Plomin Family Bragablog

December 18, 2008

Contemplating Labor

Filed under: Uncategorized — dcmom @ 8:48 pm
Tags: , , , , , ,

I don’t have anything in particular to say today, but the onset of the holiday season has slowed the pace at work quite a bit, and I’ve had too much time to sit and think.

Recently, I’ve been getting a little homesick for Karol in the middle of the day.  I could walk the 2.5 blocks around the corner to go visit her, but at pregnant speed it’d take me 15 minutes to get there, plus I don’t want to interrupt her busy day.  So I hop on Facebook to go through my countless photos of her.  As I type this I have less than 2 hours before Matt comes to pick us both up, and I can’t wait.

I’ve also been utilizing this free time to stress out and worry about everything I can possibly think of.  Since the semester is over for both Matt and I, that’s no longer an issue, but I’ve moved on to next semester’s stress already.  I called the school to check on my financial aid status, my reimbursement from last semester, and of course it’s all too early to tell.  

Not surprisingly, I’ve been fretting over the snail’s pace of this pregnancy, wishing like crazy it would just hurry up and get over with.  When I was pregnant with Karol, I was pretty proud of the fact that I didn’t really complain much, and was a highly functional worker all the way up to the due date.  This time, however, every single day seems to drag, and even though a co-worker recently told me I was ‘the most laid-back pregnant person’ she’d ever known, I feel like I’ve been the total opposite.

For the most part, Matt and I have basically ignored this pregnancy until recently.  Since taking care of Karol is a 24-7 task, and we’re both working hard in school and work, and we both kind of feel like we’ve got the skills down now anyway, until Patrick really started making life difficult for me the past few weeks we haven’t thought much about him, I’m kind of ashamed to say.  But now he pretty much dictates our lives because he has control of the Mommy!  It must be his vengeance for ignoring him.

Lucky for me, Karol is very much a daddy’s girl, so he’s been able to progressively take over basically the entire evening routine with her.  Making dinner has been an afterthought.  My appetite is next to nothing, probably because of the giant fetus crushing my stomach.  Matt’s appetite seems to be mirroring mine, so we generally just fix something for Karol.  She’s the only one who’s really been eating hearty recently!  Yesterday Lori said she scarfed down a ton for lunch and she still ate a lot at dinner, too, so we may be seeing a growth spurt soon (as if she wasn’t growing too fast as it is).

Then, it’s bath time and play time with Daddy, and eventually, usually around 8, Matt starts the bedtime routine with stories and cuddling and rocking.  Matt said Karol fell asleep pretty quickly last night, out by 8:30.  I wouldn’t know because I was snoring on the couch long before then.  Apparently Matt flipped on ESPN and joined me, because I woke up around 1 in the morning with him snuggling as best he could with the Belly.  Sometimes I think I’m more comfy on the couch than I am on the bed, but both locations are practically impossible to get out of after I’ve been sleeping a while.  The motion of going from horizontal to vertical after a few hours is really painful!

Just thinking about it now, I’m really, really grateful that Matt has so much time off between semesters right as this pregnancy is seriously wiping me out.  He’ll have a lot more energy than I will and relatively few distractions.  Although, it is time for him to really buckle down on this internship hunt.

As for me, I’m focused completely on getting this baby out!  When I found out that Patrick was measuring big, I began praying in earnest he’d come early.  As far as I’m concerned, I’d be totally fine if he came anytime now, since we’re past the 36 week mark.  But I’ve been thinking about how I’m going to schedule my maternity leave, and all that staring at calendars has made me realize that even ‘early’ is still weeks away, and maybe I should just come to terms with having to live through the 9th month.

In the meantime, I can still pack our hospital bag and put together my hospital music list.  I’ve been doing a lot of reading up on the actual labor–something I didn’t think I’d need to do much this time around–but even though I can’t really complain much about my experience birthing Karol, I’d still like to do a few things differently with Patrick.  Ironically, whenever I am reading and thinking about the actual labor too much, I start to feel icky and get contractions (Braxton-Hicks, unfortunately).  So I’m trying to lay off.

