Monday, October 24, 2011

“Fun” facts about me and Deep Thoughts from Jack Handy

I try to use air quotes ironically, if at all.

I gained another 2 pounds at my last ob appointment, which is awesome by my standards (65 lbs with Chuckles and 60 with Bobo).

My due date was officially changed to March 24th.

I think the world would be a better place if I did the traffic studies.

I’ve only given the finger while driving 3 times. But I have wanted to do so 16 times today already.

I have never smoked pot.

Even though I sometimes drive stick, I think driving stick shift takes too much brain power, but I will insist that my own children learn how to do it.

The car I drove today is 13 years old, and yet still gets 35 mpg. Yay for the ’99 Accord.

My other car is a “mom car”.

I silently judge other people way too much.

I walked a 4k on Friday and lived to tell the tale.

I do not own any apple products, with the exception of actual, you know, produce apples.

I have never purchased a song download, a ringtone, or an app.

My average household spending for clothes and shoes is usually less than $150 per year. We’re going to blow that this year with the Cub Scout uniform, maternity clothes, new running shoes, a knee-ripping epidemic in first grade, and two coats/jackets whose zippers failed catastrophically with metal fatigue. For now, Chuckles and I are pulling our zippers up with our fingers (to be fair to my coat, it is 10+ years old).

It took me just 37:39 to walk that 4k (which isn’t much slower than I could run it in). The “winner” did it in under 14 minutes. That’s fast. Like 5:45 per mile fast. But he only looked to be about 22 years old, so I figure kids have a lot of energy.

Last night for dinner, I made a recipe I saw on America’s Test Kitchen a couple of years ago.

I call it dinner, not supper.

I have decided not to give a crap about breaking Bobo of the binky.

I don’t really take many photos (of my kids or anything else). I didn’t grow up in a house that did that, and it’s just not that important to me.

I am incensed that a 5-pound bag of sugar now only weighs 4 pounds. Ditto a 12-ounce can of soup being 10.75 ounces. It’s messing up my fancy recipes that require cream of mushroom soup in a 12-ounce can.

I was recently at a family party and overheard someone say that no one flosses anyway and was shocked! Am I really the only rule follower out there? Here I thought I was all bad since I only floss about 5x per week. (Note: I also floss my kids’ teeth.)

However, to prove I am not perfect, I have been known to, ahem, “help” clear my nose when blowing just doesn’t cut it, if you know what I mean. Pick pick pick.

I do not have cable television (nor satellite nor U-verse nor Roku).  We have an antenna and digital TV, which was supposed to be awesome, sucks (the picture is unusable when it's least with analog you could live with the just isn't there).

I talked to a woman over the weekend who had unplanned, surprise twins 5 years ago. I do not think I said anything stupid.

I watch Wheel of Fortune more than any other show on TV (it’s on 7 days/week and never has any objectionable material in it at all so is OK with kids…plus Bobo is learning his letters this way and asks for The Letter Show).

I am learning how to parent and discipline different children differently. It’s a humbling experience. My two kids could not be more different. One needs a gentle touch and the other needs MORE (more everything…mine goes up to 11).

That makes me a little scared to have another (hi Muse!) but gives me confidence that I will be adaptable.

I try hard not to compare my kids to each other (and to others), but I fail. I think I took too many comparative blah blah blah AP classes in High School. I make comparisons on everything. I note similarities and differences everywhere. What I don’t do is verbalize these comparisons to the kids.

There are two rules in my home that are the most consistently enforced: (1) no shoes on the carpet and (2) we don’t fight about clothes. You will often see an adult on hands and knees crawling back through the living room to fetch an errant lovey before we get in the car or a child at the grocery store in pajamas.

I really don’t think first graders should get homework because most of them are not in control of their own schedules enough to do it by themselves. And then it’s just my homework. And I have enough to do already. I’m thinking 4th grade might be a good time to start. Or possibly middle school.

I’m a little sad that I’ll never have a daughter. I was kind of looking forward to raising a girl the same way I raise my sons to see whether the girly behavior is nature or nurture. I’m fairly mannish for a woman, so I was looking forward to playing ball and building blocks with a daughter. I have tried to get my boys interested in playing dolls with me. They will humor me for a few minutes and then move on.

I was asking my husband why in the world peanut butter and jelly are still sold in glass containers. It seems that from a cost perspective, it would save money in terms of shipping costs, etc to package and sell those in plastic. He looked at me like I had a third eye. The next time at the grocery store, he pointed out that almost all of it is in plastic…just not the kinds we buy. Apparently, no high fructose corn syrup in your jam gets you an express ticket to a glass jar. Also, buying peanut butter whose only ingredient is peanuts also gets you a glass jar. Who knew?

