Friday, March 31, 2006

In This Together

You know what I love?
When you email someone and seconds later they reply.
Or when you post something on your blog and within a few moments you've already had someone comment.
It makes me smile when I realize that there are other people who are at their desk jobs or stealing a moment away from the kids at their home computer and they check blogs and emails just as obssessively as I do.
We are all united in our desperation.
:)

Amanda Brown at 3:08 PM

9comments

Thursday, March 30, 2006

Dinner Partay

Just a few images from the get-together at Jen's place last night. Sometimes it will just hit me all of a sudden that Jen actually lives here in Summerland. We grew up together in Regina and have so many memories from high school and youth group and quizzing. It's been a joy to reconnect and pick up right from where we left off.
Story time with Christy and her mom, Nelly. The kids all crawled up onto their laps and nestled in for an evening tale.
That is all.

Amanda Brown at 6:39 PM

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Fruit of the Month

Prior to pregnancy, I wasn't very determined to get my 5-10 servings of fruit and veggies in each day. After all the cookies, bread and cheese I ate, there was simply no room left in my stomach for baby spinach or bananas.
But the baby has been a good influence on me.
She likes fruit and tells me to eat it all the time. She seems to go through monthly phases of preference. Last month she could not get enough strawberries. I would be at the supermarket and she would kick the placenta as hard as she could to signal me to buy a four pound vat of strawberries. And the baby liked her strawberries with a light sprinkling of sugar. This baby and I, we are really going to get along. This month the baby has been on an orange kick. She makes me eat cold, juicy oranges every day and if she doesn't get her way she boots me in the cervix (which feels bad, by the way). I am happy to appease this fruit-loving being in my gut, and I hope to keep enjoying fruits and veggies even once she's out.

Amanda Brown at 11:14 AM

6comments

Wednesday, March 29, 2006

Rethinking

Remember when I was fairly regular about posting photos of my pregnant belly? Oh, those were the days. The first trimester was good to me. Although I never thought myself to be twiggy, looking back on pictures from the first 12 weeks of pregnancy has given me a new appreciation for where my body once was. I was not nearly thankful enough for my moderately sized (ok, small) boobs and the tummy I was able to suck in when I had to. Things have changed. Seriously. Here's a photo of me this morning, at nearly 25 weeks pregnant. I hesitate to show you my blindingly white, chubby tummy, but dear readers, I feel I can trust you with this image. Please look past the back chub and the way my rolls fall around my belly button. In case you have been scarred by the above photo, here is one of me with all my clothes on. Here's a quick poll...would you prefer to see my belly shots taken with a bare tummy or a covered one?
Let me know.

Amanda Brown at 7:46 AM

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Tuesday, March 28, 2006

Our Poor Children

Hard to believe that the weirdos in the picture are all going to be mothers in a matter of months. Well, Christy, the weirdo in the middle, already has two kids and is simply adding to her brood, while Tianna and I are first-timers. Angella and Kaili are also carrying bairns.
It's so strange to be a part of an actual baby boom!
Do you see the length of my beak in this picture? A profile can be a scary thing when your name is Amanda Brown. There are some pretty big honkers on both sides of our families, so our child might be doomed. As long as she gets Steve's butt and my hair, she'll be fine. If it's the other way around (my butt and Steve's hair) well...here's hoping she has a great personality.

Amanda Brown at 5:30 PM

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Side Splitting

My good ol' hubby Steve is notorious for his uncontrollable laughter. For the most part he is a rational and composed man, but when he gets a case of the giggles, he gets it baaad. A few times he's been at Bible study and someone has accidentally let out a little poof of a fart during the opening prayer and Steve is a lost cause. When he's not supposed to laugh, he can't help but. It's great fun to watch.
Last night we were talking in bed about baby names and we both ended up laughing so hard that I thought my guts were going to burst.
It was a riot.
I'm so thankful to be married to a man who loves to let loose and enjoy the hilarity of life.