December 11, 2008

Karol’s Morning

Filed under: Uncategorized — dcmom @ 2:59 pm

I love mornings like this morning.  I got up around 6 am before Karol or Matt was up and got on the computer to work on my final project for PSPR 208.  Karol started stirring a little early, around 6:30 or so, so I  went into her room and she was sitting up already, but still in a pretty sleepy state.  She reached her little arms toward me, wanting to be picked up, so I grabbed her and threw her soft pink blanket over her and we cozied up together on the rocking chair.  Every once in a while, when she wakes up before there’s much light out, it’s nice to ease Karol into the morning with a little snuggle time.  

A little while later, Matt woke up and started clinking around in the kitchen, so of course, Karol was now officially awake and curious.  Here’s a pic of her seeking out Daddy in the kitchen.

 

Karol and Teddy

Karol and Teddy

 

 

 

 

And here’s some pics of Karol after we got dressed and ready for the day.

And finally, here’s a video of Karol showing off some of her most recently acquired skills.

December 9, 2008

Doctor Visit

Filed under: Uncategorized — dcmom @ 9:53 pm

Today Karol had her 15 month ‘well visit’ with our favorite pediatrician, Dr. Fishman.  Dr. Fishman also happens to be considered pretty much the best doctor in the DC area.  We are terribly lucky she’s in our insurance plan!

Anyway, the overall appointment was great.  We got in our little room and had to strip down to diaper only, but they turned the heat up and Karol certainly didn’t seem to mind the freedom.  Karol flipped through a magazine, bounced on Mommy’s knee, and played with her shoes until the nurse came back to take her measurements.  Here are the results:

Weight: 21 lbs 8 oz (up from 20 lbs at 12 months)
Height: 32 1/4 in (up from 31 in)
Head: 18 in (she’s still got a head)

As you can see, Karol’s growing pretty well and still pretty tall.  Matt and I are constantly reminded of this as we are always putting untouchable things on higher and higher shelves.

We had a few more minutes of playtime before Dr. Fishman came in for the exam.  Karol has always been good at the doctor’s, but the past few times she’s gotten a little anxious when they need to touch her.  She makes a quiet, uneasy sort of whine when they are using the stethoscope or the ear-checker thingy.  Though she was a little shy, Karol did have the opportunity to show off her nose-finding skills.  Dr. Fishman said her motor and language development seems right on track, so we are happy about that.  The doctor also recommended that we start taking an iron supplement, as Karol is a little low on some sort of blood thing.

Speaking of which, having a toddler get blood drawn is an absolute nightmare.  It’s required in this messed up state at 12 months, though.  When the results came back a little low, they originally wanted Karol to do it again to make sure, but there’s no way I’m putting her through that again.  Luckily Dr. Fishman said today she suspected the results would be the same and that Karol probably just has a mild anemia, like me.  She recommended an over the counter iron supplement that is supposed to be very tasty.  I hope it really is.  Karol loves taking children’s Tylenol because of the grape flavor, but of course it’s very rare we resort to Tylenol.

Next came the hard part.  The shots.  After a long talk with Dr. Fishman, I decided to give in to the chicken pox vaccine.  This one is normally done at the 12 month appointment and I chose not to  have it done then.  Matt and I talked it over and, in light of the 12,749 other shots she had to get, we didn’t want to put her through yet another one.  The nurse who had given us the other shots at the 12 month appointment actually commended our decision, saying that so many shots at one time could be just plain overload to a child’s system.

It’s not that I don’t want to inoculate Karol at all for the chicken pox, but at one year old?  I really don’t see the need.  I know it can be a dangerous disease, but the chicken pox used to be a right of passage that all young children had to face.  And how much do we really know about the effectiveness of these new vaccinations?  I prefer to wait a few years on any new vaccination to see what the potential outcomes are.

