Friday, November 26, 2010


Mr. W's birthday was on Wednesday. Since he is such a foodie, he talks about wanting to go to Naomi Pomeroy's restaurant Beast. I had tried to make reservations in the past, but had waited too long and ended up being unsuccessful. This year I called over a month in advance and got us booked for the second seating on his birthday. Actually I ended up booking online, as is their preference and included a note that the occasion was his birthday.
I guess I'm not the best at keeping some surprises because he guessed where I was taking him, but he was very happy to learn he was right. They weren't completely booked up that night so we had an unobstruct view of the kitchen from where we were seated at the long communal table. Since Mr. W dreams of having a third career as a chef and restaurateur, this was a special treat for him. The moment I sat down I knew I was going to have a problem. The chair was too small. I know I'm large at the end of my pregnancy, but I'm all out front, I've not had this problem before. Uncomfortable chairs don't bode well for a meal that you are expected to linger over for 3 hours. Later Mr. W told me he was uncomfortable too, and he was reading reviews online which also criticized the seating. However, this was the only flaw in our experience.
Our meal started with a mussel soup in a tomato lobster broth. I don't care for mussels, but while I could taste the sea in this dish, they weren't bad and I didn't gag as usual.
Next was a charcuterie plate which had a few raw items that I passed over to him since technically I should refrain from while pregnant. This was a test in experimentation for me but I did enjoy everything else including a foie-gras bob bon. It was Mr. W's favorite item.
The entree was an awesome lamb cassoulet with white beans. It was so good and embodied all of the comfort foodness of the fall. My only complaint with this was that there wasn't nearly enough lamb in my portion considering the price of the meal. Salad of greens, chicory, walnuts and dried fruit was next. I must admit that I thought I was reaching capacity at this point, but the spacing between courses continued to prevent me from being overwhelmed. My favorite course was the cheese of course. There were a few raw cheeses included, but I was willing to risk it. The meal finished with a pots du creme that had bananas just beneath the crusted sugar and had all the spices of the season. The sweet thing is that Mr. W's was presented with a lit birthday candle. For as much as we were watching all the kitchen preparations, the staff prepared this on the sly. I was so impressed because I had quite forgotten that I had mentioned his birthday when I made the reservation. What great organization!
It is very safe to say that Mr. W, and I, enjoyed his birthday dinner at Beast.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

36 week appointment

It is amazing what a week can bring. Mr. W came with me to this week's appointment after my meltdown last time. It was helpful to have him there to ask questions and he seemed much more supportive to me being able to try for a VBAC. Of course somethings never change with my dr, like waiting an hour for our appointment to start, or having to ask him specific questions to follow up from the last appointment. I had to remind him that we wanted to know the results of the growth ultrasound I went in for last week. The baby is measuring 6 lbs some oz. He estimates with the typical growth that he will be 8.5 lbs by the due date, which is big. Our firstborn was 8 lbs 6 oz so they'd be comparable in size, and frankly I don't think they are particularly large babies.
We brought our notes from my first labor to go over the drugs given at what times, I guess this information was different from the report he had from the hospital. In any event he thinks that I did have a fair trial of labor, that it was a failure of labor to progress. It is still hard for me to wrap my brain around that. But he did take the time to ask me what it was that made me hate my c/s so much. Apparently lots of people would rather have a c/s. He said that the anesthestologist should be able to give me a different drug so that my arms aren't violently shaking out of control...something about that was probably something administered to prevent nausea. When I mentioned that I hated the recovery and being stuck in bed for days he was shocked. In his opinion I should have had the inflatable things removed from my legs the next day because they want us up and walking within 24 hours. So why was I stuck in bed for 3 days the first time?! Anyway, it helps to relieve my surgery fears if some of these issues can be remedied.
He still seems to be of the opinion that a c/s would be better, but is still willing to give me to my due date to see if I go into labor on my own.

Friday, November 19, 2010

Pun'kin Soup

LinkI mentioned before that the Littlest W received the book Pumpkin Soup for his birthday from the B Boys. It quickly became his favorite book. He loves the story and gets so excited at the silly stirring parts and the part where the Squirrel and Cat pace around waiting for Duck to return. He really seems to be into ducks right now!
I thought it would be a great idea to make a pun'kin soup for him to broaden his food horizons since he loves the story so much. I adapted this MS Harvest Pumpkin Soup recipe substituting canned pumpkin rather than roasting one and vegetable broth for the pumpkin broth. (Because I'm 8 months pregnant and want to take short cuts!!) I used some of our left over roasted pumpkin seeds as garnish.
Another favorite book this season is Tasha Tudor's Pumpkin Moonshine. He loves the pumpkin racing down the hill and crashing.