Amanda Brown at 2:43 PM

7comments

Monday, March 27, 2006

Throbbing Bum Cheeks and Other Joys

I think that motherhood is like a secret society.
There are so many strange and frightening things that happen to a woman's body during pregnancy and the postpartum period that I never knew about until I actually got pregnant and started doing some reading. If the stuff that's hidden in those pregnancy books was common knowledge, I think there would be a lot more people thinking twice about having a baby. (Again, I stress that I know that all the pain and yuckiness will be worth it a thousand times over. But still.)
Life is messy.
Growing a baby inside of you, pushing it out, the aftermath of delivery, the trials of nursing, the constant flow of baby spit-up and poo are all things that remind me just how messy life truly can be.
I wonder, why the mess?
Perhaps those painful, stinky, bloody moments make us appreciate the quiet, blissful, beautiful ones all the more.
The most recent development in my big ol' pregnant body is that I have developed a (hopefully minor) case of sciatica. I was out for a walk on Saturday and from the onset of my first step, my left butt cheek began to throb. The pain worsened with each stride. Ugh. I told Christy about the pain and she said that I have sciatica.
Awesome!
It's not too bad at this point and I am hoping to keep it in check by continuing to stay moderately active (yay for Aquasize). I walked to work today and it's about 4.5 km. I think that was a shade too far for me at six months along now, as I was getting some pelvic pain near the end. I had to stop and take a little rest, which is new for me. It's just hard to know what's safe and when I need to tone it down.
That makes me sound like a driven athlete, doesn't it? "I so long to do my 14 mile sprint today but I fear my heart rate would rise above 140 and that would put the baby in danger. Drat! I suppose I'll only go for 10 miles."
In my dreams.

Amanda Brown at 9:27 AM

8comments

Friday, March 24, 2006

Apples and Oranges

After our ultrasound in Kelowna I told Steve that it might be a wise idea for me to take a quick peek at the lingerie department at the Bay to find a more suitable bra for myself. Things are continuing to, ahem, bloom, and I am spilling out of the bras I borrowed from Christy already. You know, I thought that being a C-cup was fun. I felt pleasantly fuller on top and thought I looked more balanced. But there is a big difference between the land of C-cup and that of D-cup. The same bra that is cute and sassy in a C-cup looks like something your grandma dug out of her dusty gich drawer when you see it in a D-cup.
Steve looked both startled and frightened by the sheer size of the bras I was hauling off the racks to try on.
The novelty of these ginormous ta-tas has officially worn off. I am starting to get back pain from the weight of them, and all of my cute maternity shirts fit too tightly across my bustline, making me feel even fatter than I already do.
When my milk comes in, I think I will go into hiding.

Amanda Brown at 2:03 PM

11comments

Thursday, March 23, 2006

Poor Lolo

We have a wounded puppy dog among us.
Yesterday I called Rolo up onto the bed with me for a nap and he was at the foot of the bed. This is not within close enough cuddling range, so I tried to pull him closer. When I did so, he let out the saddest, sharpest little whimper. I thought that was strange but didn't think too much of it. Then later in the evening he was on the couch with me (I know, I know, he's spoiled beyond measure...deal with it) and I was petting him. Again, he whimpered. I noticed that it seemed to be if I got too close to his back haunches he would let out a yelp. I tried to get a closer look at the area, but Rolo kept on running away. He was scared that I was going to hurt him, I guess. Poor little fella. Seriously, when he is scared it is the saddest and cutest thing you have ever seen. His big ears fold back, he crouches down low, dips his head, and wags his tail in fear. It makes me want to cry. I came over to him and talked quietly and told him that I wasn't going to hurt him and that I needed to see what was wrong (yes, you can call me the Dog Whisperer). He complied and cowered while I looked at his furry little doggy haunches. I lifted up the fur and saw that he had a big, gaping wound that was still bleeding a little. I couldn't tell what kind of cut it was. Had he been attacked by a marmot or coyote? Or had he snagged himself on a barbed wire fence? What happened?
When Steve came home he looked at it and decided that the best course of action would be to shave the area to get a closer look, then clean it thoroughly. I am so glad he was there to tend to such matters, because I don't think I could have done it.
Steve got the clippers out and called Rolo into the bathroom. Rolo slinked in, awaiting his fate, and Steve proceeded to give him a brush cut on his bum. Then he cleaned the wound with rubbing alcohol and the whines and whimpers Rolo let out were enough to make my heart shatter.
He seems OK today, and we're keeping an eye on the spot to make sure it doesn't get infected.
Oh, Lolo.

Amanda Brown at 11:18 AM

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The Dam, It Burst.

