Friday, January 13, 2012

A Sweet Surprise

Well blow me over! I just called my doctor's office to find out the definitive results of the 1-hour glucose tolerance test that I took last week. The doc told me at that time that no news would be good news, but since I was diagnosed with gestational diabetes during my first pregnancy (you can re-read all about that fun experience here and here) — and there is very high likelihood that once diagnosed, it will reoccur in future pregnancies (rates vary from between 30-70%, although I was thinking it was even higher than that) — I was fully expecting to receive a call back that I had tested high and needed to come back in for the 3-hour test. But after a week went by and I hadn't heard anything, I decided to call them.

Low and behold — I tested well within the normal blood sugar range. Normal is anywhere between 65-139 and my results were 87! EIGHTY-SEVEN!!!!

Picture me doing a wild little happy dance right about now. I am SO shocked! And pleased!

I can take absolutely no credit for these "normal" results since, instead of keeping my sugar/carbohydrate intake on the straight-and-narrow in preparation for the test, I decided to go the other route and gobble up all the sweet treats that came my way in the past few weeks, knowing that I would surely miss them when I had to give them all up on account of my pending diet.

I have to say, I was always a little suspicious of the results of my previous glucose tolerance tests as I didn't fit the profile for the typical person with gestational diabetes. And now, I am even more confident that there may have been some kind of fluke in the tests the last time around.

Regardless, I will say that going on a special, restrictive diet for the last 10 weeks of my pregnancy (well, actually only about 8 weeks since Owen came early) was, in the long run, a very good thing for me. I effectively ENDED my weight gain at that point. I maxed out at a gain of only 20 pounds, which made it easier to shed those baby pounds after O was born. And, despite the doctors' concerns about him being a big baby (which is a common problem for babies born to moms with gestational diabetes), Owen was only 6 pounds, 4 ounces at birth. Granted, he was nearly two weeks early, but I also attribute his small size to my healthy diet. And since he was born via c-section, it didn't really matter all that much how big he was (within reason), but because I'm hoping to deliver this baby via VBAC (vaginal birth after cesarean), I would really appreciate another little tot.

So, all this to say that I am excited not to have to get the ol' glucose monitor out of storage in preparation for the 4x-per-day finger sticks. Or to have to follow a strict low carbohydrate diet. However, I really should take it easy on the sweets and think of this little blessing as a gentle reminder to keep myself (and baby girl) as healthy as possible.

In other news, we will be painting the new nursery TONIGHT! More details to come on that transformation. I have all kinds of ideas in my head, so it's exciting to start putting some of them into motion.

And, on the potty training front, we have taken a hiatus for the time being, due to Owen being diagnosed with a bacterial infection. I think it's called impetigo (though that was not specifically what the pediatrician called it) and it has nothing to do with potty training — other than the fact that his antibiotic may (and did) give him diarrhea. But dealing with that and getting our house completely disinfected the past two days has been about as much as I can handle; vigilantly watching for accidents on top of that might have just pushed me over the edge. Also, I was reading up on it a little bit and decided that, although he's definitely showing signs of readiness (and to some degree, a bit of progress, actually), I don't want to push anything. So, I will consider the past week a good introductory period for Owen, and will resume full-on "training" in another few weeks (or whenever the time feels right).

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Potty Progress - Part 1

Many of you have asked how the potty training is going, so I thought I'd give you a brief update. Earlier today, as I contemplated what to write, I was brimming with cautious optimism and hoping to be able to end the day with a positive report.

However, after spending the past hour tag-teaming with Ryan on cleaning up three poopy accidents in a row, I am instead, feeling a bit defeated.

By the time Owen went down for his nap this afternoon, he had peed in the potty two times and we had not had one single wet accident. Actually, even now (as of 7:00 p.m.), we still haven't had any wet accidents. Now, this does not mean that he is telling me when he needs to pee. It just means that I have been fortunate in setting him on the potty at times when he felt so compelled to pee into it. Lucky me.