Muse just rolled, and I am the only one who gets to know that.

I don’t believe in cold medicine. I also deny the existence of ghosts.

I’ve never been to Europe, but I have a passport and have been to 3 countries outside the US…one of which I would never like to visit again.

Athletic shoes are referred to as "gym shoes" and are frequently worn on the weekends while running errands.

I think I would run a great meth lab and would meet all applicable safety and environmental regulations, but I am not the entrepreneur type, so it will never happen.

During Prohibition, I probably would have had a still at home, though. (Have you been watching Ken Burns’s documentary?)

Generally, I do not find long hair on a man to be sexy. Ashton Kutcher just looks skeevy.

Real men have facial hair. 

Marketers do not have me as an identifiable demographic segment, and it has been 5 years since I saw an ad that “spoke” to me (that was an ad for Canon printers, by the way).

I get a thrill when I remove a particularly bad stain from a favorite piece of clothing, and I just figured out how to remove yellow underarm deodorant stains from colored clothing. I feel like a rock star.

Once, in high school, we sporked a girl’s front lawn. She was a friend, and it was a friendly prank. We would have even helped remove the sporks from her lawn if she’d come out and noticed them. However, she didn’t come out until the next morning, and we were long gone by then. When we saw her Monday morning at school, she was on crutches and in a cast. She had come out in the morning, wanted to take a look at the extent of the sporking, and fell off her front porch breaking her ankle. I still feel kind of guilty about that, but I want to file it away under freak accident. These days, she’d probably sue. Torts!

I pronounce the word caramel differently depending on context.  It's a CARE-uh-mell apple (like an Affy Tapple), but it is car-MULL corn (like Fiddle Faddle or Crunch-N-Munch).
My name is Carrie.  It is pronounced like the word carry.  It rhymes with Mary, marry, fairy, Harry, hairy, Gary, Larry, and non-dairy.  People from Philadelphia get this wrong.  They pronounce Carrie and carry differently (and put a horrible, grating nasal sound into my otherwise fine name). 

Friday, October 14, 2011

Pumpkins and Corn

On Wednesday, I took half a vacation day (the half? my boss for letting me do things like that) and chaperoned Chuckles's field trip to the pumpkin patch.  My favorite part was probably the pumpkin trebuchet (where the pumpkins landed with a SPLASH into a nearby pond).  The kids?  Their favorite part was a giant pit of dried corn into which they could fall and jump and dig (but not throw).

It was primarily uneventful though there were a few rough patches.  Each child was supposed to bring a lunch.  One child did not bring a lunch.  The child is also severely allergic to peanuts (and the Epi-Pen is not allowed out of the nurse's office and did not go on the field trip with us).  Most kids brought PB&J for the field trip, and that's what the cafeteria was going to send for the kid's lunch.  If I had a severely allergic kid, I really think I would make every effort to be a chaperone on that trip because I could bring an Epi-Pen from home.  At the very least, I would pack the child's lunch every day including field trip day.  It scared me a lot, and I am very glad that child was not assigned to my group (heck, I ate PB&J that day...there was no real handwashing facility, so I brought hand sanitizer with me).  In the end, everything worked out OK.  I think the child had a cheese sandwich, a apple, a water, and some pretzels for lunch and didn't end up having any reactions.  Not bad, really.

Another child fainted in the classroom right before we were going to head out for the buses.  Better at school than on the trip.  The child went to the nurse's office to rest while waiting for a parent, and we brought a pumpkin back for him/her.

Lastly, I got a really good group of kids (boys...since the groups were all boys or all girls which meant that the family of triplets did not all go with their dad).  I was so lucky to get a good group (and I thanked them all at the end of the trip for being such good partners and buddies for me).

There was a group with two best friend boys who punched each other the entire time on the bus (in a good-natured friendly way, but it would have freaked me out).  There were two boys who did not listen - at all.  They were told 572 times to sit down and face forward on the bus, they needed to be held back (physically) so as not to dart into traffic in the parking lot, wandered off without paying attention to whether anyone saw them wandering away, etc.  Certainly, there could be special needs going on there, so I don't want to complain about the behavior of the kids, but I think those kids should have been paired up with the teacher, the aide, or the student teacher since a parent with a group of kids is not really capable of providing the one-on-one supervision necessary in a public, group setting like that.  One mom who got such a group was exhausted when she got back on the bus, said she focused all her attention on the one kid, and was just really glad all the other kids followed her around as she chased after him.  I hope that's not how every day goes in the classroom where most of the attention is focused on a few children (who really do need the extra attention) and the rest are left languishing because they'll take care of themselves.