So, I've been feeling so happy and relieved since finding out that our baby girl is healthy and well. All day yesterday I would stop, look at Steve, and say, "Our baby is OK!" It's a wonderful feeling. We went into the ultrasound hoping for the best but prepared for the worst. I am so thankful for the good news, but I feel like this journey of letting go has been a good one for me to take. Again, thank you all so much for your support and love. It means so much.
The actual ordeal of going for the ultrasound was much more uncomfortable this time than the last. My appointment was at 9 a.m. in Kelowna which meant I had to finish drinking a litre of water by 8 a.m. and not go pee until after the ultrasound was done. I chugged my water at 7:55 and then sloshed my way to the car with Steve. Kelowna is about 45 minutes away from us. By the time we were 15 minutes into the drive, I started to feel the urge to pee. 30 minutes into the drive my legs were crossed and I was clenching fiercely. Upon our arrival to the Kelowna hospital I was on the verge of tears and asked Steve if he could drop me off at the door for fear I wouldn't make it through the walk across the parking lot without soaking my shorts. I hobbled to the reception desk and told the lady that I was there for an ultrasound but that if I didn't pee a little I was going to make a big mess. She directed me to the bathroom where I sat down and told myself to pee for five seconds. I needed to make sure I still had enough liquid in my bladder so we could get an accurate viewing of our baby.
I peed. One mississippi, two mississippi, threeeeeeee mississssssssissippeeeeee, four...I tried to stop at five, but couldn't turn off the tap until seven. And when I stopped I wanted to cry. I still had so much left to release and was still in pain, but I also felt like I had failed and was a terrible mother who couldn't even put her own needs above those of her baby.
I then met Steve in the ultrasound room and I told the technician that I was really uncomfortable. She said, "Get up on the table and we'll see how full your bladder is." Then she looked and saw that it was as big as a football and was actually impeding the image of the baby and she ordered me to go and fill up a half-litre cup with pee.
I did so willingly.
And it was pure bliss.

Amanda Brown at 9:10 AM

6comments

Wednesday, March 22, 2006

Results

THE CYSTS ARE GONE!!!!!
We went in for our follow-up ultrasound this morning and were pleased to find out that the tiny cysts have disappeared and our baby girl is in perfect health.
Thank you so much for all of your thoughts and prayers and well wishes.
We are blessed indeed.

Amanda Brown at 12:15 PM

21comments

Monday, March 20, 2006

Your Writing Sucks

When I was in the eleventh grade I took a Creative Writing class that was taught by one of my favourite teachers, Mr. Gaudio. Mr. Gaudio was the commercial cooking instructor at our school but he was also a talented playwright and actor. He wrote plays that we, the students, got to perform. He was someone I looked up to and was perpetually trying to impress.
I was thrilled to take his writing class. I had always loved to scrawl out poems and thoughts and stories and I imagined his class to be a creative environment where I could foster my hidden talents. The class had little structure and we were free to write whatever we felt like writing. I liked that freedom.
After a few weeks, I had penned my first draft of a short story that was based on one of my childhood experiences. I handed it over to Mr. Gaudio for him to critique and provide his imput. I was expecting him to point out a few grammatical errors or tell me that my adjectives were to complex and that average reader would be lost in my vivid descriptions (I kid, I kid).
But no.
He scanned it briefly, then said, in all seriousness, "I think this sucks."
I am not kidding.
He then proceeded to ramble on about how my introduction was dull, my character development lacking, and my plot forgettable.
What a chump!
I was so hurt and my pride was bruised. But I dusted off my tattered ego and decided that perhaps he was right, that I actually had a lot to learn about the craft of writing.
I did.
And still do.
(For the record, however, I wrote incessantly for the remainder of the semester and ended up with a final grade of 100% in the class.
Mr. Gaudio can kiss mine.)
(Again, I kid. He still goes down in the books as one of my favourite teachers.)

Amanda Brown at 2:49 PM

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Sunday, March 19, 2006

This and That

This weekend two of our friends got hitched and their wedding day was lovely. The bride, Ashley, was radiant in her gown and the groom, Corey, had a huge smile plastered on his face all afternoon. Congrats to the happy couple!
Steve and I had a great time at the reception, dancing like fools and convincing all our friends to join us. Pastor Gary was out on the floor busting moves like I've never seen, as well as Erin, Tianna and their hubbies in tow. We YMCA'd, we chicken danced, we shook our bums to Bootylicious, and we even line danced. It was great fun.
On Friday I marched into the hair salon and told my stylist that I was looking for a bit of a change, but that I wanted to still hold onto most of the length. "Just take off the bad ends and add some layers," I remember saying. I think she thought I was bolder than I truly was, because she snipped off a whopping 4 inches and I wasn't totally prepared for that. I am happy with the change, though, and my hair looks a million times more healthy and bouncy and cheery. It's funny how attached I can get to my long hair; it's a security blanket of sorts. Owell, it's gone for now and I have re-entered the land of shoulder length locks. Hope you like my new 'do!

