23 August 2010

Nursing Top = Sadface

It occurred to me today that at some point in the next 6 to 8 weeks, I will be squeezing my greasy little kitten out and at some point, a) I need to think about stuff for a hospital bag and b) I am going to feed said offspring with my glorious tracts of land. That means, at some point, I should probably think about buying a couple of nursing tops. I have two right now: one from the GAP that a friend of mine ordered and I thought was adorable and one the same friend gave me because it never fit her quite right. Both of which are, admittedly, pretty cool looking... as in, it's possible I would wear them on a regular basis, pre-pregnancy.
Should be easy to find tops like this, right?

Oh my God, internet. Apparently, those tops are the exception to the rule.

Not only that, but my usual go-to places have all of about 9 styles to chose from, half of which are the same top in different colours. Anything that's even vaguely stylish is expensive as hell. And, well, I'm on a very limited budget. 

There doesn't seem to be much on eBay, either.

I'm not trying to be super picky. I'm really not. I just don't want to wear cutesy pink florals, a tonne of ruffles, or those tops that have no shape and the obvious I AM NURSING lift-top just under the boobs. I understand that there is some sacrifice for functionality, but come on. Must I give up any sense of style because I'm having a baby? It's not fair to have to pay 50$ and up for a plain, black shirt, either. 

I've been finding a lot of the same problems getting nursing bras, too. First problem is that the biggest they seem to go up to is a G in American sizings. That's pretty much two sizes smaller than I wore pre-pregnancy-- my bras were a 36G, British sizing. Bravado goes up to and H/I, again in American sizes, but you basically have to get something that looks like a sports bra and goes up to your neck. That means it basically won't work under anything less than a turtleneck. 

Perhaps I was misinformed, but I thought nursing meant I was going to have Shiny New Mum cleavage. And if I have amazing cleavage, I want to show it off, not hide it. Why, then, would I not want a bra that I could wear with a fairly modest V neck? I understand the lack of underwire and blocked ducts, but why no pretty materials?

I have gotten lucky enough to find a couple nice bras (Hot Milk, Fayreform) in what I hope will be my size, but if not, I am out of luck since they were the biggest size I'd seen. (Update: my two Hot Milk bras arrived today, fit perfectly, and have room in the cups for expansion. They're also pretty sexy.) What do women who are larger than me do for nursing bras? Or do they simply not wear a bra, hope not to leak, or just not leave their house ever? 

Target may not be affording me an ability to find cute nursing bras, but they have been an amazing source of clearance items. Tuesday, I found a Baby Bjorn for Steven for half price and Thursday... Oh, Thursday... I found four FuzziBunz in medium for a grand total of 18.12$ Our Target apparently discounts heavily if something has been returned from the internet and I guess they assumed these would be hard to sell. Not to me!

We're doing well rounding out our stash of diapers. I would like to have maybe 10 more and Kawaii Baby is looking like where I want to get them from, as they're very affordable.

It's hard to believe she'll be here in about 6 weeks. It feels like we were just looking at the little pink plus on the pregnancy test and now, I'm watching her elbow me through my belly and we're getting the last few things set.

What were your must haves for a new baby?

14 August 2010

Master List

I've seen a few people doing this and it sounds like a good plan. This will be the master entry for all other entries.

Day 01 – Introduce yourself
Day 02 – Your first love, in great detail
Day 03 – Your parents, in great detail
Day 04 – What you ate today, in great detail
Day 05 – Your definition of love, in great detail
Day 06 – Your day, in great detail
Day 07 – Your best friend, in great detail
Day 08 – A moment, in great detail
Day 09 – Your beliefs, in great detail
Day 10 – What you wore today, in great detail
Day 11 – Your siblings, in great detail
Day 12 – What’s in your bag, in great detail
Day 13 – This week, in great detail
Day 14 – What you wore today, in great detail
Day 15 – Your dreams, in great detail
Day 16 – Your first kiss, in great detail
Day 17 – Your favorite memory, in great detail
Day 18 – Your favorite birthday, in great detail
Day 19 – Something you regret, in great detail
Day 20 – This month, in great detail
Day 21 – Another moment, in great detail
Day 22 – Something that upsets you, in great detail
Day 23 – Something that makes you feel better, in great detail
Day 24 – Something that makes you cry, in great detail
Day 25 – A first, in great detail
Day 26 – Your fears, in great detail
Day 27 – Your favorite place, in great detail
Day 28 – Something that you miss, in great detail
Day 29 – Your aspirations, in great detail
Day 30 – One last moment, in great detail

12 August 2010

Off My Chest?

