dad from day one: How to Get Rid of Those Darned Leg Cramps during Pregnancy

Twenty-five weeks.

Just a few short weeks ago I published dad from day one: Leg Cramp Alarm Clock where I proclaimed,Ultimately, she’s pregnant and leg cramps are part of the deal.  They will probably be replaced by another annoying inconvenience.  And what will I do?  What can I do?”

But now, looking back, I think, “How could I have been so absent-minded to say that?”  In that moment, I must have forgotten my own belief system when it comes to curing ailments- that any kind of developed physical ailment is a symptom and a warning sign of something the human body is either lacking or has too much of.  I believe God gives us those clues to help us figure out how to become healthier, not simply to fix or mask the problem.

Just like the way I learned the hard way The Cure for Eczema (click title to find out how), my wife had to learn how to prevent/stop  having leg cramps.  And since she has made some slight changes, the cramps not only stopped, but haven’t came back once since then.  These leg cramps weren’t simply another annoying side effect of being pregnant- they were my wife’s body’s way of screaming out for at least four things in particular (because the baby is “taking them from her”): calcium (the baby’s bones are hardening), magnesium, water, and better blood circulation.

She has been faithful to take at least one calcium supplement and one magnesium supplement every morning and constantly drinks from a Voss water bottle (it’s just a cool botttle, since it’s made of glass instead of plastic- it’s not magic Norwegian healing water or anything) she refills several times a day from the fridge (she also drinks water any time she wakes up during the night).  And as much as possible, keeps her legs slightly elevated- she has a papasan rocker chair so her feet don’t touch the ground when we’re just hanging out at home; and often she rests her legs on a pillow when she sleeps.

So far, it’s done the trick.

The leg cramps have not snuck back yet.  And if they do, my first response will be: More water, more calcium, more magnesium, elevate your legs…

All pictures with the “JHP” logo were taken by Joe Hendricks Photography:

Blog- www.photojoeblog.com

Website- www.joehendricks.com


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Life is Underrated: Battling the Mindset of Debbie Downer

There is an alternative outlook on life which opposes the “just you wait…” mentality of so much of the general population.

“Your life will never be the same.  Get as much sleep as you can now, because that’s all about to change!” If only words could express how tired I am of hearing it and how unoriginal and not funny that line is.  But as long as people say that to me after learning my wife is pregnant, I will continue giving them courtesy laughs.  Yes, I get it.  I realize that my life is taking a different turn with my first kid on the way.  It’s not new information that having this baby will change my life.

I am 29 years old.  By this time next year, I’ll be 30.  I’m not 22.  Nor am I unaware that a baby needs constant care and attention.  Nor do I need to move to Norway to experience life abroad or smoke pot for a year while playing Super Mario Bros. 2 in somebody’s basement while eating Cheetos to reach perfect nirvana before throwing in the towel to become a responsible adult.

Evidently it’s quite difficult for a lot of people to grasp this concept, but I’m actually truly happy about my life changing.  It’s as if certain people are surprised by my positive outlook on not only my own life but also that I am a man who is excited about parenthood.  These people live by what I call a “just you wait…” mentality.  “Just you wait ‘til that baby’s waking you up in the middle of the night crying…”  “Just you wait ‘til he’s going through his Terrible Two’s…”  “Just you wait ‘til he starts school…”  “Just you wait ‘til he starts driving…”

Argh!  It turns me into a pirate at the thought of these annoying Debbie Downer lines forecasting a life of waiting until some other stage becomes worse than the last.  No.  No, I will not wait.  I will savor each stage of life for all its worth.  And I will enjoy it, just to spite those naysayers who want to make a tired joke out of the whole thing.

The baby will cry and poop and make messes and get into trouble.  And that’s okay.  I feel like I’m being left with no choice but to become an ambassador for parents who are proud and happy and optimistic about being a parent.  Of course that only provokes the opposite group of people to say, “just you wait…”  I know, I know.

And that’s how it works.  The just-you-waiters, in their minds, are helpful by always having advice for other people since life is full of progressing stages- advice that spoken with a tone of “you’re so naïve, if you only knew what’s ahead…”  I heard the same kind of “just you wait…” crap when I was engaged to be married to my wife,  from the same people trying to be funny about my approaching fatherhood.

Yesterday made exactly two years that my wife and I have been married.  No regrets whatsoever, despite a handful of just-you-waiters.  Couldn’t be better.  Couldn’t be happier.  Thank God for her.  I love being married to my wife.

All I can say is that I’m sorry that’s how they view life.  Life isn’t all sunshine and puppy dogs.  But it is enjoyable if you let it be.  If you’re enlightened enough to see that people are the meaning of life.  Marriage is good.  Having kids is good.  Friends are good.  Family is good.  If you can’t enjoy those things, what can you enjoy?

My worldview: Live life then give life.  And don’t whine about it.  Listen to a Jack Johnson CD if you need to.