On the other hand, if there truly is a way to avoid the blotched itchy torture of chicken pox, shouldn’t I take that opportunity for my child?  Dr. Fishman did make a good argument.  She said that just recently she treated a child hospitalized from chicken pox…presumably not vaccinated for them.  She also made the common sense argument that getting it done now, along with the mandatory tetanus series completion, is more bearable (for Karol and me) than doing it on its own later.  

“Getting a shot at all is the traumatic part, whether it’s one or three,” Dr. Fishman said, “and then it’s over with and she’s not getting a shot every simgle time she comes in.”  Of course, she has been getting them every time so far, but the doctor said that will be done after the two-year appointment.  After today’s shots, Karol stands to get one more series for Hepatitis A containing 2 shots 6 months apart, at the 18 and 24 month doctor appointments.  Then we’re in the clear until Kindergarten.  Whew!

So, after Dr. Fishman left we waited a long while for the nurse to come back with the dreaded needles.  I felt like the pastor that talks to the death row inmate just before his deadly shot.  We played ‘This Little Piggy,’ which Karol thought was hilarious (she can say “wee, wee wee!” now), and drew with a pen on the paper they put over the cushions.  

Finally the nurse came back.  With a tray of scary needles.  I hope babies don’t smell fear the way some animals do, because I couldn’t help but be anxious.  And we did it.  Karol sat on my lap while the nurse put a shot in each thigh, followed by bright yellow band-aids with cartoon characters on them.  Karol cried.  I wouldn’t say she wailed, but she did sob for several minutes after the fact.  And no amount of cuddling and consoling really makes me feel less guilty for letting it happen to her to begin with.  All-in-all, Karol did exceptionally well, even during the shots.  No kicking or flailing.  She was like a little martyr there on my lap.

Something so strongly counter to Mother’s Intuition can’t be the ‘right thing to do,’ can it?  I guess modern medicine would suggest otherwise.

I’m sure those shots hurt me a lot more than they hurt her in some ways.  From now on, I’m scheduling Karol’s doctor appointments for late in the afternoon.  I don’t care if it’s less convenient, starting the morning with shots just ruins the whole day.  

I should just make Matt take her.  He’s better than I am at handling the vaccinations.  

In other news, the semester is rapidly approaching an end for both Matt and I.  I will feel SO much better once I get this final project turned in!  Matt is doing really well in all of his classes, so he’s optimistic about his grades.  The next step:  The massive summer internship search effort.  The summer internship is a huge thing for MBA students, so we are really working hard to get the perfect one.  It will be interesting to see where he ends up, and how that will affect our little (well, not-so-little) family.

December 6, 2008

The road to 150k and beyond

Filed under: Uncategorized — mplomin @ 12:48 am

Thanks Dad!  It was a monumental drive home from school/work tonight.  The wonderful Toyota Camry that has dutifully served three generations of our family finally hit 150,000 miles.  And it kept going to 150,001.  This is the car that my dad bought from “a little old lady who only drove it to the grocery store and church on Sunday.”  About 50 oil changes, 6 sets of tires, 4 sets of break pads, and a brand new transmission later, it’s ready to go for another 150k.  And now that the price of gas is going down to $1 a gallon, the cost of operating this beast just gets better and better.

With the Detroit CEO’s begging for money today on Capital Hill this afternoon, my (made-in-Kentucky by non-UAW) “Japanese” car lasted about 50% longer than most US tag autos.  For the life of me, I can’t figure out why GM and Chrysler don’t just declare bankruptcy, shed some dealerships, re-negotiate UAW contracts, lobby for “Global CAFE” and beat a path toward profitability.  And Congress could do worse than to demand bankruptcy as a precondition for a bailout, but we all know how our President-elect feels about preconditions.  There just so happens to be a booming car industry.  It makes BMWs, Toyotas, and Hondas – plus it’s non-union and in the deep south.  This whole dog-and-pony show smells like a UAW bailout, not a car industry bailout.  No wonder people say GM is “a benefits company that just happens to make cars.”

