New wawasinperu.com site!

Hello everyone! I am super excited to share that I have migrated from wordpress.com to my own domain which is:

Wawasinperu.com

 

The change will allow me to have more access to customizable plugins and challenge me to learn more about managing my own domain. I am excited and I hope you will continue to follow me at the new site. There is a email subscription option on the side bar and wordpress.com users should also have the option of following. I am still learning about other following options so there may be more options in the future.

If you use another blogroll reader such as bloglovin.com you can find the blog and follow it here. Make sure to click on the one with followers because it is the .com site.

Thanks for following and let the adventures continue!

Pregnancy Update: Week 32

This week included me becoming slower in moving around and feeling the swell in my feet at the end of the day. Thank goodness for foot massage exchanges with hubby.

week 32

Comment/Event of the week: I had a 4D sonogram done on Monday and the results of the regular sonogram were fantastic. Leah is measuring two weeks larger than she is and she is physically perfect. She is healthy and in position with her head down. It made it somewhat difficult to take the pictures for the 4D but we will see what the results show. She has super big cheeks which doesn’t surprise me because I had huge cheeks too. At this rate she could easily come at the end of November or beginning of December. I have a feeling she will not be born on her expected due date (December 18th).

Sleep: I have this great long pillow in the form of a Dachshund (wiener dog) from Casa & Ideas that my husband bought for me a while back and he is really being put to good use now as a knee, belly, and head pillow. Gravity is being felt in full force with every movement I make at night. Bathroom trips happen between 2 and 5 times a night. Just getting the body ready to be woken up at all hours right?

Cravings: I am drinking a lot of milk. I wouldn’t say it is too much but I can always go for a glass of milk or milk with my oatmeal/coffee/vitamin mix in the morning. (Don’t worry, they are aren’t all mixed together!) I am relishing it because I know that you aren’t supposed to drink or eat lots of dairy when breast-feeding because sit interferes with human breast milk. I was given the recommendation of drinking cacao skin tea with a bit of coconut water mixed in during lactation. That sounds delicious to me!

Pre-natal class: This week was really fantastic in class. We were separated from the men and discussed our concerns about how our relationships will change after baby comes along. It was really nice to talk about it because the focus of the pre-natal classes is all about the relationship with the baby but the relationship between the partners is super important too. Some of the women expressed concerns with sex and how there won’t be as much of it after baby comes and while that might be true, I don’t think it is something that can’t be discussed and communicated to the partner. Everyone agreed that the continued success of any relationship is being communicative with one another. Most people can’t read each other’s minds so if we don’t talk we quickly lose a productive relationship. My husband told me that the men expressed their frustrations with their partners and how they have been difficult to deal with etc. and his response was that we decided that we are going to be happy and enjoy everything as much as possible even if it isn’t super fun. I love my husband. What a great attitude. It’s true though. We don’t expect things to be easy all the time but we keep gratitude with us all the time so whatever the situation we are able to come out positively. I feel like that will keep us from letting the frustrations of raising kids get to us.

Reading: This book has nothing to do with child-rearing but it is super interesting. It is called God and the New Physics by Paul Davies. It addresses all the metaphysical questions we have about life and tries to take a physics stance on questions that are often answered by theologians. It was written in 1983 but remains prevalent today.

Nesting: I don’t know if you noticed the pack n play covered by a sheet in the background of the belly photo but we are ready to go with our crib in our room.

 BabyFruit Ticker

Pregnancy Update: Week 31

Today I am putting up a little bit different photo to show my progress. My husband and I went to a wedding this past weekend and we had a blast. We danced up a storm and there was a waitress who could not wipe the huge smile from her face while watching us. It was great. I found a cute dress in Miraflores from a dress store across the street from Kennedy Park (next to Ripley) for under $100 which isn’t bad especially because I will be able to use the dress again when I am not pregnant. Thank goodness for nice flowing dresses.

week 31

Cravings: Meat. Specifically red meat. I have no reason why but maybe I am craving the iron or protein. I had a delicious hamburger the other day and I cannot get enough of lomo saltado (a stir fry dish with fries, onions, tomatoes and red meat strips).

