18 May 2016

Writing Elsewhere on the Web

Note - as soon as I posted about the thank you notes we got a thank you from the most recent kid party. So not all families skip thank you notes!

I've written a few posts at my hospital's blog called The Mommy-Go-Round. I thought I'd share them here in case you'd like to read them. All my posts are here, and there will be four or five more posted. I just sent them in yesterday. Let me know what you think!

Here are links to the posts published so far, including Livia's birth story:

My Birth Story: A Successful VBAC at Woman’s

Despite everything stacking up against my desire for a VBAC (vaginal birth after cesarean) – previous big baby, ultrasound estimating an even bigger baby, being overdue and having gestational diabetes – I was ultimately successful and delivered my second daughter vaginally.

Gestational Diabetes Diary: The Home Stretch

I’m writing this one week away from my estimated due date, so no matter what, I’m in the home stretch of this pregnancy. Although it’s been true since the beginning, each day brings me closer to birthing and meeting my daughter. I can’t wait!

A Baby is Coming! Sibling Class at Woman’s Hospital

Our four-year-old daughter is very excited about becoming a big sister, and she’s maintained a very positive attitude about the new baby since we told her around week 12 of the pregnancy. (We didn’t tell anyone else before her, since it impacts her more than pretty much anyone else.) It’s good that we’re expecting another […]

Gestational Diabetes Diary: I Just Want a Cookie!

As I am rounding the bend to the end of this pregnancy and my experience with gestational diabetes (and hopefully diabetes all together – unless I should ever become pregnant again), I find myself wanting a cookie more than ever. Both literally and metaphorically. I have worked very hard to maintain my blood glucose levels, […]

Things I’ve Missed During My Pregnancy with Gestational Diabetes

All pregnant women miss some foods and drink that are on the verboten list such as sushi, wine and cold sandwiches. I miss those things too, but I have an even longer list of “wish I could haves.” Here are just a few I’ve been thinking about. In addition to the raw fish aspect of […]

Preparing for VBAC with Gestational Diabetes

When I was pregnant in 2011 I had a desk job, and as my due date neared my assignments decreased to the point of sheer boredom. I joked that I was able to “finish reading the Internet” because I had so much time on my hands. That’s not the case this pregnancy; although I do […]

I Bought a Diaper Bag and a Car Seat – It’s Getting Real

I’m not a first-time mom, so I haven’t spent much of this pregnancy poring over listicles of “things you need” and “things you don’t need” to bring home a new baby. It may be false confidence, but I think we can handle it. Although there still are a few things we need to buy. One […]

A Supposedly Fun Thing (or Why Movie Tavern & Gestational Diabetes Do Not Mix)

Date nights are rare in my house. We’ve never taken the time to find a regular babysitter, and our families live more than a day’s drive away. So when we have family stay with us we take advantage and sneak away for dinner and a movie. Since the new Movie Tavern opened near our house […]

Patient Perspective: Blood Glucose Testing for Gestational Diabetes

I’m not really needle averse, but poking my finger 4+ times a day is not my idea of a good time. And I had a rough experience at the lab with the blood draws for the glucose screening tests that left one of my arms bruised for weeks to really add insult to injury for […]

The Gestational Diabetes Diet

After I was diagnosed with gestational diabetes at 17 weeks I assumed I’d be following a low carbohydrate diet. I have experience with that from the South Beach diet that I used before my first pregnancy and smart carb dieting recommended by the staff of the Metabolic Clinic while I successfully managed my insulin resistance […]
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What to Expect at Your First Diabetes Center Visit

I met with Ellie, a diabetes nurse educator, and Sara, a dietitian, at the Woman’s Hospital Diabetes Center about a week after I failed the three-hour glucose test. I was surprised when I called to schedule the appointment that someone actually answered the phone – there’s no answering service like I’m used to with my […]

Gestational Diabetes Diary

Gestational diabetes is just what it sounds like – diabetes that arises during gestation. It’s usually diagnosed with a glucose challenge (the dreaded orange drink test) around week 24-28 of the pregnancy. Most women pass the test no problem and continue with their normal pregnancies. (That’s what happened to me with my first pregnancy in […]

07 May 2016

Southern Manners Don't Extend to Gratitude

This is a terrible thing to b*tch about, but it's been irritating me a great deal. And what do I do with irritating things? Complain!

Jane's at an age where she's being invited to birthday parties for her classmates. If it's in our ability to attend we usually do. We missed one the weekend after Livia was born, but otherwise Jane has gone to the parties she has been invited to.

We always take a gift, and I don't mind giving a child a gift for his or her birthday. In fact, it is a pleasure (usually) to pick out something with Jane's help - either at Target or on Amazon - that the friend will like.

What I don't like is no acknowledgement of the gift. And that seems to be standard here, even among the people who insist on "yes, ma'am" and "no, sir" and their children calling me "Ms. Mari" (which I'm getting used to but still don't care for that much). The thank you notes we have received have been from families who aren't from the South originally ... curious, right?

I don't need a thank you note -- although those are certainly nice, and we send notes for every gift we receive. (If I've failed to send you a note for a gift call me out on it!) What I would like is a "thanks for X" either from the parent or kid.

