Thursday, March 26, 2015

Growing Peanut: 40 Weeks - Hello and Goodbye Due Date

I'm trying so hard not to be Captain Crankypants from every day here on out. It's not really working but can you blame me? I thought for sure she'd be early. Or at the very least on time (yesterday). It's also extremely annoying to fend the comments about my still pregnant status from people at work. I have to maintain some level of decorum so I've been polite about it, but I not-so-secretly just want to flip my lid. I'm not sorry about these emotions, so people, count yourself lucky that I value politeness!
Someone tell the baby it's go time already.
Fortunately, I only have today and tomorrow left before I start maternity leave unless the little one decides she wants to arrive tonight. I'm not getting my hopes up for that though since the probability of spontaneous labor today is still only 54%. Thank goodness for SpaceFem's Daily Odds of Labor chart because seeing actual numbers helps keep me sane. I will definitely be taking the survey after Peanut is born to give another data point.

The practice my doctor is at only lets their patients go a week past their due dates so Peanut is guaranteed to be here sometime next week, hence why my leave begins on Monday regardless of her arrival status. That and I like the evenness of starting my 12 weeks on the first day of a work week. In the meantime, I've been listing out the positives of life right now:
  • Eric and I have been commuting to work together for a couple weeks now. Woo for gas savings!
  • By finishing out this week, I'll get my paycheck next Thursday during my first week of leave. Yay money!
  • I won't have to go back to work until June 22nd if I start my leave on March 30th.
That's all I have for now and the next post in this series is definitely her birth announcement. Stay tuned!

The Baby Shower
9 months
8 months
7 months
6 months
5 months
4 months
First Trimester Recap

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

The Nursery - Part 5: Finishing Touches

We've been putting the finishing touches on for the last couple of weeks, and while there's a couple of things still left on my to-do list, I'm done for now. Besides with just a few days left before her due date, I'm too tired to do anything except wash clothing and rearrange the pantry for the millionth time.
The biggest change in the nursery since the last post is the area rug. I'd been searching for a suitable one for months to no avail. I didn't want to spend a fortune on the rug because I anticipate that baby goo will likely end up on it. I was seriously considering using FLOR (despite the not-cheap-cost) when I came across this one on sale at All Modern. The 5'x8' version was under $200 and the coloring fit the room perfectly, so I bought it without even giving it a second thought. It's a little scratchy and it sheds a bit, but nothing a few good vaccumings can't solve.

The remaining updates were all small but significant together. Eric hung the custom clock, I finished the red accent pillow, bought a stuffed squirrel safe for baby, found a mobile for the crib, and we hung the closet system. The closet still needs doors but I haven't quite decided what I want to do about that yet and the mobile still needs some toys. I have ideas for both of the unfinished elements, but like I said earlier, too tired to focus on those things right now. I'm sure I'll eventually find the time to get them both done to my liking.

The Nursery - Part One: Design and Planning
The Nursery - Part Two: Prep Work and Painting
The Nursery - Part Three: Furnished
The Nursery - Part Four: Curtains

Monday, March 23, 2015

Postpartum Fitness Plans

Right now there's pretty much one thing I'm focused on: waiting to give birth. In an effort to distract myself from the excruciatingly overwhelming impatience that I am currently mired in, I took some time to think about what my return to fitness plans will look like.

Recently I've noticed this ridiculous trend where women expect themselves to go back to doing beastmode fitness things within two months postpartum.  Maybe I'm crazy or perhaps I'm just cautious, but that is certainly not my plan as much as I'd love to get back to running right away. I've already been injured twice due to poor posture, crappy proprioception and lame-o lax ligaments. It doesn't seem at all prudent to rush things when the elevated levels of relaxin can hang around in my body for quite some time. Relaxin is a fascinating hormone that helps a pregnant woman's pelvic ligaments, well, relax. You can probably figure out for yourself why that's important.

I've spent a lot of time researching postpartum recovery, fully intending to share my findings. Then I stumbled on this blog post by Karen Laing at A Little Fitter, and she's summarized the whole situation far better than I could have. If you're at all interested in postpartum recovery and return to fitness, it's a must-read.  So, as much as I miss running, jumping in Zumba class, lifting all the heavy things and generally enjoying physical activity, I'm going exercise my patience and caution first.

It took me approximately 40 weeks to expand enough to hold my full-term Peanut, I anticipate it will take at least that (probably longer!) to return to something that vaguely resembles my previous normal. I say vaguely because my main focus will (obviously!) be on Peanut. But because I believe that taking care of her to the best of my abilities requires me to dedicate time to taking care of my own body, I need at least a tentative plan.

The Plan (sorta, kinda)
  • Weeks 0-6
    • Light walking with my new walking buddy either in her stroller or the Ergo carrier.
    • Corrective exercises to focus on the TVA mind-body connection, conveniently these are the same exercises I learned from my first round of physical therapy.
  • Weeks 6-12
    • Continued light walking with my new walking buddy
    • Continued corrective TVA mind-body connection exercises
    • Return to Reformer 2x/week after being cleared and also discussing the possibility of diastasis recti with my doctor and if necessary, a return to physical therapy.
  • Weeks 12-18
    • Return to work which includes speedier walking with my lunchtime walking buddy, but continued walking with the Peanut
    • Continue Reformer 2x/week
    • Return to Zumba once or twice weekly, as scheduling and funding permits
  •  Weeks 18-24
    • And yet more walking!
    • Reformer 2x/week, corrective exercises and Zumba 1-2x/week
  •  Weeks 24 and up!
    • The Idiot's Guide to Running plan for 5K distances (I've always liked this better than C25K)
    • Corrective exercises (these never go away, ever), Reformer and Zumba

Monday, March 16, 2015

Growing Peanut: The Baby Shower!

