Sunday, July 31, 2011

24 Weeks

Giant Baby Halekas gets more giant and strong by the day. I believe he threw his first tantrum this week, which of course took place INSIDE OF ME, and was thus fairly disconcerting. I am starting to fear that maybe I could be growing an X-Man baby and maybe due to his mutant strength he could become a danger to me? Like, before he’s even born?

This week we are back to measuring his growth by length, and he is as long as an ear of corn:

We are measuring my growth by the fact that seriously, there is no way to overlook the fact that girlfriend is pregnant:

This is the week when suddenly the baby’s closet needed to be cleaned out and all the hand-me-downs needed to be organized by size and also the crib sheets needed buying and maybe some baby body wash, because there will come a day when we will need to clean the grime off of him. It seems 24 weeks said something to my brain about not having all the time in the world and maybe we should get some of these chores done already. So I did. Many hours of washing and folding and I finally can eye up a onesie and make a decent guess about what size of “very small” it really is. This is how it shakes out:

Really small: 6 months
OMG, so small: 3-6 months
NO WAY, SO CRAZY SMALL: newborn/0-3 months

This was also the week that my body started to reject my adapted sleeping position (a side/belly combo with one leg hitched up, to prevent it from becoming total belly). So I got myself one of these C-shaped body pillows that all the pregnant ladies rave about and I think I might be in love.

I also finally broke down and bought maternity jeans. Which brings me to a thing about my body which is odd, but I guess pretty much a good thing? The jeans that fit me best in all this whole wide world are sold at Target. I know -- isn’t my husband the luckiest? I don’t really know what it means that Sevens don’t do a dang thing for my posterior parts and Lucky Brand has a hip to waist ratio that corresponds not at all to my hips or my waist... but I do know that it means that my jeans cost $30 instead of $180 (or more!) So, yes, I buy my jeans at Target, and no, I’m not proud of it. Of course, I didn’t know if this magic would continue into the world of maternity, what with the different designer on the jeans and the whole different figure on the girl. But lo and they fit.

Money saved having a cheap body type: $50-200

Number of hats our baby owns: 12 (Seriously. Who knew? It is a good thing about the hand-me-downs, because I would have had NO CLUE that our baby needed such an extensive hat collection.)
Number of Halloween-themed outfits our baby owns that will probably fit him around May: 2 (Alas, his cousins were born in spring.)
Number of frog-themed bath towels our baby owns: 2
Number of houses that have received an earthquake retrofit in anticipation of our baby’s arrival: 1

Number of people who have touched the belly: 14

Photo of corn: Baby Center

Friday, July 29, 2011

Fashion Friday #3

Apparently caftans are back? Which means, of course, maternity clothes for everyone!

Photo: Anthropologie

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Baby's wardrobe #5

Hand-knit booties and bonnet from Granny Mo*:

*Grandmother moniker still in beta.

Sunday, July 24, 2011

23 Weeks

After the week of the spaghetti squash, you will inevitably find this disappointing. You may even feel deceived and more than a little hurt. It’s okay. I completely understand, and I’m not doing this on purpose.

According to the baby-as-fruit/veggie chart... Baby boy weighs as much as a large mango. Yeah, just a mango. Which is, apparently, a little over a pound. Is that an especially hefty mango? I honestly don’t know. I don’t think I have ever in my life bought a mango. I find them disappointing, oftentimes. Like, they are playing at being a peach or nectarine, but then fall way short on flavor. Good in salsa, though. I have bought mango salsa. Lots of times. Because it is delicious.

Baby is also about a foot long, which is very much longer than a mango, I am fairly certain.

So, a mango:

And me:


On Friday I had a doctor’s appointment where I got the full report from our “big” ultrasound. You know, the one where all anyone cared about was the gender? Well, they took all those millions of measurements for a reason and, in the radiologist’s highly paid opinion, Baby Halekas is completely “normal.” I mean, really, where did this bozo get his degree? Baby H so obviously excels in the areas of kicking strength and facial cuteness. How in the world could he call that “normal”? It’s like saying Reese has a “normal” level of charisma. Irresponsibly understated is what it is.