Anyway, back to my will-it-run-forever? Toyota.  The event is chronicled in photos nearby.  Despite the fact that it’s “rolling over” to 150,000 miles, I’m pretty optimistic. Actually, we don’t need it to run forever, just long enough to get us through the next few months.  Today, the Camry helped me muscle my way through brutal traffic to and from school/work.  As long as it makes it the 20-mile round trip daily commute till we move closer to Jillian’s office in April, we’ll be cool.  At that point, we’ll be 100% metro, and Jillian, my “little old lady” will only drive it to church and Costco.

 

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December 5, 2008

Baby Update

Filed under: Uncategorized — dcmom @ 8:33 pm

Well we had our third (a probably final) ultrasound today.  No mushy-gushy, ‘look at the baby!’ stuff; today was strictly business, as the ultrasound tech measured about 20 little indistinguishable blobs on the screen and Matt tried to distract and entertain a somewhat irritated Karol.  

Not surprisingly (to me, at least), Patrick is weighing in around five and a half pounds and “measuring ahead,” which means even though we are currently at 34 weeks and 3 days, he’s the size he ‘should’ be at 35 weeks and 2 days.  Since I’m not at all a gestational diabetes risk, the tech and the doctor didn’t find any harm in his size.  

I, however, am PSYCHED that Patrick is measuring ahead because hopefully that means he’s coming ahead of schedule, too!  The adjusted due date would be January 7th.  I looked up an article about this very topic on BabyCenter to see if my hopes had any justification.  Here’s an excerpt.  I’ve bolded the scenarios that may apply to Patrick and me:

“Measuring large for dates means your fundal height is more than 2 centimeters larger than average for your stage of pregnancy, based on your due date. Your practitioner will probably schedule an ultrasound to find out why. Among the possible explanations are:
•  Your due date is off. (The ultrasound can help your practitioner figure out your correct due date.)
•  You have looser abdominal muscles than most women as a result of an earlier pregnancy.
•  You have uterine fibroids.
•  You’re carrying twins or more.
•  You have too much amniotic fluid.
•  Your baby is positioned high above your pelvis, which might be the case with abreech baby or if you have a placenta previa.
•  You have a bigger-than-normal baby because of gestational diabetes. This condition is known as macrosomia. You may need to be tested to rule it out.
Or you might simply be carrying a big, perfectly healthy baby.

Okay so, to me, Patrick has felt enormous for months now, so there’s a very good chance he’s just going to be a big baby, which is fine, I guess.  Although at this point babies are putting on like a half pound a week, and at some point that jumps to a full pound a week, and if he’s already at 5.5 pounds…yikes!  So I’m really hoping he’s an early arrival!

Also, the ultrasound tech verified that Patrick is indeed head down, also not to my surprise.  I DEFINITELY felt that when it happened, and now I can barely get out of bed in the morning!  Changing from a horizontal to vertical position is pretty painful, so maybe I’ll just sleep sitting up from now on.  That would probably help with the heartburn too!

Without further ado, here are the long awaited ultrasound pictures.  Unfortunately we don’t have access to the 4D ultrasound technology we did with Karol, so features are harder to see, but you can see the face of a baby trying to sleep, and you can definitely verify that he is indeed a boy.

Patrick Ultrasound Pictures

December 3, 2008

Bed-Head

Filed under: Uncategorized — dcmom @ 2:51 pm

What’s the solution for uncontrollable bed-head hair?  Hats!  Karol has been particularly fond of wearing them–or at least playing with them–since she learned the sign for ‘hat.’  Since the weather outside is getting frightful, and Karol pulls hair clips out and doesn’t like ponytail holders, wearing her hats is the way to go!  Check out this sheik look.

 

Karol is a trend-setter

Karol is a trend-setter

December 2, 2008

Getting into The Christmas Spirit

Filed under: Uncategorized — dcmom @ 3:21 pm

Karol is definitely getting into the Christmas spirit, whether she realizes it or not!  When we went shopping over the weekend, she started saying ‘Santa!’  Okay, so she can’t really do the ‘S’ sound or the ‘T’ sound yet, but we know what she means.  The first time I thought she was randomly pointing and babbling when she gestured to some Santa Figurine pictured on a box and said “Naa-Nuh.”  I said, “that’s right, Karol, that’s Santa, isn’t it?”  Then we passed another Santa image and again she clearly pointed and said “Naa-Nuh.”  Has she really figured this out this quickly?  We have been talking about him a lot.  We saw him on TV, in the mall, and in our clay-mation Christmas movies that she’s been watching.  After doing it a couple more times in a different store, I think she’s made the connection that Fat Man + White Beard + Red Suit = Santa, and that Santa is something worth being excited about.  