Amanda Brown at 4:45 PM

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Friday, March 17, 2006

But I'm Not Ready!

I got a call from my doctor's office today and apparently my OB/GYN has had a family emergency and will be flying out east next week. So my next Monday's appointment will have to be rescheduled to this afternoon. I'm OK with that. I will get to hear the baby's heartbeat and what better way to start a weekend? The only bad thing about this unexpected jaunt to the doc's is that I am going to have to be weighed.
In the middle of the day.
As in, after lunch.
I am a firm believer that the only time it is OK to weigh yourself is naked, first thing in the morning, after you have peed and pooped, and prior to eating breakfast. It's only fair.
I am the kind of person who eats a carrot stick and gains eight pounds, so I don't know what today's cheese scone is going to put the tally at. I actually weighed myself at home this morning and according to my scale (which is a gracious five pounds lighter than the doctor's) I have put on about six pounds this month. It is recommended to gain a pound a week during the second trimester, so I figure that a pound and a half per week is not reason to fret.
We are going to a wedding this weekend and I am looking forward to getting dressed up. I was hoping to wear some of my new maternity clothes but THEY STILL HAVEN'T ARRIVED! I made Steve check the mail this afternoon and they're still not there. I emailed the seller and she said they should be there any day.
Bah!
Happy St. Patty's Day!
And Happy Birthday to Jessica!
And Happy Birthday to Kristin (who turned 24 yesterday)!

Amanda Brown at 1:32 PM

5comments

Thursday, March 16, 2006

An Honest Friend

Me: You know, I thought that all of these pregnancy pimples would have cleared up after the first trimester.
Christy: Yeah. I thought so too.

Gotta love frank remarks from a friend who will tell it like it is!
Truth be told, I have quite a few less juicy volcanoes on my face and back than I did a month ago, and this is greatly heartening to me. I am still marred by the occasional blackhead or little zit on my chin, but all in all things are looking up.
Or should I say, were looking up.
You see, yesterday I discovered a new zit in one of the worst possible places to find one: the edge of my lip. I have had zits in my nostril (as if you haven't), zits in my ear (please tell me I'm not the only one), zits in my eyebrow (don't judge me), but a lip-lining zit is a serious deal. Every time I smile, I feel the log of puss stretching under the swollen pinkness and my eyes begin to water. I finally bit the bullet and lanced the sucker this afternoon to dislodge the tiny log, but it's still really sore.
I guess one lip zit is far better than the face full of pimples I had just a while back.
So, I am thankful.
But not really.

Amanda Brown at 1:45 PM

9comments

Chopping the Mane

I am going in for a long awaited haircut tomorrow and would like some input from the masses about what I should have done. I am torn between my options: keep it long and one length or chop it up to around my shoulders and get some more layers and side-bangy things. I don't want anything too drastic, but would like something that will revitalize my look.
In my heart, I think I want to hold on to the length for a while yet. Something about long hair seems to redeem the chubby cheeks and soft edges that pregnancy creates.

Amanda Brown at 11:19 AM

13comments

Wednesday, March 15, 2006

Something Missing

Remember how I bragged about how I baked oatmeal muffins on the weekend, making it sound as though I am a sophisticated domestic goddess? Well, there was one thing I failed to mention about those muffins.
They tasted like butt crack.
I tend to think of myself as a decent baker. My cookies are always soft, my brownies perfectly chewy, and my muffins fluffy.
But something went terribly wrong with my last attempt.
I am yet to figure out what happened, but I suspect I made an error involving baking soda.
So, my baking record is tarnished.
I feel relieved that you now know the truth.

