TWO WEEKS!

That’s right. Two weeks until Baby #2’s estimated due date. This iconic scene from Total Recall is all I can think of:

We’re ready…ish. Readyish. With Willem, I really had no idea what to expect. Sure, you read the books and the blogs and absolutely soak up all the information you can about caring for your newborn (or at least I did). You get all the baby “stuff” that is supposedly essential to having a happy baby these days. You stock your freezer and buy 20 extra rolls of toilet paper so you won’t have to send your husband out at 2 am.

20160115. Baby blanket for #2.

But no one can tell you how your body and brain will react to insane hormones, nursing all day and all night, the physical pain and recovery your body must go through on zero sleep, and a tiny creature you don’t quite understand, are just getting to know, and are trying to keep alive and, preferably, from crying.

End of the year snapshots.

And so now I know all of that… which makes it both easier and even more terrifying. That’s where the readyish part comes into play. I know I will never be truly “ready” for the newborn shock to the system. It’s just something you’ve got to get through, in all its sweet messiness.

End of the year snapshots.

This time, of course, I also have a wonderful little boy in the mix, a little dude who amazes me daily with his smarts, sense of humor, gentleness, and sweetness. Latest cute Willem-ism: he has this running monologue lately that goes something like, “big car, red car, green car, big big car,” etc. as he’s going about his day. Yesterday I asked him what was in mommy’s tummy. His response? “Baby car.”

I am so proud to be his mom, and I can’t wait to see how he and his little brother become a team. And I worry I am not going to be able to live up to being the mom Willem knows and loves.

Warm December chicken petting.

And then I worry that I’m going to sell this new little guy short, that he’ll just be along for the ride. And I know this is all silly and, really, pointless to fret about because, in TWO WEEKS (+/- two weeks, of course), Baby #2 will be here.

We’ll be fine, we’ll be great even, and when it comes right down to it, I absolutely cannot wait to meet this kiddo.

20160116. 38 weeks.

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A Year Ago Yesterday, Today, and Tomorrow

I don’t think I will ever feel as strongly, strangely nostalgic for “a year ago today” as I do right now. See, in a few days, my first baby turns one. A year ago, he was still part of me. And after his first birthday? Well, a year ago from then, every day moving forward for the rest of his life, he will have been his own little awesome person. You follow me on that one? Good.

Stats have been taken! Now the kid just needs to turn one.

Why do I feel so strongly about this? I mean, there are anniversaries, of course. This past September 7, I certainly reminisced fondly about a year prior, when I got to marry my love, my best friend, and one all-around awesome, standup dude.

But, just as all the Bradley classes and relaxation techniques in the world could not possibly prepare me for how painful labor was, I also couldn’t begin to fathom how completely life would change once Willem joined us. I read up on every possible thing I could before Willem was born: labor, caring for a newborn, baby sleep, cloth diapering, hospital packing lists, stroller reviews, etc. etc. etc. I read until I could read no more… and then I rallied and read some more.

None of those things could ever prepare me for life as it is today. It sounds so cliche, and I can’t even quite describe it. The closest I can come, though, is thinking about where I was a year ago. I remember how excited I was, how ready I felt, how impatient… and I laugh at myself for how completely unprepared I really was. 

So where was I a year ago? A year ago yesterday, 2/15, was my due date. Chris and I celebrated by getting splurge yarn at Mass Ave. Knit Shop and eating delicious Mexican food at La Margarita in Fountain Square.

Splurge yarn:
Hearts.

BELLY:
20140215. Hello, due date!

A year ago today, 2/16, Chris, Birdie, and I tromped through over a foot of snow at Holliday Park, determined to walk this baby out of me.

Birdie and the Sleepies

A year ago tomorrow, 2/17, was my first day of maternity leave. I visited the midwife in the morning, bought some photo frames, and made it home in front of an ice storm. I framed a bunch of our wedding photos, got the diaper changing area ready… and as I walked out of the nursery, my water broke.

I remember that feeling like it was yesterday. Up to that point, it was all theoretical, the whole “having a baby” thing. Once your water breaks, you realize, OH HOLY CRAP, child birth is imminent. Like, it is ON, people. You also quickly realize that you are both the train conductor and passenger on this ride and at a level of intensity you might never experience again. This is actually happening to you – you’re the only one who can actually do this whole child birth thing – and, at the same time, you are totally just along for the ride. Oh holy shitsnacks.