Monday, November 15, 2010


After my Labor & Delivery scare I was even more motivated to start organizing the nursery for two. My mo was nice enough to take our son Friday and Saturday night so that we could get things set up. Originally I was thinking Mr. W could keep the littlest W occupied while I rearranged all the drawers, but the idea of having him out of the house so Mr. W could do the lifting and bending sounded even better.
Three years ago we renovated the room added a lot of built in storage. Since we live in a bungalow, the upstairs bedrooms are all in little hipped dormers which creates a lot of weird angles. Originally the walls along the perimeter of this room were all 1 foot high, not a lot that an adult can do in a space like that. So we had built-in drawers, a bookcase and a custom captain's style bed added into the wasted space in the corners. We also eliminated an odd little nook which went around the corner by dry walling over it and accessing the space from the hallway by adding a linen cabinet.
The majority of the drawers under the bed were filled with items that really don't belong in a nursery for little boys. We boxed those things up and relocated them to the basement, which allowed room for arts & crafts, puzzles, games, and toy storage. The floor is a bit more visible now, but we still seem to have more cars, trucks and trains than necessary.
We also unpacked, washed, and organized all the newborn and baby clothes. It is hard to believe that babies come that tiny! Some of the first items I unpacked were size 0-3 month and I was thinking that certainly the baby could fit in some of those outfits for Christmas. Put as I got further into the box and unearthed the newborn sized clothes the reality of how tiny the baby would really be came rushing back. It certainly got the two of us excited knowing how close we are to bringing our new son home.
Mr. W also was able to use this toddler-free time to fix many of the broken toys and items in Daddy's workshop. I don't think I have divulged that I believe Mr. W has an addiction to cardboard. Admittedly we are both hoarders to some degree. Part of his is saving every empty cardboard box that comes into the house. This is madness to me considering we have curbside recycling! So as we went through the boxes of baby clothes in the basement, Mr. W began to remove some of the empty cardboard boxes and found some other items from which he was willing to part. He was so pleased with himself, as was I, that he add cleared out enough stuff that we had a nice path through the basement so that all our storage boxes are visible and accessible.
We certainly have more to do, but it felt good to make so much progress this weekend.

Friday, November 12, 2010

Feeling a little hopeless

I didn't have a great doctor's appointment yesterday. The baby is fine, but I feel like my doctor is back to his absent minded ways again. A month ago he wanted to schedule my cesarean section, but when I told him I wanted to wait on that he gave me the impression that he would be willing to try for a VBAC. He said he would get the report from the hospital for my last delivery by my next visit. He wasn't in the office last time so this was my first opportunity to get his feedback and I had to ask specifically about it, he didn't bring it up. He seemed very pessimistic and unsupportive about my chances of being successful. I'm getting so sick of hearing the worst thing you can do is labor and then have a cesarean.
I just don't understand how it is possible that the baby really wouldn't have fit last time. I feel like she didn't let me labor long enough before making me have the cesarean. He was only 8 lbs 6 oz, which isn't that big and his head circumference was only in the 50th percentile. I have enormous hips, how is possible that I can't pass a baby? Aren't pelvises and hips part of the same thing?
So now I feel like I have this stupid cesarean on my permanent record and it is going to eff up every future reproductive decision I can make. Why won't my body work right? Why can't I get pregnant on my own with out medical intervention? First one surgery and second a lot of drugs? And then I can't get the baby out on my own. The last OB, the one who made me have the cesarean, never told me that I wouldn't be able to try for a VBAC in the future. I feel like she really effed me over. I remember feeling upset afterward the first time, like that would be my only pregnancy since God didn't design me to have or bear children. But eventually those hopless feeling were replaced by hope considering the doctor never mentioned that I would have to have a cesarean again.
Feeling completely unsupported I called Mr. W. Rather than getting the encouragement I needed I got a lot of nothing. I know from taking that Myers-Briggs test that he is introverted and isn't forthcoming with his thoughts, but when I really, really need him it is as aggravating as hell. And then he drops this bomb on me: he doesn't want me to try for a VBAC either. It was not a good phone conversation at all and I cried off all my mascara.
I don't see how a VBAC is possible now, I can't do it by myself. If I don't have the support of the doctor or my coach, then it will just be me trying all alone. I'm so angry and frustrated. I hated my cesarean, I felt like I was being crucified. I hated being stuck in bed for 4 days with nurses unmotivated to help me regain upward mobility. I hated the post surgery diet of prune juice and jello. I hated being stuck on the top floor of my house for a week because I wasn't supposed to be climbing stairs. Why do people keep telling me that the second surgery is easier to recover from? The second pregnancy is harder, why should I expect recovery to be any better? Why on earth have I put myself in the position to have 3 abdominal surgeries within 4 years?
At this point I can't imagine it would be a good idea for me to try to get pregnant again. I am obviously pushing my body in ways that it cannot go. I should just be content with the two babies I will get from it, right? My hope of having a larger family will have to be fulfilled some other way. It just sucks. I really hope I don't hear any stories of women who don't want children getting easily knocked up in the next few weeks because I imagine that will put me over the edge.

