Tag: Pregnancy

Friday tidbits

I haven’t felt the need to post weekly reviews. Things are going well. So here’s a random mix of tidbits.

Photo of Steve’s friend fly-fishing on the American river this past weekend:

Fly-fishing photo

Soil Interactions LaboratoryOne of the sites I worked on this year was for Jason DeJong’s research group at UC Davis where they “solve soil interaction problems” at sil.ucdavis.edu. Jason picked one of my web templates to start with, then provided the content for me to initially build the site. I then took him through a day of intense Dreamweaver training so that he could learn how to update the content himself with minimal guidance from me. An exciting moment came recently when part of Jason’s research was featured in Time Magazine as one of the Best Inventions of 2007! And also exciting to me, Jason ventured forth to use Dreamweaver to clean up the content on the site and add a note about the Time Magazine mention on the home page himself. I was so proud.

Of course I have to post another photo of Nutmeg sleeping. She was actually partially reclining on a puffed-up pile of blankets which made her look like a floppy-head baby in a carseat.

Nutmeg sleeping.

One of my goals this month has been to keep consistent track of my pregnancy weight. During the first trimester, I gained a normal/healthy amount of 4 lbs. Last month, I gained a normal/healthy amount of 1 lb. per week, putting me up another 4.5 lbs.

Now that I’m actually keeping daily track of my weight, it’s only natural that my weight gain would go weird! At least it gives me something to talk to the doctor about when she asks if I have any questions.

  • Week 1 (of this month): Gained 4 lbs.
  • Week 2: Gained 0 lbs.
  • 5 days into week 3: Gained 2 lbs.

It could be partially a growth spurt and partially becoming more lax about how many starches I’m eating throughout the day. Time to tighten up the latter!

That’s all for today… have a great weekend!

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Reading: Back to Bujold, Plenty, more baby

Finished reading:

The Curse of Chalion, Paladin of Souls, and The Hallowed Hunt by Lois McMaster Bujold – Without any library books, I turned to one of my favorite authors. These three books are set in the same “world.” The Curse of Chalion follows Cazaril, who becomes the tutor of a royal princess but finds himself caught up in physical, spiritual, and magical danger as he tries to break a curse that is on the royal family. The book is heavily “theological” in the sense that themes of free will, predestination, and supernatural interaction between humans and the five gods are explored through this fantasy. Paladin of Souls is a sequel, this time following Ista (the mother of the princess) on a spiritual pilgrimage that also ends up being very fantastically magical and spiritual. The Hallowed Hunt is set in a different country in the same world with completely different characters; Ingrey, sent to investigate the murder of a prince and to bring the murderess, Ijada, back for trial, also finds himself in the middle of something supernatural.

I love, love, love Bujold’s books for their depth and layers. Unlike the Vorkosigan books which have plenty of comedy thrown in, these three books are more somber in tone, but have the same wonderful “real” characterization and layer upon layer of plot that I love in all of her books. I enjoyed reading these again.

Plenty by Alisa Smith and J.B. MacKinnon – Remember how I’m a sucker for food books? I’m also a sucker for books about extreme life experiments (reference Not Buying It and Animal, Vegetable, Miracle). In this book, Alisa and James go on a year-long experiment to see if they can live on food that has been produced within 100 miles of their Vancouver-area apartment (and thus become the unwitting creators of the “100 mile diet”). Their ground rules include relaxing their diet when invited to friends’ houses or when traveling, but as the book progresses, they find that their experiment is becoming a lifestyle, and that their meals are more filling and taste better.

I’d categorize this along with Animal, Vegetable, Miracle, but it’s more of a memoir and less of an informative “sell” the way Kingsolver’s book was.

Secrets of the Baby Whisperer by Tracy Hogg – This was in a short stack of books my friend handed over to me and came highly recommended. I mostly skimmed this book to get an overall idea of her approach and to see what things Steve and I could discuss. Tracy’s philosophy is in between the attachment parenting folks (pick up and soothe your baby at every cry or else you’re inflicting emotional damage on them, sleep with your baby, etc.) and the strict schedule parenting folks (make the baby fit into your life, live by the clock). She advocates having a basic routine of eat (feeding the baby), activity (time for the baby to stare at stuff, get changed, get a bath, etc.), sleep (putting the baby to sleep in their own bed), and you (time for you to take care of yourself) but encourages you to be flexible about when these things happen depending on the baby’s development.

