Random facts – the Wife Version

Hi there! Yes, Andy is still married – I realized today that it’s been over a year and a half since I did a post. My second son is a little over a year and a half…..coincidence? I think not.
So, here’s a post from me! I thought that since I’ve done observations and random facts about me and the boys, I would do one on random facts about us, The Boxes, as a whole. So here goes:

  1. You will NEVER find our house gracing the pages of a decor magazine. We’re always in a state of chaos, made even more crazy with the addition of children. Fortunately, you will also NEVER find us on one of those hoarding shows. And no matter what, you are always welcome here. 🙂
  2. A good date night for us usually means a glass of wine and a really violent video game. If it’s one that makes us say “wow, we probably won’t let the boys play this one” or “dude, what is she wearing?” that’s even better.
  3. We watch Wipeout as a family. The boys cheer when someone falls in the water.
  4. I have managed to attend 5 colleges in my lifetime – none of them had a football team. So we have adopted Andy’s Baylor Bears as our team and have been teaching the boys to do the Sic Em Bears swiping hand thing. Jonathan just yells and tries to slap someone. It’s a work in progress.
  5. We are a family of two kids and three carseats.
  6. We are trying to do more one on one things with each other and each kid. Andy is teaching Brenden to play tennis, and one morning when I told Brenden I was taking him to play tennis, he looked at me and said, “noooo, mommy. You don’t play tennis! Daddy does!” (How did he know?!?)
  7. Brenden wants to be Superman when he grows up. Flying around and everything. Andy and I just say ok and figure he’ll figure that out later.
  8. I think Pixar owns my children. Until they came along, I was always disgusted by all the marketing stuff – tshirts, games, sheets….now I see it and think how much the boys would like it.
  9. Before we had kids, Andy and I talked about how we really wanted to have them close together and had a nice list of reasons why that was a good idea. Now when I hear people say that, I giggle evilly.
  10. Every time I take the boys out somewhere, I vow to never do that again. But I end up doing it anyway. Andy just doesn’t go anywhere with them by himself. I don’t know how single parents do this!
  11. We usually eat dinner together every night at the table. I hope we can keep this up even after the kids are grown – I like sitting and paying attention to each other. If we are all eating the same thing, then that’s just a bonus.

A tongue in cheek birth plan

Because Brenden was born by C-section, Jonathan is going to be a scheduled C-section as well. This means that I really don’t need to have a full birth plan – go to the hospital, make sure I can’t feel anything, and pull out a baby is pretty much all I am taking with me. But I’m getting lots of emails about setting one up from the baby websites, and after reading through several online, here is my “perfect world” birth plan. Feel free to read the sarcasm dripping from this post:

-if I show up at the hospital and I’m not truly in active labor, please allow me to return home without laughing at me. Sending some happy drugs with me would be a nice touch as well.

– Only my doctor, nurse, husband, and anyone I deem worthy will be allowed in the room during labor. I will set a secret password and give it out as I see fit. Anyone else that does not have the secret password will be thrown out immediately.
-Unless said person without the secret password has more happy drugs. Then they can come in.
– I will have two doulas, preferably large scandinavian women named Helga or Olga. One for me, one for the baby. If the best treatment plans conflict, the doulas will arm wrestle to decide who wins.
-I will manage my pain without the use of narcotics or an epidural. My pain management techniques include inflicting pain on others, so a steady stream of strangers and a hammer will be required. Feel free to use annoying family members of other patients.
-I will be allowed to move freely during labor. Including going to the bathroom, the hallway, or Chili’s if needed.
-Only intermittent fetal monitoring will be allowed. In fact, the only fetal monitoring will be my nurse being allowed to yell “baby, baby, are you ok?” at my hoo-ha on an hourly basis.
-In order to promote a peaceful birthing environ, I request that the lights be dimmed, the other patients in labor be told to be quiet, and that a string quartet be playing in my room. Yo-Yo Ma is preferred, but if he’s busy, find someone else.
-I do not want to be induced, but the doulas will be allowed to do a “come out baby” dance and sacrifice a small animal of their choice.
-Birthing equipment I will require: a birthing ball, a rocking chair, a jacuzzi tub, a swingset, and a stripper pole.
-Before any medical intervention is done, the doulas will be allowed to do the “get better baby” dance and sacrifice a larger animal. Please provide a sheep, calf, or goat.
– If a c-section becomes medically necessary, and by medically necessary I mean I’m yelling “I’m not doing this anymore, cut the baby out now!”, please knock me out completely and wake me up when my child is going to college.