Reading: I was just sent this article from a friend about dreams. I have had my fair share of dreams but they are pretty much just dreams that make no sense. I don’t give a lot of thought to my dreams because who knows what they really mean. Fortunately, I have not had nightmares or anything related to not being able to get to my baby or there being imminent danger. I did have a few dreams about my baby being a girl with curly hair though. 🙂

Pre-Natal Class: This week we had a good discussion about what contractions will feel like and how we will know if labor has started. I am positive that I have experienced braxton-hicks contractions because occasionally the bottom part of my uterus will tighten but it doesn’t last long and it’s not unbearable. I usually take it as a sign that I need to drink more water and I do. We did physical exercises and we did my favorite which is the middle school slow dance moving my hips in circles. I know that one is going to be clutch when labor comes along. My husband also met Sarah this week. She is headed to England to visit her son but she will be back in November so we will set up a time to have a more extensive chat with her.

Nesting: I met up with my wonderful girlfriend E this week since she was in Lima visiting from Cusco and getting errands done. She just had a baby boy this past July. We had a wonderful time catching up and bonding. There is nothing like having a girlfriend who knows exactly what I have gone through in terms of adjusting to life in Peru and coming to grips with things. We are both expats married to Peruvians and we will both soon have little bitties that we will be able to commiserate over. She and her husband gave us a set of three long-sleeved onesies with footy pants and I gave her a cute boys top and a pacifier. It was super nice. The clothes will be going in a dresser soon. We have yet to get one for the room but it is high on the priority list since we are gathering clothes and it is all in bags right now.

Comment/Event of the week: We went to get our licenses this week on Wednesday and while we were there the proctor of the theoretical exam was super chatty and at one point stuck his hand out and patted my tummy. It caught me off guard but afterward I asked my friend if she thought that was weird. She thought it was totally weird. He was nice and friendly and I definitely did not get a bad/harmful vibe from him but seriously dude, I don’t know you. I had read various people’s posts about this kind of thing happening but I had yet to experience it myself. I have no problem if you want to feel my tummy because it is pretty freaking cool that a little baby is swimming around in there but don’t just reach out and touch. I found the situation more amusing than anything.

Pregnancy Update: Week 30

Note: Oops! I am still a week behind. I have to get up to speed. This entry pertains to the week of the 2nd through the 10th of October. 

week 30

I had an excellent week. I think it had a lot to do with having a very easy week at school. On Monday we got to dress down and I wore the most comfortable maternity jeans. We had Olympics with the girls and enjoyed lots of games. On Tuesday we headed to El Arriero in Pachacamac. It is an interactive petting zoo and it was great. The students had a blast and we were able to pet and feed lots of animals. I will most likely put up posts about things to do in Lima shortly and start a list so people can find it on here when they search. I feel like there is a thread that goes around every month of so with someone new asking about what to do with kids in Lima. I am sure I will be on that much more when I need to find some good weekend activities.

Cravings: I have really been enjoying the breads lately and I know that white flours don’t do much for me other than pack on the pounds a bit. I have a delicious multi-cereal bread that I like though but sometimes it is really hard to pass up freshly baked bread that comes from Deli-Bakery. Something I really love about Peru is how bread is brought to your door on a daily basis. There is a specific horn that is blown to let people know that the bread guy is nearby. It’s awesome. 5 pieces of ciabatta bread for less than a dollar. Can’t beat that!

Currently Reading: Still working on The Doula Book but it has me convinced already that I want one during the birth.

Mental State: Super excited and relaxed because this week I have vacation from work and I have lots of things that I will be able to get done that have to get done before baby comes.

Pre-Natal Class: We didn’t go to class this week because my husband was busy with work but I did have my monthly control with Margot, my obstetrician. It all went really well and the baby was in position with her head down. Granted, she still has some more time before she won’t be able to flip herself around anymore but it is a good sign that she is getting ready for her grand entrance. I gained 2 kilos since last month but it’s all good because I am still in the average range of weight gain. I started at 79 kilos (160 lbs or so) and I am up to 87 kilos (174 lbs). I have only gained 8 kilos (16 lbs) so far and I have a feeling it will probably be around 12-13 kilos in total if I stay on track. My midwife told me that a woman should really only gain around 9 kilos (18 lbs). I am sorry, but that seems more on the light side. I have read that the average woman gains between 25 to 30 lbs (12-14 kilos) during pregnancy. I am down with that.