 

An Untamed Lust to See the World

Visiting the Epcot Center at Walt Disney World back in 1990 must have really left an impression on me.  Because now I want to travel the world,  for real.

Yesterday as I was driving home from work, “Who’s Says” by John Mayer came on the radio, and while it’s been in my head ever since then, there’s a particular line that I keep dwelling on: “plan a trip to Japan”.

It opens up this can of worms for me, one that I try to keep out of mind and out of sight: The realization that I will never be able to travel and see the entire world, in all its beauty and mystique. 

To see the ancient and modern wonders of the world.  To meet the people who live in those countries.  To eat their food and drink their wine.  To publish a photo album on facebook from my travels to these places.

I have seen a few countries of the world: Ecuador in 1998, Trinidad and Tobago in 2002, Thailand in 2003 and 2004, Korea in 2004, and New Zealand in 2007.  But that only made me thirst for more.

Best case scenario: I would have to earn or win millions of dollars and retire early in order to be able to see all the parts of the world I want to.

Like Norway and Switzerland and Italy and Croatia.  So basically Europe. 

So since it would be disappointing to assume I’ll end up a millionaire and be able to travel the world in this lifetime, I should consider my next best option:

That when we get to Heaven, in the likeness of a glorified Epcot Center, there will be portal we can step into and instantly see any part of the world we want to. 

Even better, in any year.  Sweden 1983, here I come!

Paul Maley, whom I’ve never met and just happened to randomly find your website, I envy you and your 30 plus years of world travel…

Click below for enlightenment:

http://www.eclipsetours.com/ptravel.html

Manspeak, Volume 2: Heroism

Subconsciously I view handymen and auto mechanics as super heroes. Because the only thing I can build is a Lego house and the only vehicle I can fix is a Lego car. While I’m not a “slow learner”, I don’t learn new skills quickly. It takes daily practice for at least several weeks before I master something new. So to see a man who gets daily exposure to these expected masculine events, I can’t help but have admiration.

Any laugh track infused sitcom that features a typical “dad figure” has had at least once episode where there is a need for home repair and the man of the house rises to the occasion (against the advice of others in the household, namely the wife). Of course, the man botches the job for the comedy highlight of the episode: On Who’s the Boss, Tony “fixed” the toilet upstairs but smashed a hole in the floor which he fell into, causing only his butt to be visible from the living room ceiling by his family below. On Perfect Strangers, Larry “fixed” the shower but it caused the shower head to shoot water across to the other side of the bathroom and blasted Balki in the face, who decides to just stand there with his mouth open and drink the water instead of move out of the way. And as for Home Improvement, “man hilariously attempts home repairs” was the theme of every entire episode.

The fact that under-qualified men continue to try to fix things when they don’t really know how to, is a universal issue. Why? Because it is a man’s job to fix things. It is literally the way men were wired. A woman says to a man, “Our garbage disposal isn’t working right. I think we should call someone to come fix it.” The man hears this: “You’re a man, capable of figuring out how to fix this, but instead, I’m going to call another man to get the job done because he’s more qualified than you”. Shrinkage follows at just the thought of another man walking in the door with his tools.

A man walks around with this hidden fear that he will not be successful in life. In all ways big and small. If he can’t successfully make the evidently simple home repair, he fears he may be seen as insufficient, incapable, and useless. When he longs to be the hero. And hiring someone else to do the job makes him feel unnecessary. May seem a little over the top, but being a man, I recognize the tendency of thinking in terms in worst case scenarios about this stuff.

This also explains the all too familiar (yet somehow not cliché because it’s so true) story of the man who won’t stop to ask for directions. It’s a man’s job to explore and find his own way if he’s lost. A major sense of accomplishment if he can do it. And just for the record, he’s not lost. He’s either taking the scenic route or the short cut (depending on how much time is delayed).

One of my proudest accomplishments regarding home improvement was when I turned down an aggressive salesman who knocked on the door one sunny Saturday morning. If I signed a year-long contract right then since his company was already in the neighborhood, his company would regularly spray my house for bugs for the low, low yearly fee of $545. He inspired me to immediately drive to Lowe’s and purchase a 5 gallon sprayer for $11. Needless to say, I now consider myself a professional bug killer.

Last week as I was getting ready for bed I heard my wife scream loudly from the stairs. My initial thought is that someone broke into the house. I ran over to the stairs to find the intruder to be a wolf spider. A very large scary spider that appeared quite afraid to end up lost and confused at the top of the stairs. I took on the form of the 1984 no nonsense straight-faced Bill Murray, racing downstairs to transform the vacuum cleaner into a proton pack with which I sucked up the monster with great force, feeling the vibration of the thump as it was crushed to death by my weapon. I was a hero. An ego trip shortly followed.

All pictures with the “JHP” logo were taken by Joe Hendricks Photography:

Blog- www.photojoeblog.com

Website- www.joehendricks.com

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