Part of the problem is the elaborate parties at rental places. So much fun for the kids and easy for all the parents, but it doesn't leave time to open gifts during the party. (It would be completely acceptable to me for a hearty "Thanks!" upon opening the present as it's tossed in a pile, but that can't happen if the presents are opened after the party.)

Shawn was at Jane's school for show-and-tell when one of the kids showed a gift he received at his party. The teacher asked him who gave it to him and he didn't know (completely understandable since he's 5!). But Shawn knew since it was what we gave him. I'm so glad the kid liked it, and at least I got to know that, which should be enough.

It is such an ungracious thing for me to gripe about. Seriously -- what's ruder than complaining about other people being rude?! Not much. Maybe bragging about how I do things "right"? Read on, friend. Read on...

After our baby shower I sent thank you notes for the gifts we received. Pretty standard fare, and all the people at our shower were members of our Sunday school class, average age of 70 I'd say (excluding us and the other mid-30s couple). So I would think they would expect the social nicety of an expression of gratitude. EVERY SINGLE ONE thanked me for my card and were surprised to receive more than our verbal thanks at the party.

So what's the deal? Do they not "do" notes here in the South? What about monograms and stationery and that kind of thing? Thank you notes, Christmas cards and birth announcements (going out this week, finally!) are the last bits of real mail I send out, and I relish doing it. Am I just an anomaly? Raised in a different culture? Just my family's emphasis on the importance of expressing gratitude with written thanks?

Whatever it is I'm going to work to make it part of Jane and Livia's culture and carry on my family tradition!

02 May 2016

FitBit Phooey

I still love my FitBit, but its usefulness for new mamas is suspect.

During pregnancy there was an option in the dashboard to select "pregnant." I'm certain that it changed the "calories burned" and estimated I was burning more each day because I was growing a person (truth). But sometime during the pregnancy they removed that option entirely. I tweeted about it, and FitBit support tweeted back, directing me to a semi-helpful thread. It says that the "pregnancy" option didn't increase the calories burned estimate - was basically an option that served no purpose. I have no way of verifying that because the dashboard doesn't make it easy to scroll back to look. So whatever. Not a huge problem, especially because I'm not using it as a weight loss tool or really paying attention to the calorie burn. Just weird.

It also isn't very good at measuring sleep, and it thinks I'm sleeping as soon as I'm semi-still even if I'm tossing and turning or reading in bed. That's not unique to newborns' moms though, and that was an issue I noticed even before.

The "real" issue for new mamas is about how the tracker measures things that are not steps as steps. Specifically rocking in a rocking chair counts as steps -- and "intense" steps to boot. And patting a baby on the back -- for burping, general comfort, etc. -- is also stepping. I would have thought I'd need to have some forward momentum for that to be counted. I can almost see how the rocker could be mistaken for an elliptical machine -- there's no way for the FitBit to know that I'm sitting down while my wrist makes that gliding motion. (But it still doesn't count steps if I'm pushing a cart because my wrist is pretty still?!?!)

Basically my calorie burn still seems high, although as a nursing mom that's accurate, and my step count is WAY high -- being overestimated in the thousands I'd say. I can look at the dashboard and see the peaks in my activity are times when I was sitting on my butt holding/nursing/rocking. Another gripe - only the dashboard on the web shows this level of detail. Neither the app on my phone nor the direct software on my computer will actually show hour-by-hour info like the web dashboard will. Bad design on top of weak-ish technology?

But like I said before, data is data and as long as I only compare it to my own data from the same time period it could still be useful. I'm looking forward to being able to do more real steps. I can't believe I'm still recovering four weeks after the birth, but that's the rub in pushing out a 10.5 lb baby I suppose!

Here's a picture of some baby feet that one day will take steps of their own:


25 April 2016

Grey Hair ... DO Care

When my sister was visiting in March (pre-baby), she took some pictures of me and Jane because the azaleas were blooming and Jane was dressed up for picture day.

This shot of the top of my head makes me CRINGE. Holy crap, that's a lot of grey hair!

The grey hairs are wiry and yucky. If I dyed them would they be smoother? More conditioned? Or just brown wiry hair?

At my last haircut the stylist suggested lowlights (I think?) -- something that would require little maintenance, since she's aware of how often I come for haircuts (i.e. 2-3 times per year). I'm not sure I'm willing to take on an increased maintenance schedule for my hair, and I know if I tried to dye it myself it would be a mess and ineffective.

What to do? What to do?

05 April 2016

15 March 2016

Math Modeling Montage Video

Here's a video my husband made that illustrates his work. Math set to music. It's actually quite beautiful. Enjoy!

03 March 2016

TIBTIL: Hanes ComfortFlex Fit Bra

While I won't show you a picture of me in a bra, I will say that I'm very happy to have found this. I was looking for a 2-pack of cheap bras at Walmart (never found what the girl in our class was talking about/recommended) when I came across this bra, the Hanes ComfortFlex Fit Bra (G796).

It was not "cheap" for Walmart bras, but cheap/affordable as far as bras go - about $12. They're $14 online plus shipping, and not as many colors are available as there were at Walmart.

It's got smooth cups and is all one piece/no seams. I got a purple one, natch, and then went back and also got a white one. They're stretchy and comfortable but still provide support. It's like a sports bra although without any squishing and without having to pull something over your head, which is the worst when you're all sweaty and tired.