-Please place my child on me as soon as possible after birth, but make sure that all that yucky white crud is removed first. Gross!
-I plan on breastfeeding, so do not give my child formula, bottles, or pacifiers while in the hospital. In fact, please remove all bottles, formula, and pacifiers from the hospital. I will provide a picture of my breasts to hang over the nursery bed so that it is all he sees.
-Please keep all family members away from our room for the first 24 hours. Please kick everyone else out of the hospital for us to promote bonding.
-We would like to room in with our child. In order to help socialization, we would also like to room in with someone else’s child as well. If this is not possible, I am willing to have my bed moved to the nursery.
-No medical treatment shall be performed upon our child. At all. Ever. If vitamin C doesn’t fix it, nothing will.
-Once the child is born, I will require an epidural. For at least the next two years.

Now, just in case you don’t know me well enough to know how silly I’m being, please know that I think it is VERY helpful to research all your options before going into labor. But those moms that get it in their head that they are going to do it ONLY THIS WAY may end up very disappointed when all is said and done because you never know what’s going to happen! Babies have a way of changing all our plans, even after they are born, so learning to go with the flow is a life long battle. Hopefully Jonathan is ok with my simple plan for this time!

A Most Embarrassing Moment

So, this starts out like all good embarrassing moments. I was on a “date”. I had gotten sports tickets from work several times over the past few months and my roommate finally threatened to kill me if I didn’t at least try to ask some guy out with them instead of taking her along. So I had stared at the phone for 30 minutes, pulled out the phone list from our singles group, and called him up.
He was a friend of a friend in our church singles group – we had hung out a few times in large groups, I had ridden in his car once, and I had listened to him tell his “life story” over dinner with the singles group. So we didn’t know each other that well, but well enough to feel comfortable with each other. Most of my friends would say he was “nice” if you asked them to describe him, and he had mentioned in a conversation previously that he’d never been to the AA Center, so I figured even if he didn’t want to hang out with me, Mavs tickets would be enough of a draw.
The date was going well – he was savvy enough to think to offer to drive and buy us dinner beforehand, and we had talked pretty much the entire time without uncomfortable silences. I didn’t date much, ok, actually ever, so I was trying REALLY hard not to be a dork. Those of you who know me fairly well know that I tend to be a bit of a nerdish klutz, so trying to be “cool” for a date was a lot of work.
Once we got to the game, we both admitted that neither one of us liked basketball. We had great seats but really didn’t know what was going on. But we both agreed that the little glow sticks on a string that they handed us when we walked in were really cool.
As the announcer started revving up the crowd, they turned out the lights, and we all broke out our glow sticks. As we are yelling and swinging them over our heads by the strings, I leaned over to comment how cool it looked. And lost my grip on my glow stick, which then flew out of my hands, David and Goliath style, down about three rows and hit a large man in the back of the head. If I could have climbed underneath those tiny American Airlines Center seats, I would have. I was mortified!
My date, however, did something I wasn’t expecting. Instead of just laughing at me (which he was, because I was, too), he walked down to the man, apologized for hitting him, and asked for my glow stick back. Because he knew I liked it.
Ok, my carefully planned “Operation Jenny Is Actually Cool, Not a Dork” wasn’t going to work. My true self was going to come out wether I wanted it to or not. But maybe that wasn’t such a bad thing.
And it wasn’t. That was 8 years ago in December. Seven years ago today, I married that nice guy, who thinks my dorkiness is cute, likes that I’m a bit of a nerd, and loves that I’m not a girly girl. Asking Andy out to a game that neither one of us liked was one of the best decisions I’ve ever made.
Thank you, hubs, for the best 7 years of my life. You are the most amazing man of God, and I’m reminded daily of how blessed I am to have you as my husband and father of my children. I can’t wait to see what God has planned for us in the years to come! I love you and am so thankful for you!

Gestational Diabetes 101

Ok, some of you have been asking lots of questions about this GD stuff, so I thought I’d do a little Gestational Diabetes lesson. Before now, I didn’t really know much about Diabetes in general, except for a little I’ve learned from some friends that have a daughter with it. If you really want some great info – they have a fabulous website that I’d link to, but I don’t know how. 🙂 But you can get to it from the “Come on in, the senility is fine” link under friends on the right.

Anyway, there is a really big misconception when you hear “diabetes” that it’s all about not eating sugar. That’s a part of it, but the main thing you are trying to do is control ALL carbs you take in. Gestational diabetes occurs when your body starts putting out a lot more prego hormones than your insulin levels can handle. Insulin is what breaks down carbs into energy. The hormones from pregnancy start interfering with insulin, so your pancreas starts making more. If it can’t keep up, sometimes your pancreas will basically say “screw it, I’ll catch up with you when that darn placenta is gone” and you end up with Gestational Diabetes.