And then a year ago the day after all that? Well, on 2/18, Willem was here.

Baby K has arrived.

Baby K has arrived.

Baby K has arrived.

Baby K has arrived.

And nothing will ever be the same again. What a lovely life.
20150127. Sickie kid.

New Year’s Intentions, Part 2: What to NEVER, EVER Buy Conventionally (or What to Grow in Your Garden)

I was so excited about all the fancy words in my last post that I neglected the real meat/reason I wrote that post in the first place: to document which foods are best to buy organic and which are passable when conventionally grown.

During the summer, we hardly buy vegetables at all. We have so much growing in our yard that it’s difficult to eat it all at times. During the winter, though, we rely on others to grow our produce. The insane things we allow to be sprayed on our fruits and vegetables in this country totally freak me out, particularly now that we have a tiny, small being who loves fruits and vegetables in the house.

But the thing about buying organic or solely at the farmers market? $$$$. Really. I hate to say it, but $$$$. And also? Selection (at least at the standard chain grocery stores). And getting downtown to the weekly winter farmers market with a baby is just not always practical.

Dirty Dozen: The Environmental Working Group has a list of foods you should absolutely, never, OMG-you’ll-turn-green-and-die buy if conventionally grown. Strawberries are a really great one to grow at home instead (as well as spinach, snap peas, hot peppers, bell peppers, celery… shoot, just grow ’em all)!

  • Apples
  • Strawberries
  • Grapes
  • Celery
  • Peaches
  • Spinach
  • Sweet bell peppers
  • Nectarines (imported)
  • Cucumbers
  • Cherry tomatoes
  • Snap peas (imported)
  • Potatoes
  • Hot peppers
  • Blueberries (domestic)

Clean Fifteen: Look how many of Willem’s favorite foods are on this list! SCORE!

  • Avocados (BABY FAVE)
  • Sweet corn (BABY FAVE)
  • Pineapples
  • Cabbage
  • Sweet peas (frozen) (BABY FAVE)
  • Onions
  • Asparagus
  • Mangoes
  • Papayas
  • Kiwi
  • Eggplant
  • Grapefruit
  • Cantaloupe (domestic)
  • Cauliflower (BABY FAVE)
  • Sweet potatoes (BABY FAVE)

February 15, 2014: D-Day!

February 15, 2014. No matter what they tell you about due dates and how they really are just general guidelines, EVERYONE counts down to the due date – websites, friends, family, pregnancy e-newsletters, and, most especially, the parents to be.

Yesterday was our official due date, and, although it did not yield a baby, we did make it a lovely day. Our due date antics included the following:

  • A visit to the Indy Winter Farmers Market, where we ran into a birthday girl and some good friends and co-workers. Mostly, it was nice to get out into the hustle and bustle of the market, always a great place to spend your Saturday morning.
  • A trip to my favorite yarn store in Indianapolis, Mass Ave. Knit Shop (which is actually located on Virginia Ave., but whatever), for some splurge yarn… and GIRL SCOUT COOKIES! How can you not love a knit shop that has oodles and oodles of to-die-for yarns AND boxes of Girl Scout cookies waiting for you at the register?
  • Lunch at our favorite Mexican restaurant, La Margarita in Fountain Square, for tacos de chorizo and the best damn virgin peach margarita a girl can find.
  • A long, hot bath while Chris shoveled the driveway (again) and cleaned the most recent 6″ dump of snow off my car (bless him).
  • Some photo documentation of the two (three?) of us in celebration of surviving the last 40 weeks!

20140215. Hello, due date!

20140215. Hello, due date!

20140215. Hello, due date!

GIGANTE!

Today, we took Birdie on a very snowy walk at Holliday Park. The snow was up to her chest! I’m going to walk this baby out of me.

State of the Belly Address: Half-Full

As of yesterday, this adorable little beastie of mine is halfway done. We celebrated the 20-week mark of pregnancy with a visit to Fall Creek Gardens for their fall harvest party and mural ribbon cutting ceremony, dinner and ice cream out, and a trip to Lowe’s.

We know how to party. Saturday! Rage! No, really, though, it was a great day.

Ever since the wedding, I feel like I’m busier than ever, probably due to the fact that for the entire month of August, anything that wasn’t wedding-related got pushed to the back of my mind and the bottom of my to do list. Now it’s all rushing back to the forefront like a tsunami. Or at least a slightly flooded stream bed.