Number of people who have touched the belly: 13
How hilarious my doctor found it that I was keeping track: very
Number of people who have felt the baby kick: 3
Number of miles the baby can run before he is ravenous: also 3

Photo of mango: Baby Center

Saturday, July 23, 2011

Still running!

A couple weeks ago, Baby Halekas and I took what I thought might be our last run. He was bouncing uncomfortably and, to be perfectly honest, we hardly ran any of that “run.” It was mostly a hike. I kept telling him that if he would just move up a bit, I’d be much happier. I even did some downward-facing dog on the trail, to try to convince him, gravitationally, that things could be lovely and roomy if he would just move slightly north. He wasn’t into it. I was okay with that -- I’m not looking to win any athletic achievement awards in the pregnancy division here. If baby boy would prefer to walk, we’ll walk.

But over the last week or so, the whole baby-growing enterprise seems to have migrated upward. This is completely normal, and means that in several more weeks, I will be complaining about the crowding of my lung-parts. But for now? Winning. I feel far less pressure on my bladder-parts, and that is always a good thing. So, I wondered whether a little jog might be an option? Since I am feeling so buoyant?

So we headed out to Strawberry Canyon for a short plod along the pancake-flat fire road. And it was lovely. It was 3.6 miles of slow, comfortable jogging through the shady eucalyptus. And yes, 3.6 miles “counts.” As an ultrarunner (membership is for life, right?), it is easy to get in the mindset that anything under 6 (plus?) miles is not even worth getting sweaty for. And even at that distance, it should have some sort of tempo, recovery, etc. sort of an ancillary goal, or why even step out the door? But right now? 3.6 miles of plodding absolutely counts.

After the run, we met up with Jasper for lunch, since the trailhead is right at his lab and he is working today. Yes, on a Saturday. Because apparently Mars might not be there on Monday? Kidding. (Obviously.) I’m sure Mars will still be there Monday. I mean, no one mentioned anything to me one way or the other. Don’t go starting any rumors.

Jasper and I sat outside with a view of the Bay, munching sandwiches, chips, nectarines, and cookies. (Don’t you wish I would bring you lunch at work? Yeah, well, shoulda put a ring on it.) Then we went inside to see what the Gregs were up to. (Apparently all mechanical engineers are named Greg. At least, that’s what my experience tells me.) And what they were up to was DISASSEMBLING THE INSTRUMENT. I was pretty disappointed. It seemed to me that they were anti-working. But they allegedly needed to clean and bedazzle it, before it could go in the clean room, before it could go into the vacuum chamber. It is all very fancy and scientific and the vacuum chamber is the perfect size to stash a body.

Jasper snapped this picture to document the size of the belly that I took jogging:

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Things People Don’t Tell You When They Tell You About Pregnancy #2

First, there’s something people do tell you. And that is that you have to take prenatal vitamins. No problem, right? Wrong. Because what they don’t tell you is that almost all prenatal vitamins contain a secret ingredient. And that secret ingredient is a laxative. You know, just for funsies. Rude.

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

22 Weeks

Late! Again! (Kind of like how this whole thing got started... BADUM-ching!) Anyway, I’m actually 22.5 weeks now. That means baby boy is as long as a spaghetti squash. Or, a little under a foot. Is it just me, or does this feel like a real leap in produce from the lowly carrot? 

In size-of-me news, this is the week when the whole world realized I am pregnant. (Probably because I have a critter the size of a spaghetti squash living inside me.) But it’s totally swell that people are catching on, since I’ve already known for quite some time.

Among the things I heard on a single day earlier this week:

“Whoa, you are SO pregnant! When did that happen!!!????!!!”

“This would be the right size for your baby-to-be.”

“No doubt about it anymore -- you’re pregnant!”

“Would you like to sit down?”

“Hey! You’re gonna have a baby!”

Yes, I’ve gone public:

Incidentally, this is also the week that I gave myself bangs, but no one seemed to notice that.

Number of people who have touched my belly: 12
Number of people who have felt the baby kick (not including me and Jasper): 2
Number of matching outfits Jasper and the baby own: 1

Baby’s most active times of day: 4:30-6:30 AM, 9:30 AM-noon, 2:00 PM, 6:00 PM, 9:00-10:00 PM
Baby’s favorite beverage: Navarro Gew├╝rtztraminer grape juice (finally! something he gets from me!)

