Friday, March 23, 2012

Oh Hormones!

Goodness, pregnancy hormones are insane.  It’s kind of like the emotional turmoil of PMS . . . but lasting for 9 months!  I am definitely more hormonal these days.  It seems like even in just the past week or so, it has gotten worse.  You remember I mentioned that one of the early indications that I was pregnant was that I started crying at a Folgers commercial – well, today I started tearing up at a news story (can’t remember what).

A note to all of the non-pregnant people out there: pregnant ladies will take EVERYTHING personally.  If you are going to comment on her belly, there are really only two ways to do it.  Say, “It’s so cute!”  Or “You look good!”  Or, the best one I’ve gotten so far, “I can be having a bad day, but the moment you and your pregnant belly come into the room, it just makes me happy”  (said to me by our building receptionist . . . thanks Christina!)  Basically, give her some positive feedback.  And never, EVER tell her she looks “round,” “motherly” or “fat” (seriously, I’ve had people tell me this and I wanted to reach over and smack them!).  Here’s the thing: when commenting on a belly, you can’t win.  If you tell a pregnant woman she is “big” then she will think she’s gaining too much weight.  But then if you tell her she’s still so “small,” she’ll take offense and get a complex that she’s not gaining enough weight.

One weird, but positive thing about the hormones is this (prepare yourself, it’s going to sound super cheesy): Aaron almost always seems to make me happy.  Maybe it’s a weird evolutionary thing, but the moment he walks in the door, my mood automatically lifts.  Maybe it’s because he’s been so good about telling me that he’s glad I’m carrying his baby.  Maybe it’s that he brings me flowers now for no particular reason.  I don’t know.  It’s weird, but I like it. I’m not sure if this happens to other pregnant ladies, but I have definitely noticed a sharp uptick in my mood when my baby daddy is around.  He’s also really good about saying whatever I need to hear at that particular moment in time.  If I’m feeling too big or too small, it doesn’t matter, he can talk me back into a calm state.

I’ve discovered that one answer to hormone craziness (seriously, I wanted to punch someone and/or cry for most of last week) is exercise.  Yes, that laborious activity that most people seem to want to avoid like the plague, is my cure-all drug (it was before pregnancy too, so I'm not sure if that makes a difference).  I went to the gym the other night and felt SO much better!  I did a good half hour on the elliptical and then did a bunch of arm weight training, followed by a little stretching.  I will admit, I was a little jealous of all the people doing ab work.  I miss ab work!  I also took a yoga class from my good friend, Trevor.  He was great about giving me modified exercises to do.  My body feels so much better today!  I hadn’t realized how much tension I was carrying in my neck and shoulders until now.  I might write an entire separate post on how different yoga feels now than it did before pregnancy (hint: it felt like I hadn’t done yoga in about 5 years!)

Oh, and update on my last post, my dad sent me the profile pic of me in the green dress.  Here it is:

 Have a fantastic weekend everyone!!!

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

24 Weeks: Pregnant Clubbing

I am now 24 weeks pregnant, which equals roughly 5 ½ months. People who have been pregnant before know exactly what I mean when I say 24 weeks, but many of my friends and co-workers have given me a blank stare after they ask how far along I am and then get the answer in weeks.  I don’t blame them; I was exactly the same way.  The problem is that since there are slightly more than 4 weeks in each month, you can’t just divide by 4 (and if you did, then humans would be pregnant for 10 months, not 9).  I finally figured out how to calculate the months! I am due in early July, so that is month 9, therefore June is 8, May is 7, April is 6, and March is 5.

This weekend I went down to San Diego for a bachelorette party.  Not just any bachelorette party, but one of my best friend’s bachelorette!  (Yep, I will be a pregnant bridesmaid in April.)  Note to self: even though a pregnant lady can’t drink, it might not be the best idea to volunteer to be the DD for the bride for her bachelorette.  It will lead to a fun, but late night out.  I didn’t get in that night until 2:30am!  I can’t remember the last time I stayed up that late.  That’s late even for a non-pregnant Brenda!

