Thursday, September 27, 2007

Plus-size and pregnant

I'll admit it. I've got a big butt. Big thighs, too, which is why I buy "women's" sizes instead of "misses." Much more comfortable, roomy, doesn't cut off blood flow when you've had a meal. Anyway...
As my identically-pregnant friend has put it on her blog, you can't find plus-size maternity anywhere in real life. Only on the Internet, where you have to guess at what size might be right. And one size from JCP is not the equivalent size at Old Navy, I've found. Not to even mention Motherhood Maternity, which charges $40 for every shirt. And, don't forget plus-size also means plus-a-few-more-dollars. Usually $5.

So I've struggled with my weight anyway. I lost 30 pounds on Weight Watchers before we traveled to Russia in 2004, and gained it all back within a year... then plus a bit more. I think I'm probably the only adopter who gained weight in Russia. It's been hard enough to find regular clothes that fit over the past year without wholly turning my closet over to Lane Bryant, although Oprah tells me in my head that "it isn't size, it's how you look in the clothes."

So imagine now having to turn to maternity clothes, which are roomier anyway, and having to purchase everything online because they are "specialty" items. I can't walk in a store and buy a shirt off the rack - I have to wait to make the purchase worth the shipping. Worse, if the shirt doesn't fit (thanks, Old Navy, for being inconsistent in your sizing), I have to send it back and pay shipping. And look for a bra that doesn't leave elastic-burn marks around my middle? Online again, please. I've tried Target, JCP, Sears, & Kohl's with no luck.

One benefit of all this, however, is that I have 2 women at school who have offered to loan me clothes. Cuz I'm in the other pickle, which is - this is the one-and-only child I'm birthing, therefore I don't want to buy too many clothes. I received my first bag of lenders a couple days ago, but only 1 pair of pants fit - everything else too small. Which is good, I guess, because now I know I need the next size up (make that plus-size!) immediately. And goodness knows what's going to happen at the end of this pregnancy - both women told me I'll be the next size up by the time I give birth, unless I opt for sweatpants for the last 8 weeks.

On yet another good note, however, is that they both also told me they continued to wear their "early" maternity clothes 3-6 months after the birth of the baby, just cuz they were so darn comfortable. One admitted she still wears her maternity jeans on "fat" days. So I'm trying to convince Doug that he's actually just adding to my wardrobe, which will extend into late next year!

Monday, September 24, 2007

Roman is all grown up, kind of

Roman has sprouted another few inches over the summer, and we realized going through his closet and drawers, that most of his long-sleeve shirts, and definitely his pants, aren't going to fit this fall/winter. I cleaned out what I knew wasn't going to work, and he ended up with 1 long-sleeve shirt and 2 sweater vests. Problem with pants is, he's skinny (like slim) but long. Flannel-wise, he's good - he's got some cute button-downs. But t-shirts, there's a problem.

So I went off to Kohl's with my "extra 15% off" coupon to see if I could get some adjustable-waist pants, or even some slims, and pick up a couple long-sleeve shirts & jammies too. Well... what a landmark day. Roman has officially grown out of the "T" for Toddler section, and is in the "Boys" section. We crossed the aisle. He's officially a BOY. While I was thrilled with this, pants-and-jammies-wise, I really am not thrilled with t-shirt selection. I think someday I'll open a boys-only boutique with cute, affordable boys clothes.

Saturday, September 22, 2007

I'm creating life, here!

We had a special treat today of Grandparents VE offering to take Roman for the night. I chose to spend the day doing very little work, a little shopping, and a lot of watching t.v. Doug changed oil on one of the cars, mowed the lawn, & seeded and fertilized the yard. Rebekka did laundry all day, cleaning every thread of cotton she owns, I think. So as we were reflecting on day at dinner, Doug says, "well, I think we all got a lot accomplished." I piped up that perhaps I was a little lazy, but then said... "Hey, I was VERY busy. I'm growing a life over here!" Doug and Rebekka laughed, and Doug said, "Well, maybe you divided a few cells..." Too funny.

Tummy update: Just about grown out of one of my dress pants, and my jeans that used to be slightly baggy in the tummy/waist are now tight. Have graduated to wearing all my XL t-shirts that used to be roomy. Problem with those, is that they either advertise bands I've seen in concert or the Corner Bar in Kalamazoo. Heh.

Life without the kitties is less stressful, but we sure do miss them. We find ourselves still thinking they're in the house, then remembering. I had a very hard time putting Roman to bed the last couple nights, because when I sit next to his bed to sing, Pippen always came in for a rubdown. I sure miss them.

Last bit of sad news, I received word that a former student of mine took her own life on Wednesday night. I guess it's a "rite of passage" that every teacher goes through, but it sure was upsetting.

I leave you with some funny Romanisms - questions he has asked this week in the car. Funny where his mind goes sometimes. Remember, these are "out of the blue" questions he just out and asked:
"What is a sno-cone?"
"Is chicken meat?"
"Why do cars go fast?"
"Why is your school a no-hugging school?" (he heard me say that to a couple kids)

His little brain just soaks up so much!

