Tuesday, August 28, 2012

The joys of being kicked in your sleep and no longer fitting in small spaces...

The joys of being kicked in your sleep and no longer fitting in small spaces...

Fruit to Fetus Comparison: Spaghetti Squash/Ear of corn (Approx 400-450gms and 28cms)

Cravings:  Sugar and naughty food. Have been resisting the urge as much as possible, and trying to eat healthy! I don't know if you can get olfactory cravings, but the smell of jasmine (in flower!!) is heavenly and I just want to smell it all the time!

Aversions: Bread gives me core-of-the-earth heartburn (Says the girl who used to eat hot curries)

Husbands’ excitement metre:

Mini-Muffin Kick-Counter: Kick-a-rific! Up to around 20 – 30 a day (mini ones mostly!) very active muffin at the moment!

So this week Miss Muffin has contented herself with using my body as a personal gym. I’m sure this is only to get worse as the weeks go on, but some very big, surprising, kicks have been happening this week! So big, in fact, that JUSTIN CAN FEEL THEM! Yes! Finally Justin can be physically involved in this pregnancy, other than donating some DNA. Obviously he’s been present for ultrasounds and has dealt with all the emotional eating/crying/sleeping, but the fact that he can feel our daughter move is very very cool!

We are in the midst of buying/designing a house at the moment, and he is getting very ‘nesty’. I’m sure this will be me in a few weeks (and I’m excited about the decorating) but for once Justin is the one excited about room size and floor space, while I get to daydream about painting the walls and planting a garden.

Apart from the kicking (which has been upgraded from ‘goldfish/popcorn’ status to ‘someone is flicking the inside of my tummy with a plastic ruler’ status) nothing much has been happening this week! I have much more energy, which is good, because there’s a lot more to do at the moment (work, house, extra-curricular etc).

I feel much less ‘chipper’ than usual, but this is possibly to do with work more than anything else. I feel less like myself and more like a ‘grey’ version of me, which is not so great. Whinging emo that I am. 

On a more hilarious note, I’m finding it hard to navigate the art room storeroom, and often find myself having to go around things that normally I could just slip in between. We have large compacting shelves, and when they are slightly overstocked,  I have to send students in to get things rather than go myself. They laugh at me. Also it might have been because I turned one of my eyebrows green today with Lino-printing ink.

Not to mention (another pregnant-art-teacher-related-problem) I find the bottom part of my tummy now protrudes so much that it is starting to get in the way of my art teaching. Ie: My clothes have a line of paint/graphite/lino ink/glue on them permanently (have taken to wearing aprons) and I get prodded by waist-level objects a lot. Also my students find it hilarious that I have to ask them to move their chairs in to the tables so I can get past. Only half way, and not THAT huge, I can’t imagine how this is going to work in 15 weeks time!

Yes, people, I’m planning on working until the end of the year. I am mentally preparing myself for the possibility of failure, as this is dependent on health, heat and how grumpy I am. My midwife (bless her) looked at me like I was crazy when I said I wanted to work up until the end of the year, but what else am I going to do? It’s not like I have a choice to sit at home and do nothing (I’ll go crazy, and we need money to buy a house!). It would be much smarter, considering our daughter’s due date, to take maternity leave starting next year, and get normal pay over the holidays. Of course, when have babies ever understood the concept of smartly timed maternity leave? She'll come when she darn well wants to, and do with my body what she will in the meantime!

In saying that, I have to get a certificate saying I can work (with doctor’s permission) up until the end of the year. Otherwise I have to stop around week 6 next term, due to government law. Fingers crossed our lovely doctor (and Miss Muffin) allow this to happen!

Anyway, maternity leave or not, it’s a tough gig at the moment! Off to finish the work-load and get kicked as I attempt to sleep! Here’s what I want to do to Miss Muffin’s bedroom in our potential new home (fingers crossed! Not definite yet!) I love this colour with the white cot and furniture :) Simple but gorgeous!