We still have not had a successful poop in the potty yet, but I get it. It's scary. Actually, those are Owen's exact words..."it's scary." I understand that the poop part might take a little longer. Which is why I wasn't too upset when he had a poop accident in his underpants this morning, and a second one in his Pull-Up while we were at the library. No biggie. At least the pee thing was going well...

After his nap today, I got one more pee in the potty out of him (woo hoo!) and then there was an almost 3-hour period of time where he did nothing. I kept putting him on the potty, encouraging him to go, but nothing was happening. There was, however, one more very small poopy accident during that time. Nevertheless, my spirits remained high.

Then, it was time for dinner. It was at this point that I began to lose track of the details. All I know is that immediately after Owen finished his dinner until about 30 minutes ago, Ryan and I changed a total of three pairs of poopy underpants (two small and one big). It felt as if we would no sooner get one mess cleaned up and it would happen all over again.

We had a brief discussion after evening accident #2 and a quick word from Owen that his "tummy hurt" about maybe just scrapping the underpants for the rest of the evening and putting him back in a diaper, but I really didn't want to do that because I hated to regress after working so hard the past few days. It was only moments later, however, that accident #3 occurred and we officially called it curtains on the underpants for the night. (That's #3 for the evening; #5 or #6 — I lost track — for the day!)

So, Owen is happily playing in his diaper with Daddy right now and I am nursing some pretty rough (bloody, even) knuckles from all the disinfecting and hand washing I've done today. But we figured that if he has an upset tummy (six poops in one day!!!), maybe now isn't the best time to push the potty training. Both for his sake, and for ours.

A few other things to note, however...

Owen does not care for the way it feels to poop in his underpants. In fact, he didn't even like it when he had pooped in his Pull-Ups today, which surprised me since those things just seem like a more expensive version of a regular diaper to me. But, this is a good sign. His dislike for that feeling is a step in the right direction.

He also seems to like wearing "big boy underpants" now, as opposed to a few days ago when he was utterly indifferent. When we decided to put a diaper back on him tonight, he protested a bit. Again, a good sign I think.

Right or wrong, there's an update on all things pee and (mostly) poop in the Peterson residence for the night. I told you I was just winging it with this one and I'm still ok with that. Tomorrow is another day. Let's hope for far fewer poops.

Friday, January 6, 2012

Pantry Purge

Maybe it's because the craziness of the holidays is officially winding down, but I have been in the mood to organize lately. And as my mother would advise, I decided to take advantage of that positive energy and just jump right in. There are several closet spaces in my house that need a good makeover. (You may recall this previous burst of organizing energy applied to my master bedroom closet last spring.) But this morning, I decided that the one closet that seemed to need a facelift the most was my often-used (think, daily) kitchen pantry.

In addition, I've also been in the mood to chat here on the good ol' blog (as you've probably noticed), so I decided to document my little project here for you. To be fair, you should stop reading now if you do not care in the least about the contents of my kitchen pantry and other various cabinets. I'm warning's not exactly riveting content you're about to read.

Ok, you've been warned. Moving on...

I took lots of pictures because I love a good before and after comparison. Here was my kitchen pantry when I woke up this morning.

I have always longed for a home with a kitchen pantry. I've lived in lots of homes and this is the first one that actually had one. It was one of the things I was super excited about when we bought this house. But as you can see, I have not been using it to it's fullest potential.

It's a pretty great space — plenty large and far enough away from the rest of the kitchen cabinets, but still right in the heart of the kitchen space. But I do have one complaint about this particular pantry. Well, two actually. The biggest is that there is no light in this closet. ALL of the closets in this house came equipped with an overhead light managed by a nearby light switch. ALL.OF.THEM. Except this one. And I guess the hallway linen closet, too, which is another major disaster area in need of organization, but I'll get to that another day. Seriously, though, of all the closets in the house (bedroom closets, front coat closet, laundry room closet), why would the builder skimp out on a light in the two closets that house the most small and hard-to-find items?

My other complaint is that there isn't a power outlet inside. I would love to hang my wall-mounted hand-held vacuum in this closet (since most of the messes I use it to clean up are in the kitchen), but it really needs to be plugged into a power source so that it stays charged and, unfortunately, that just isn't an option in the pantry. So it lives in my laundry room instead (yet another space that could use a good once over).