Amanda Brown at 1:50 PM

5comments

Brown Bagged

A menu for a good day:
Sliced strawberries sprinked with just a titch of sugar.
Egg salad sandwich on oatmeal bread.
Oatmeal chocolate chip cookie.
See, I've had fruit, protein, whole grains and chocolate.
Packing a lunch is a good idea. It keeps me from walking down the street to blow my allowance on ice cream and chips.
I still seem to be packing on the pounds like nobody's business, but it seemd to be going entirely to my boobs (well, and my rump too, however we choose not to speak of this) so I don't mind.
We for for our next ultrasound in a week and I am feeling a little anxious about that. There is a good chance that the tiny cysts have disappeared and we will be sent away with a clean bill of health for our Baby Brown. However, there is also a chance that the cysts could still be there but the baby could be perfectly healthy. Or, the cysts could still be there and there could be other markers that would indicate a more serious problem. A few variations that both scare me. See, if the cysts are still there, the only way we could determine whether or not they are an indication of a chromosomal abnormality is to have an amniocentesis. And neither Steve nor I are comfortable with the risk of miscarriage with an amnio. So, if the cysts are still there, we will just have to wait for three months until the baby is born and not know for certain if something is wrong or not.
I don't feel like I am dwelling on the worst-case scenario, but there is that nagging fear that continues to tap on the back of my mind.
We would appreciate your prayers for us and for our sweet baby girl.

Amanda Brown at 1:18 PM

5comments

Tuesday, March 14, 2006

Can't Wait

Last week I ordered some maternity clothes from Ebay and I am so excited for their arrival! Like a kid counting down the number of sleeps until Christmas, I have been prancing to the mail box every day in the hopes that they have arrived. There are 11 items that came together as part of a group and I can't wait to add them to my wardrobe. There are four tops in simple colours, no prints, and then a few pairs of pants, a skirt, some shorts and a pair of capris. They are made by Duet Designs which is a Canadian designer and the seller claims that the whole lot retails for $750 and I got it all for $150! Perhaps she's a liar and I am going to get duped, but I sure hope not! I have been so lucky to have been able to borrow quite a few maternity clothes from friends, but I wanted to have a few nice pieces of my own to hold on to for future pregnancies.
Clothes just get me way too excited!
When they do arrive, maybe I'll do a fashion show and post some photos of me striking hot pregnant poses all over our yard.
I know it would be the highlight of your week.

Amanda Brown at 1:39 PM

9comments

Monday, March 13, 2006

My Captives

I have always been an avid scrapbooker and amateur photographer and diary keeper. Stowed away in my closet are volumes of journals that document my teegage years: every crush, every hope, every petty grievance with a friend, every question about life and God and the future. About once a year I dig out my journals and page through them, remembering who I used to be. The people I once cared so deeply for. The longings for love of a seventeen year-old. Reading these preserved thoughts sometimes makes me laugh, and sometimes makes me feel sad, but mostly just makes me feel nostalgic. Seeing how my friendships, my beliefs, and my ambitions have evolved reminds that when one chooses a path, she must inevitably forsake another.
I am daily reminded of the fleeting nature of life, and by writing things down and taking pictures of them I feel as though I am making them count. They aren't slipping away without my noticing.
Steve and I were talking a while back about how a few generations down the line, people may stumble across my dusty diaries and stacks of scrapbooks and just absentmindedly thumb through them, not caring at all about the lives that comprised them, and perhaps just throw them away since they're cluttering the crawl space. I have always had romanticized notions of my great-granddaughter stumbling across a cedar chest filled with my old keepsakes and she would read them and would feel this deep connection with me, her dearly departed grandmama. Cheesy, I know. But still, I think we've all got this desire to make our lives matter somehow, so that even once we're gone we won't be forgotten.
What do you do to make your days count?

Amanda Brown at 1:09 PM

7comments

Saturday, March 11, 2006

The Morn

Funny how during the work week I am so slow-going in the mornings and I hit the snooze button dozens of times to delay my departure from the warm, cozy bed. But on the weekend, when I actually have the time to sleep in, I rise with the sun and start moving. After a late night of watching Pride & Prejudice with the girls, I came home to a sleepy husband, who had been out playing poker with the boys. Seperate spheres? Indeed!
This morning I cleaned the house, baked oatmeal muffins (yes, oats are still the main thing I yearn for), had a shower and actually blow-dried and straightened my hair, then felt decent enough to take a picture of myself for you all.
Here I am, nearly 6 months pregnant! It's hard to believe how quickly and slowly the time has been passing. Seems like ages ago that I actually found out I was pregnant, but it still seems like there's ages to go before we meet our baby.
The sun is a-shining today and I am going to go for a walk.
Hope you all have dandy weekends!