And just for interest - blue for girls a big no-no? I don't think so, but tell me what you think! There will also be many forms of rainbow and colourful things in there :)




Monday, August 20, 2012

9 Canvases for Miss Muffin

Week 21 – 9 Canvases for Miss Muffin

Fruit to Fetus Comparison: Large Mango. Weighs about 400-450gms We’re running out of fruuuuit!
Found this cool website that shows you the fruit your baby is closest to!
Cravings: Failing at eating healthily. Sure, I might eat a few oranges and some vegetables and meat, but I’ve also eaten nearly a litre of cookies and cream icecream in a couple of days... Have put on 5kgs so far and am only half way through!! (OH GOD OH GOD OH GOD!)
Aversions: Freaking nothing. Why can’t I have aversions to dairy products and sugar?
Husbands’ excitement metre:
Chillin. Justin more or less. See emotional scale below.
Mini-Muffin Kick-Counter:
Many kicks, especially after icecream consumption and drinking cold juice.

So, this week has been busy. Actually, the last two weeks have been hectic, so I didn’t really post a lot last week. I did write a letter, with some small contributions by Justin. I’ve been noticing a lot of fluctuations in my mood since becoming pregnant – especially random snappiness (yes, I admit, I’ve been less charming lately), whining and complaining, nagging, but also some super-highs and bouts of laughing when Miss Muffin kicks me in the guts. I have drawn a comparison scale of Justin’s emotions, compared to mine. Please see the legend below to figure out who is who... in case you couldn’t tell. Also, the numbers on the scale depict the reason for the fluctuating emotion.

Pink - Rhona
Blue - Justin

1. Woke up super happy (though tired) because ... well, just because.
2. Realised it was Monday.
3. Realised I had a cupcake to take to school.
4. Got cranky for no reason. Then got a supervision in a spare and got crankier.
5. Taught Grade 9’s and 8’s. Some students were douches. Most were nice but were cancelled out by the kid trying to cut his shoe up with a lino tool.
6. Could no longer do up art apron at the front like the cool kids. Had to move bow to the back. Felt like a whale.
7.  Potatoes and Gravy from tuckshop
8. Chocolates in staffroom.
9. Supervision class was lovely. We watch a youtube video on fainting goats which makes my day. Watch video here à Fainting Goats
10. Had a fresh orange. Was really good.Like, REALLY good.
11. Orange juice went everywhere causing stickiness and discomfort. This causes grumpiness. Wonder if I have depression. Call self stupid for thinking I have depression over an orange. Mentally slap self in face.
12. Cheerleading practice!
13. Internet was down for a few minutes.

As you can see, Justin rides a rollercoaster of emotion on a daily basis, while mine revolves around food. 

Anyway, despite bouts of crying over adorable emails (still happening) most things have been running smoothly.
For the past few weeks I’ve been working on a project for Mini Muffin, even before we knew she was a girl! I started painting some canvases for her room. They are rainbow (of course) and a little psychedelic, and unfinished, but I thought I’d post them this week.
We went with the theme of animals, because it was unisex and fun J And so, I painted some jungle/circus/unidentified animals to hang on our child’s wall!

This is Leo. He is a lion. He likes the colour red. He is a secret hoarder. I need to finish his eyes.

Nelly is a bit smelly, but you can forgive her because love-hearts come out of her trunk. Also need to finish eyes.
These Turtles are inseparable – Fergus, Frannie and Phil like to play leapfrog, and fail.

Horace the Rhino is only half done. He enjoys long walks on the beach. I think he needs some spots.

Ezra is a reindeer/antelope hybrid. Nobody knows how that happened. Also, his horns are on fire. He needs eyes and to be finished as does his background. Also, he is on a background of teal, not gross dark green. My lighting is horrible in here.

Zelda the Zebra is rather posh. Her yellow stripes make her feel she is above the other Zebras. She doesn’t realise they all call her a cow behind her back. Maybe if Zelda focused on her career rather than her looks people would respect her more.

Alvin and Marvin are Monkeys. They like to eat bananas. They are stereotypical, but call you racist if you say so. Obviously there is a lot of mystery behind these two – what colour will they be? Well. We’ll find out on the weekend when I finish them.

Kayla the Giraffe is overly friendly, and sometimes hugs strangers. People regard Kayla with suspicion because of her height. She resents them for this. Kayla needs eyes and proper background flora.

Finally, Satine. Satine is an orange hippo, which isn’t easy for her in the wild, as camouflage is nearly impossible. Satine still needs facial features, as do the rest of the animals, but is by far the most patchy.

So hope you enjoyed the animals – will post when they’re done J Have a couple of projects to complete before Miss Muffin makes her arrival into the world! Will share as they arrive!

