Monday, May 31, 2010

No Jury Duty for Me!

Today is Memorial Day and I am taking this very moment to thank all of those warriors that have fought for our rights valiantly. A special shout out to our buddy Tony Myers that is currently in Afghanistan. On this early Monday holiday morning, Eliot and I sit on our couches as another home repair to do is being accomplished. Tomas, our amazing neighborhood handyman and his father assistant are taking out the air conditioning units from the 70's from our outside walls. We have two, one in the living room and one in the main bedroom. It's a pesky project and we are thankful that they are getting it done for us. My only complaint is that with my wacky preggers sleeping issues, I had just gotten to sleep when Eliot told me they were here. Now, I sit and sort of space out every couple of minutes wishing I was back in bed.

The greatest benefit of this super early morning haze is that I had the time to look at my Jury Duty summons which I had completely dismissed a month ago when it arrived. It turns out that the highly efficient Pinellas County folks allow you to be excused via Internet for many different reasons until the very last moment. Serendipitously, being an expectant mother is a get out of jury duty free card. Pregnancy provides so many wonderful things to your life. I gladly went on the interweb put in my juror number and checked way at my appropriate box and hit send. Tomorrow I sleep! Hooray!

Sunday, May 30, 2010

Belly Button Bashfulness

As I grew up I never really had given my belly button much thought. My mom always said that you shouldn't mess with it too much because it was scar tissue and you could hurt yourself, so I listened. Never being much of a bikini wearing teenager and never really liking anyone sticking their finger in there, I just let it be for the last 34 years. Until now. Now it's tormenting me.

The child that is growing inside of me has evidently found my belly button and thinks it does something. I can just imagine her in there, when she is awake, thinking..."hmmmm wonder what this does? I'll push it! Damn, nothing. This thing has got to do something. I'll push it again!" Some days my belly button is half way popped out and other days it's not. Some days I can see the crevasses clearly of the belly button and some days I can't. There is a little hidden freckle in their that I never knew I had and now it's out. Out of the belly button closet for everyone to see. The whole thing freaks me out a little.

I have no issues getting bigger or watching my belly grow. All of my anxiety is wrapped up in this belly button thing. It's just out there taunting me.

Thursday, May 27, 2010

6 Months- All good under my hood

Tuesday marked my official 6 months of pregnancy. The baby is now the size of an arugula which I am not sure I have a reference for at all; when I inform my mom I will tell her she is as big as lettuce. It may be a little off but there is no harm in that. I also read that I am suppose to appear as if I have swallowed a soccer ball which I am not sure is quite true either. Yesterday's check up determined that all things are good. I have now hit my pre-pregnancy weight, so I am at zero. She measured my uterus with the hyper-technological tool of a yellow measuring tape, which is really like measuring a yard of fabric, and it is exactly 24 cm. To be honest all I know about that is that it's where it's suppose to be. 

I am sitting in a room with several hundred teenagers taking their history final and all I can think of is things that need to get done. The nesting has gone into full fledged insanity. The last two days I have run errands and I have been going constantly. By the time I stop, I feel like I have run a marathon but oddly enough, I feel like I could keep running. I am tossing and turning like a mad woman at night but when I roll out of bed I don't feel tired per say. We have placed a cable box in the bedroom to facilitate more comfortable relaxation but it seems like there is always something that gets done instead. Like yesterday, I laid in bed trying to take a nap when suddenly I found myself organizing my jewelry. My dresser looks great but not sure I accomplished my original goal. I only have one more month of super energy right?

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Potty Break

The one thing that keeps me happily going to the bathroom every hour is the wonderful discovery of all the public restrooms in the greater Tampa Bay area. I have even considered putting together a coffee table book called Renegade Bathroom Pictures because I plan to document my adventures using my IPhone or a more sensible interesting Bathrooms of Tampa Bay, through this title may require more prestigious pictures to be taken. Since my infant has decided that my bladder is a perfect toy, I figured that I could plan to pay for her college education with this book project.

There are some bathrooms that are surprisingly uneventful. Recently we took my dad to Bern's for his 71 birthday and the bathroom of this 5 star restaurant left me underwhelmed. It was shabby small restroom that appeared a little extra messy than I expected. This passed weekend we discovered a new St. Pete treasure, 400 Beach Seafood and Taphouse which had great service, delicious food and a magnificent bathroom. From floor to ceiling there were pretty shiny green titles, granite counter tops and tremendous colorful fish on the walls. There are a few restrooms that are common stomping grounds like the one at Target and the one at TJMaxx both which are cleaner than expected as well as comfortable to use. Thankfully.