All-in-all, the pumpkin patch was an awesome experience, and Chuckles is so glad I went (and so am I).  Now I know most of the names and faces of the kids in his class (and many of their parents). 

++ We now return to our regularly-scheduled pregnancy blogging. ++

On Wednesday (aka field trip day) 3 separate people in three separate incidents asked me when I was due or whether I was expecting another baby.  I though the rule was that unless the woman or her partner told you or you actually see a baby leaving her body, you were never ever to ask.  Apparently, I appear pregnanct enough for people to feel comfortable enough to ask such questions.  17 weeks, ladies and gentlemen.  It's only going to get bigger from here.

Speaking of bigger, I went to get my blood drawn this morning for the Quad-Screen.  They needed my weight for some reason.  I had no idea how much I weighed, so they weighed me. I haven't gained any weight so far, probably.  I don't really know how much I weighed before pregnancy, but it's within a pound or two of where I am  now.  So, that's weird.  I think I gained 30 pounds in my first trimester with Chuckles (of course, I'm already at that weight this time around).

Friday, October 07, 2011

Recalibrating: Sixteen

So, under the new, compressed timeline, I am 16 weeks today (or maybe yesterday).  What's a couple of days difference?  Really at this point, I'm just happy to be in the ballpark of how far along I am.  I'll just get the month right.  I'm recalibrating. 

That being said, I am no longer comically large.  I am actually appropriately large.  No one at work has noticed (or at least not said anything).  I'm full-time in maternity wear now.  And why shouldn't I be?  I mean, I'm basically 4 months along. 

And now, here is the list of 8 reasons I took the wrong due date news so hard (when really, it's good news):
  1. I don't like to be wrong.  No one does.  But I am knowledgeable about pregnancy and the female reproductive system.  It's sort of a hobby of mine reading up on the various indignities our bodies must undergo.  How could I be so very very wrong on this specific topic?
  2. This isn't my first rodeo.  How did I not notice?  Though, to be sure, there was nothing to notice (except for the bleeding...which I joke is how I figured out I was pregnant the last two times).  But as I said to my mom, sister, and aunts when I told them the story...bleeding is the universal sign for I'm not pregnant, so how could I know?
  3. I did things in that month that I would not normally do while pregnant (hello water skiing), and I really hope I didn't jeopardize the health or well-being of Muse.  This is really the #1 reason, but I wanted to start off a little more light-heartedly.  In fact, I can't even remember what I did in June and my blog archives were no help in telling me whether I took prescription mobic back in June and early July. 
  4. I know I took Allegra which is pregnancy category C because animal studies indicate slowing in fetal weight gain and survival with doses 3 times higher than typically used.  Of course, I am not taking Allegra now so I don't anticipate any issues with that.  Let's assume I did take mobic (I am sure what I find will be reassuring). 
  5. Mobic is pregnancy Category D (after 30 weeks, C before 30 weeks) because taking Mobic during pregnancy can harm the unborn baby (heart defects, still birth, and lower neonatal survival).  If I did take it, it wasn't for very long and at a very low dose (much lower than what I was allowed to take by prescription and significantly lower than the levels found to affect a fetus).  However, I will mention it to my doctor, and I will have them inspect Muse's heart at the 20.5-week ultrasound.  That reminds me, I forgot to mention that the placenta (as seen in the confusing ultrasound) was high and in the back so probably very little chance of previa or accreta.  I asked specifically for location information (cervix is 5 cm too). 
  6. As for the alcohol consumption, let's just say it was moderate and I was never drunk and in a condition where I couldn't dirve a car or care for my children, so we'll assume I was caring for the one on the inside as well.  I would have been about 3.5 to 4 weeks along, so I don't even think I was supplying nutrients yet.  The literature is pretty biased on this front, so there isn't much to read.  March of Dimes is in the abstain during childbearing years camp and some other literature says moderate throughout is OK, so I'll go with it.  Can't change it now.  "But why would you drink when you were trying to get pregnant?" you might ask.  Well heck, I was trying to get pregnant and had just gotten my period, so awesome!  Except it wasn't my period.  It was...uhmmm...I have no idea what, but not my period, so we'll just say I was consoling myself slightly with spiked iced tea.
  7. Deadlines.  My Gantt chart is all messed up.  We have a host of things we'd like to accomplish before Muse is born.  I'd like to get some of them done.  If we don't, it's not the end of the world, but I don't really want Muse to have to spend his first night at home sleeping in a laundry basket.  And I need to find a place to put Chuckles in the car.  His car seat will have to be moved to the completely inaccessible third row, so I would like to get a captains chair for the center row so he an access the back without crawling in the tailgate.  Plus we need a bigger refrigerator (regardless of Muse, really).  And to get a bigger fridge, we have to reconfigure some of the kitchen (I actually hope we can just find a larger fridge that will fit in the hole we already have because doing a kitchen remodel while pregnant sounds totally un-fun...and in the winter when grilling is harder).
  8. It might sound brilliant to skip ahead a month and make pregnancy a little quicker, but it's not.  This is my absolute last baby ever and I guess I would've liked to have savored and enjoyed it.  I mean, obviously I felt fine that first month so I could have enjoyed my little secret for a while.  This sounds kind of sentimental.  I'm not really like that, but I'd like to have known, probably mostly because I don't like being wrong.
I did call the doctor and talked to the nurse about changing my due date.  Why is the nurse at the Ob's office so confused about reproductive matters?  I would assume she talks with pregnant women all day, every day.  Further, I would assume she has read a book on pregnancy and perhaps even had a baby.  Why did I have to spell round ligament pain for her?  Why was she confused when I said that i needed to change my due date due to an ultrasound?  I mean, I cannot possibly be the first person to whom that has happened.  I've even seen an Oprah show on "I didn't even know I was pregnant and then a baby fell out of me", so it's not like being a couple of weeks off can be all that uncommon.  She did agree to put the order for the Quad/Multiple Marker Screening up at the front desk for me and I retrieved it, so now I just have to go have the blood drawn. 