Amanda Brown at 11:44 AM

12comments

Friday, March 10, 2006

A Special Brand

Remember the days when Saturday Night Live was actually funny? Those were good times. One of my favourite parts of SNL was the segment called Deep Thoughts by Jack Handy. I know that not everyone appreciates this kind of humour, but a few years ago I printed off pages upon pages of Deep Thoughts and would try to read them to people. The problem was, I found them so side-achingly hilarious that I couldn't get through a single one without breaking into fits of laughter. I am just like my mom in that regard. Whenever I try to tell a joke or funny story, I choke on its hilarity and end up laughing so hard that I cry. All the while, people are waiting to hear the joke or story. Then when I finally tell it to them, they are disappointed because it wasn't nearly as funny as they had thought it would be. Owell. Here are some Deep Thoughts to get your weekend started:
-If a kid asks where rain comes from, I think a cute thing to tell him is "God is crying." And if he asks why God is crying, another cute thing to tell him is "Probably because of something you did."
-As I bit into the nectarine, it had a crisp juiciness about it that was very pleasurable - until I realized it wasn't a nectarine at all, but A HUMAN HEAD!!
-Laurie got offended that I used the word "puke." But to me, that's what her dinner tasted like.
-When I was a kid my favorite relative was Uncle Caveman. After school we'd all go play in his cave, and every once in a while he would eat one of us. It wasn't until later that I found out that Uncle Caveman was a bear.
-The next time I have meat and mashed potatoes, I think I'll put a very large blob of potatoes on my plate with just a little piece of meat. And if someone asks me why I didn't get more meat, I'll just say, "Oh, you mean this?" and pull out a big piece of meat from inside the blob of potatoes, where I've hidden it. Good magic trick, huh?

Amanda Brown at 1:59 PM

8comments

Thought For the Day

Doritos are good.
But only if you are eating them yourself.
If you are merely in a room with someone who is eating Doritos, they smell pretty rank.

Amanda Brown at 1:26 PM

1comments

Thursday, March 09, 2006

My Duvet is Naked. And Hairy.

The smallest tasks have seemed insurmountable to me lately. I have been staring at three hampers full of clean laundry that need to be folded for over a week, but can't muster the will to put it away. Instead, I dig through the piles every morning in search of something wrinkly and suitable to wear for the day. And last night it took me about an hour to convince myself to unload the dishwasher. I am just wiped all the time!
All those people who promised I would perk up in the second trimester? They are lying scoundrels.
One of the funniest things I have been extra terrible about maintaining is our bed. It is made only once a week, when I clean the house on Saturdays. The rest of the time it is a rumpled tangle of sheets and pillows. Two weeks ago I was feeling ambitious and decided to wash our duvet cover. No biggie, right? Just toss it in the washer, then the dryer, then put it back on the duvet. I completed the first two steps and was feeling good. But it was there my progress ended.
Our washed duvet cover has been sitting, crumpled, in one of the laundry hampers for two weeks. Each night we climb into bed, Steve sighs, "So. You didn't put the cover back on yet?"
And I say, "WHY DON'T YOU PUT IT BACK ON, FARMER?"
Now our duvet is covered in dog hair, from Rolo leaping up on the bed every morning to greet us with a body slam and lots of puppy-dog kisses.
So I figure, the duvet needs to be dry-cleaned now anways, and there's no point putting a clean duvet cover on a hairy duvet, so it remains naked for one more day.
Quit judging me.
I am pregnant.
And that covers a multitude of sins.

Amanda Brown at 3:38 PM

10comments

Familiar Territory

Lately I have been feeling kind of blah.
I was doing some thinking and trying to isolate what it is that's creating this general sense of malaise, and I have come to the conclusion that a lot of what I am feeling is very similar to what I felt years ago when I started going through puberty.
My entrance into womanhood is one I made with little grace. I awkwardly stumbled into the land of bras, maxi pads, and oily skin, yearning to leave. I did not feel comfortable in my own body anymore.
I hated shopping for my first bra. My mom took me to a department store and threw me into a change room to try on countless training bras. Alone, I stood staring at my strange new body and feeling a disdain for the changes I saw. Then mom knocked on the door and asked, "Can I see how the bra fits?"
"NO! No you cannot!" I hissed.
I didn't like what I saw in the mirror.
Maybe it was the rush of preteen hormones that made me moody and full of angst over my budding breasts and the fact that getting your period was indeed quite a disgusting endeavor and how my already thick frame was spreading even more in my hips. More than that, though, I think it was the sense the I was being forced into a new land, a new phase of life. One that I hadn't chosen myself.
I have been experiencing some of these similar emotions since my pregnancy has begun. Of course I am thrilled about the baby who is growing inside of me and I am looking forward to the changes that life will bring in the next few months.
But sometimes when I look in the mirror and see a body that no longer belongs to just me, I feel like that 13 year-old in a change room in the lingerie department of a dimly lit department store.