Photo of spaghetti squash: Baby Center

Friday, July 15, 2011

Conversations #2 (nephew edition)

C: Is there really a baby in your belly?

S: Yes, there really is.

C: But your belly isn’t even that big!

Well-played, little man.

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

21 Weeks

Yes, this post is late. I am actually 21.5 weeks, but who’s really counting? Other than me, I mean. At first I thought of skipping it, but then I thought you might miss me. Did you miss me? I hope you did. But not in, like, a totally sad way. Just in a “wish you were here!” way. Except you’d actually mean it.

So, how big is the baby? Well, first allow me to say that I am convinced that giant baby boy is perhaps precociously, well, giant. But we will continue to play along. To be honest, I find the produce this week a bit uninspired. How long is the baby? As long as a carrot, apparently. Like, a long carrot.


And how big am I? I am officially “oh my freaking god, are you effing kidding me?” big. It’s pretty big:

The major news this week is that my gigantic belly is suddenly making its presence apparent even to total strangers. First, a man on the street congratulated me. I had not done anything particularly impressive just prior to his remark, so I can only guess he was giving me props on the getting knocked up. If only he knew how cute my husband is, he’d have thrown me a parade. Then, an elderly woman on BART offered me her seat. I mean, how sweet is that? And no, of course I didn’t take it. So, yes, baby boy has gone public.

In other news...

Latest addition to baby’s playlist: Pearl Jam (Yeah, what is this? It’s another something from his father is what it is. And again I ask, what about my genes? Am I merely the vessel for a Jasper clone? Which would totally not be the end of the world or anything, but still.)

Number of onesies the baby owns: roughly 847 (Hand-me-downs are my favorite.)
Number of moon-shaped nightlights the baby owns: 1
Number of people who have touched my belly: 9

Baby’s favorite foods this week: peaches and chocolate cupcakes (yeah...)

Photo of carrot: Baby Center

Friday, July 8, 2011

Fashion Friday #2

So, apparently, if I am to be pregnant this summer, I will be needing a giant stripey dress.

Photo credits: Flynet; Fame; X 17

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Conversations #1

S: Did something happen to the leftover pasta?

J: What?

S: It has a weird amount of dog hair in it.

J: Oh, I might have dropped a piece on the floor. I tried to rinse it off. Sorry.

S: No worries. I’m still eating it. Crazy that this all happened from one piece.

J: Well, it was more like a clump.


Sunday, July 3, 2011

20 Weeks

If you define pregnancy as 40 weeks, and the doctors do, then 20 weeks is halfway. But halfway can be a little misleading. It’s halfway in terms of duration only. The baby boy is already fully constructed, with respect to all his parts. From here on, he’ll be doing a lot of fattening up and getting stronger. He is, however, not half-newborn-size. Not at all! Isn’t that confusing? He’s estimated to be a little under a pound, which is, of course, ahead of the growth charts, because I am tragically genetically predisposed to grow a giant baby. I know. It makes me want to cry too. We expect our little bruiser will be at least nine times his current size before he is ready to greet his public. Which brings me to the next thing.

This morning, I did what I often do. That is, look at myself in the mirror with a mix of awe, horror, and befuddlement. Then I said what I usually do. “Honey, I look SO pregnant today!” And I do, as you will soon see. And Jasper’s response? “Yeah, you’re pretty much the size I thought you’d be at the end.” Um, what? Please, now review the growing expectations housed in the previous paragraph. I will wait while you allow it all to sink in.

Okay, so it’s probably clear to you that at the end, I will be much larger. That’s just physics. Or geometry? Whatever is the discipline of fitting things inside other things. The discipline of adding more water to an already full water balloon...

My dear, sweet Jasper of course rushed to assure me that my unexpected rate of growth is fantastic and when it comes to growing babies? I am clearly the BEST at it. Then he made me an omelet. He’s no fool.

So, now that you’ve enjoyed a brief glimpse into our morning (you’re welcome), let’s talk about how big this baby really is. I’m going to stick to the standard week-by-week fruit and veggie scale, even though our charming little guy is measuring a week ahead. This week we only have a length... he’s as long as a 10.5-inch banana. But much fatter, of course.