For some reason, I thought she still wouldn’t quite grasp the idea until next year, maybe because she was so oblivious of the significance of her birthday just a few short months ago.  But she’s done a LOT of developing since then.  Walking (now running, almost) and a lot of talking have developed just in that short span, not to mention the concepts she’s obviously able to understand.  Maybe having such an iconic figurehead, Santa, helps bring home the message that something exciting is going on.

Now that we’ve got the Santa/commercial Christmas ball rolling, we really need to start with the real Christmas stuff.  I’ve decided to write a little book for Karol (and Patrick and whomever should follow) that tells the nativity story in a context that relates to them and to our Catholic spirituality as a whole.  That’s asking a lot of a children’s book, I know, but at least it’s stewing in my brain!  

This week is the LAST week of my current PR class.  In fact I’m avoiding working on my final project right now!  So I’m looking forward to throwing myself into the Christmas season and all the projects I have planned after that.  Matt’s classes end in two and a half weeks, and then he’ll be free to hit the internship-search full blast.  I’m hoping Patrick will arrive at least a week before Matt’s classes start again so that he can have some time with us in those first few days.  Really, Patrick can be born anytime after December 16th if he wants, and I’m hoping he’s as anxious to be born as I am to be not-pregnant.

Oh yes!  For those of you ancy for a Patrick update, I have a little tidbit of news: Patrick ‘flipped’ last night.  That’s right, he’s waiting at the gate now, which means a little  more discomfort for me, but I don’t mind it.  I had to take down the baby gates today, because I simply can’t get my legs over that high now, and walking in general has slowed down a bunch.  I’m glad we did a lot of mall-walking/Christmas shopping this weekend, because I’m sure a lot less ‘up for it’ now.  We’ve only got a couple people left to cover, and then we’re done with our shopping!

Also, our next doctor’s appointment-and ultrasound-is this Friday (Dec. 5).  It will be exciting to see how big he’s gotten!  I’ll be sure to update you, and I fully intend to email out the ultrasound pictures this weekend!

Well, it’s officially time to stop stalling and start working on my final project, so that’s all for now 🙂

December 1, 2008

Thanksgiving Weekend

Filed under: Uncategorized — dcmom @ 9:38 pm

Man, what a great Thanksgiving break we had!  Here’s how it went for the DC Plomins.

Wednesday:
Went to school/work/sitter’s as usual, hardly any traffic (comparatively) and a slow day for everyone.  Matt’s class was over at noon and I got off work early as well.   I did manage to finish my paper (due Thursday) before leaving, so I didn’t have to worry about that on Thanksgiving.  We spent the rest of the day hanging around the house and preparing for the long weekend ahead!

Thursday:
Turkey Day!  We went to Joe and Judy’s as early as we could muster (arrived around 10ish) so that Matt could be in the kitchen during all the cooking hub-bub.  I had already decided I wasn’t going to try to ‘accomplish’ anything, as I would much rather have a day of ‘quality time’ with Karol.  
Karol was quite a riot all day.  Of course she didn’t want to nap at all because she might miss something fun with Dusty or lose some running around the house time.  So by mid-afternoon, she was pretty drunk with lack of sleep.  In the meantime we colored Thanksgiving Day Turkeys with Jen, watched the Macy’s parade (saw Santa) and played with Karol’s ‘coco’ (a stuffed animal bunny from Aunt Judy).  Karol did eventually take a brief nap, but was up again in no time.  
 We ended up having dinner around 6 and it was delicious!!  Karol didn’t eat hardly anything, though!  Her appetite has been very sparse recently, and we can’t get her interested in much.  She spent a lot of dinner time still doing laps around the house.
After dinner, Matt tried to get Karol to sleep by driving her around the block a few times, but was unsuccessful.  When he came back I ran out to hopefully help him bring in our sleeping baby, but she was whining and crying instead!  And just like that the evening was abruptly ended.  Matt ran in and grabbed our bags-o-baby-gear and without even saying good-bye we took off!  Karol did finally conk out about halfway home.  All the eventfulness of the day had finally crashed on her.   The next time we spend the whole day at Joe and Judy’s, we will have to figure out a way to get Karol to nap!  Maybe Matt or I will have to just take her for a drive for a couple of hours in the middle of the day! 