Amanda Brown at 10:35 AM

6comments

Wednesday, March 08, 2006

The Best Part

I bought a pair of maternity pants five months ago, when I was about 2 weeks pregnant but didn't yet know it. They were on sale and were of good quality. I started to wear them when I was 3 months pregnant, when my old jeans started to cut off the circulation in my mid-section. The maternity pants were quite fitted with a low-rise belly band for comfort.
I really liked these pants.
I hadn't worn them in about a month, as I have been rotating all of the borrowed maternity clothes I managed to aquire from friends, but I felt like wearing my old pants today.
I yanked them up and noticed that they felt noticeably tighter around the bottom of my stomach than they had a month ago.
What I am trying to say is that I had a severe case of muffin top.
And not just a little overflow on the sides.
We're talking back fat, tummy chub and some serious love handles, all delightfully hanging over my too-tight elastic waist band.
I have heard the old wives' tale that if you're carrying a boy, your tummy sticks straight out in front of you, but if you're carrying a girl, the girth kind of spreads out in all directions.
I believe that old wives' tale.
But you know what? I could feel bad about my muffin top, but I don't.
I was thinking about muffins. What is the best part of a muffin?
The muffin top!
So, I choose to be proud.

Amanda Brown at 10:14 AM

7comments

Tuesday, March 07, 2006

The Farm

When I was a little girl we would visit my grandparents on their farm in Wynyard, Saskatchewan. It was a magical place where we would spend our days being pushed on the tire swing in the gully, having picnics on the big picnic rock with Grandma, and finding the three foot-tall ant hill and poking it with a stick. It was so much fun.
Sometimes there were kitties on the farm and I loved to pet them and give them milk and also to hurl them into the wading pool and watch them scurry away.
I am excited for our kids to grow up on a farm and spend their days exploring the gulch and chasing marmots and eating apples off of the trees.
Although I am not always convinced of my calling as a farmer's wife, there are many wonderful aspects of it and raising our kids here is just one of them.

Amanda Brown at 7:16 PM

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I Am Going To Be AquaFit!!


This morning I registered for an aqauasize class for the spring. Jen, Christy and I are all signed up together and we'll be taking the plunge into the inviting waters of health and wellness. This is something that I have wanted to do for a while and I think it will be a perfect exercise to do while my pregnant belly gets bigger with each passing week.
Don't expect me to post any photos of myself splashing like an obese orca, though!

Amanda Brown at 1:32 PM

8comments

Monday, March 06, 2006

Through Thick and Thin

Yesterday morning I pulled out an old photo album that was filled with mixed up pictures. Some from high school, some from the years after graduation, and some recent ones.
They made me kind of sad.
Each photo seemed to chronicle my struggle with my weight.
There were photos of me when I was a twig-thin teenager who was courting anorexia and living off of a single puffed wheat square in a day. There were photos of me at a seemingly healthy weight, but I remembered how I was struggling with really messed up eating habits, like not eating for a day, then inhaling everything that wasn't nailed to the floor the next.
There were photos of me looking kind of chubby and I remember feeling like a fat mess.
Then there were photos of me looking happy and just a little soft around the edges. Those are the most recent ones.
I was an overweight child, then I starved myself for a year in high school and lost 50 pounds. Suddenly I was beautiful and the boys who had ignored me for years were asking me out. It felt great. But one can only starve for so long. Some weight crept back on and I dealt with it in messed up ways that ended up shattering my spirit and my self-esteem.
In the past three years I have learned to listen to my body and strive for moderation, instead of living in a world of extremes: stuffed or starving.
But it is still a struggle.
Looking back on all of the pictures, having a visual representation of my journey, makes me mourn the wasted years, the scars I gave myself, and the demons I will always fight.
Weight gain is an inevitable part of pregnancy, but it has been especially hard for me. I am heavier now than I have ever been and part of me is scared that I will never lose the weight.
I know that I am capable of it, and I just have to listen to my body and not obssess about it.
But that is easier said than done sometimes.

