Monday, April 26, 2010

A new found respect

So, I must admit, at times I can be quite elitist and very non-empathetic. I have at least realized that I'm never very far away from having my point of view totally blown out of the water. Because I grew up where I did, because I always had two parents who loved me, because I was blessed with the ability to coast through school quite easily, because I don't have a lot of natural curiosity, and for a whole host of other reasons, I have come to realize that I don't always have the most sensitive thoughts to those who are different from me. And so, if you like me before this post, please be sure you read through the entire post before you start hating me. I want you to know how I've grown. And I want to have a record for myself so that I don't forget what I've learned.

This post is going to be about being over-weight. And before any of you roll your eyes at me and say "Well you're very pregnant, of course you're overweight!" I know, and I am in no means trying to get sympathy out of this post. But I've been given a good kick in the rear by having to deal with being bigger than my usual self. So, I'll start with some self-deprication and hopefully by the end, we can all follow my craziness and understand what I'm trying to say.

So, I'm currently 37 weeks pregnant. To go along with that, I'm about 50 lbs. over my dream weight, 40 lbs. over my ideal weight, 30 lbs. over my starting weight, and 25 lbs heavier than I have ever been outside of pregnancy (I'm also beating my final weight during my first pregnancy by about 4 lbs. now.) So, needless to say, I've been feeling big. But more than feeling big (because I have the luxury of putting off judgement on myself until after Jacob comes), I am simply heavy and this is where my epiphany came from.

WARNING: This is the part where you may start hating me, please stick with me to the end.
For most of my life, I looked down on people who were overweight. As a very active person throughout my youth, I didn't even think about what I ate or dieting or anything like that. I had Dr. Pepper & chips for lunch almost every day. I had a big, full meal every night when I got home. I ate when I was hungry and even enjoyed eating a lot when I wasn't really hungry. So, it was my understanding that if people would just get up and be active, they wouldn't have weight problems. As I got into college, I became less active, but between walking up hill both ways to class (Pomfret dorms on the U of A campus it actually happens, and yes, sometimes even in the snow), finding cafeteria food about as tasty as well...there really is no comparison, it's just not great, and getting a workout while cheering on the hogs, I realized another way to not be overweight is to just eat less food when you don't exercise as much. These two philosophies served me until I was about 22.5 years old. Then something happened...I got married. And this adventure sent my body for a loop. It turns out that I can cook some decent food (comparatively speaking of course, and we're comparing to the cafeteria). So I gained the first year 15. Ok, it probably wasn't 15 in the first year, but I got there within the first few years. Fortunately, I was diagnosed with a thyroid problem after about a year and a half into our marriage. Which meant I had a scape goat for my inability to lose weight. So my point of view only marginally widened to people are overweight because they either don't exercise, eat too much, or have a glandular problem. Super I know, I'm quite the tolerant person, huh?

But now my eyes are opened. The shear amount of extra weight on my body has broken it down. I am weak. I can't walk very far or very quickly. I can't stand on my feet for very long. My body just rejects the idea of handling this extra weight. My back hurts. My thighs rub together. My arms jiggle. I don't feel like me. And even if I wanted to, I really don't think I would have the will power to get my heavy self off the couch to exercise. It just hurts. And I'm tired. And I don't want to do anything else but sit. As I said, right now, I can blame it on the pregnancy, but I know myself. And myself would be a puddle on the floor in misery despising my overweight self but not having the drive to really do anything about it. And I haven't even mentioned how things are more difficult with the belly. I have always preferred slip on shoes, mainly because you can slip them off (I am from Arkansas you know a lot of people think we don't wear shoes because we don't have them. Truth is we just don't like them.). But now slip-ons are a necessity. I can't bend far enough to tie my shoes. Shaving is an ordeal and a half. And I always have to be aware of my protruding belly. If I'm not careful I'll knock something right off the cabinet.

In addition to the weight, I find myself unable to control my eating sometimes. I crave sweets these days. I've never craved sweets. Sure I would never turn them down, but I generally didn't buy them. Yesterday I bought an 8 pack of fun-size Baby Ruth candy bars, cartoon fruit snacks, and coconut ice cream. And I will eat them this week, I'm sure of it. Even though I know I don't need them.

All that to say, I'm sorry. For the years I spent in oblivion of thinking that losing weight is simple. Just don't eat as much and go out for a walk every now and then. It's so much deeper than that. It's a strain on the body, that can quickly devolve into a strain on the mind.

And I hope that I lose a lot of the weight when Jacob is born. But I know I'll still have a long way to go to get back to my old self. And I've heard that I'm in for another rude awakening as I begin to battle against my age.