Monday, November 8, 2010

Redneck Birthday Party

When I was in college, my friends at Oaks Park and I really liked Jeff Foxworthy's "You Might be a Redneck..." routine because it seemed so similar to Ride Operators. My parents have always remembered this and my Mom was introduced to the Redneck Life Game recently and decided to incorporate it into a birthday party for me, my Grandpa, & my aunt. She asked everyone to dress up if they wanted to, we brought trashy foods, and played the board game.
When you think about it, the game is really depressing; some people are born into such a rut and it seems impossible to break the cycle. Sad. So I feel a little guilty that we all had so much light hearted fun with this.
We dressed the Littlest W up in a wife beater tank top and slicked back his hair. Mr W also wore a wife beater. There was a lot of flannel, a lot of denim, and a lot of camo. My costume was barefoot and pregnant, complete with a shirt too small that the bottom of my belly was hanging out, but I'm too self conscious to put that out on the internet.Some of our delicacies were ritz crackers with spray cheese,weenies, and a salad with dry top Ramen noodles.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

My Labor & Delivery scare

Mr. W returned from his 8 day business trip to Japan on Sunday. He arrived while we were at Mass and since I was hungry again we decided to go eat brunch at Utopia Cafe. As we were crossing Belmont, I took a serious digger. These stupid Kohl's flats have always been slippery, but I forget how bad they are. Anyway my heel slipped forward and I did the splits (which I can't do when I am not pregnant) landing on my rear and my knee. It hurt a lot and I knew I'd have a giant bruise on my knee, but I didn't really think about it beyond that. I was still feeling plenty of fetal movement, in fact he showed no signs of slowing down his acrobatics routines.
I mostly sat on the sofa the rest of the day, but did do a brief little round of trick 0r treating. I read another pregnant woman on the internet had fallen on carpet and landed on her stomach. Responders were all advising her to call her dr to be evaluated. I didn't think this would apply to me.
The next day, Mr. W took the day off of work to recuperate from his trip and we ate lunch at Dick's Kitchen this time, stopping by Zupan's on the way home for groceries. That walk home was really rough on me and I decided that maybe I should call the Dr. just in case something had ruptured. The nurse told me that she thought I was fine, but she wanted to speak with my Dr. just to be certain since he was in the office. When she got back on she informed me that he wanted me to go immediately to L&D to have a NST and be monitored for 4 hours.
Hello! That freaked me out! Suddenly I was very, very worried. At 33 wks it is WAY to early for this baby, not to mention I have nothing ready yet.
Mr. W was not as concerned, and seemed mostly confused why it should be a big deal. He also had to go back into work for a conference call with Japan so me waiting until the afternoon to decide to call the dr made things a challenge. My mom said she'd come over right away to watch the boy. Fortunately she had no meetings scheduled that afternoon.
Once at L&D I was hooked up to a monitor and left to myself. After a time the nurse returned and asked me if I was having contractions. I said, "No. I don't think so. Well, I guess anything is possible." At which point she informed me that I was having contractions. So obviously I am unable to distingusih between fetal movement and contractions. At least none of them are bothering me; I haven't felt anything that feels labor-like. She also said the baby looks fine and that I had passed her NST. Apparently the 4 hour monitoring is used immediately after a fall, but since it had been over 24 hrs and I felt fine and had fetal movement I would not need such extensive monitoring. Yay!
She also checked my cervix and found it to be completely closed. After calling my dr to report on me he asked her to give me a Fetal Fibronectin test. Apparently it is a "glue" that keeps the baby in the uterus. If it is found outside the uterus between 22-35 weeks then that leak can indicate pre-term labor. After learning that my cervix was closed I felt fairly confident that I'd be fine. I receivd the results this morning which were negative which means that I can be "99.2% assured that [I] won't deliver in the next 2 weeks."
What a relief! But Now I am much more motivated to have Mr. W keep the boy occupied so I can rearrange the drawers in the nursery, unpack, and wash the baby clothes.