Rather than bore you (and myself) with the details of that flood of STUFF that needs doing, I think we need more pretties on this rainy Sunday, no? Not only have I been productive in the baby-making lately, but I’ve also been productive in the baby stuff-making (and acquiring). Here are a few of my latest goodies for this little no-name nubbin.

First, we have some toasty sweaters and a kick sack for those breezy February days:
20130929. Making stuff and taking names.

And what little beastie doesn’t need some cozy wool pants and a super soft chevron blankie? The better to cuddle you with, my love.
20130929. Making stuff and taking names.

Every time I look at Barnaby the Bear (made by my sister-in-law and four-year-old nephew, Ben) and my big cuddly bunny, I squeal a little (in my mind… although sometimes a squeak manages to get out). Barnaby also happens to be modeling an aviator hat and bib for the babe.
20130929. Making stuff and taking names.

I’ve also procured about a billion (okay, 17, but whatever) cloth diapers to get us going. We might be pretty well set in the cloth diaper department!
20130928. My fetuses cloth diaper stash is about complete for now.

Last but not least, I love the way these turned out. These are being printed up and framed as 11×14″ wall art. The ideas were totally stolen from others (love you, Etsy and Pinterest).
20130929. Making stuff and taking names.

Oops, I lied. ONE one more. I forgot I made a bunch of kick ass onesies yesterday!
20130928. New onesies for the sprout.

Chris fretted the other night that this baby is going to come out all hipster: bearded in a flannel shirt and skinny jeans if it’s a boy; dark-rimmed librarian glasses, bangs, handknit mittens, and jarring, conflictingly patterned clothes if it’s a girl. I think it’s going to come out all hippie farmer: dirt under its tiny nails, pulling raw beets from the ground to use as its teethers.

And Now Back to Your Regularly Scheduled Bump Watch

Our wedding photographers (Bowersock Photographers) are not only awesome, sweet, kind people, they are also ridiculously talented professionals who deliver sheer beauty in their shots. I cannot get over our “sneak preview” photo slideshow they put together. It completely captures our day, and it makes me teary-eyed every time I re-watch it (which has been a lot):

Not only did we get married on Saturday, we also rang in week 17 of our future-parenthood-waiting-period (aka pregnancy). Which means we have another four-week belly comparison shot to share with the world!

I think at this point it’s safe to say there’s a baby in there:

Bump Watch, 2013: Weeks 14-17.

Where My Bees At?

This video still makes me super happy. And I need some happy!

In bee-related news, we got to visit the top bar hive over at the Butler campus farm a few weeks ago. I can’t wait until we have bees next spring filling our own top bar hive.

Top bar bee hive at Butler Campus Farm.

Top bar bee hive at Butler Campus Farm.

Speaking of, Chris has not posted about the process of building our top bar hive, but check it – it now lives in the backyard (if you can see it behind my burgeoning belly!). So far, it has attracted a couple of little spiders, but no bees. Guess we’ll have to either buy a nuc for next spring or catch a swarm.

20130822. 14 weeks, 5 days.

Sit Back, Relax, and Enjoy the Ride

I keep telling people that Chris and I are trying to pack all of our big life events in at once.

  • I spent a transformative summer at the urban farming apprenticeship, and I feel like a more balanced, happy, and just BETTER human being coming out of it. I will be forever grateful for this experience.
  • We are getting married in less than a month.
  • And drum roll please… we will be welcoming a new little one into our little lives next February.

No, really. Did you read that last bullet? Take a closer look. That’s right (second drum roll, please)… WE ARE HAVING A BABY!

20130728. It's official!There is a ton to say on this subject, but the long and short of it is:

  • I’m feeling pretty good.
  • I’ve started getting used to this whole idea/not being totally freaked out and worried at every pang that something is wrong.
  • I’m meeting a new midwife tomorrow and hopefully switching practices.
  • Chris is an awesome daddy-to-be, buying me candied ginger when I was in the throes of first trimester nausea, coming to my doctor appointments (even if it’s just for moral support when dealing with idiots), and peeling me off the couch every night after I’ve fallen asleep in the middle of yet another movie or episode of Star Trek: The Next Generation.

I also seem to have popped out somewhere around 11 weeks, although I think to everyone else I probably still look like I just ate a few too many cookies. Which I have, but that’s besides the point.

Bump Watch, 2013: Weeks 6-9.

Bump Watch, 2013: Weeks 10-13.