Friday:
Well Matt was all geeked about doing the ‘door-buster’ thing…until 5 am rolled around and he was still snoring!  We did go out around 8:30 or 9 to get the new cookbook from Costco, and had a lot of fun pretending to ‘door-bust’ there.  We did actually manage to catch a few good deals, and picked up a few things for ourselves as well as some gifts for others.  Karol got a new pair of shoes for Christmas time and we even caught a glimpse of Santa at the mall.  He waved to Karol and she waved back, but we are waiting to go see him until our pretty, pretty Christmas dress is here!  I just hope we can get a picture without tears!
Well after a whole day of shopping and not much nap time, Karol was in bed for the night at 5:30 (normal bedtime is around 8!).  Matt and I ceased the opportunity to start cleaning out the closets, pulling out Christmas decorations, packing away summer clothes, and sorting through baby clothes for things Patrick can use and things that need to be labeled and stored.  After that, we had a giant pile for the trash, a giant pile for charity, and a lot more storage space.  It’s amazing the crap we keep around until we absolutely have to make more room!

 Saturday:
Saturday was our lazy day.  In fact, Karol was the only one of us that even changed out of pajamas!  We spent the day cleaning house, organizing (left over from the night before) and watching classic Christmas movies like Rudolph the Red-nosed Reindeer, Mr. Magoo’s Christmas Carol, and Santa Claus Is Coming to Town.  

Sunday:
We managed to all get up and bathed and dressed in time for 9:30 Mass at St. Michael’s, and from there we hit the Costco, Ikea (to return some storage bins we didn’t need) and Target.  Karol started showing signs of sleepiness toward the end of Mass, so not surprisingly she was asleep shortly after we left there.  We got all the way to Ikea before we realized we’d left the storage bins in the living room!  Since Karol was asleep (and I wanted her to get a good nap in) we went all the way back home to retrieve them.  We stopped by Chipotle for Matt, then it was back to Ikea where Matt returned the bins and got some lunch for Karol and I.  
Karol was still napping, so we went the Costco and got gas first ($1.63/gal!) which took about 15 minutes of waiting in line.  We finally had to wake her to go into Costco and do some grocery shopping.  So, I pushed the cart while Karol ate a PB&J and Matt did the heavy lifting.  We also picked up some new shatter-proof tree ornaments and decided the glass ones from last year will go in the charity pile.
Last but not least, we headed to the Greatland-Silver Spring Target.  We didn’t really need anything there, but I wanted to show Matt how awesome it is compared to the one we normally go to.  I think I’m officially declaring it ‘our’ Target.  We did some more window-shopping for Christmas gifts there, and Karol had a blast on her monkey leash, especially in the toy section!  There is an Elmo doll that talks and blows kisses making the “mwa!” noise.   Karol has almost mastered the same “mwa” for kissing and got a real kick out of this crazy mechanical doll.
Finally I decided it was time to go home.  With all the walking we did, especially running around Target, I thought I might just go into labor if we didn’t get home soon.  Sunday night Karol and I cozied up and read books while Matt brought all the stuff in from the car (and there was a lot of stuff!)  Karol actually ate some dinner, and then was off to bed.  Matt watched the Bears game and I worked on homework until our bedtime!

So that’s our Thanksgiving weekend!  Hope you all enjoyed reading about it as much as we enjoyed doing it!

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