But I digress...

Anyway, I'll skip right to the "after" photo and then give you a few details on how it all went down.

Here's a fun side-by-side comparison. just makes me giddy looking at this space now! I do love me an organized closet. (Truly I do, I even wrote about it in my bio.)

A couple of things worth mentioning...

I had a lot of smallish packets that always seemed to get lost on the wire shelves, so I collected them all and stuffed them into this basket (which oddly, was already in the pantry on one of the top shelves not being used for anything at all).

I think it looks nice and cheery when I open the doors. And it can quickly be moved so I can access the items on the shelf behind it.

These two shelves house all of my foodstuffs. I would love to attach labels to the front of the shelves that show how things are divided up so when I come home with groceries I know right where to put everything. I'm thinking of making some small labels — "baking goods," "canned goods," "coffee/tea," etc. — and attaching them to the wire shelves with zip ties or something, but we'll see how ambitious I remain...

I also have a kind of a crazy amount of what I'm calling "baking and cake decorating materials" — things like cookie cutters, sprinkles (LOTS and LOTS of sprinkles!), food coloring, muffin wrappers, etc. I used to have them in a smaller (shoebox size) bin, but they were exploding out of that so I put them into a similar, but larger container.

This will make it much easier to access this stuff when needed.

Then there is this poorly misused cabinet above our microwave that just housed a mish-mash of paper plates and other disposable party supplies (plus one rarely-used tea pot). As a rule, we do not generally use paper plates in our household, even for things like sandwiches or pizza, but it's always good to have them on hand for parties and other times when it's just not practical to wash a bunch of dishes.

I actually had items like this stashed in a number of places (three, to be exact) and never knew what I had on hand. So I took a cute basket that was also already in the pantry (not being used for anything purposeful) and organized all my paper goods in it.

In doing so, I took a quick inventory of our plastic silverware and it made me wonder if everyone else ends up with a disproportionate number of plastic knives as compared to forks and spoons. Seriously, I never need to buy another plastic knife...EVER!

Here are the bottom two shelves that include both of these bins and other miscellaneous, though commonly used appliances and other items.

I also moved our "inside" recycling container (we transfer it to a larger bin in the garage when this one gets too full and on garbage pick-up day) from the kitchen lazy suzan to this adorable basket on the floor of the pantry. (It's woven out of rolled up pieces of recycled plastic. I got it at Michael's a while back.) And I organized the mess of paper bags that used to clutter the closet floor into the faboo Thirty-One bag I got from my SIL for Christmas. (P.S. I anticipate using this bag for other things, but it should be pretty simple to just take the paper bags out and temporarily dump them on the floor whenever that happens.)

I decided to stock the above-microwave cabinet with my various supply of oils and vinegars. I think those things should be OK over a heat source??? I also stashed our pitiful supply of liquor — two bottles of whiskey that Ryan got for Christmas — up there.

There are also two triangular shaped cabinets in the kitchen island that I could never figure out what to do with. As of this morning, one housed the blender (which isn't used often enough to justify taking up precious counter space) and the other had my old coffee maker (which I only use when company comes over since I use my single-serve Tassimo on a daily basis.) Both of those items got moved to the top shelf in the pantry and instead, I decided to put a previously removed shelf back in one of those cabinets and relocated all my cookbooks into it.

The cookbooks used to live in the cabinet above our "deskette" area, but now that it's practically empty, I can use this space for some of the junk that's collecting in and around my "home office," which is just a small desk with my computer and printer. I'll have to tackle that one another day.

Here's a couple more views of the completed pantry.

So glad that I finally got around to hanging this decorative hook (that I probably bought four years ago!) for my aprons. The space next to it is reserved for a plastic grocery bag stasher that I've got lying around somewhere, but couldn't put my hands on today.

There were just a few items that came out of the pantry that I wasn't sure what to do with. I ended up dividing them among some other cabinets for now, but I thought this was a pretty manageable number of items resulting from the major mess of stuff I started out with.