Amanda Brown at 10:07 AM

18comments

Friday, March 03, 2006

In Daylights, In Sunsets, In Midnights, In Cups of Coffee

This time last year Steve and I were on our belated honeymoon, soaking up the sun in Cali and then heading on down the Mexican Riviera on a massive cruise ship. It was a wonderful trip and I will always look back on our time away with the fondest of memories.
Two years ago today, we had just embarked on the journey of raising a puppy. We had had Rolo for a few weeks and he was making a mockery of our carpet, peeing and pooping on it all day long. I remember being so sleep deprived, as he whined to go pee every two hours during the night. Steve pretended not to hear, so I was the poor fool who had to pick up the puppy and toss him into the night air to do his business on our lawn. I was working and finishing up school, so I was extra exhausted.
This time next year, Steve and I will be parents. How crazy is that?! The time, how it flies. Before we know it we'll be having our bums wiped by a care aid in a nursing home.
Life is weird.

Amanda Brown at 6:58 PM

4comments

Potential

After all of your great advice yesterday (and stern chastisement...thanks, Leah!) I decided to give the name thing a rest for a while. Not just Anneliese, but all names. Take a breather and not worry about finding one just yet. It seemed like a good idea.
I came home from work and was whipping up some homemade macaroni and cheese for dinner, and while I was in the kitchen Steve called to me from his office, "Amanda, come here!"
"But I'm sauteeing onions and they need my attention. Why don't you come here?"
"I want to show you something," he explained. "Something that's important to you."
So, I abandoned my onions and went to investigate.
He had found a baby name on the computer that he liked.
And I liked it too.
I am not going to tell you what it is, either!

Amanda Brown at 8:53 AM

11comments

Thursday, March 02, 2006

Mom and Pop Go to England

Tomorrow my parents leave for their long-awaited trip to England to visit my brother and also to tour the European countryside. Neither of them have ever been to Europe before and I am so happy that they finally get to go on adventure, just the two of them. Growing up our family vacations were modest, to say the least, and we usually spent most of them arguing with each other. I think that if we were to all go on a holiday together now it would be much more enjoyable, as we have finally learned that our family is pretty cool and we actually have a lot of fun together.
Anyways, I just wanted to wish my momma and pappy a safe trip and I hope they have a ball traipsing around with the Brits!
Say hi to the lid'l brudder for me!

Amanda Brown at 2:30 PM

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AnnePLEASE???????

With a very open mind I scanned the entire baby name book I had ordered, and nothing grabbed me. Nothing at all. I had a highlighter in hand and marked off any names that I even remotely could stand, but when I took a second look at them all I thought was, "Meh."
I told Steve about this conundrum and he was less than sympathetic.
We both agree that the best case scenario would be to find a name that we both love. But that doesn't seem to be happening, despite our efforts.
So, what to do?
If you were in this situation, how would you solve the problem? Bribery? (I tried that.) Extreme negotiation? (Tried that too....and am still not giving up.)
Help us solve this problem!
It seems silly to pick a name that neither of us really loves when we could have the most lovely, perfect name ever and MAKE ME HAPPY.
That is, in fact, what it's all about.
Help us.

Amanda Brown at 10:25 AM

14comments

Wednesday, March 01, 2006

An Aid

We have reached a stalemate in the baby naming quest.
I've still a white-knuckled hold on Anneliese, and refuse to give up hope. I think I am picturing Steve being so awed by my birthing skills that when he sees how hard I have worked to expel our baby girl he will look at me and be prepared to give me anything my heart longs for.
But if Steve decides to be a meanie and refuse to grant me my wish, we will need to have some other names to fall back on. So, I have ordered a baby name book that should be arriving soon. I have been thinking more about Natalia, and while it is beautiful, it doesn't grip my soul. It's just OK. And my baby is going to be so much more than just OK. She is going to be a wonder. So she'll need a wonderful name. (Like Anneliese.)
Last night I had a dream that I was on a big waterslide and my water broke and I started having contractions and I told people I needed to get to the hospital and they all told me to chill out and that they wanted to finish watching their TV program. I started to get really angry and I hollered, "Do you not realize that I am going to have a BABY?!"
Then I woke up.
Enthralling, I know.

Amanda Brown at 2:43 PM

5comments

Kristin Anne

Whatever you choose, I will love you always.

Amanda Brown at 1:10 PM

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