Other than that, things are progressing at light speed here.  It seems like just last week, I was only 11 weeks along and here i am 16 weeks already.

****Totally new topic****

Chuckles does not care for school.  He likes recess and lunch and gym/art/music/computers/library/science, but when it comes to things in his actual classroom, he's not so fond.  I'm having a really hard time with it myself.  I can sense his frustration, but I don't know what to do to help him.  I'm waiting for the first grading period reports to come out so I can schedule a conference with the teacher.

Part of it is the material they are teaching.  He knows it.  They do 90 minutes of phonics drilling every day.  That is not what he needs.  I don't even think they do math every day.  He loves math.  I just taught him guzintas the other day.  What?  You don't know guzintas?  It's division (goes into), but I don't call it that for him to make it sound more fun.  We do it at night when I am tucking him in.  It's dark and quiet and just the two of us and we talk about how many groups of 5 it would take to make 15 or 20 and how many groups of 9 it would take to make 27, etc.  Or if you took 35, how many groups of 7 guzinta it? 

A while back, he discovered the dictionary I got when I graduated 8th grade.  His children's dictionary didn't have the word he wanted to look up (I think the word was sullen).  My encyclopedic dictionary interested him for weeks.  He taught himself Roman numerals and proceeded to answer his homework (5+1=) one night in all Roman numerals (both his answers and the numerals were correct, by the way).  The teacher was not amused.  I didn't really care since his answers were right.  Maybe she doesn't know VI or XIV so she couldn't evaluate.  I am trying to teach him the importance of following directions and conformance except, for the most part, I don't really believe it.  Sure, sometimes you just have to suck it up, but isn't that a lesson that can wait until he's a corporate drone?

He also discovered the list of presidents in the back (ending at G. H. W. Bush, since you know, the book is old).  He then taught himself how to figure out how old they all were when they died (subtracting year of death minus year of birth).  I don't know how he did it exactly because he doesn't know borrowing yet, but I showed him a couple of tricks and he did OK. 

He needs more (or maybe less) from school, but he is no where (not even close) near mature enough to advance to the next grade.  He needs differentiation.  Is the school required to give that to him?  They gave it last year (and then I found out that information was not passed along to this year's teacher).  I had similar issues in school, but I liked school.  I didn't mind doing the busy work because it was easy, and I liked being good at something, graded, and ranked.  He hates the busy work. 

And the amount of homework!  He knows the answers, but his fine motor skills for writing out the worksheets are not so hot.  Sometimes a stupid read the story & answer three questions about the story sheet will take 40 minutes to complete (including me leaving the room because I get so frustrated...because if you would quit complaining and just do it already, you'd be done) and him crying because I insist that he form the letters the correct way.  Usually I just leave the room or go do dishes.  I've put Mr. Long-Suffering in charge of the homework on a few occasions because Chuckles and I are so similar we do tend to butt heads.