This means that you’ve got WAY too much sugar just running loose in your body, and not enough insulin to turn it into something useful. So, your body does what it can to cope – it hands all the excess over to the baby. Baby’s little pancreas can handle quite a lot, so it’s pumping insulin like crazy, turning all that extra sugar into fat, and insulin acts as a growth hormone, too, so you end up with a super chunky little linebacker of a baby if nothing is done to control the blood sugar levels.

So, most people think that means the easiest way to fix it would be to get rid of all sugar and carbs, right? Stick to an Adkins diet and you’ll be fine, right? Wrong. You still need some carbs for energy, and the baby needs A LOT of energy to grow. Cutting out all the carbs sends your body into fat burning mode, which is a little bit dangerous for the baby – when you burn fat, you make this chemical called ketones, which makes everything a little acidic. Babies don’t like acidic environments.

So, how do you control Gestational Diabetes? It has to do with the amount, timing, and type of carbs you take in. I can have 30-45 grams of carbs per meal, with 30 gram carb snacks in between. Yep, that means I’m actually eating more than before, it’s just different. Along with the carbs, you have to include protein, so that the carbs/sugar doesn’t hit your system all at once. Complicated yet? Let’s add another level. In order to help your body out, no one serving of carbs can be more than 15 grams. So, if you have to choose between a cookie that has 45 grams of carbs in it, and 3 cookies at 15 grams each, you need to go with the 3 cookies. (By the way, if anybody sees such magical cookies, let me know.)

Confused yet? Now, add in the glycemic index. This is a chart that rates foods based on how quickly your body absorbs the carbs in them. So you want to eat low glycemic index foods. For example, when picking a veggie, corn is not a good choice because it is a high glycemic index food – corn is a whole lot of sugars! But surprisingly, a sweet potato is low on the chart, so it’s a better choice!

This isn’t stuff I’ve had to memorize – I’ve got two great dieticians helping me through this process, and they’ve given me a lot of paperwork. Plus, each person is different, and their body handles things differently, so part of all this has been trial and error. For example, I’ve found that I can’t have a lot of any type of beans – that sends my blood sugar levels too high. But, a small cup of ice cream is fine if I’ve eaten a pretty high protein meal before it. Who knew?

For me, my typical day looks like this: I get up, and test for ketones. The goal is to not have any, because that means I’m not losing weight. Then I test my blood sugar with a glucose monitor (that’s the finger prick thing) to see what it did overnight. The diabetes doc wants that number to be under 90, while my OB/Gyn wants it under 105. Most of the time it is, but for a while there it started creeping up.

I eat breakfast (30 carbs and a protein) and then test 2 hours later. This number needs to be under 120. Then I have a snack. Then lunch (45 carbs), and test 2 hours later. Then a snack. Then dinner (45 carbs), and test 2 hours later. Then a snack before bed. See a pattern?

My numbers were doing fairly well, but the dinner and morning one kept creeping up, and when I could get them do go down, I was having high ketones the following morning. The docs said this was common, since the prego hormones start changing and pumping out more as you get closer to the end of pregnancy. So they put me on insulin. I actually broke down and cried in the office because I was freaked out by this, but it’s not that bad. I have two types of insulin – one fast acting, and one long acting. Both come in pens with tiny little needles that don’t even hurt. And this is giving me a little more freedom with what I eat, since I can go a little bit over and still be ok.

While all of this seems super complicated, I know in the end it will be worth it. I’m just ready for the end to be here! If you have questions, or want to see all the new gadgets I carry around with me, just ask! I don’t mind talking about any of it, and hopefully you’ve learned a bit through this post. Please continue to pray for this pregnancy, my sanity, and discipline – Christmastime is carb loaded! 🙂

Observations of a momma – random facts edition

Since I love the “10 Random facts about me” posts that Andy does every once in a while, I thought I would combine an Observations post with one of those – so here’s 10 random Jenny facts and 10 random observations about Brenden:

About me:

  1. You know that little bit of skin between your top gum and your lip? (Half of you are reaching in your mouth, aren’t you?) I don’t have one. An unfortunate incident with a brick hearth when I was a toddler took care of that.
  2. I hate being cold. HATE it. So I’m struggling as the weather cools off, since I’ve got an extra heating unit on board, but he’s not heating me up enough to keep me from looking for warmer clothes!
  3. Yes, I did go with Andy to the Bluebonnet Nudist resort, but no, I did not participate. Yes, it was odd. No, it was not that uncomfortable. Yes, I will probably go back with him next time he runs.
  4. I don’t wear high heels. Ever. I walk like a dork in them.
  5. I am a notoriously picky eater, but I love cooking new recipes. I may or may not eat them, but I like cooking them!
  6. Same goes for craft projects. I’ll pick up a new hobby for about a year, then stop. It drives Andy crazy.
  7. I used to be a pretty good photographer, until I got a digital camera. I don’t know what happened, but I just can’t take a good picture with one.
  8. I don’t run. I’ve never liked it, even as a kid. I did horribly on the presidential fitness tests because I could never finish the mile in time. But I like doing the 5k races in the fall – just walking them. My favorite is the Jingle Bell Run in Fort Worth.
  9. I love to bargain shop – garage sales, Craigslist, Goodwill, etc. Especially now, with Brenden and all his toys and clothes. Why pay a whole lot for toys and clothes that don’t last? (This is the reason I’m having trouble finding winter stuff for me – see #2)
  10. For some reason, this pregnancy I’ve been craving sugar. I haven’t had a lot of wild cravings for things, but if I want something, it’s always sweet. Ice cream doesn’t last long in our house.