I mean this title in not what I say to my cat, constantly. For all the time that I spend reading celebrity gossip (and this is a LARGE part of my day), I some how missed Kim Kardashian's tweets over her breastfeeding squeamishness. Except now, I am reading about it a lot and I might as well throw my 2¢ in with the rest of the world.

I generally have a hate/hate relationship with my breasts. They are "use more than the first four letters of the alphabet" large, they cause a lot of back and neck pain for me, and despite what my husband says, they are not especially attractive. I can't even get nice cleavage out of them because push-up bras fit weird. They basically are good for collecting crumbs and balancing things. Oh, and costing a lot of money for decent bras. Now that I am pregnant, I am also hoping that they will actually prove their worth and be able to feed my baby as well.

I want to make this very, very clear. I am going to breastfeed. I'm going to do it for at least a year and I am going to be successful at it. Why? Because it is free. The added bonus is that it's good for the baby and good for me and maybe I can lose baby weight with it, but I am mostly doing it because my husband and I pretty much are poor. It's the same reason we are cloth diapering. Yes, good for the environment, keeps evil chemicals off my baby's bum, but really? It's cheaper. I am completely willing to admit that a lot of my decisions are motivated by money because it's more important to me to be able to be home with Hieronymus than to have a little convenience in my life.

That said, I am honestly not a fan the whole act of breastfeeding. I'm probably going to lose the two people who actually read this blog by saying this, too. The whole concept bothers me. I'm grossed out by my boobs leaking now; I am not in touch with my mammalian nature AT ALL. It doesn't make me feel all womanly, it makes me feel kind of itchy and sticky. But, I did sign up for this and I will get over it. I'll probably even eventually nurse in public, but that bothers me too. Why? Because I am not comfortable with whipping my unattractive tatas out. But hey, kid's got to eat.

I am lucky enough to live in the part of my city that no one really bats an eye about breastfeeding. At the park, on Saturday, there were a group of mothers breastfeeding and I was definitely the only person who looked twice. Part of that is because I'll be doing it soon, but in another way, I am kind of fascinated by it. And yes, I also tend to stare at over-exposed, Kim Kardashian style cleavage too. Really, I tend to stare at any sort of breasts.

I guess this was a long way of saying that I understand both sides. Kim K. is totally entitled to be squicked out by seeing someone breastfeed, especially since she hasn't done it herself. Her boobs are still completely decorative and enjoyable for her. It's kind of like seeing a cute cow. Yea, we all know where hamburg comes from and someday, that cow could be lunch, but you probably don't think about it every time you look at one. In fact, you probably don't even think about it til you're at the butcher shop saying "Hmm, steak for dinner sounds like an okay plan."

Don't mind me. I have food on the brain again.

Twitter, however, was not really the proper place to discuss her squicked-outness. Thinking it to yourself, talking to your companion about it, fine. That's private and, again, she's totally entitled to feel that way. It's taking it to a public forum that's not a great idea. If I see something that bothers me, I try to ignore it, especially if I realize it's me being weird about it. I'm uncomfortable seeing someone feed their baby? I need to look away. If I can't look away (see: reading celeb gossip), I need to at least have the common sense to know that's my issue and not make comments on it.

Legal?

I've started reading StrollerDerby on regular basis because, well, I have a lot of spare time and one can only sew so many little birds and paint so many bathrooms while home. Also, technically, because I am supposed to be off my feet as much as possible, so that means blogs, books, and papers. The post I read today linked to a ParentDish article on children of illegal immigrants and the vehemence against them. I generally try to avoid politics at all costs; my husband is the political one who has Opinions! on Current!Issues. Honestly, though, this is an issue that has always needled me and I could never figure out why until reading this article. Then, it occurred to me. My grandmother, Erzebet, would be considered an anchor baby by a lot of these people, making my father and myself one of these undesirables.