Just a little bit over a week ago, our friends threw us a baby shower. While the event itself wasn't completely a surprise to me (or Eric), the guest list defintiely was. My friends from Reformer and Zumba at The Core Connection came and a few of our male(!) friends from work were there to celebrate as well.

There isn't a proper set of words to say how grateful I am, so I will simply say:

Thank you all from the bottom of my heart! It was a wonderful day that I will remember forever.

9 months
8 months
7 months
6 months
5 months
4 months
First Trimester Recap

Thursday, March 12, 2015

MistoBox Review: Box #2

Between the snow and the mail holiday, February's box came a lot later than I expected. As I'm sure anyone who has seen the news and isn't a complete disconnected shut-in knows, Massachusetts had far, far more snow and cold temperatures than is normal for February. Unsurprisingly, this has caused a lot of delays in arrivals of packages from all carriers. Now that I've finished my box though, I'm ready to make my assessments.

The Coffee
Overall, I paid more attention to several of the details on the bags this time. I noticed that the tasting notes listed on the bags don't always match what the pages on the web say. For three of the bags in the box, they weren't so drastically different that it was a problem. That last bag got me though.

I also took some time to research and understand what the different processing methods mean because I wanted to understand how they affected the way the coffee tastes. Here are the very basic highlights (in convenient bulleted list format!) before we get into the actual coffee reviews:

  • Dry Method (a.k.a. natural process)
    • Harvested coffee cherries remain intact and are sorted (either by winnowing or by flotation) then dried usually in the sun.
  • Wet method
    • Harvested coffee cherries are sorted and cleaned, then the pulp is mechanically removed. The beans are then sent for a second cleaning, and onto a fermenting tank to remove any remaining pulp. After fermentation is complete, the coffee beans are washed once more and then sent off to be dried, either mechanically or in the sun.
If you're interested in reading more about coffee processing in depth, check out the International Coffee Organization's page on the topic.

1. Chicago House Blend by Passion House Coffee Roasters

Roast: Medium
Tasting Notes: caramel, citrus, balanced
Type: Blend (Brazil, Mexico and Colombia)
Process: Washed and Pulped Natural

This was my favorite by far. I suspected that it might be the case because one of the tasting notes was balanced; I'm a sucker for a smooth, well-balanced cup. It produced a strong, rich, smooth cup that I genuinely enjoyed with my morning oatmeal. I'm definitely going to be ordering a large bag of this in the future.

2. Buena Vista Dark Roast by Verve Coffee Roasters

Roast: Dark
Tasting Notes: dark chocolate, almond, full body
Type: Blend (Latin America)
Process: Fully washed

This coffee produced a rich, bold cup, lovely hint of almond. I would definitely order larger bag of this as well.

3. Division Blend by Spyhouse Coffee Roasting Co.

Roast: Medium
Tasting Notes: brown sugar, orange, rich
Type: Blend (Mexico and Peru)
Process: Fully washed

I didn't have many notes for this one. It was neither great, nor terrible. Basically a good middle of the road coffee. I probably wouldn't order a full bag.

4. Creamery Blend by Ruby Coffee Roasters

Tasting Notes: chocolate, nutty, full bodied
Tasting Notes from the bag: cherry, chocolate, syrupy

The tasting notes on the web description for this blend definitely do not match what's on the actual package, much to my dismay. Sorry Mistobox and Ruby Coffee Roasters, but I thought this coffee was not at all good. If the tasting notes from the web had aligned with the bag, perhaps it had a chance as the original notes are well within my range of favorites. Unfortunately, there was just something about the cherry note that I found off-putting.

Monday, March 2, 2015

Growing Peanut: 36 weeks (~9 months)

Okay, yeah, so technically by this weird calendar I'm still 8 months pregnant.

Source: BabyCenter - How Pregnant Am I?
But, I don't like uneven things so I've always considered a month to be four weeks regardless of what that thing says. Plus I've noticed my patience and tolerance level for, you know, pretty much everything has reached an all-time low.

Hybrids parking in the temporary medical parking spaces because their row is full and it's negative two degrees Fahrenheit? Smug jerks, I hope you like your two days worth of work-issued parking tickets. Two women walking side-by-side down a two-person wide hallway who didn't get out of my lane? I hope you liked getting shouldered into your lane because your conversation is not so important that you get to be a jerk. Woman smoking outside the doors in the very obviously marked non-smoking area? You better hope I don't see you again because I have your rude jerk speech prepared.

See. I'm totally Captain Crankypants towards anyone who acts like an entitled jerk. Jerks are clearly everywhere these days. Anyhow, moving on...
36 weeks exactly
I finally had to stop Zumba at ~34 weeks. Peanut dropped on my morning commute one day that week; I got out of the car and walking suddenly became a whole lot harder. I can feel her tiny head squishing my bladder even more than before. I didn't think the time between bathroom trips could shrink anymore, but yep, yep it can. However, the fact that she's dropping means she and my body are preparing for baby eviction day. I don't even have much to report for her progress either because all I know is that her little heart rate is very healthy and she's head down ready to go.

This week is my last week of Reformer and I'm pretty proud of myself making it to 37 weeks before stopping. I'll just have to keep up with my prescriptive exercises at home before the birth to keep a proper alignment. I've also been fantasizing about postpartum exercise plans but I think I'll reserve all of my thoughts on that subject for another post because I have a lot of them.

I've actually been toying with the idea of continuing this series for the first 12 weeks postpartum complete with side shots of Peanut and me. It ultimately depends on how much energy I have and how well we adjust as a family of three. I have a sneaking suspicion that I'll be able to find the time though. Regardless, I'm hopeful the next post in this series will be her birth announcement and not a 40 weeks update!

8 months
7 months
6 months
5 months
4 months
First Trimester Recap