Given this information, I decided to measure my uterus. Awesome, right? It’s no wonder he kicks so much -- he doesn’t have room to stretch out!

Our bananas were only 9 inches:

And, since you’ve already been prepped to expect an adolescent manatee, here’s this week’s belly shot:

Halfway, people. Halfway. Baby needs to grow nine times bigger... deep breath.

The stats:

Weight gain: I do not plan to share with you my weekly weight gain, because, hello? that’s none of your business. But it’s currently sort of fascinating to me. To date: 8 pounds. Which is a smidgeon *under* the norm listed in all the books and such. And doesn’t it look like so much more?

Number of people who have touched my belly: 7
Number of men, other than Jasper and medical professionals, who have touched my belly: 1 (that one shocked me too!)
Migraines this week: 1 (sadface)

Number of books the baby owns: 3
Number of those books that are about space: 1
Number of custom-made (by Jasper) glow-in-the-dark map-of-the-universe posters the baby owns: 1

Baby’s favorite music: pop country, folk, Americana/gospel
Baby’s favorite summertime treat: popsicles (or, in my own baby-speak of 30+ years ago... pockapoco)
Baby’s favorite foods this week: fruit, avocados, yogurt

Friday, July 1, 2011

The big ultrasound


The 20-week ultrasound is commonly referred to as “the gender ultrasound.” I mean, that's what everyone's there for. Its actual purpose is apparently of greater medical significance. They check out the baby’s heart, measure everything they can think of to measure (seriously... everything), and, of course, check out the bits between the legs.

Jasper has, since before I ever took a pregnancy test, averred that our baby is a boy. He had a vibe, he said. For those of you who don’t know, Jasper is a space physicist (rocket scientist in lay terms) and all that that entails. In other words, he is not a man of vibes. He is a man of data. Except, apparently, when it comes to his developing offspring.

The first thing about an ultrasound, which I just can’t help sharing, is that it’s really weird to have someone tell you that you will have to pee soon. Not, as in, you must pee soon, for examination reasons, but rather, “I am looking at your insides, and am telling you that your bladder will be full soon.” Um, wow. Thanks for the heads-up.

Yes, I am dawdling. Obviously.

Ultrasound Guy was a delight. What this means is that he was fully game for my charming and hilarious nature. I always tread lightly at first, because these medical types? They aren’t always any fun at all. Today’s guy was great. He confirmed for me that, in his professional opinion, our baby is the cutest EVER. And he has seen so many! I know, we’re really proud.

He was also really excited that we already “knew” it was a boy. He wanted to get right to the gender business, but then the baby was all “Look at my heart! I want to show you my heart!” And since Ultrasound Guy did have a lot of pictures and measurements to take, he obliged and spent some time getting various views of the four chambers. Which was pretty rad, I must say.

Then he moved on to “try” to get the money shot. Yeah, our kid is apparently not remotely modest. (He gets that from his father and there are photos to prove it.) Ultrasound Guy had no trouble getting a view of the bits that even I could interpret.

Turns out, Jasper’s vibes were spot on. We’re having a boy!

The little dude was also confirmed to be a brawny little spaz. Flipping, kicking, and punching through the whole exam. Jasper came home with plans to bolt the furniture to the walls.

Photo #1: Cutest baby EVER.
Photo #2: Cutest baby's fast little feets.

Fashion Friday #1

I recently took the plunge and bought some actual maternity clothes. In addition to some dresses that are styled such that they may as well be maternity clothes. My love affair with the empire waist began early in pregnancy, when I mistakenly and delusionally thought that everyone was speculating on the cause of my obviously expanding belly. Because for a minute I forgot that I am not Katie Holmes.

Now that I am actually showing (possibly even to strangers?), my wardrobe has dwindled dramatically. So, I got myself a small smattering of maternity clothes, and I really don’t know what took me so long. And by that I mean, why have I not been wearing this stuff my whole life? Having experienced the stretchy belly band of comfiness, I may never go back to structured waistbands.

And also? Maternity clothes have gotten sort of adorable and not at all tent-like. I mean, how polite that they’ve included some ruching to draw favorable attention to my belly!

Yes, Jasper finds this mildly alarming.

Heidi Klum photo: by Seal (No, just kidding, obviously. Promo shots for her maternity line from