A few weeks ago there was a bathroom experience that I expect will be in my future but at the time, really made my head shake and the rest of me, run (by run I mean scurry away as quickly as possible.) It was a public restroom. It was dirty and the floor was a little sticky. A very large woman that unfortunately could barely fit in the cubicle of the toilet stood in front of it as she opened the door repeatedly and looked in. Her son who had to be close to 35 in my memory (more like 12ish) was in there with his pants down going number #2. The mom kept peaking in while the son complained a little (wonder why?) They battled it out and I was in and out before I knew what the result of this struggle was unveiled. Bathrooms...always an interesting experience.

Monday, May 24, 2010

Diapers, Diapers and More Diapers!

We have officially finished registering, sort of. We went to that mecca of red and white with only six aisles of baby gear and it was infinitely less intimidating. We zipped through. We were calm. Collected. It was suggested that we register for diapers. The average infant goes through about 4000 diapers a year and about 10 per day. The more help on this the better. Well it turns out this is yet another minor mystery in the land of babies. There are about a zillion different diapers out there. I took the madness in my own hands and just started zapping all sorts of boxes figuring it really didn't matter all that much. Until El remembered there has been some huge diaper issue causing world spread baby rashes. The Pampers brand had been accused of developing a new extra dry technology that is causing many children to break out. Some of the rashes reported are pretty bad. Then a helpful customer explained more on this breaking story and I had to delete this brand from our possible options.

Of course there are several other options that I could look into like cloth diapers. There are also several philosophies about not using diapers at all...none. For as laid back and granola as I would like to consider myself to be, I just don't think so. I don't really need name brands like Huggies or Pampers. I really don't need organic or super sensitive. I just need them to hold on to the poo.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Morning Has Broken

Today I had to wake up in the wee hours in the morning to attend a meeting at school. It's early. Early in the morning. I was up before the sun. There is something innately wrong about that. The birds weren't even chirping. The dew of the night was still upon us and I had to get into my car. Immediately, the missing half hour of sleep was noticeable when my head began to throb some. It's pulsating. The thumping is stuck in that tiny space between my eyes and my nose. When I close my eyes again, I get relief, though not very effective teaching technique. In those few moments that I ease the throb, I wonder if my baby girl will understand the crucial necessity of sleep, particularly early morning sleep. I can stay up late. I can be up until 2 or 3 or 4 if need be, I just really not a fan of waking between 5-9. Lately, I have naturally woken up at 9:30 on the weekends which is a triumph. I feel proud. I stand just a little bit taller, but 6 am is absurd. Surely the infant in my womb has my DNA. She must understand in the very core of her animal self that this mother bear enjoys some hibernation, right?

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

What's in a Name? Really.

For as long as I can remember I swore that I would never change my name. Even as a young child, I was not interested in getting married and becoming Mrs. Whoeverstein. I would doodle my name and the my boyfriend's name. I would put hearts all around it but I never was one to write Mrs. Christine Whoeverstein. It always seemed like it was an odd tradition. Just because I wanted to be with this one person as my partner for the rest of my life, why did it have to mean that I had to alter my identity simply because I was the woman? What sort of hyper anti-feminist cultural norm has been imposed on us? And another thing, this tradition only exists in the United States. Most other countries allow you, matter fact expect you, to keep your name and add your husband's to the trail of additional names you already have. For example, my mom should be Doraida G. Garcells Canales  de Ortega. She came to this country and they cut most of the middle part out. Perhaps some of my resolute about this comes from her, who still after 35 years complains about how these people took her name.

For me there is suddenly a game changer: the Baby Girl, who is the size of an ear of corn today! I have been thinking more and more about adding Eliot's name formally. I have never minded being called the Gaurkees or Mrs. Gaurkee but I just never really considered changing my name. Now mind you, this is one of those moments that not having a middle name comes in handy because certainly hyphenate or something would be the preference. Of course our child will have Eliot's last name, I suppose I kinda want to join the posse. Is it that big of a deal? Is it really that much better or easier if everyone has the same name?

Monday, May 17, 2010

"El Toque"

A few months ago my mom shared with me that it is tradition in the part of Cuba that she is from, Holguin, to create a drink during your pregnancy call "El Toque." It's sort of like a sangria because there is fruit in it, sort of like a liquor because it's base is a cordial called Agua Diente known to most of us by gangster rappers as Crystal and sorta like a punch because it's in a large container where later on you will use a ladle to share it with visitors. The idea is that all the ingredients grow and ferment together to create a sweet and tasty treat for all those who supported you through your baby making. The term "toque" means curfew. The finale of something. Gathering the ingredients for this, buying the honey, canned fruit salad, raisins, etc makes me feel a little bittersweet. I am 5 1/2 months pregnant and I can't believe how fast time has gone. With only 16 weeks and counting, Baby Girl Gaurkee will be here any day, the next thing we know she will be in school, in college, getting married and making her own preggers potion. Sometimes life is just too fast. On the other hand, I can't wait to meet her.

