Archive for July, 2009

Confronting a pregnant woman’s worst enemy

I had a vision. I was ready, so ready, for the day I would be pregnant. Because I’d be happy about the baby, of course, but also because I couldn’t wait to eat whatever I wanted. Whenever I wanted. For 9 months. You see, Wally’s Bops (read: Grandpa) once said the truest thing I’d ever heard: “Love of food is one of the greatest gifts God gave us.” I heavily subscribe to that philosophy. Even not pregnant, I wake up thinking about what I will be eating for breakfast, lunch, and dinner that day. I remember—in detail—what I ate during each dinner of our wedding week last summer. And don’t even get me started on the best holiday ever invented known to man: Thanksgiving.

Then I got pregnant. My dream of guilt-free eating had finally arrived! And for the first 10 weeks or so, eating was very difficult, since every tasty delicatessen I’d loved and enjoyed just the week before transformed into a smelly, disgusting morsel of badness. Thankfully, that faded. And I loved food again.

I was told by the doc I should gain 30-35 pounds throughout the pregnancy. I got a quick start with 5 pounds in the first month after the nausea passed. Then, in my studying of everything baby, I read that a few pounds might be gained in the first trimester, but most of the weight should come on the second and third mesters. My measly five pounds was just a good head start, I thought. And I ate.

Then, for reasons unknown, I decided to weigh in weekly. I’ve never been a big “scale” person, since my weight has always hovered around the same number as long as I work out. Little did I know I had just made a weekly appointment with my arch enemy.

Every week, the numbers rise. Every week, it makes me cringe, just a little. As odd as it is, I know I should be gaining weight. I know I have a little baby that’s gone from a nugget of a thing to a rutabega, and he needs to eat also. But I just can’t switch that part of my brain off that says reaching a new scale decade is a little bit painful. (I think of Lord of the Rings, where Samwise and Frodo are about to leave the Shire, and Sam says, “If I take one more step, it will be the furthest away from home I’ve ever been.” I think that every time I step on the scale: If I gain one more pound, it will be the heaviest I’ve ever been. And as a side note, I’ve always thought it would be funny if Samwise had continued saying that the rest of their journey, every step, since it would have remained true to the pits of Mordor.)

I don’t know which was the hardest: when I passed up my brother-in-law’s current weight, or when I gained 3 pounds two weeks in a row. For a total of 6 pounds. In 2 weeks. Weightwatchers, help me!

I’ve gained 20 pounds to date. And the baby currently only weighs 2. That fact is very hard to stomach! Ah, but I do know, and will keep reminding myself, it’s okay. It’s healthy. It’s right. I’ll lose some (I hope) the day the baby’s born. And I have heard 9 months up, 9 months down. So a year from now, my original weight may be restored. In the meantime, on to Mordor!

P.S. No telling me I look great in the comments field. I know, I know, it’s good, it’s healthy, blah blah. Wally asked me if I swallowed a basketball the other day. When the jokes stop coming, I’ll know I’m in trouble! Comments field is for fat jokes only, please!


An unfortunate side effect of registering: confusion

Wally and I decided to try regisistering yesterday. We have 15 weeks and counting left to baby launch, and I’m starting to feel like we’d better start doing more to get ready! I thought registering would be another thing to check off the list, but it seems it’s done nothing but add more to the overwhelming feeling that we’re not quite ready! But Wally V is in there, saying, Ready or not, here I come!

We were very confused. They start you off with a list and a scanner gun. Wally manned the gun, and I had the list and pen. So far so good. A list helped me feel in control.

But the first section of the store was the infant care, feeding section. The wall of bottles of every brand, shape, size, form and feature was 1 mile long. A labyrinth. Wally stood with the gun and looked at me. I stood and looked at a few bottles trying to tell the difference. I felt like a 10 year old boy forced to pick up tampons for his older sister from the supermarket. With no instruction on the difference between pads and tampons; Tampax, Playtex, and Kotex; light days and super ultra. The boy is told, “tampons” as instructions. My list said, “bottles.” I could tell we were in for a long morning.

Wally could tell, too. Luckily, he hurried me along, instead of letting me overanalyze each choice. Sometimes, he hurried us to a fault. We got to the wall of baby tummy time gyms, and he was going to scan the closest one when there were 12 cute choices, some of which Wally V would love over others, if I could only ask him. So between my scrutiny over price and features, and Wally’s pushing me along, we got out of there in 3 hours.

The best moment, though, was when we were looking at diaper genies. I asked Wally if he thought the one that uses regular garbage bags would be better, or the actual Diaper Genie with it’s own bags. (Like he would know!) I actually found myself asking him a lot of questions. And if he didn’t know, I’d just ask him again, hoping between when he said, “I don’t know,” and I took a deep breath, he might have figured it out. A mom overheard us about the diaper bins and told me all the perks of the one she uses and loves. A no stress decision! Someone who knew what they were doing! I wanted to ask her to tag along with us the rest of the store and point out what was better or worse. Or at least to follow her the rest of her shopping trip and see what she got.

When we got home I spent hours online reading reviews and adjusting what we’d picked. A friend of mine was on Twitter and gave me her advice to get 4 Snugme blankets to burrito wrap little Wally up in and a Bumbo. Again, easy decisions!