My grandmother was born in New Jersey in the early teens. This was pre-World War I, from what I can gather, and her family was fairly well off. I am not sure exactly why my family was here, but she was born and then my great-grandparents went back to Hungary when she was old enough to travel, a citizen of both countries.

Years later, my father was born somewhere in part of Hungary that had mutable borders, in a small house with a dirt floor (as he tells it). No doctor, just the local midwife. He automatically gained citizenship to both countries because Grandma was already a citizen of American and Grandpa was a Hungarian citizen. After World War II and Grandpa's stint in the resistance, they opted to emigrate to New Jersey rather than stay in post-War Europe.

They did, indeed, go through Ellis Island, though only Grandpa is listed as an immigrant, supposedly, and settled in New Jersey.

My grandparents never learnt more than a few phrases in English in the 30+ years they were here. They relied on my father and uncle to translate for them and they only spoke Magyar in the home. As a child, I learnt enough of it so I could communicate with them.

I technically hold dual citizenship still, through my father and I wonder if this makes me one of the generations of illegals who are "infiltrating" the country. I think this is what bothers me so much about this witchhunt: how do you define illegal? How do you define an anchor baby and what happens after?

I wonder what consequences these proposed laws would hold for people like me? Can you take citizenship away because there was some shady business a couple generations back? I am an American citizen, but I am also the first generation child of an immigrant.

What are your thoughts? Anyone else out there in a similar situation?

09 August 2010

Under the heading of things that seemed like a good idea...

Today is the last day of my 7th. month of pregnancy, according to the little BabyCentre calendar I periodically look at. This means a couple things. First is that, starting tomorrow, I can respond to everything with "Well, I'm 8 months pregnant. What's your reason?" and second is that, at some point in the next four to eight weeks, I am going to actually have a baby.

I am still not quite there with the idea that, after I have the baby, they're just going to hand her over and let me take her home. I mean, really? I don't have to pass a test or anything? No paperwork filled out in triplicate? I don't need a license for to breed and maintain a child in a suburban environment? It's more work to adopt a pet from a shelter than for me to have a baby.

I know basically nothing about babies.

05 August 2010

Project Fail: Paint

Steven and I have a good marriage. We agree on parenting issues, we rarely argue about money, and we even generally like spending time with each other. Our friends tend to tell us we're perfect for each other (or conversely, we deserve each other). But there's a dark side to our marriage. We cannot agree on home d├ęcor.

See, we didn't find out about this in the early, heady days of living together and marriage because we lived in apartments. Our furniture was mostly hand-me downs and everything was painted semi-matte ecru. We dreamed of the day we would have a place we could paint, how we would some day buy our own, new furniture, we trolled through IKEA, looking at all the choices. How could things go wrong? We even have the same favourite colour.

R.I.P. 70s Porno Chair
As it turned out, picking out a couch wasn't too hard. After the historic floods this spring, our hand-me down furniture, including my beloved 70s Porno Chair®, a large, brown round velour monstrosity that could seat two swingers comfortably, were soaked irreparably. We developed mould and everything had to go. 

It only took one trip to IKEA to find a couch with both loved and the only question was if we really, truly could justify bright orange in our living room (we could not). We picked out a black couch and chairs. 

Then, we rebuilt the bathroom. 

Suddenly, we had a room we could paint! We were like giddy children, talking about our trips to Home Depot and how exciting it would be to finally be able to decorate a room the way we wanted to. Of course, some of that giddiness was probably brought on from having a bathroom with a functional sink and a real bathtub. 

As I sat in my shiny, new bathtub, I suggested we paint the walls robin's egg blue and my husband made The Face.

I thought I had found the perfect blue in my BFF Martha's line of paints. My husband said it was too green and, it seems, he does not like green bathrooms. We picked out an endless array of those little cards and taped them up all over our walls. It felt like we were making a crazy quilt, we had so many little squares. We bought little samples of paint and we bickered. This was too green, this was too dark, this was not bright enough. My idea of blue is not his.

We ended up finding a colour by accident. I had been send a free sample of Glidden paint, we swatched it on the wall, and we looked at each other and just knew. There was a happy ending.