So, I hope my little confession here will remind me that it's not realistic to expect too much out of myself when I'm trying to lose the weight. It's not just as simple as eating less and working out more. It takes a lot of dedication and resolve just to approach the weight loss issue. And more importantly, I've got to stoop making assumptions about the way life is for situations I've never been exposed to in the slightest. I'm sorry to anyone who ever felt that I was judging them or felt that I tried to over-simplify their issues, when I didn't have a clue.

Friday, April 16, 2010

4 - 16, 17 and 1

Today, 4-16 marks the official day that Chaselyn is 17 months old and we are 1 month from Jacob's due date. Wow! I'm one month away from having a 1.5 year old and a newborn. What else can I say but WOW?!

Now, Chaselyn Ann is doing just great. She has fully adjusted to the Toddler room at school. This week, she walked to the door, waited for me to open it, walked in and started playing. It's fantastic to see. And she's becoming less clingy to Mommy too. But no worries, I can still get hugs and kisses pretty much any time I want. Now, unfortunately she's learning some stuff at daycare that we don't particularly care for. Namely, Chaselyn now knows how to throw a fit. She just stands there throws her head back and screams. And a couple of times she's actually collapsed on the floor with kicking and screaming. Our parental tactic is to ignore these tantrums. But often, even if we wanted to fix the problem, we're not real sure why she's throwing the fit. On the plus side, she's learning to talk more. Her actual vocabulary as far as calling things by name hasn't expanded too much, but she knows how to make more sounds and is getting very good at mimicking what people say. She can also identify more by pointing. That is we play lots of the "Where's the _______?" game. I can even ask her "Where's Jacob?" and she'll point to my belly (except for sometimes when she points to her own belly, but we've almost got that kink worked out). It's too precious! She knows where her eyes, ears, nose, hair, hands, feet and belly are. And she definitely knows what birds are. She'll point and say "brd" endlessly until they're all gone. And that's no typo, it sounds like "brd". She also has become almost overly animated with her expressions, if that's possible. Just hand her a small box of raisins and she'll show you a face that says "Oh my gosh, you love me enough to give me raisins?! What a super fantastic treat!"

We had lots of fun in the past month. We made 2 more trips to Arkansas, which meant we went 3 out of 4 weekends. We spent lots of time on Granny and Papa's farm. We played in the snow, we played with puppies, we fed the horses, but mostly, we relaxed. We were up for Easter weekend too and went to a shower for Kimberly and then went to baseball on Easter day. We also got to see the other Texans of the family for quite a bit. (Go figure we only live at most 2 hours away and yet we don't get together until we both travel all the way back to AR.) The baseball game was great. We got to see all of the immediate family and lots of friends we hadn't seen in a while. And the hogs decided to make it exciting for us by hitting a walk off grand slam homerun to win the game.

Monday after Easter Chaselyn and I made the trek back to Waco all by ourselves. Stanton got to stay in AR for a few days on business. And can I just say that Chaselyn is one of the best little travelers ever! We were able to make it back in close to regular time. We only had one extra stop than usual. She slept for about 2.5 hours of the trip and only cried for maybe a total of 15 minutes and never longer than 3 minutes at a time. A big thanks to Stanton's parents for getting her a travel size Magna-Doodle for Easter. "Doodle" as she has now learned to call it kept her quite busy during the trip as did baby, straws, and her snack cup. I couldn't have imagined things going so smoothly for the trip.

Since Easter, Chaselyn has been living in single-parent mode unfortunately. Obviously when Stanton was still in AR, she was stuck with Mommy. Then when Stanton got back on Thursday we had a nice family evening together. But then Friday and Saturday I had a stats conference. And since then Stanton has been super focused and working late nights on the Rice business plan competition which is where he is now and will be until sometime tomorrow.

So the past month has been pretty crazy around the Greer household, but Chaselyn is dealing with it like a pro. I hope she does this well in the upcoming month with the elevated craziness that is about to ensue. As stated in some of my previous posts, I'm getting worried about the dynamic shift that is about to occur in Chaselyn's world. And I just want to do so much for her now while I can focus on her alone.


This may be the last full month of your life that you are an only child. By the time you can read this, you will not even be able to imagine life without Jacob I'm sure. We know you are going to be a great big sister. The way you already care for your baby dolls and love on random objects just shows that you have a natural nurturing instinct. We want you to always know that our love for you grows every day and will continue to grow even more as you learn to express yourself and share your love in more expressive ways. It's because of how wonderful you are that made us look forward to expanding the family. You are our precious little girl and we love you more than you'll ever know.

Mommy & Daddy

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Help Blogland!

I'm about to have two adorable little kiddos, and I want them to love one another immensely, or at least appear that they do. So, I'm looking for big sister/ little brother shirts and I need your help.