Thursday, May 13, 2010

The Bump Baby List

In one way, I am thankful that there are people out there in the universe that are being paid to put together to-do lists for parents to be, especially first time parents because I am sure there are plenty of things that I would never have even considered without it. In another way, I want to shake the little Bump bimbo that is causing my overachiever tendencies to come out and once I am done shaking her, then I will smack her. The violence, in this case, by this normally peace-loving mother to be, will make me feel better. There is some twisted satisfaction in checking off the boxes. I feel accomplished. I feel as if I am on the ball. However, there is no preparation for some tasks such as: interview pediatricians. Where do I start with that? Should I begin with my insurance provider or should I look in the yellow pages? Anyone in St. Petersburg, Florida love their kids doctor?

Last night El and I went to a fun dinner at Frida's Cafe and Bakery and then decided to give registering a whirl. Frida's was delicious! Filled with beautiful pastries, fresh bread and tasty soups. It was pretty enough to photograph, which I did. I bought my mom some gorgeous little sugar free cakes for her birthday today.

As far as registering was concerned, if you know us, you should know that we had already been on several occasions to research what we may want to register for and I have done research on safety recalls, gear-lists, so we confidently walked in with our notebook of notes and itemized lists. Once that laser gun was in our hands it was as if all sanity spilled out of our brains. It felt as if we were selected to disarm a nuclear weapon on top of a mine field. Suddenly the rush of making the wrong decision came over us and normally I am so rational. I am laid back dammit! But whatever ability I once had minutes before entering to audibly articulate that whatever we selected would be okay, vanished. It seemed as this scanning mechanism had taken all sensibility out of us. We almost came to blows on the baby bathtub aisle! After the incident, we decided to just register for several of the same type of item, some how believing it will be better to look back over it, delete the things we do not need and make sure our friends and family do not think we are insane for registering for 3 swings, 3 car seats or 3 breast-pumps. I assure you, we are only have 1 baby and I only have 2 breasts.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010


I was in bed last night trying to relax a bit watching My First Place on HGTV when suddenly, she kicked me. Not only did she kick me but there was some sort of readjustment going on in there. It was a kick and shift! Tears fled down my cheeks and I audibly gasp in delightful surprise. Eliot woke up from his solid symphonic slumber wondering what the hubbub was, so I filled him in. He scooted a little closer, put his hand on belly and fell back asleep grinning...until the snoring started over.

Post Script
I posted this post and I realized that one week ago today was her first thump! Therefore two additional thoughts are required:  (1) the joy of blogging is certainly a lovely medium to keep up with all of this and (2) she must get antsy on Tuesday evenings, why? Perhaps it's her anticipation for hump day!

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Gearing up for Baby Gear!

Kicking in today at 22 weeks! I can barely believe that it has gone by so fast. Soon our baby girl will be here and time will surely stand still, I can only hope.

We have decided on the our crib and changing table! Hooray! We are going to get the Crib4Life Generation Next edition. There were a few reasons this crib sold us, one being the drop front that is baby safe and designed for short people. Once the mattress is lowered, I will be able to bend in and place the baby safely in the crib without a step stool, whereas with every other crib in the world, I wouldn't be able to. Of course the appeal that it is well made and perhaps would last through more than one baby and it converts to other furniture later on, a transformer bed, how cool is that? (Thank you all again for your advice and help! It did not fall on deaf ears.) The other big selling point, especially for Eliot, is that the delivery cost is cheaper than any of the big baby superstores. AND the thing is that they will deliver it, put it together and move it around your nursery for you. That is pretty amazing service. 

Now for every other gear decision! Though,we are first time parents and can easily be swayed to consider needing things that we really do not need, we are also fairly laid back and low key types. As we embark on the great journey of car seats, strollers, swings, high chairs, pack 'n plays, there anything that we must have? Other than of course, the Gooooooooooooooal Potty! I realize that our infant will not be needing such a delightful training device for several years but who can contain themselves. If you pee-pee in the potty it has stadium-like cheers!  My only concern is the toddler would think that defecating on any soccer ball  is permissible and perhaps become frustrated when others don't open up. This would lead to a red card, I am sure of it!

Friday, May 7, 2010

The Name Game

Now we know we are having a girl, the name game as begun.We have a list of possible names that we like.We are hoping to have some sort of implicit meaning in our names, other than we liked it. There should be a story.