We had a really good time, though.  It was St. Patrick’s Day, so all our pictures look very color coordinated – each of us wore green and black.  We started the evening at the Atoll restaurant at the Catamaran hotel in Pacific Beach.  Our plan was to hop on the Bahia Belle boat and then cruise the harbor for the rest of the night after dinner, but the weather Gods were not with us that evening.  The boat was not running due to inclement weather (i.e. it was cold and rainy).  Fortunately, the restaurant manager talked to the concierge to get some ideas for alternate places we could go.  He also comped three of our desserts at dinner for the trouble, which I thought was very nice.

The concierge recommended a place called Beachwood, which is a bar near the water in Pacific Beach.  We asked them to call cabs for us to take us there (that way we could leave our cars parked at the hotel and not have to deal with trying to find parking in PB on St. Patrick’s Day).  But then as we were standing around waiting for the cabs to show up, we realized the bar was only a block and a half away.  It would have taken more time for the cab to pick us up and drive there than it did to walk!

The PB crowd is interesting on any given day, but even more interesting on St. Patrick’s Day.  It’s full of frat boys, sorority girls, and people who were frat boys and sorority girls and never quite grew out of that mentality.  On our way to the bar, we passed 2 guys who apparently decided they couldn’t make it into the bathroom inside, and so were relieving themselves outside.  Once inside the bar, we weaseled our way up to the bar for some drinks.  I bought a drink for the lady of honor.  I will say this, it was weird walking through a crowd.  I’m used to being super small and being able to squeeze through crowds without any problems.  I’m still relatively small and was able to squeeze through the crowd, but I could feel my belly bumping into people as I was doing it.  It felt so weird!  Honestly, my belly bumping into people felt almost more violating than when a guy passed me and purposely copped a feel of the upper region.  I was wearing a padded bra anyway, so it’s not like he felt anything real there.  But I’m not used to my belly bumping into anyone or anything! 

I highly doubt that anyone other than me even really noticed the belly in that crowded club.  My bump is now to the point where, in most of my clothes, from the front, you can’t really see it.  Then I turn sideways and BOOM, there it is.  :)

And for those of you who want pictures, here you go:

Still looking pretty normal from the front.

 Boom!  There's the bump!

Ready for a night on the town!

My dad also took a profile pic of me in that green dress, but I don’t have that picture (hint, hint, Dad, I would like to see that picture.) 

Sunday, March 11, 2012

23 Weeks: Time to Start Looking For Daycare

23 Weeks

Sorry I missed a blog entry last week.  I think the baby must be going through a growth spurt or something.  All week last week, it was almost like being back in first trimester with the hunger and the exhaustion!  It felt like no matter how much I ate, I was always hungry, and no matter how much sleep I got, I still would fall asleep on the couch by 9:30pm.  Hopefully this week will be a little better and I will be a bit more productive.

We have some long-term houseguests arriving this week, and I really hope that I can be a good host, and not just the “pregnant lady who does nothing but eat, sleep and work.”  One of Aaron’s college roommates is moving from NYC to LA with his girlfriend and baby, so we are letting them stay with us until they find a place out here.  They will be staying in our guest room/future nursery, which means I have to move all the baby stuff we’ve already acquired before they get here.  Fortunately, the timing works out pretty well so that I’m not freaking out too much about not being able to set up the nursery yet.  After all, we still have almost 4 months left.  Holy moly, I have less than 4 months left!!!