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Roman and my growing body

Poor guy. Roman is having a hard time cuddling with me already, what with the "don't stick your elbow there!" "Don't bash your head into Mama's belly!" and last night's favorite, which almost made me toss him out of his bed because it was so tender, "will you STOP bouncing your head against my breasts!"

While most of the unpleasantness has gone away (nausea, feeling like I'm in a fog, constant hunger) some things have remained or gotten worse (breast soreness, every-three-hours hunger, having no memory whatsoever). I am officially in my 13th week. I have identified 2 dress shirts I can already no longer wear, and my t-shirts are pretty much a joke - not because of my belly yet, but my breasts are so much larger that my shirts are either too short, or too snug. So I've already worn a maternity shirt (ahh... length and room!) and after trying on 2 different tops today, finally to go with the long drape-y one, I think it's time to buy a couple more maternity shirts. Sweaters I think I'm okay with.... it's this in-between weather that makes things difficult. Pants-wise, I just use a safety pin or what have you, and away I go.

I have developed quite a belly in the last couple years anyway, thanks to Ben & Jerry & highly processed "warm and go" dinners. So while I am just 13 weeks along, my belly (to me) looks more like 4 or 5 months along. A lady at church laughed and said no, not really - maybe 3-1/2 to 4 months. Roman confirmed this last night. He was brushing teeth and I was half admiring, half irritated with my belly that I can't suck in anymore. I showed it to Roman, who said with wide eyes, "it's halfway big already!" After we talked about that a minute, Roman said, "turn around." I did, curious, until he blurted out "...and your butt's getting bigger, too!" I had to laugh. Then complain to Doug that I'm on my way to being a beached whale.

Thoughts for today: It's International "Talk Like A Pirate" Day. And the cats are going to heaven at 4:45pm this afternoon.

Friday, September 14, 2007

Foolish names

Keeping in mind our first child, consider the following possibilities of names for our unborn:

Roman and:

Roman and:

Roman and:

Or we could combine names, like this:

Any other good ones you can think of?

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

The emotional roller coaster ride

I haven't yelled at Doug for anything stupid (yet), but I burst into tears at the slightest things. The smallest events that before would not even phase me, cause me to break down into torrents of grief. Weird. Wish I had the emotional highs that go with this form of manic depression, but alas...

I am getting more excited about the impending baby. I don't think I'll ever be one that is THRILLED (as everyone keeps saying I should be). Perhaps because it was unplanned and really, really not expected. I feel bad, because I know that Doug is really excited. Even Roman is coming around, and Rebekka thinks everything is great about it. Here is what I think when people say "aren't you just THRILLED?!"

No. I've got a growing parasite that is wreaking havoc on my body, one that I never planned on having and frankly, was okay with not having. I spend much of my time obsessing over miscarriage and Downs Syndrome, amongst other genetic abnormalities, because I don't know squat about my own medical history. Did you know every 1 in 150 children are now born with a form of autism? My ligaments are stretching, so says my doctor, which caused me such pain yesterday morning that I doubled over and couldn't walk, not to mention tie Roman's shoe. I want to either eat or sleep every moment of the day. And I want more Coke than 12 oz. a day. And we have nothing in the house that will fit a newborn, and we have no accessories in the house for a newborn, so just when we thought we were going to be financially ahead for once now that Roman will be out of daycare, we have to buy formula and diapers all over again. (and the ever-present thought: why should I be thrilled? Because adopting was the substitute?)

Okay, fit over.

In other very sad, emotional news, which probably led me to post the above, I have just scheduled the cats to be put to sleep next Wed. the 19th at 4pm. Their wetting around the basement has increased, leading to ruined seat cushions and actual peeing next to Roman's toys. We can't have a baby on the floor when there are puddles to dodge.

I am now going to drink a Coke, have a pb&j sandwich because I can't go more than 2 hours without food, and take Roman to a bookstore. Where I will buy a book of baby names. Because really, it is kind of neat that we're having a baby.

Monday, September 10, 2007

Yeah, so...

There you have it. You've all received mail, if you're the kind I speak to at least every 3 months (unless you live overseas - sorry Beth!). And I'm with child, just turning into my twelfth week. To summarize:

Harry Potter weekend. Doug and I rented a hotel room, ate at Ponderosa, I ate almost an entire bag of gummy bears, and the book was read. Sunday, felt bad. Maybe it was the gummy bears. Monday, felt worse. Maybe it was Ponderosa. Tuesday, called Doug at work and told him something just wasn't right, I couldn't shake the nausea. He offered to buy a home pregnancy test. I told him he was mad, but if he wanted to waste the money, so be it. Yeah. Well. It was positive. Found out on Tuesday, July 24. Rebekka came to stay July 26. Talk about a crazy week!