Lots of Love


Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Dear Mini-Muffin - Week 20

Darling Mini-Muffin

You are now 21 weeks old, and around about 350grams. You are around about the length of a very large banana!

You are a GIRL (according to the lovely radiologist!) which has allowed Mummy and Daddy to halve their naming choices! 

Dad was sure you were a girl all along, and now he gloats... a lot.

We are all quite impressed with your glamour shots, though you got a bit shy when the ultrasound tried to take your picture and covered your face with your hands! 

Our favourite names for you right now are:

Isla,  Aria and Cleo

but there are many, many others!

You have started to move a lot in Mummy’s tummy, and like to let her know you’re there when you’re not getting enough attention! Just little flutters right now, because you are still quite small!
Mummy thinks maybe you will be a gymnast. Daddy can’t feel you yet, and he thinks you’re making Mummy more crazy than usual.

Mummy is now too big for her jeans by a long shot, and is opting for stretchy fabrics.

Zy-Zy and Docky have decided to move to Biloela to be close to you! Mummy and Daddy want to build a house and have lots of meetings to sort it out.

Everyone is super busy right now with work, but we take a lot of time to think about you. 

We already love you so much. In only 19 weeks you will be born and we’ll get to meet you

Counting down the days,


Mummy and Daddy xxx

Monday, August 6, 2012

The Life-Changing Question: Ballet or Football?

The Life-Changing Question: Ballet or Football?

Week of Pregnancy: 19
Fruit to Fetus Comparison: Mango or larger! We’re running out of fruuuuit!
Cravings: Kinda over them and trying not to eat crappy food. Failing on some days as I am too tired to cook something decent. Or lazy.
Aversions: Pork and pork products (weird, I haven’t really had much pork since becoming pregnant – and the taste has COMPLETELY changed!! It used to be my favourite roast meat!)
Husbands’ excitement metre: Trying to keep it in, but smug in his ability to predict our child’s sex.
Mini-Muffin Kick-Counter: Up to around about 10/20 felt flutters a day! Have decided it feels like your hands cupping a flailing goldfish, and popcorn – rolled into one.

In regards to the title... I’m hoping both for either gender, to be honest! Let’s not live up to those sexist stereotypes!

So, this week was the week! THE ULTRASOUND WEEK! Not only would we find out if our baby was healthy, but also what ‘favour’ of baby we were having! (These were exact words of one of my students in grade 12 – I jokingly responded ‘hopefully not chocolate, or I’m in trouble...  my husband is vanilla.”)

 Boy or Girl?! Did it really matter that much – not really! We were super excited to find out either way so I could so some serious shopping and start making gender-specific clothing for the first few months of our child’s life. You know, for before the stage where they get to a discernible sex and everyone says “what a cute little... boy? Girl? Monkey?” That could be awkward, I wish to avoid that if possible. If our child wants to dress like the opposite sex when they’re older, that’s up to them, but for now, I’m going to dress them in as much pink/blue as necessary.

So, day of the scan. 

Me = freaking out trying to find morphology scan referral, doctors notes, etc from our last visit. Cried a little when students were quite mean to me. Had a mini-break down. Freaked out that we would be late. Worried we wouldn’t find the hospital. Stressed about a multitude of things that could be wrong with mini-muffin. Excited and scared that we would/wouldn’t find out the gender. Excited for shopping.
Justin = played video games for a while. Chilled out a bit. Tells me not to freak out. Baby will be fine, and he believes there is no doubt it will be a girl. Promises me Sizzler for dinner after the scan to cheer me up.

Ah, Justin. He knows the promise of food will make me feel better. Sometimes I wonder how I'm not two-hundred kilos.

Skip forward to a two hour tedious drive in which every bump seemed like a roller coaster, as I am attempting to drink a litre and a half of water in the space of an hour and a half. Hard to do, surprisingly, especially while in the car and going up the ‘range’ of Mount Morgan.

When we reach the hospital, we park at the complete wrong end, and are currently running 5 minutes late. We race through the hospital and find CQMI (imaging/ultrasound/x-ray) and, slightly exhausted, are told by a nice lady to wait for our turn and to fill out some forms. We wait in the waiting room for what seems like forever (really only 20 minutes) before another nice young lady invites us through.