Her main underlying philosophy is to respect the baby by treating it as a person — some specific examples are calling the baby by its name instead of referring to it as “the baby” and talking “with” the baby as you perform tasks like changing its diaper. Tracy also encourages that you really try to listen to your baby before reacting so that you get to understand the different types of cries and body language, which I also think is helpful advice. She gets quite specific in her book both with examples of how you can implement her suggestions and with plenty of real-life stories, all in a very British conversational tone with lots of “luvs” and “ducky” which makes the book fun to read.

Not having a real baby to try to practice these things on, I can’t tell you yet if her philosophy will work for us, but it’s definitely a good thing to talk to Steve and other parents about in the meantime!

Operating Instructions by Anne Lamott – This memoir is in journal form, covering Anne’s first year as a single mother raising her son, Samuel. Anne is both religious and irreverent (I don’t recommend this book to nephews and nieces because of profanity) and always brutally honest about her feelings, thoughts, and reactions as she struggles to take care of her often colicky baby. There are some priceless quotes:

…I just can’t get over how much babies cry. I really had no idea what I was getting into. To tell you the truth, I thought it would be more like getting a cat…

…He falls asleep and I feel I could die of love when I watch him, and think to myself that he is what angels look like. Then I doze off, too, and it’s like heaven, but sometimes only twenty minutes later he wakes up and begins to make his gritchy rodent noises, scanning the room wildly. I look blearily over at him in the bassinet, and think, with great hostility, Oh, God, he’s raising his loathsome reptilian head again…

With a bookmark:

(Books I just started reading, or books I’ve been “reading” for ages. Most recent first.)

  • Sacred Attitudes by Erica Ross-Krieger
  • Body, Soul, and Baby by Tracy Gaudet
  • What to Expect When You’re Expecting by Heidi Murkoff, Arlene Eisenberg, and Sandee Hathaway
  • The Elements of Typographic Style by Robert Bringhurst
  • A Long Obedience in the Same Direction by Eugene Peterson

In the library book box:

  • The Happiest Baby on the Block by Harvey Karp, M.D.
  • So That’s What They’re For! by Janet Tamero

Do-it-yourself Pregnancy and Baby Journal

One of my quirks: I usually dislike lined journals. I especially dislike the kind that have “prompts” for you to fill out, such as most of the pregnancy journals and baby books on the market.

So, I decided to make my own.

I used a coupon to get a nice discount on an expensive Italian leather journal and started writing, leaving room for photos that I’m getting developed (of the pregnancy test, for example). Below is an outline of what I’ve done so far, and I also posted a few photos of some of the spreads.

Page 1: Space for pregnancy test photo.

Pages 2-3: A few “journal entries” about finding out and telling people, and a quick “life snapshot” of what our lives were like at that moment. I printed out my announcement blog post (from my private friends/family blog) and stuck it on page 3. There is a small watercolor and ink drawing of the sparkling grape juice, nausea bands, and chips that our friends brought over to celebrate with us.

Pages 2 and 3 of pregnancy journal

Pages 4-5: A printout of the comments from the blog post and more watercolors of gifts from our good friends — a Veggie Tales Christmas ornament where they wrote “Steve,” “Corrie,” and “Baby Haffly” on the three peas, and our first item of baby clothing. The next page has the first ultrasound printout and a journal entry about the appointment.

Pages 4 and 5 of pregnancy journal

Pages 6-7: Two page spread reserved for a list of “trips to the hospital.” So far I have gone five time for various appointments and lab tests.

Pages 8-9: I listed other various events from August and September, then filled a page with a journal entry about impaired glucose tolerance, hearing the baby’s heartbeat, and a sample menu.

Page 10: First trimester summary: Beginning and ending weight, symptoms, and journaling about my emotions during the first three months.

Other ideas I have for additional pages that I can be working on:

  • Family tree with photos
  • Photos and descriptions of our house
  • Photos of our current circle of good friends
  • “Life in Davis” – photos from around town, a printout of a map with locations marked
  • Biographical info/background info on me, Steve, and how we got together
  • Current events, prices of basic things like gas, milk, etc., and other things like that
  • Letters/notes from family members to the baby (I’m thinking of doing this Jolly Postman style with envelopes stuck onto the pages and letters that can be taken out of the envelopes!)
  • Name ideas

And of course, the typical “baby book” pages such as:

  • Baby shower attendees, gifts, summary
  • “Firsts”
  • Birth stats
  • Hand and foot prints
  • Monthly summaries, milestones

Can you think of anything else that would be cool to include? Leave a comment!