Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Big And Happy: A How-To Guide

It seems that there are a few key ingredients for happiness and comfort in the last trimester.  The third time around, I've finally found them!  These may sound like simple concepts, but for a preggo that is nesting at full-throttle and is a self-proclaimed night-owl, they really aren't THAT easy. 

The first is to take a bath. Every single day.  A half an hour soaking in epsom salts with a good book while the kids are napping has changed my life.  That's no exaggeration.  We've been getting up by 6:30am around here and by the time noon hits, my back is starting to bring me down.  I'm guessing my blood pressure may also be on the rise a bit thanks to my hormonal handicap in dealing with the smaller, louder creatures in this house.  When the house goes quiet, it has usually been my signal to amp up the nesting, which has been at a drastic expense for my back.  To the point that I got stuck sitting on a step stool and could barely make it out of bed to use the bathroom during the night.  No longer!  My back feels better than it has since the first trimester.  I'd venture to say that it is feeling better at this point in my pregnancy than it did when I was pregnant with Naomi and getting massages every two weeks.  These baths are healing!  The added bonus is that I'm getting a ton of reading done (and I'm not talking board books for once) and I'm keeping up with shaving my legs so much better (kind of crucial since it's suddenly in the 80's here and I'm donning summer dresses and already have tan line in February!).  You may not want to know that last part, but I can't be the only preggo that sees the colder weather as an excuse to "let the beast out of the cage" a bit.  Having to hold your breath to reach your ankles is no easy task and is so easy to just pass on completely when pants are in season anyway.

Moving on!  The next life-altering change around here is to get lots of sleep.  Lots!  How does one do this when the kids are getting up by 6:30am every single day?  Start the bedtime routine by 6:30pm and have their lights out by 7pm.  That still gives Dustin and I an hour or two to ourselves and a few good, solid hours of sleep before midnight even hits!  Even with Naomi screaming in pain several times a night thanks to her torturous canine teeth (four months later, those suckers better be here to stay!) I am still waking up in the morning feeling rested, which is a whole new concept for me since motherhood hit.  And the best part is, I wake up and step out of bed without feeling like I just had hip-replacement surgery.  It took a few nights to adjust.  I found myself wide awake at 3am several nights in a row feeling like I should be going to get my coffee and start my day.  The nights felt L O N G.  But pretty soon, I caught on and now I'm sleeping like a baby!  Dustin and I are going to be seriously hurting the first time we have an event to go to at night.  7pm hits and we both start yawning!  That may make us officially old (he IS turning 30 on the day I'm due with Quincy) but it feels so.  so.  good!

And last, but not least,  when in the kitchen, go big or go home!  In preparation for Quincy's arrival, my cooking has changed.  I'm cooking casserole-style two to tree times week now.  I make enough to fill two 13x9 pans, freeze one for later and eat off the other one two nights in a row.  I'm thinking I may stick to this routine even after Quincy shows up!  Grocery shopping is way faster when I am buying lots of a few things, instead of a little of lots of things.  Actually, the list making, the shopping and and putting away are easier.  Then I am left with a "free night" every other night and can play with the kids at the park instead of cooking. It's glorious!  Even keeping up with my kitchen cleaning is easier!  It's happiness all around for me!  I get strangely excited by the growing stack of frozen meals.  It's like crack for my preggo brain to see my freezer become stocked and prepared for several nights of good meals with no effort on my part.  I'd say the best part is only having to cook once for four nights worth of food.  Oh, the glory!

So, like I said, totally simple concepts.  Using the free time I get while the kids are sleeping for my own sleeping and relaxation was difficult for me at first.  I still have lots of projects I want to get done before Quincy comes along, but those still seem to be coming together and the improvement it has made in my quality of life is worth the "sacrifice" of lounging in my tub at noon each day, sleeping up to 10 hours a night and having the time in the evenings to take the kids to the park.  Good things all around!  Now if only I could find a way to give the cleaning and laundry four days worth of staying power like the cooking...



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