Monthly Archives: July 2016

Drinking Habits

I am an incredibly visual person. I’ve always known this. I learned the bones in the body by pulling out a skeleton from our Halloween decorations and labeling all of them with post-it notes. In preparation for my AP History exam, I created timelines running down my hallways, and reviewed them every time I walked past. Knowing your learning style can be extremely helpful when going through school, but as soon as you cross that stage and move that tassel, you tend to forget exactly how much “learning” goes on throughout your life outside of the classroom.

A friend and I started a “Work Water Cooler Club” because we both needed to be drinking way more water than we are. Afterall, we’re at very different stages in supporting nutrition for offspring, but both largely involve the need for hydration (pumping & gestating).  We set up alarms on our FitBits and set reward systems for drinking our water within that time period. We are HIGHLY motivated by grilled cheese, it turns out. But it wasn’t necessarily ingraining good habits, only the skill to chug 20-24 ounces worth of water in a very short period of time.

Then one day, I forgot my trusty 20 oz. stainless steel Contigo Fit water bottle. Not feeling motivated enough to trek around campus looking for the least-sugar-laden bottled drink (since our campus is 100% bottled water-free… ignoring the water coolers) that I could use for the day, I remembered about the company branded cup I won as part of a door prize at a meeting held earlier this spring. I have no idea how much it holds. I can fit a tall Starbucks cup inside it with room to spare, but I’ve been calling it 12 ounces, about 8 ounces smaller than I used to drinking. I was worried that it would mean I’d be 8 ounces short at every refill, leaving me more than a full water bottle short at the end of the day.

I shouldn’t have been worried. This single mistake ended up helping me. I’m paranoid that I will knock over my no-longer lidded drinking container, so I’m constantly looking to see where the cup is. And when I look at the cup, the thermochromic (the non-90s way of saying “Hypercolour”) cup lets me know exactly how much water is left. And those visual reminders work. I find myself refilling the cup between sanctioned times. We’re 90 minutes away from our next “water cooler check in” and I’m already 8 ounces ahead of where I need to be. And those times I’m away from my desk and don’t feel comfortable bringing an open cup with me? I notice myself reaching for something to drink.

Today, I brought in my travel mug and put it in my desk drawer. I filled it at lunch time before I headed out for a (Pokemon) walk. I didn’t finish it, though I don’t know how much is left, but it’ll be good to grab for the bus ride home. But for those 7 hours I’m sitting at my desk, the cheap, plastic “gimmick” cup is going to be my go to.

Categories: The new identity | 2 Comments

Between hope and fear

One in thirty three children are born with a birth defect (or so I read someone quoting an article what wasn’t actually linked, so #grainofsalt). This can range from webbed toes to microcephaly. Sometimes these are detected during prenatal care, while other are discovered after birth. That period of time when you find out something may be wrong and you find out what it actually is hangs between hope and fear. For us, that period of time was 9 days, less an hour.

Thankfully, Li’l One’s diagnosis was neither life threatening nor life long.  He (not that we know the sex of Li’l One but based on the fact this condition — along with another one that resolved itself — occurs more commonly in males than females, I’m defaulting to the masculine pronoun) has what those in the medical world refer to as: “bilateral congenital talipes equinovarus” and those of us who don’t want to have to google it to copy & paste it every time we write about it refer to as: “two clubfeet”.

Even more fortunate is the fact that we know that this condition runs in the family. Li’l One’s uncle had club feet, and Li’l One’s dad has some Achilles tendon issues, so while this condition can be a marker for something more serious, we can safely assume the issue ends at the feet. But still, to know that your child will be in casts for the first few months of his life, followed by boots attached to a bar for 24/7 for another few months, and having to keep wearing them at night until age 4, you feel a sinking feeling in your stomach.

I felt powerless for the 9 days, less an hour, that we knew something was wrong but not what it was. And now armed with about as much knowledge as one can have after a week of near-constant Googling, forum reading and Facebook group creeping, I don’t feel I have any more power. Even once we meet with my doctor, discuss it with our pediatrician, and be referred to a pediatric orthopaedic surgeon, we just have to wait. There is nothing that can be done until the baby is born.

Except grieve. As minimal as the concern is in the grand scheme of things, there are  things that I was looking forward to that may never happen.  This child will never wear footie pajamas. Babywearing — the one thing that I was counting on to maintain my sanity as I tried to snuggle a newborn while keeping up with a toddler — will be difficult, as best, and potentially not permitted. Even the few things I thought I already knew how to do, I’ll have to re-learn, like bathing a baby with casts on both legs, buying clothes that will fit (and permit easy diaper changes) over braces, and even, based on the research I’ve read, holding my own baby. We will have to willingly subject our child to discomfort and pain, continuous streams of doctors’ appointments, and medical devices all in the name of health and love.

Scott and I agreed that we were going to be as optimistic as possible facing these upcoming challenges. We were going to be thankful that our baby is healthy, and will be born into a happy, loving home. Whether it’s willful denial, bottling his emotions, or mental fortitude I just don’t have, Scott is doing a better job than me at staying positive. For me, I will be spending the next 19 weeks still hanging between hope and fear.

Categories: The new identity | 5 Comments

Currently: In July

Insert a cursory comment about the passage of time being fast, and summer being too short. There is no time for creativity and wit!

Toasting: five years of marriage to the same guy. There have been days where he’s been my best friend. There have been days where he’s been my roommate.  There have been days where he has been my teammate. But every day he has been my husband and that will never change.

Going: everywhere, it seems like! We spent last weekend away at my in-laws’ cabin. This coming weekend, we had an out-of-town wedding.  Two weekends after that, we’re day-tripping to a family gathering, with a gathering on the other side happening the following weekend (not out of town, but clear across the city). And then we start our vacation (which is thus-far unplanned, but may just turn into us hiding in the basement watching the olympics)

Smelling: rain. We’ve had pretty decent weather for the most part this summer, with most rain happening in the evening or overnight. Great for during the day, but not so great when your only time to mow the lawn is the evening!

Wearing: blasted maternity clothes. While I do love my new maternity skinnies more than anything else right now, I can’t stand belly panels and I’m so tired of constantly pulling up the few things I have that go under the bump.

Wishlisting: the few things we need for second baby. Nothing exciting since I’m fully in “we have too much crap!” mode, but things like new soothers, and more burp cloths. Admit it, my life is glamorous.

A big thank you for another month of Currently to our hosts, Anne and Jenna!

Categories: The new identity | 3 Comments

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