First, which sounds better?

1. "Chaselyn's Little Brother" and "Jacob's Big Sister"
2. "Chaselyn's Lil Bro" and "Jacob's Big Sis"
3. "Little Brother Jacob" and "Big Sister Chaselyn"
4. "Lil Bro Jacob" and "Big Sis Chaselyn"

Admittedly, I prefer 1 and 3, but Jacob will have a tiny little belly, so I'm not sure if all the letters would fit.

Next, a design:

A) First, we have monkeys: Use the same pic for both shirts and it can be personalized with any of the wording listed above.

B) Pirates – Aargh! With names around. I don’t know if I could fit in “Big Sis” or “Lil Bro”

3) Pick matching colors and font and wording from above

4) Use the layout/ wording like the one on the top, color scheme from the bottom

5) Obviously not both brothers, find gender neutral fabric for letters

So there you have it. I need your help. If you know of any other cute options, I'm very interested, these pics are all from various shops on Etsy.

Also, I have one other question what does a less than one month old boy wear to his uncle's wedding? Since Stanton and I are both in the wedding party, I'm looking at a great photo op for essentially newborn family photo. Chaselyn is covered. I have dresses for her out the wazoo, but Jacob is tougher. I don't want to go with a full on baby tux, but I want something that won't look too out of place with Stanton's tux and my bridesmaid dress. Right now, we have a plaid shirt with sweater vest and shorts that have shades of blue and a red accent line. My dress will be purple, Stanton will have a black tux. And depending on the shade of my dress Chaselyn will be wearing either purple or red or white. Is the following too casual? And if I did go with something like this, what kind of bottoms should Jacob have on.
I think it's adorable. And I could get other colors maybe to better match the rest of the family, but still not sure if it captures the dressy level I'm looking for.

So comment away, I need your help!

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Are you ready?

Lately when I see people I get two questions "How are you feeling?" usually followed up by "Are you ready?" To the first question, I'm feeling good. As I hinted at before. I'm not doing as great this time around. I feel big and fat more often than I did with Chaselyn. I have a lot more heartburn. And my lower back feels like there's a vertebrae popped out of socket sometimes. But, all things considered. I'm actually doing good. I can't and won't complain too much. Concerning the second question, I can honestly say that yes I am ready. I can't wait to meet the little guy. We've got the essentials covered. There's still plenty of little things I haven't done yet, but if he came tomorrow, we would be just fine (he can't come today, Stanton is out of town - that is not OK). So everything is hunkie-doory right? Not so much.

See I'm just now starting to realize what I'm going to put Chaselyn through and I don't like it. As Stanton said in his 16 month update post, Chaselyn has had some trouble adapting to the new class at daycare. I'm happy to report that she has adjusted to the nap time issues very nicely. And today for the first time, she didn't even make her sad, crying face when I dropped her off. I also stuck around and got to see one of the other little girls in the class come over and hold Chaselyn's hand and try to lead her over to the toys. Thanks little Hayden! Chaselyn didn't budge, but I very much enjoyed to see her classmate reach out in such a sweet innocent way. Not too much after that though, another little girl came over and pushed Chaselyn. No thank you little Kate. Chaselyn just stood there for that too. Then it was breakfast time and all was well with the world. All that to say, Chaselyn has recently demonstrated that she doesn't adapt quickly to change. And her crazy parents decided to push a baby brother on her. Thanks mom & dad.

Chaselyn has also been such the little Mommy's girl lately. I love that she hugs me and gives me kisses and that I can be a comfort to her when she's afraid. But what about when Jacob comes? First, I'm going to be out of pocket for an indeterminate length of time during the actual birth. Then, I'll be in the hospital for a couple days and recovering for a few more. I won't be able to pick her up as easily or play on the floor like I do now for a while. That doesn't seem fair. Not only that but while I'm not picking her up and not playing with her, I'll be giving lots of attention to this new baby. So what do I do? I know I'll make a special effort to do as much as I can for her, but I'm afraid it won't be enough.

And none of that really even deals with the fact that there will be a new person in the house. Now, Chaselyn is very interested in babies that we see on occasion. She's very gentle with them and smiles and is just sweetly curious. But if this new, cute thing is also changing her world as she knows it, she may not think so highly of the little man. And I don't know what to do about that.

So, yes, I am ready for Jacob. But I'm not sure I'm prepared to handle the needs of two kids. But at this point, I don't really know of anything else I can do make myself feel more prepared. So, I'll just keep looking for opportunities to help smooth the transition and pray that everything works out.

If you have any tips, I'd love to hear.

Thursday, April 1, 2010