Ok, let’s talk about daycare.  This is one of those subjects that has caused me some freakoutage (yes, I just made up that word.)  Unfortunately, due to our location, we need to start looking for daycare NOW.  Los Angeles is one of those cities where people will sign their child up on a wait list for daycare while the kid is still in the womb (and sometimes even before they are conceived).  We’ve heard horror stories from friends who got stuck by waiting too long to sort out daycare (and by “too long” I mean waiting until after the kid is born), and I did not want that to happen to us!  Seriously, I had one friend who started looking while she was still pregnant, and she’d call up daycares and they would ask her if she was already pregnant, and they would say, “You’re a little late to the game.”  Fortunately, I haven’t experienced anything that extreme yet.  However, I am glad we are starting now because I have encountered several where they only have wait list availability now, but by the time we will need to start using daycare, they will have openings. 

We are looking at daycare in both Santa Monica (where I work) and the Valley (where we live).  Let me just say, Santa Monica daycares are crazy expensive!  There are several daycares that have amazing sounding programs, with all organic food, teaching the kids languages doing arts & crafts and all kinds of fun stuff . . . average price: a little over $2,000/month.  Back when I was a starving actor, I used to live on less than $2,000 a month!  The cheapest daycare I’ve found in Santa Monica is $1,300/month.  The downside to the “cheap” Santa Monica daycre: it has numerous spelling and grammatical errors on its website.  Is it bad that I judge a daycare for things like spelling and grammatical errors on their website?  I won’t even wait for you to answer that question.  The answer is “no.”  Here’s why: these people will be in charge of teaching my kid in her most formative years.  If my child doesn’t get a good foundation in the basics, how will she succeed in life?  I did find one daycare in Santa Monica that I really liked, and it wasn’t nearly as expensive as most of the other daycares in the area (not the cheapest in the area either, but at least there were no grammatical errors on its website).  It’s a French immersion daycare, run by two native French speakers, and they primarily talk to the children in French (though, obviously, they do speak English to the kids and parents also).  They were very quick to respond to my inquiry, and very nice when I spoke to them.  However, they don’t take kids under 10 months old.  They did offer to put us on the wait list now, so that when our kid is old enough, they are that much higher up on the list.  How LA are we?  Our unborn child is on a wait list for a French immersion daycare!

Yesterday, Aaron and I took a look at a daycare in the Valley.  It’s 10 minutes from our house, on my way to work, half as expensive as some of the cheaper daycares in Santa Monica, and they take kids from newborn – 5 years old.  I think the main difference in price is that this daycare is run out of the owner’s home v. it being a daycare center.  So the “facility” is significantly smaller than the centers in Santa Monica . . . because it’s a house.  It seemed nice, though.  The owner said that she usually separates the infants from the older kids for the most part, and they split the day with the infants inside in the morning and the kids outside, and then they’ll switch.  She said that all the infants get play time/tummy time, and when she feels they are ready to join the older kids, she’ll switch them to the “preschool program.”  She teaches them English, Spanish and French.  She has about 10 kids and 4 adults (3 helpers plus her), so that seems like a decent ratio.  All her helpers (one of them has been her mother-in-law) have been working with her since she started the daycare 13 years ago.  She cooks all the food she serves to the kids, and doesn’t give them sugary treats, which was important to me.  In fact, she said that if a parent brings in cookies or something for a kid’s birthday, she’ll package them up and then give them to the parents when they pick up their kid.  That way if the parent wants their kid to have a cookie, they are the ones to give it to them . . . and if you don’t want your kid eating a cookie, you can just not give it to them.  Also, she says they do not watch any tv during the day.  One of my big concerns about an in-home daycare (vs. a center) was that I had heard from other friends that every in-home daycare they visited, there was a tv and it was always on.  I don’t anticipate being a strict anti-tv parent, but I would like to try to limit tv time, especially when they are young.  The owner gave me the phone numbers for a couple of current parents, so I am going to call them to get their impression of the daycare before we make a final decision.  We’re definitely going to continue to look around, but it is nice to know that there is a place near our house that is affordable, has openings when we will need it, and seems like a good place.

One last note to finish up, I don’t usually get ooey-gooey, but I just want to brag about my awesome husband for half a second.  Since I got pregnant, he’s been really good about bringing me flowers “just because.”  These are the flowers he brought me Friday night. :)