I am lucky enough to have the "problem" of having a few spaces that I just don't know what to do with. I will never complain about having too much storage space. Never. That is another thing I love about this abundance of storage. But this above-the-fridge cabinet is a big question mark for me. Just not sure what to do with it...

And I am going on record to say that I am not a fan of lazy suzan cabinets. Again, I'm not really sure what to put in here, so it sits relatively empty for the time being.

So that's a lot of words and pictures about how I spent my day reorganizing my kitchen pantry (and other cabinets). If you're still might want to think about finding something better to do with your time. Kidding! Thanks...I appreciate your interest in my mundane existence!

Thursday, January 5, 2012

Sweet little baby face

Let me just begin this post by saying that I am not a big fan of the 3D ultrasounds that are available to pregnant moms and dads nowadays. I don't mean to judge anyone that gets one (really, I don't!), but as far as I'm concerned, they seem extravagant and completely unnecessary. (To be fair, my opinion is primarily based on the fact that my insurance does not cover any part of a 3D ultrasound; in fact, they barely cover the regular, 2D kind, and I'm a total cheapskate.) So — extravagant and unnecessary, yes. And frankly, they always look a little freaky deaky to me anyway.

But today, during my repeat ultrasound (I had to have another one at 24-weeks to check up on a potential issue with the location of my placenta, but thankfully, that's all good), the tech all of a sudden threw an alternate image up on the screen, right next to the grainy one I was used to seeing by now. I asked her if that was 3D. She said it was and that because the baby was facing up at us, she thought she might be able to capture a cute shot of her face for me. Before I could object, she landed on this image and took a still photo for me.

And it probably looks freaky to all of you out there the way the rest of ya'll's babies look to me in 3D. Especially that strange growth that seems to be protruding from her forehead (which, I was assured is just the placenta and uterine wall that she was nestled up against.) But because this little face belongs to MY little girl, my heart melted a little bit when I saw it. It was like getting an actual little glimpse of this new person living inside my that looks MUCH more human and realistic than the traditional 2D ultrasounds.

I think she looks an awful lot like her big brother. I know she is absolutely beautiful. I already love her so much. And I can't wait to meet her!

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Potty Potential

Here's another quick pre-holiday recap post (if that ever actually gets done), but this time, our subject matter is pee-pee and poo-poo. Yay!

I have told myself (and others) for some time now that after the holidays were over, I was going to start working with Owen on potty training. I would like for him to be fully trained by the time the new baby comes in April or May, and since he will be 2 1/2 years old next week, now seems like a good time. So, here we are, at this pivotal stage in my baby's development, and I have no clue where to start. Perhaps I'll just take you along on this journey with me — and if you have any pointers for me in the meantime, feel free to drop me a line.

{As a side note, Owen has had some sporadic success peeing in his Elmo potty chair (as you'll recall from this post), but he has not been consistent and we haven't really been trying to get him to go any time other than before his every-other-day bath. So, he's not completely unfamiliar with the concept of peeing in the little plastic bowl, but it's not something that's become a regular part of his routine by any means.}

Anyways, at the library today, I picked up a few light reading materials on the subject matter.

These are, of course, intended to get Owen more interested in using the potty and talk about how big boys transition from diapers to underpants, etc. I haven't watched the video yet, but we did read two of the books together tonight and Owen seemed relatively interested. So, I decided to give it a try. I pulled Elmo out into the living room and parked him in front of the TV. After only about 30 seconds of watching Blue's Clues without pants on (that is, Owen of course), he did it! And, as I gushed and gushed, he seemed genuinely pleased in himself this time! So, we washed our hands and he got a cookie as a reward. (Big mistake? Not sure yet.)

About 30 minutes later, he asked me for another cookie and I told him that he could only get another treat if he went on the potty again. So, he said "ok," which, if you know Owen, you know is a common response to all sorts of questions. I dragged Elmo back out and we repeated the whole process (only this time I think Dora the Explorer was on) and he peed again! I chose to reward him this time with something a little smaller (and more manageable on a long-term basis, I think) and gave him a Hershey Kiss instead. He was equally thrilled.