On to Brenden:

  1. He’s talking up a storm! Unfortunately, I don’t think it’s English yet. Who has been teaching him Chinese when I’m not looking?
  2. He has discovered Sesame Street – “melmo” is his favorite character.
  3. He also likes to “mow”. He drags his play mower all over the living room chanting “mowmowmow” as he goes.
  4. The poor guy has the worst diaper rash I have ever seen, but nothing seems to help, not even prescription medication. I think we’re about to have to make a trip to the doctor to come up with a new plan.
  5. We’re no longer using bottles at all – it’s sippy cups all the way! However, the pacifier is still in heavy use when he sleeps. There’s about 4-5 in the crib at any time, just in case he wakes up.
  6. He’s wearing 24 month clothes, but we’re having troubles with pants. If they fit his waist, they’re too short. So he’s been “sagging” a lot lately! Good thing Target diapers are kind of cute.
  7. He can’t stand loud noises. Noises seem to be the only thing that scares him. So we’re trying to get him used to the vacuum, the mower, etc. My blow dryer sends him running down the hall.
  8. His favorite foods at the moment: bananas, black beans, and cheese. Not all at the same time. Other stuff will be good for a day, then he hates it the next. Pizza seems to be off the good list this week.
  9. We’re trying to teach him to say Jonathan. So far, the closest he’s gotten is “nah-nah-nah” – which I thought was pretty good!
  10. He loves running full speed around the house – and chasing the cat’s tail. Jedda is not amused.

That’s all I’ve got for now! Maybe next time we’ll do a “Q&A edition” – anybody have any questions?

Reagan and Brenden - hanging out after nap

Reagan and Brenden - hanging out after nap

Observations of a Mama – toddler edition

I haven’t done one of these in a while, so I thought I’d catch all the Brenden fans up on his newest tricks.

1. He’s doing fairly well eating with a fork and spoon. Unfortunately, he hasn’t quite got the hang of which side is “up” on them both, so it’s a pretty messy process. But he’s a fan.
2. We found out this week he likes spicy stuff – chili, black beans and rice, etc – which is kind of nice since that is getting him closer to eating what we eat.
3. But he’s definitely still a picky toddler. What he likes to eat today will probably be spit out and cause a fit tomorrow. I don’t understand that.
4. After his last fit at Chili’s, I don’t know if we’ll be going out to eat as a family again anytime soon. Maybe when he starts college. It was a doozy.
5. Speaking of fits, they’re getting pretty bad. Throwing himself on the floor, wailing, rolling around like he’s possessed….they’re actually pretty funny if you’re in the right mood. I’ve started walking out of the room, which seems to end them quicker.
6. We try to go to a park at least once a day if the weather permits. I walk him around until he’s tired. We play on the slides and playground and then pick up pecans off the ground. He’s usually super dirty by the time we get home, but nice and worn out and ready for a nap.
7. His other favorite activity is to play in the water. The water hose is the best…..you can get everyone wet that way. We usually just strip him down and let him loose in the kiddy pool in the back yard.
8. His vocabulary hasn’t grown much – everything is a “B” word – “bah” pretty much covers it. He’ll say enough syllables of “bah” to get the point across. “Nutrigrain Bar” is really funny sounding coming out of a one year old. However, he understands pretty much everything you say to him, which is nice.
9. He also knows when you’ve told him to do something (or stop doing something, which is most of the time) and he’ll look at you, grin a big defiant grin, then keep doing what he wants. That’s not nice. Disciplinary times at the Box house!
10. My dad taught him to grunt and growl. He now sounds like a boy.
11. He’s walking pretty much all the time now – we let him walk to the car, into church, to the park, etc. The only problem is that he will not hold your hand at all. Mr. Independent wants to do it all by himself. I want to get one of those backpacks with a leash!
12. The boy has no fear. He’ll go down a slide by himself, no matter how tall. And if it happens to be a fast slide, that’s even better!

Have a good week, everyone!