Monday, November 1, 2010

Just ducky

This year was motivated to make a Hallowe'en costume. The littlest W's favorite tv show is Word World and his favorite character is Duck. And when I say favorite tv show I mean he only wants to watch this show and nothing else. I'll admit that I've become a bad mommy during pregnancy and let him watch more tv than he should because I am so tired and uncomfortable. So thank goodness for Tivo because we can save up dozens and dozens of Word World episodes that I can play as requested. I thought a duck costume for Hallowe'en would be perfect since his current favorite color is yellow.
It turns out duck costumes for 3 year olds are nearly impossible to find. Ducks for babies, no problem, but for a toddler I was unsuccessful in my search. Which brings me to another complaint. Why do little boys have to grow up so fast? Boy clothes are cute, covered in teddy bears and baby blue, up until size 24 months, then suddenly everything becomes skulls and crossbones. I'm not interested in promoting piracy for children. Pirates weren't nice people. People would frown upon dressing up children like mobsters or gang bangers, so why are pirates cute?
I decided I'd fashion a duck costume myself. I figured I could do a puffy costume that just goes on the top half, similar to the Nemo costume I had seen the year before. I could do that out of some yellow felt, add a couple wing flaps over the arms, and put him in orange leggings. Pretty simple. Since I am a procrastinator I decided I'd better start early. I found some vibrant yellow and orange felt at Fabric Depot. I thought adding some yellow feathers for texture to the wings would be cute and was happy to discover bright yellow boas to match. That would save me a lot of hand stitching! I created and laid out a pattern at my mom's house, I like to talk things through with her to make sure that my ideas make sense and can be executed as easily as I think they can.
Then I just had to assemble it. As I expected I procrastinated some, but it seemed to go together pretty easily. I did double layers of felt for the wings and mom gave me some circa 1980s shoulder pads she still had in her sewing box. This saved me having to do clean stitching because I could just turn the wings inside out, and the pads gave some extra shape. Then I basted the feather boa along the perimeter of each wing. I had just enough boa left over that I added a little tuft at the rear for some tail feathers. I was turning out super cute.
But I had a problem. The littlest W was getting scared of Hallowe'en. He loves to read Curious George and in Curious George goes to a Costume Party George gets scared of a ghost. So naturally he is scared of ghosts now. But he wants to read this story over and over again, especially the part with the ghost. And there were some 'scary' Hallowe'en episodes of his cartoons featuring ghosts. Terrific! He started telling me that he didn't want to go to N's costume party because he was afraid of ghosts. To make matters worse, N was going to BE a ghost! So all the while I was sewing his duck costume I had to prepare myself that he might not even wear it. We might have to skip Hallowe'en this year if he was going to be too scared. I'm not sure why everywhere we turned there were scary stories being marketed to pre-schoolers.
As I was assembling the costume I'd have him try it on to check that it fit and functioned. At first he would balk, claiming he didn't want to go to a costume party. But gradually he liked wearing the costume and didn't want to take it off so I could keep sewing. I began to have hope. I wasn't sure how I was going to fashion the head part and decided not to make a hood that would drive him nuts. I just needed to find an elastic beak. I searched high and low with no luck until a couple people suggested I check out the U of O store. They didn't have exactly what I was thinking of, but they did have yellow duck bill shaped whistles. While it would be very obnoxious, I figured it would be fun enough for him that I could get at least one or two photos of him in the costume.
The night of Ms. Mc's costume party arrived and the littlest W wanted to go. He did get scared though as N, A, and Mr. B, her husband, were all wearing scary ghost or clown costumes. Every time I went to the bathroom he would freak out, even though he was having so much fun that he wasn't paying any attention to me while I was in the room with him.
The next night he decided that he did want to go trick or treating. The F's had invited us over since their new house is in Laurelhurst. They had also invited Mr. & Mrs. N and their daughter Ladybug. First the dads did a round of trick or treating and later on the moms did a circuit. Some of the houses were a little scary for the children, but on the whole they seemed to really enjoy themselves. I had taught the Littlest W to say, "Happy Hallowe'en!" after he received candy. It was pretty cute. And even though Ladybug is the youngest by 3 months of the children, she is exceptionally tall so she would reach all the doorbells for the boys.Something I'd never seen before, but was popular in Laurelhust was the honor system candy bowl. Maybe I ought to do this when we spend Halowe'en somewhere else. I don't know if I want to be fashioning costumes every year, but I enjoyed doing it this time.