It wasn't long before he caught on to the idea that if he pees in the potty, he gets a treat and this boy is motivated by food (like his mama!) so he started asking me to "potty again." I think we'll wait until bedtime and try one last time tonight. And tomorrow, I have no plans other than to go to Wal-Mart to pick up a few things (see my list below), so we'll try an intensive day of potty patrol, though I'm not exactly sure what that is going to look like just yet.

Here is my list for the store, in preparation:

  • Pull-ups
  • Some sort of even smaller incentive treat (I'm thinking a bag of M&Ms, giving him just ONE each time he's successful)
  • Carpet/upholstery cleaner (for the inevitable accidents)
(We already have a rather extensive supply of big-boy underpants, but I think I will start with the pull-ups and just see how that goes first. Anything else I'm missing???)

And of course, seeing as how I've never done anything quite like this before, I have a host of unanswered questions, like, is it OK to train with the Elmo chair or should I insist on using the real toilet (either with or without a kid-size seat attachment)? I'm concerned that if we get him trained with the potty chair, we will only have to re-train him to use the real toilet later, but currently, he FREAKS out if I try to sit him on one. (I've only ever put him on straddling, facing backwards, as I've heard that is the best way to make sure they don't fall in and don't spray pee all over the place.)

Another questions is just how exactly is the best way to approach this "training" stuff. Do I do a several-day-long boot camp and not leave the house until he figures it out? I already know the answer to life is too busy for that and it's not really my style. For instance, I don't have any plans for tomorrow, so I can work with him all day at home, but the day after that, I've got places to go and things to do. So is it OK to switch back and forth between using the potty and wearing pull-ups or underpants, to letting him go in his diaper? Or will that just confuse him? Do I need to commit to this 100% or not at all?

Advice is welcome. In the meantime, I'm going to do something completely out-of-character for myself, and just wing it. I'll keep you posted on our progress...

If you don't have anything nice to say...

First off, let me just say that I have very good intentions of writing a Christmas recap post one day very soon (maybe even later today...), but in the meantime, I just had to jot this one down.

True to the notion that Owen teaches me just as much (if not more) than I teach him on a daily basis — something I have observed over the past two and half years — I realized today that I need to keep my verbal road rage in check...and fast.

Shortly after leaving the library this morning (I won't even go into the humiliating tantrum state in which we actually exited the building), I received a phone call from Ryan (on my new iPhone...woot!)

(Ok, this post is already starting to exceed the maximum number of allowable parenthetic statements, so I apologize in advance for that.)

Anyways, I received a phone call and while answering it, I nearly missed a stop sign, causing me to slam on my brakes to avoid running through a four-way intersection, which, thankfully was empty in all three other directions. I think I said something like, "whoa!" as I did it and then answered, "hello." Owen, on the other hand, responded to the abrupt stop with — and I quote, "Are you kidding me?"

I immediately asked Ryan to hold on and I turned around to ask Owen to repeat what he just said. (I wasn't sure that I had heard it correctly.) He wouldn't repeat it, but just smiled at me with a huge grin and giggled a little — which, incidentally, made me completely forget how angry I was with him only moments before for the major library exiting meltdown.

But I am fairly certain that that is what he said. Mostly because on our way to the library, I got stuck behind a semi-truck that, in addition to being in all the wrong lanes (i.e., going straight in more than one turn-only lane), was going sooooooooo slow! And I'm pretty sure I may have said something like (ok, exactly) what Owen said now. "Are you kidding me?" After that earlier incident, Owen spent the rest of the drive talking about "passing the truck" and "Mommy drive really fast," and "I don't want to do that again," -type statements. Needless to say, it obviously left an impression on him. And one that I'm not proud of.

I am grateful, though, that the only thing I said was, "Are you kidding me?" I have been known to say worse. And after Ryan and I finished laughing hysterically at our little imitator, it occurred to me how grateful  I am for the reminder to keep my anger, and especially my comments, in check. Stat. Thanks for that one, little buddy. Lesson learned.