to have seafood twice a week, and I over did it a bit this week, but most weeks I have little to none. Pregnant bodies are just strange is all.

Another day, another prenatal appointment

Today I had my regular prenatal appointment. My doctor was out of town so I saw an NP. Same weight as last time, good blood pressure, no swelling, belly growing at a predictable rate. She couldn’t do a sonogram, but I got to hear the heartbeat. It was hard to find because TMQ seemed to be wiggling around a lot. I also got a flu shot. And let me say, after having a big needle stuck deep in my belly, a flu shot is very not painful. Then I got a massage, which was wonderfully relaxing.

David and I will probably go look at strollers and car seats this weekend. Trying to figure out what we need and where to register is a bitch. I’ve been trolling Consumer Reports for information. It’s misleading to read the customer reviews on sites, they can be so contradictory. And full of scary bad grammar and spelling. Other things I’m eyeing – a cushy glider by Storytime Gliders, and a daybed from West Elm. I’ve picked out a crib from IKEA (pending designer approval). Said designer will be visiting next week to help me nail down the plan for the room, and then it’s time to put the menfolk to work on the painting and carpet.

It’s nice to be past some of the big hurdles and to be able to start concentrating on some of the fun stuff. It’s also nice not to feel death all the time. The second trimester is officially way better.

Food, glorious food

woman-cookingI’m happy to report that the long cooking drought is over. We even made fish stew last night, and the lingering smell in the kitchen doesn’t make me ill! During the first oh, 13 weeks of pregnancy I cooked maybe once a week. And I had this bad habit of forgetting key ingredients like oil or leavening.

While I haven’t missed the cleanup work entailed in cooking, I’ve gotten mighty sick of eating restaurant and previously frozen foods. And nobody’s happier than David, he loves him some home cooking. Here are some recipes I’ve made recently:

Emeril Lagasse’s Fish Stew
I don’t cook Emeril’s recipes that often because 1) they’re usually wicked complicated and 2) they’re usually very, very high in fat. However, nobody does it like Emeril. I always turn to him for special occasion and comfort food recipes. This one is relatively easy (meaning it’s not four recipes in one) and while not low in fat (there’s a roux) it’s not too bad since none of the other ingredients have much in the way of fat. We used 2 lbs of the redfish David caught last weekend in it and it was DELISH!

Butternut Squash Soup
I’m mostly avoiding cooking meat at home, the after-cooking smell really bothers me. We also have sorely neglected our CSA (farm membership) so a lot of veggies have been given out to friends or languished. But winter squashes are pretty hardy, and I finally used one of my butternut squash to make this. It’s a great recipe, really easy. It has a lovely texture and the flavor is quite sweet. For that reason, I like to swirl some yogurt in it (tip via Emily) or some low fat sour cream. It’s really good served at lunch with some cheese toast. I added a little ginger paste to the recipe, because I almost always do.

Gingered Pumpkin Pie
In addition to the butternut, we get some other green and orange, pumpkin like squash from the CSA. I baked up two of them and scooped them out to freeze and use later. But first, I made this recipe. You would never know it’s lightened! Maybe because of all the sugar… Still, you use nonfat evaporated milk instead of sweetened-condensed and it comes out really nice.

Stove-Top Mac and Cheese
I am not the only currently pregnant lady with a wicked mac and cheese craving. And not the only one to suffer from the curse of the lumpy white sauce. Unless there’s butter involved, starting with the flour and gradually adding milk always leads to disaster for me. I usually heat the milk and then gradually sift in the flour. Takes more time, but not if you count how may times I’ve had to re-do lumpy white sauce. Anyway, this recipe avoids that problem all together. Be warned, it’s wicked rich. Normally I might say “bring it on!” but in my current state, overly rich food makes me very ill. So I reduced the fat a bit by using non-fat evaporated milk. Next time I’ll probably also combo some lower fat cheese in with whatever else I use. Maybe gorgonzola? Yum.

Enjoy! I know I am.