I also met a wonderful woman named Sarah Windle who is a certified midwife and obstetrician from the UK but studied in Australia. She offers her services as a doula. Perfect right? She accompanied me in my appointment and she took my blood pressure and found the baby’s heartbeat immediately with the doppler. Last time it took a good 5 minutes to find her heartbeat. I am so impressed with Margot and Sarah’s ability to determine what position the baby is in by feeling and massaging my belly. It’s so cool. I try and do it myself but I honestly can’t tell when she is head up or head down. All I know if that I feel kicks and punches all over the place. Anyway, I think I am going to request Sarah’s services. She said she is available for the predicted birth date and she will be a great support to have around. She gives off a great vibe.

Nesting: I am super lucky to get to hang out with a 3-year-old girl who is the daughter of a French woman and a Peruvian man. We speak English and play together. Since mom has two girls she has lots of newborn to 18 month clothes for girls. She offered doing an exchange. In exchange for my hour of playtime in English with her daughter she is giving me some clothing. This is fantastic! We will be set for at least the first year when it comes to clothing, especially since my mom is also bringing a lot of clothes from the States.

Pregnancy Update: Week 29

Note: Sorry this is a week late. I have had no internet at home for the past week so things have gotten a bit behind. 

This week has been nice and busy and I am feeling good, other than having sneezed half the day away. I have had bouts of what seems like allergies throughout this pregnancy and I have no idea if it is because I may be somewhat allergic to being pregnant or the weekends have more dust in them. Oh well. A tissue is always a grab away.

week 29

Cravings: I am enjoying a bit more salt on things but other than that I am managing well. I have yet to eat ice cream since returning from our vacation in August. Go me!

Reading: The Doula Book

Nesting: We bought three packs of Pampers diapers today. Part of me wants to go the ecological route and use the cloth diapers and another (wasteful) part of me doesn’t want to deal with the washings. At most I would be able to use them until the three-month mark when baby goes to the nursery. We took advantage of the sale at Metro today though. We saved 45 soles in buying three packs of 54-70 diapers. I figure, it won’t hurt as much psychologically if we buy diapers little by little over the next few months. That way we will be more than ready when the baby gets here.

New Discovery: I bought these adorable children’s hangers at Plaza Vea this week. I figure we could use these until the kids are at least 6 or 7 years old when their clothes finally get to big for the hangers. I also saw this awesome pin on pinterest about separating the clothing by size with hangers. We will see if I can stay that organized. I also bought a tie hanger for my husband and a strap that goes on the back of a door to hang bags, purses, and hats. I am on an organization kick right now if you didn’t notice.

Pre-Natal Class: Check out the previous post to see what this past week’s pre-natal class consisted of. I am happy to say that we did some physical partner activity this week. Slow dancing is a great technique to loosen up the hips and lower back. Who knew?

Mental State: Relaxed. Vacation is coming up and this week is super easy in terms of work so I am super happy. I get to wear street clothes to work tomorrow to! Time to bust out the one pair of maternity jeans I bought on vacation!

Comment of the week: “Estas enorme!” (aka “You’re huge!”) Haha! Thanks! I know. I am only going to get bigger too. I have to take it in stride because I know no one is saying it to make me feel bad. They tend to be just as excited if not more so about the growth. I am embracing it!

 BabyFruit Ticker

Teaching Kids Honesty

Honesty is such an important value and I stumbled across a blog entry today from Kids Activities Blog about teaching your child honesty. It made me think about how honesty is valued here in Peru. I have found that people here would rather save face and not show up to something and then give an excuse instead of being honest. This has happened to me multiple times with parents who go as far as to set up a meeting with me about violin lessons and then don´t show without as much as a phone call. When I do finally get in touch with the person, I get excuse after excuse. I would be a much happier person if you just told me that you don´t think lessons are a possibility right now for whatever reason.