I swear, 90% of all ultrasound technicians are tall, blonde and have model-legs, which makes me feel like a heifer with a fat tummy and a butt the size of Tasmania. I forgive her because she has warm ultrasound gel, rather than the freezing stuff that most ultrasound facilities have.

After a moment of holding our breath, the wait is worth it! After a few seconds we see...
The baby is a lot more squished this time around, as I’m holding a litre of water right next to its house, and it’s grown a lot! I mean, A LOT! Legs are proportionate, body has caught up (mostly) to the size of the ginormous head, little arms are waving madly!

We are patient as we let the technician do her work – measuring the head, brain, spine, liver, kidneys, stomach, and anything else she can find! She tells us that Mini-Muffin is indeed healthy, and perfectly average in every way, shape and form! Here's a 3D image of Mini-Muffin with hands in front of face:

Current measurements
Approx weight – 280gms
Approx height – 20cms (including legs)
Heart beat – 137 beats per minute 

Right Hand with the correct amount of fingers!! --> 
All normal, all functioning, all fabulous! Our little Mini-Muffin is perfect!!
And then our patience pays off...
Ultrasound Technician: “Are you ready to know the gender?”
“OMIGODYES!!!” (Almost wee with excitement and the fact that I’m still holding on to 1.5 litres of water)
She moves so that we get a good view of our baby’s privates...

Its a girl!

She then proceeds to point out all the reasons why Mini-Muffin is a girl – but I am too ecstatic and over the moon and don’t hear a lot of it because of the current visions of tutus and pink. And soccer and boxing, if she so wishes. 

Justin smirks smugly. Yes, he was right all along. He has not once deviated from his belief that Mini-Muffin was a girl – and I have to admit it! I utter the dreaded words... “You were right.” And I get the notion that I will never live that down and it may be brought out as ammo in arguments for the rest of our lives.

It’s so strange how gender gives you a better idea of what your baby could be like. Immediately, I feel so much more bonded to my daughter growing inside my tummy simply because I know a bit more about her – the simple fact that she has ovaries instead of testes. Boy or Girl, I think I would have felt this way. Suddenly I feel like I know my child, not their favourite colour, whether they like broccoli, what their hopes and dreams are for the future, but that she is healthy, and she is a girl. Two things, really! I am then allowed to empty my bladder, which is about the best feeling in the world. 

The small fact that our baby is a girl almost allows me to ignore the next piece of news;
The placenta is awfully low, and very close to the cervix. Not great news, in the long run, if it chooses not to ‘move’. Basically, if the placenta covers/is too close to the cervix, that makes it hard to give birth naturally. All my thoughts and dreams of a natural, no-drugs water birth go flying out the window as I’m told I may have to get a C-Section, but not to panic, as there are still many weeks for it to move, and we will check it out at the next ultrasound.

I take the news surprisingly well for someone who’s never had to be cut open before. I still have my appendix and tonsils, and all I’m missing are my adenoids (which, really, isn’t much of a surgery). So I grin and bear it.

 If (I say that very strongly!! IF) a C-Section is the best thing for Mini-Muffin and me, well, that’s what we will do. I’ve heard it’s the ‘easiest’ birth, but hardest recovery. But, of course, who wants to be cut open. Really? 

If, on the other hand, the placenta decides to move, Justin and I may have some more arguments about me wanting to be a screaming ball of mess when our child enters the world.  (He’s all for drugs, I’m sort of ‘meh’ about the whole anaesthesia idea and would rather experience the whole thing... but still reserve my right to have an epidural!). Whichever is the safest and best choice (which we will weigh up when the time comes) we will do. No point in arguing with the doctors who know what they’re doing!

So, finally, we go to celebrate at Big W, and I buy five pink/purple sets of clothes for newborns to baby size 0. (Including the most adorable frilly dress and a pair of purple stretchy jean shorts) while Justin rolls his eyes. THEN off to the real celebrations at SIZZLER! We eat, we chat, we laugh, and then we drive (with very full bellies) home! I grin the majority of the way home, thinking of the wonderful, special, active, and amazing little girl I am growing my tummy, and how we will be parents in a matter of 19 – 21 weeks.

It truly is life-changing... and scares the pants off me...


Baby Mini-Muffin Timer

Lilypie Pregnancy tickers