So all throughout our trip to San Fran, Family Camp, and the start of school...nausea. But that's been it, pretty much. Feelings lots weird cramps, aches, things like that - my uterus moving around, and such. I gotta tell you, the first month or so we were in a state of shock. Not only was it supposed to be very difficult for us, after our round of pill-fertility drugs, it was supposed to be downright impossible to get pregnant without surgery or serious pharmaceutical help. Even my doctor thought the nurse had switched files when he saw what I was in for!

So we spent a month in shock, which I like to refer to as "oh crap, now what do we do?!" Then we spent the 2nd month in general acceptance, such as "well, I guess we better clean out the storage unit" and "I guess it's good we didn't buy that house in Plymouth, since we now have to buy infant stuff again." But now, it's much more exciting. Everyone knows, including Rebekka and Roman, and they're both excited in their own ways. We're doing a family outing to my ultrasound in October to find out the gender.

Cravings? Except for sleep and lots of food, not much. I will say that cinnamon applesauce is the BEST food invention yet. When you're thirsty, it quenches you. When you're hungry, it tides you over. It's healthy, but it's sweet. Simply amazing. And lemonade, being my major substitute for Coke. Countrytime, man. The best.

A few lessons learned from all this: When God tries to tell you something and you ignore it, he'll teach you in a bigger way. Don't plan out your life, because God is going to say "Um, no, actually, it's MY plan for your life." And what many have said to us, and I'm beginning to believe - when you live as a Christian, you are blessed. Doug and I have been trying to live more (and this is going to sound odd, coming from me) by Christian rules - many people we know SAY they are Christians, but do not LIVE as Christians. We have been trying to live that way. And taking in Rebekka, to us, was a natural extension of that. Wendy, a good friend from church, immediately pointed out that God is rewarding us for living as Christians. That could definitely be possible.

All I know for sure is that based on what I was taking in meds, eating, and drinking the first 4 weeks, plus making it into week 12 based on my medical history, this kid has something special planned for its life. Not that I don't think that about every kid, but seriously - steroids for asthma, poor diet, drank heavily a couple weekends after pregnancy, and am 3x more likely to miscarry.... and this baby is bound and determined to be alive. Amazing.

Did I mention how I am not happy at ALL about physically carrying this child? And the up and down emotions of feeling that adopting is still better than giving birth? But that's another day!

Friday, September 07, 2007


Watch your "snail" mail, gentle readers... a major topic change of my blog is coming soon! In fact, even the title may have to be changed...

Thursday, September 06, 2007

A whirlwind

Yesterday was something else. I had Open House in the evening, so just stayed here at school to prep, have dinner with a couple coworkers, and do an errand. When I got home after a very long day on my feet, Rebekka was waiting to tell me all about her first day. She sounded like she enjoyed it, as much as a 16-year-old can. She finally got her schedule (on the first day, that morning) and she is a sophomore, credit-wise, which we were beginning to suspect would happen. She is determined to take summer school and possibly night classes if she can swing it next semester. We told her to just pass this semester, first.

I'm having fun being on the "other side" of teachers for once. For instance, I didn't realize how much you could tell about a teacher from their parent letter. I predicted accurately what a couple of her teachers were like, down to age & craziness-level. I will have to go back and review my own letter!

I also had yet another "first" at my own Open House. Parents will shock me and say the strangest, funniest, or weirdest things sometimes. But this one tops all. A mother wanted me to be aware that her husband was being released from prison next month, where he's been since 1998, and for me to be aware in case there are behavior changes in her daughter. Um, okay... mark another one down that I've not heard yet! Wow.

Monday, September 03, 2007

Tomorrow - the big day

Our house had a storm cloud over it on Saturday. As most of you may know, the "BIGGEST UPSET IN THE HISTORY OF FOOTBALL!" happened in Ann Arbor, when Appalachian State beat Univ. of Michigan. Doug took it, overall, quite well - aside from throwing his hat on the ground. He actually missed the last play on the radio, which I think was good. Too much tension, really. More sulking ensued on Sunday when all the newspapers had it... and I'm sure more will happen tomorrow, when the actual rankings come out. Ah well... I'm at least glad he doesn't work with so many MSU fans now.

School begins tomorrow for Roman and I, and Rebekka will get her schedule as her school starts Wednesday. I think it will be sad news for her - credit wise, she's probably a sophomore. Tomorrow will be telling for her. I have a half day but this is the first year I feel entirely unprepared. Among the blogged activities (and those yet to be blogged) happening at home the past few weeks, I have not had time to sit in my classroom and just plan. Every year for the past 7 years I have had the opportunity to have at least one day (usually last Friday) to plan, to make sure everything's in the right spot, to have my books marked to the right place, to have overheads or papers ready... this year, I spent Friday at home because of Rebekka. No blame, just different. So I really do feel like the kids are coming tomorrow and I am totally unprepared. I know it's not true, and I can certainly "sing and dance" for 20 minutes a class. But the feeling remains.

Roman will have new friends this year. Roman is in the Red Room, and his best buddy Garrett (whom we like) is in the Blue Room. So Roman is sad about that. We'll see who else is in the Red Room tomorrow.

And now - off to pack my lunch, some snacks, and go to bed early.