So, if you’re a recent mom or dad, and have a second to comment about the thing, large or small, that you LOVE that you registered for, or that you registered for and didn’t ever use, let us know! You will make our day. And help me sleep better at night. Because seriously, I’m freaking out!

p.s. Oh, and I mostly have stuck to the basics, but look at this cutest thing ever in the entire world known to man that I found!!!! Wally V will be my little dino baby! As a shirt my sister found says, he’ll be a Cute-a-saurus!pTRU1-5562251reg

Kicking metaphors

Wally V has proven to be quite the kicker so far. We haven’t gotten on a regular kicking schedule yet, but we’re getting there. And if what my doctor says is true—that babies establish their sleeping patterns before birth—I am going to be up with the paper boy, birds, and my grandma and grandpa while the rest of you jamokes are in your peaceful slumbers. Wally V loves to wake up around 4 or 5. I’ll roll over, get comfortable, and without fail he starts his morning Tai Bo. It lasts about an hour, and these are big, arms in the air, balance on one leg, Karate Kid style whacks. Good morning!

People who haven’t been pregnant have asked me what the kicking feels like. So I’ve given it a lot of thought, since, “It feels like there’s a little guy in there and he’s kicking” doesn’t quite describe it.

So far, I’ve experienced kicks of 3 varieties:

  1. The little, 16 weeks along kicks. I’ve described before that at this point I’d been waiting. People had told me it feels like gas, so I never knew if what I was feeling was gas or my little guy. Until one day, out of the blue, I felt it. And knew. These three little feelings were kicks. These cute little tiny little movements felt like a muscle twitch. Like when you’ve just been for a long walk or run and your thighs start popping when you’re resting. Distinct, pops at the bottom of your belly.
  2. The medium, I’m-in-here-dude kicks. These feel like a 6 inch tall Gumby is hanging out in your belly. Between him and your belly button is a 3 inch foam pad made out of the stuff a Tempur-pedic mattress is made out of. Extremely durable. And he’s decided to have a little boxing workout on the foam pad. He punches it pretty hard, for Gumby, but because of the foam pad there’s no pain. It can be anywhere in the belly area, but usually this is in the same spot over and again, at least a few times.
  3. The hardest, I-mean-business kicks. These can come on their own, or they can be a grand finale to the medium kicks. These kicks are so hard, they are visible to the naked eye from miles away*. (*Untested theory. The furthest distance seen to date is across the couch. But still. They are huge.) They are so hard, they have been known to wake one deep-sleeping mommy up from a midnight slumber. These kicks feel like Gumby got bored with using the foam pad as a punching bag and instead decided to get out his catapult and launch unripe apples at it from a short distance away to see what happens. He’s quite the little warrior!

I love the kicks. I hate, though, when you want to feel the kick, so I let you know he’s started up, and he shies away as soon as your hand is there. I feel like the mom who’s kid has a great voice and sings to himself all the time, but when asked to perform for an audience he runs into the other room. I want to explain, he really can kick, I swear! But I know that you already know, so all we can do is sit, and wait, with your hand on my belly. And hope little Gumby starts up again.

Bringing Wally Back

I just looked up the top baby names of 2008. We’ve got Aiden, Jayden, Ethan, Jacob, Caden, Jackson, Noah, Jack, Logan, and Matthew coming in 1-10. Walter comes in at a whopping rank of 393.

Now, I know what you’re thinking. 393? That actually seems low for a name that sounds like a little old man’s. A name that all teeny bopper TV shows designate for the nerdy friend (think Stephanie’s thick-glasses-clad chubby classmate with his pants pulled up just a little too high). A name that was most popular in the late 1800s. In fact, check out this graph that shows the number of names per million babies over time. Seems like Walter was the Aiden of the 1880s.


I love the name Walter. The 2 Walter Ben Ottenhoffs I’ve met are stellar human beings. And based on knowing those two Wals, Small Wal could turn out any number of ways.

We’ve said before that it’s no wonder 4 is even, and 3 is odd. Walter Ottenhoff III is a huge goofball, with a very odd, very funny sense of humor. On Facebook, when we described it the even/odd way, Walter III commented, “Hold on a minute while I take these arrows out of my huge, muscly back.” He’s the one who comments on my blog, when I show my big growing belly, “Mollie, are you pregnant?” When he shows up at the annual trip to Silver Lake, the kids (and anyone without physical ailments or white hair) know to watch their step! He’s been known to push tuxedoed men off of docks into lakes. To enjoy his share of Rob and Big. To have sand fights with kids we don’t know at their family cottage. He is just a riot.

He also is one of the friendliest, most outgoing people I know. He chats it up with most strangers he meets. And he loves to read. Loves it!

Walter IV is so different. Probably because of his dad’s antics, he does not want to do anything to attract attention to himself. He has a great sense of humor, and appreciates his dad, but would never do anything to cause a ruckus! He’s always getting embarrassed by me.

Walter IV stands out as serious, level-headed, and thoughtful. He’s very other-oriented, funny and entertaining in moments, and he makes sure the people around him are taken care of. (This morning, when I woke up, he had left a note that said he was going out to get himself cereal and a breakfast treat for me. He brought me back donuts. Mmmm.) The kind of guy any girl would want to marry and spend the rest of their lives with. (At least I did!) Oh, and he does not read. We’ll forgive him that flaw. As long as he doesn’t pass it on to Wally V.

So you see, Wally V could turn out any number of ways, but I know he will be a great person. Both his Grandpa Wally and dad Wally are great men. Both fun to be around, full of love, and both give Wally a great name.

I’m here to tell you folks, we’re bringing Wally back. To date, four generations of Walters have been making their mark, slowly working their way to becoming “the” name. You just watch. In 2100 this graph is going to start inclining.

July 2009
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