My name story always amused me. My parents had decided that if it was girl my mom would name me, if I was a boy my dad would name me. My mom had picked out Raquel Aleda after my godmother and my grandmother. I was born on that frigid February morning and my dad was given the papers to fill out as my mother rested after delivery. He just couldn't bring himself to write down the names. So he named me Christine no middle name. He figured I already had a Spanish last name, and most people hate their middle names, both my parents do. I was in America, I should have an American name. Thus, Christine. The first day of kindergarten I claimed that I should be called Christy. My mom calls me Tina because Christina is Spanish ends in Tina. Most of my relatives call me Cristina, except one cousin that has always called me Chris. The history teacher at work calls me Chrissy and through the years I have responded to a million variations of the name. It works for me and I thank the Lord my dad didn't think I was Raquel (be sure to add that rolling R when you say that). I just can't imagine myself with the big hair, red lipstick and giant hoop earrings...not really my style. So there is a lot in a name.

Back to the drawing board we go. Slap, slap, clap, clap, snap, snap, A- Agatha...hmmmm

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Is my bump thumping?

Every morning the alarm goes off and my first reaction is to hit the snooze. I sleep another 10 fantastic minutes. Then it goes off again, traditionally I would enjoy another 10 minutes of precious slumber, now I hit the snooze and lay in bed rubbing my belly bonding with Baby Girl Gaurkee. All the books say, that you should feel your baby move sometime between the 16 - 22 weeks. So for approximately 5 weeks, I have been waiting. Waiting and at some points worrying. After my sonogram, my midwife eased my weary mind by telling me that clearly she is moving like crazy in there, any day now I should feel a little something. Then I will feel a little more and eventually she will be a dancing rock star like her friend Holland.

My mom said that I wasn't a giant mover when I was in the belly which isn't a total surprise because I can sit still like no ones business. I hate tapping or leg shaking. I have threaten children across a room to stop this absurd behavior. I can entertain myself for hours, even if I am just lying there. If our baby girl takes after her father, she must be trying to chase something shiny in there all of the time. And when she's not, she should be picking at something...her finger nails, her knee, her boogers (wait that might be me too.) It's a toss up really.

Yesterday I think I felt a thump. It was like a light flick. Are you thumping me girl? I sure hope so.

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Chiquita Banana

Officially week 21, I am over the hump! Not necessarily over the bump! I am closer to the end of pregnancy than I am to the beginning, it's hard to believe. We found out last Thursday that we are being blessed with a little girl. Eliot said, "Good night girls!" the other night as we were falling asleep and I think that I feel in love with him all over again. It warms my heart. On a less heart-warming note, I have filled him in on some fun facts about little girls in utero, for example, the fact that she already has 7 million eggs in her ovaries, though they will diminish by almost half by the time she comes out. Eliot has already declared that she is not allowed to use any of them and that he isn't walking her down the aisle if she chooses to marry an a-hole. Oh Dads and their little girls! He has also begun scoping out pink soccer balls for her impending stardom. She is at least the length of a banana measuring 7in from rump to head about a full pound. She is ginormous if you consider her itty bitty beginnings!

We are having crib troubles. The books, the lists, the people in the know, say it's time to put in that order for a crib because it could take almost 12 weeks for some deliveries. Since I like lists, they make me feel good. We begun our search. I originally found a crib online that had gotten good reviews from users and from consumer reports. I swung by Babies r Us to see it in person. They didn't carry the brand. I returned to my savvy inter-web and apparently this crib can only be purchased online. For some reason, that doesn't sit right with me. I want to see it physically before I buy my infant's first piece of sleeping furniture. There is something about that. What if the quality isn't great or if I see it and I don't like it, then I have a crib that has been delivered to my house that I have to return. What a pain! On Sunday, we saw there was a coupon for 20% off of purchases at Babies r Us, we figured it was our shopportunity! After thoughtful deliberation, and consideration. We selected our crib and changing table! As nervous first time parents we were pleased with ourselves. We were confident we had made a superb, top-notch decision! We sat down with the nicest sales girl to order it. As she types in numbers and flips though pages of this and that, she reports that the items are on back order. The warehouse is not sure when it will ever be in again. She filled out a request form for us and let us know that the full time person in charge would be able to get more information for us on Monday.

Not normally a pessimist I knew in my core that we wouldn't have smooth sailing. Monday morning I received a call, the crib and changing table were no longer in production. Once again, the search begins again. It was the only crib we were interested in at that particular store so we will go to Buy Buy Baby tonight and see. I also found a smaller shop in that area (Brandon) called Crib 4 Life which we will also check out. You would think that cribs would be sold almost on street corners considering the booming population these days. Certainly I am not the only person in need of a crib. Should I get over my online purchasing phobia?