Of course, in this round of Project Fail, we built the nursery for Hieronymus. With that, we realized that we would now have to pick another paint colour. Oh sure, we both agreed that we'd paint her walls lime green. This meant electric lime to Steven and a softer, sherbet lime to me. I like electric lime, don't get me wrong, but it's not exactly a bedroom colour, especially not one for a baby. 

There's an upside to this, too. We grabbed a couple samples right away and today, I painted swatches. There were really only two choices that we both agreed on. I'm pretty sure we even like the same colour for trim, too. What's left to agree on? Satin finish or semi-gloss... our modern Romeo and Juliet. 

Now, if only our daughter likes colours as much as we do. I don't know if I can have a child who wants to paint everything ecru.

01 August 2010

Project Fail 2010: Revenge of the Walls

It's a good thing we haven't gotten to the third part of Project Fail 2010 because I might be out of clever titles at the moment. Most likely, I'll have at least a month before I need to think of another one, though.

This was the sort of designated week-end to finish (read: get another third) of the renovation down here done. My father was actually supposed to be back a couple weeks ago, but it did not work out. He arrived around half past 6 yesterday, which was surprisingly ahead of what I had guessed for his schedule. We'd been doing a pretty half-assed job of cleaning before that, so obviously, it was time for a well-deserved dinner break because I was starving.

Which is different from, oh, any other time, because I'm pregnant and I'm always starving. We went out for Mexican Friday (craving burritos) and I had scarfed my entire (huge) burrito before Steven had eaten 2/3s of his, which he did not finish (seriously, it was huge). Then, I proceeded to eat dessert and by the time we got home, I was hungry again. This is the Pregnancy That Ate Rhode Island.

We introduced my father to Five Guys Burgers and I proceeded to eat 5 million french fries. I swear, I actually generally eat really well, but obviously, I do not blog about that. I may or may not have taken off with the remainder of bagged fries like a raccoon out of a garbage can, either. And I also may or may not be thinking about reheating some and eating them now.

This installation of Project Fail will supposedly contain the following:

  • Framing, walling, and finishing Hieronymus's room
  • Creating 3 closets: two on the previous room (no, I don't know why either) and one for our kitchen
  • Cabinet doors so the cats no longer thing that that nice, new space is a special cat room Just! For! Them!
  • An entry way for our underground bunker because everyone is convinced that I am going to fall down the stairs
  • Trimming off and sanding the bathroom to prep for painting.
Framing: Much easier than removing a 50 year old steel tank full of oil.
Not nearly the over-weaning nightmare that last time's "simple project" turned out to be. In fact, I think my husband and father might actually accomplish three of four of these projects, making this less Project Fail and more of Project Minor inconvenience. 

Since I took that picture, they actually have most of the drywall up in the baby's room and the only swearing, really, has come from me and is wholly unrelated to actual construction. 

Well, except that part where my husband told me that, oops, they forgot to run the All Mighty Cable Line over one of the studs for the room and I might need to do without the internet for a little while. There was definitely a couple colourful words about that and a quick reminder tonight kicks off Shark Week and, well, I haven't had anything worthwhile watching since the Tour de France ended last Sunday.

Funny tangent: in the last three weeks, we've had half a dozen great white shark sitings off Cape Cod and the Massachusetts coast. Seriously, it's almost like the Discovery Channel is paying them to do promotional work. Hope they're paying in seals and not chum.

The flaw I am discovering with building a new room is that it now needs painting. I did, finally, finish most of the changing table, no thanks to Vlad. Every time the cats starting napping, I'd go paint a quick section. Like I've said: baby practice. I am pretty convinced her room needs to be a nice, soft lime colour, since there's already pale violet and bright blue in there. I guess I should be glad that basically all my favourite colours are harmonious. 

You know, I think this is secretly related to nesting, because I am looking at the walls around the rest of the Underground Bunker® and my hindbrain is whispering "Rearrange... rearrange!" I'm also seeing a lot of places that need a quick coat of paint, too. Hello, dingy midbeam. I'm looking at you.

Well, that or I'm reading too much Martha and getting delusions from it. Either way.