Monday, April 28, 2014

Hiking and (Not) Sleeping

Still pregnant. But not for lack of effort.
Recollecting my 6-7 miles of walking on the day before Natalie was born, I hoped that our hike on Saturday morning would get things going. We hiked for over 2 1/2 hours out in the woods, with lots of steep hills. Walking officially does not induce labor. It does, however, cause severe edema of the hands and feet.

It was still a nice hike; very pretty. And the weather was wonderful. Here is Micah sliding down a bamboo tree.

Surprisingly, being hugely pregnant is only my second greatest stressor these days. #1 is, without a doubt, Natalie not sleeping. Despite great effort to enforce naptime and following every rule in the books for encouraging toddler sleep, Natalie continues to hate sleep. She took 3 naps in the last week and has been up 5-10+ times a night every night. Sometimes, she just cries until Micah offers her water and she goes back to sleep easily. About 1/3 - 1/2 of the time, however, she is wildly inconsolable and screams on and on for no apparent reason. The other night, after an hour and a half straight of middle-of-the-night screaming her head off for no reason, I had Micah put her in the shower and turn on the cold water. She was quiet after that, though probably traumatized for life. So there you have it- cold shower- the first disciplinary method that we have employed that is regarded by some experts as abusive. Even for naps, the only thing that has worked in the last week has been holding her on the couch while watching really boring daytime cooking shows. The rest of the days, she won't settle down and quiet down and generally, after 1-3 hours of gently prompting her to lay down and be quiet, ends up left in her room to cry for 30-60 minutes. I am trying to convince Micah to let me give her Melatonin, but he's not quite exhausted enough yet to try drugging her. We'll see how he feels once we have a newborn to deal with, too.

She is wildly overtired; so much so that she can't get any decent sleep because she is so exhausted! And we've done absolutely everything that we can, so I don't feel any pity. Just annoyance. 

In fact, I am so irritated with her, I want to share this shaming video that will surely embarrass her to death when I show it to her prom date some day.

The volume is stifled, but she is responding, "My boobies".

And, for a glimpse of what life is like during the few hours each day that are not focused on trying to enforce good sleep or handle tantrums spawned by sleep deprivation, here she is with her very normal, healthy, well-sleeping bff, who we trade off babysitting with.

Friday, April 18, 2014

Visit from the Cousins

Tuesday marked the end of a fabulous week-long visit from Darlene. She brought her cutie-patootie 6-month-old (who, in typical 3rd-child fashion, did not appear in any of my pictures) and 2-yr-old Aaron. He and Natalie were very natural cousins- constantly making one another shriek with laughter or else making one another cry. Natalie was usually the one crying. It was eye-opening: I didn't realize what a sissy she is! 

We went to costco (this counts as an unusual, exciting outing for me), checked out the dogwood festival (disc-catching dog demo, fried carnival food), got our nails done, played games... Darlene even took all the kids one rainy afternoon so I could shampoo the carpet!
We ate at Tom+Chee- a restaurant we saw on shark take that specializes in grilled cheese sandwiches and tomato soup. We each tried a few different ones. My favorite was the plain grilled cheese on a doughnut- it was shockingly delicious. 

LeAnn and Gabby came down from Wilmington for a few days to join in the fun. We finally went to the Atlanta zoo. It was great. Natalie's favorite exhibit? Oh, the water fountain :)

Aaron wisely kept his distance while Natalie got soaked

Looking at the elephant ('s butt)

I was impressed with how well Natalie took to Darlene. She can be shy of new adults, but with Darlene she was at ease in no time:

It was hard/impossible to get her to take a nap most days because of the excitement of company. Natalie is still in recovery from the lost sleep.

And she definitely misses having someone around who really "gets" her.

We had a lot of fun and I was very sad to see her leave. I enjoyed her visit so much that I forgot to be eagerly miserable over being pregnant still.

In the three days since she left, my determination to not be pregnant any more has exploded. On Tuesday, my midwife determined that the baby has moved down into the pelvis, which means that she is either going to be born soon or I am just going to be extremely uncomfortable until she is born. I can barely sleep at night, between the sharp pain from psd and having to pee every 15 minutes. I am also running out of clothes that fit now that my belly is super duper low. Blah. 

I have baked two kinds of bread, homemade pizza dough, seven-layer bars and bagels to try to pass the time. I have drunk half a gallon of raspberry leaf tea; taken half a bottle of evening primrose oil; ate 2 pineapples; bounce on an exercise ball continually; gone on a 2 mile walk; did 30 minutes at 160 strides/minute on an elliptical machine and did an hour yoga class to try and induce labor. So far, nothing :( Feeling like I am going to be pregnant forever. Must find more ways to pass the time.

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Potty Stickers

Natalie gets stickers when she uses the potty. She collects them on a chart and earns a mini reese's cup for every line of stickers she fills. When the chart is all full, we take off all the stickers and she gets to play with them. We find stickers all over the house, ourselves and embedded in the dog's fur for the next 3 days.The funny part- she gives us stickers when we go potty, too. Here, she puts another sticker on the bathroom door while Daddy is inside going pee.

She does interesting things when I'm not watching her, like this contemporary art installation made from the smoke detector, my phone and some cheerios. 

Continuing to improve my Indian food skills: some homemade paneer mahkani, cumin-infused rice and butter naan.