23 weeks

Here are Baby Girl and me at 23 weeks. Chugging along!

Baby

We’re solidly in the phase of pregnancy where baby just keeps getting bigger and more ready to be outside, but there aren’t any specific milestones to report. She’s got her parts, she’s just gotta grow and get fat. So no big news this week on baby’s development.

She continues to clobber my bladder, although last night she miraculously let me sleep almost through the night, only making me get up to pee once. Thanks, sweet girl. That was nice of you.

I *think* I finished our baby registry (https://www.babylist.com/knees-baby-2)! Baby Girl is already geared-up for the most part, since we have everything from Lewis still (and because I have been buying clothes!), but there are still quite a few things on there – both needs and wants. Kyle and I will whittle away at the list ourselves slowly over the next few months, and hopefully we’ll be fully geared-up and ready by the time we meet Baby Girl on the outside. It was pretty darn exciting to think about her while putting the list together.

Mama

My appetite has been strong, but specific cravings have been non-existent for the last few weeks. It is quite nice to go back to a semi-normal relationship with food, where I don’t have to follow a compulsion to a specific thing and can just eat whatever is around. Of course, nothing is ever entirely normal when you’re pregnant, so I am eating enormous amounts of the non-specific foods. But I’ll take it!

I had a rather glorious moment this morning after my shower where I looked in the mirror at my pregnant figure and just felt fabulous. My belly is getting so round, which balances out the look of my growing hips and butt, and I felt so perfect and beautiful. In my eyes, I looked like someone who should be photographed for a magazine. It isn’t often that I feel that way, pregnant or not, so I am going to hold onto that moment as long as I can!

Lewis

King Lewie gets the biggest update this week, because he is putting us through the paces! Between screaming daycare drop-offs, occasional unexplained night wakings, difficulty with bedtime, refusal to eat, crib escapes, neverending teething pain, learning to open doors, hating to wear clothes, wanting to do everything himself even when he literally isn’t capable, and saying “no” to everything (just because he can, it seems), we’ve had a rough few weeks with the child.

It seemed to culminate over the weekend, and – I’m not going to lie – I shed a lot of tears. Kyle and I have both been so frustrated and in need of support that neither one of us has much support left to give to the other. We’re just running on empty.

We did find some time to connect and talk about things yesterday evening after the kid FINALLY went to sleep (supervised, of course, since he was escaping again when we left the room). We didn’t solve any problems, but at least we were able to remind each other that we’re in it together and that we’ll figure it out. Kyle told me that all I have to worry about, as far as he’s concerned, is growing a healthy baby girl. A very nice thought, indeed.

This morning with Lewis was a much better morning than usual, with no screaming whatsoever, a semi-reasonably sized breakfast, and an easy daycare handoff. Lewis even took a moment during breakfast to compliment my shirt! (“Cool shirt, mama!”) I’m hoping that this is a good omen for the rest of the week.

Even if Lewis’ attitude stays good, we have some big things to tackle in the upcoming days/weeks with the food and bed situations, which feels daunting.

The food war must wage on, but our new strategy involves not letting Lewis see that we’re at war. Per some (adapted) advice from my mother, we are going to stick to a relatively rigid food schedule, and we’re just going to give him the food and not encourage him to eat, which we hope takes the “power struggle” out of the situation. If he doesn’t want something we offer, we just leave it there and tell him it is there if he changes his mind. That way, he doesn’t feel like he’s “winning” when he doesn’t eat, because “mom and dad don’t care”. Of course, inside we are screaming and desperate, but outside, we’re the picture of calm. And as soon as we feel ourselves losing the calm exterior, we either need to have the other parent step in, or walk away. So far, this method has resulted in the kid basically starving himself to death. But change is never immediate, so we’re trying our darndest to wait this out before deciding that it is a failed operation.

For the bed situation, well…. we’ve ordered everything we need from Amazon to have all the components for a twin bed setup here and ready to go. It is possible (probable?) that we’ll need to upgrade to the twin bed immediately, but if he forgets he can climb out of the crib, we may be able to put it off a little longer. Either way, we’ll prepared.

So Amazon is sending us a twin mattress, waterproof mattress protectors, a fall barrier, a step stool, and a childproof doorknob cover. We have twin sheets, a twin box spring, and the twin bed frame already. So we’re…ready? No… that’s not the right word. I’m definitely not ready for the bed upgrade. But, we’ll have the “stuff”, and I’m pretty sure that’s as “ready” as we’ll get.

This parenthood gig is no joke, people. Someone should re-brand the “terrible twos” as “toddler shitstorm”. Because it is basically just getting clobbered from every direction constantly with shit you have no idea how to deal with. I’m not going to make a list, but if I did, this phase would be in the top five of my “least favorite parenting experiences” list. Please send hugs.

Other News

My dear friend, mother to Lewis’ best friend, and fellow pregnant lady, Shalyce, is pulling me out of a rut. With all of the food drama at our house, coupled with my already reduced interest in cooking after becoming a working mother, the joy has been completely sucked out of mealtime at our house. To the point that I usually don’t know what we’re going to eat until we’re eating it, and most of our meals come out of the freezer, from a restaurant, or are so simple they can be prepared in 5 minutes or less.

This has been on my long list of things that I feel badly about. And in true good-friend-fashion, Shalyce suggested a solution that didn’t make me feel incapable or awful. She suggested that we get together once a month to do crockpot meal prep. It sounds like hanging out, but it is actually solving a problem. And instead of the solution resting solely on my shoulders, she’ll be doing it with me so I don’t have to find the motivation in myself. Genius, I tell you. Genius.

So we met up this weekend for our first “event”. We made two batches each (actually, I made three since I was delivering food to a friend with a new baby) – one for immediate consumption, and one to freeze for when babies come.

I’m telling you again, she’s a genius. Not only does it get me out of my rut now, but it keeps me out of my rut later. She’s an angel!

And the inspiration from this new plan is spilling over into the rest of the week as well. I now have a couple of weeks planned out with 2-3 homecooked meals already scheduled. I put them in my calendar, along with a link to the recipes for easy reference. On Thursdays, I will schedule my grocery orders online to pick up on Saturday mornings, and then I will be ready to execute the week’s menu.

I also stocked up on some semi-healthy freezer meals from Trader Joe’s for the days when there is no cooking and no leftovers.

No matter what, I’m already feeling better about the way I’m nourishing my family (even if Lewis won’t eat!), but I’m hoping that there is a bonus in this new way of feeding the brood – maybe Lewis will get more interested in his meals because they’re new and exciting! And I let him help me stir and pour if he’s interested, because then “he cooked it”. So far, that has not motivated eating, but it might eventually make an impact, and in the meantime, it is fun for both of us and brings a little bit of the joy back in. Maybe Lewis needs an apron…

3 thoughts on “23 weeks

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