I'm out of my element here, but let's just hope I figure it out because I have two more coming up behind him and I don't want to have to reinvent the wheel every time.  Once I figure out how to advocate for my child, I will be set.  I'm sure each child will have his own set of superspecial issues I'll need to address, but once I have a framework in mind for how to phrase it with teachers to get what we need (positives and win-win for everyone), things will be easier. 

Tuesday, October 04, 2011

Most Confusing Ultrasound I've Ever Had

So....I went to the awesome perinatalogy practice today for my nuchal translucency test.  The sonographer started by telling me I would have blood drawn and the computer model results if she could get the measurements she needed.  Ahhh, so I knew then that I would get the blood tests.  Good.  Uncertainty ended.
So I lay back and noticed and awesome second monitor on the wall showing the images.  Awesome!  Then she put the transducer on me and whammo.  A baby.  Moving.  Yay.  She took the first measurement.  I had googled it and found that the CRL should have been about 52 mm at 12 weeks with a NT of 1.46 (at 50th percentile).  The crown rump length (CRL) measured over 100 mm (4").  Then she measured the head diameter.  Heartbeat was a nice strong 153 bpm.  Then she said she couldn't do the NT measurement because the baby was too big. 

What the heck?!?!?  She then took measurements on CRL, head diameter, femur.  All the results came back saying I am either 15w3d or 15w4d.  What the heck?!?!?  I had a period July 12th.  I remember it well.  Heck, I blogged it.  You are all my witnesses.  However, I am approximately a month more pregnant than I thought.  I had thought this was my first pregnancy without first trimester bleeding.  Guess not!  I don't know whether that was implantation bleeding or miscarrying a twin or something else, but apparently, I was pregnant then (and water skiing, going down water slides, drinking like a fish since I had my period on a not-so-great vacation, and taking anti-inflammatories and allergy medicine (and prenatal vitamins too, but still)). 

I started crying.  Because once I have an  image and a plan in my mind, it's just hard for me to recalibrate.  No wonder I am comically large for only 12 weeks.  It's because I'm 15 and a half weeks.  Yesterday I actually thought I felt movement but told myself that was not possible yet because I wasn't even 12 weeks yet.  Hah!  Totally possible.

I need to call my regular doctor and get the regular multiple marker/sequential/triple/quad screening blood drawn since I am pretty sure you do that now.  They said we'd discuss it at my next appoinement, but I'll be 18 weeks then.  So I probably need to get that drawn before then.

So, I scheduled my anatomy scan with the perinatalogists for 21 weeks in early November.

Oh, and Muse is a boy because I am far enough along that you can tell that the baby is a boy.  What the heck?!?!

My three sons. 

Monday, October 03, 2011

We interrupt the regularly scheduled programming

Tomorrow is the nuchal ultrasound, but in the mean time, let's talk about other stuff.

First, an apology to my friend.  I nearly killed her with my evil eye when she said that morning sickness would only last another 3 weeks - tops.  But she was right.  I'm feeling much better.  In fact, I ate some actual vegetables and fruits in the last week.  Normally, I eat tons of fruits and veggies and yet....just not in the last month or 6 weeks because ick ick, gross, blech.  I have a terrible sweet tooth and wanted nothing to do with sweets, but please pass the chips and salsa and also the salt shaker.  What do you mean we don't even own a salt shaker?  So, that's improving.

With the no longer constant nausea, I have started to do things around the house again.  Things like scrub toilets, wipe counters, iron clothing, and prepare food that requires more than just being heated into the microwave.  I spent 2 hours this weekend sewing badges onto Chuckles's new (and highly prized) cub scout uniform.  My son is now a part of a Christian paramilitary organization.  I'm highly conflicted, but he is really cute in his neckerchief.  And he's totally excited about a rocket launch and something about crossbow target practice.  And selling popcorn.  I need a thimble.

Since I had told my children and all my various parents about Muse, I decided to tell my boss because I am pretty sure that if you actually look at me it is completely obvious.  My clothing has become quite comical as I attempt to hide my rotund-ness.  I sit behind a desk though and rarely see any actual people (I do a lot of email and telephone) so I don't think it was ridiculous - yet.  I haven't taken to carrying a box of files in front of me at all times....yet. 

We're awaiting a re-org at work. Apparently I was up for a promotion (that I do not want and have told everyone I don't want it, and yet somehow they were still considering me for it).  I figured if I told my boss about Muse that would derail any plans of a promotion.  Apparently not.  They are having succession planning meetings today, and my boss asked me if he was OK to go public with my "secret".  My boss is awesome.  I told him that was fine if he thought it would help keep me from the promotion (of course now, they probably have to give it to me to avoid pregnancy discriminiation lawsuits).  Wish me luck on all kinds of things.