This, of course, does not mean that all Peruvians are excuse makers and liars but there is a tendency to give excuses and I experienced more of it when I lived in Cusco. Often, there was a whiney voice to go along with it. I understand if something happens that wasn´t expected but you can tell me in a normal voice. Upping the pitch of your voice does not make me empathize more with you. I respect when someone tells me the truth and I keep that in mind for future reference. I do not hold grudges but I will be much happier to work with someone who takes responsibility and tries his or her best. I only hope to pass this value along to my children and this excellent post has provided some first clues as to how to go about doing it.

Unsolicited Comments and Advice

Photo/Cartoon courtesy of www.newbiemom.com

I would really like to address a topic that seems to be a recurring theme on mommy blogs and articles about pregnancy. It has to do with unsolicited advice and judgement when it comes to a mother’s choice about how and where she wants to give birth.

At our pre-natal class this week, the subject of being overwhelmed by negative comments and advice from friends and family members came up and really resonated with most of the women. I, however, have not had to deal with any of the unwanted advice or concern from others about my decision to have a natural birth. I think it has to do with two things.

1. I don’t have close Peruvian family members. As soon as one of the women talked about the meeting of the tia madres (aunt mothers) everyone gave a little laugh and rolled their eyes as if they knew exactly what was coming. I think it is normal that family members want to chime in with their advice and experience when it comes to having children. That is totally fine but there comes a point when it gets overwhelming and a bit too much. I can definitely understand where this woman was coming from when she started to tear up. It was really nice that they threw a shower for me but there was a point I couldn’t take it anymore, she said. I have seen how aggressive Peruvian mothers can be when it comes to letting people know how things should be done. Even with the idea of the suegra or mother-in-law who can’t seem to be quiet when it comes to her son or daughter’s life and meddles in everything. I am lucky to have a mother in law who is very relaxed and gives advice when asked. I really like her.

My American family has been super supportive. My mother, of course, wants to know that I have a back-up plan should there be complications but I have never received anything but positive reinforcement from her and everyone else. I think people assume that I am doing what is best for me and my family. That may also be an American concept. (I have a feeling that there are plenty of American families with meddling members who have to have a say about everything including one’s pregnancy.) That brings me to my next point.

2. I am very sure of what I want to do when it comes to my pregnancy. A lot of the women say that they have received negative or less than encouraging words when they explain that they plan on giving birth at a birthing center and not at a clinic. One woman said she was made fun of for it. I think that having lots of intense personalities in her family and not being super sure of everything herself, the woman who originally expressed her frustration might have been taken under by all the well-intentioned but maybe a little too aggressive commentary from her family members.

I personally, have received nothing but honest interest in my decision. “What’s a water birth? What is a birthing center? What will you do if there is a complication?” many of them ask. I am happy to explain and diffuse the information so that maybe more women can feel like they have more than one option when it comes to giving birth. I have done research and I am confident so I am not taken advantage of. If people are against the decision, I have yet to hear them go too deep into the topic with me.

Here is my pregnancy decision (supported in full by my husband):

I want to have a natural birth and possibly give birth in water if I find it comfortable. If not, I want to have the freedom to move around and listen to my body as it prepares to release a new being into the world. I can stand, I can squat, I can get on all fours. There is not being strapped to a bed for me unless it ends up being the most comfortable position (although very highly unlikely if you think about how gravity works).

I am going to give birth at a birthing center instead of a clinic. It is a house. There is no emergency on-call equipment but there is a clinic and a hospital within 15 minutes of the center.

I want to have complete trust in my doctor and I know that she will respect my wishes and only suggest things that she really thinks are in my best interest, not because she could make money from it or make the birthing process happen within her schedule like many doctors at clinics do here.

I want to trust my body and be in an environment that is comfortable. Maybe there will be some music. I can listen to my baby and my body and go into the zone as they say pain and all!

On a final note, when it comes to advice, it important to remember not to take offense because most people are well-meaning when they offer their advice. I always listen to people’s stories and I also remind myself that everyone is different and everyone’s experiences are different. I refuse to let fear be a part of my pregnancy.

So a quick side note, Even though this doesn’t have to do with getting unsolicited advice I have noticed myself getting a little defensive when people make the comment that I am so big. I want to just say “duuuhhhh” but I know they are just excited and I am too, so instead I say “yup!” and carry on.

Happy Thursday everyone!

My adventures in raising kids in Peru