Sunday, December 26, 2010

Forever December

I have always wanted to be a “crafty” person. In elementary school I watched in envy as the other kids created masterpieces in art class while my projects always seemed to look like a catastrophic collision of glue, popsicle sticks and construction paper. Throughout my life I’ve made attempts at being crafty. In high school I went through a very exciting modge podge phase where anything and everything I touched was modge podged with magazine clippings- you name it- picture frames, frappucino bottles, plastic cups, even a Zio’s bread server. It was a very cool hobby. More recently I have tried other projects that are somewhat hit and miss, but none the less, I would call myself a very uncrafty person.
I have always made the excuse that I’m not crafty because I just don’t have time. I have always worked full time and don’t have time to devote to creating magical items with my own two hands. That’s been my same excuse for housework. I’d love to care about dusting, cleaning my baseboards and scrubbing my oven, but I just don’t have time. That’s at least what I tell myself and my husband. And for the most part, we don’t really care that much. In my darkest hours of self doubt, that's what I was scared being a mother would be- something I would like to be good at, but that I'm not. Whether it's because I just don't have the time or I'm just not a natural at it. Early last year, I started a little experiment to see if that was the case...

For the past 9 weeks, I have been able to stay at home, thanks to a federally mandated regulation called the Family and Medical Leave Act. My husband and I brought home our handsome prince of a baby and Boom! the world changed forever. The first 4 weeks I just tried to keep my head above water. There were days that I wondered if there was a world outside the corners of my house and sunshine seemed to be something only seen in pictures. After a few weeks though, this new life started to seem more manageable and I started to realize that I can leave my house, take my baby, wear makeup, and all of those things that I wondered if I would ever do again. With the weird awkwardness of being a brand new mom mostly behind me, I entered the month of December and...ah, bliss.
I will say with unabashed, anti-feminist, sap-dripping honesty that I have loved every moment of being home with my two gentlemen over the month of December. I always thought that I would get bored if I were to stay home. How can you find enough to do with a 2-month old? I mean, all they do it eat, sleep and poop, right?! No one could ever have told me how head over heels in love I would be with this new little man in my life. No one could have ever told me how much my heart would melt when he smiles when he looks at my face or how much pride I would feel over hearing him say "nnn ga" (I'm not kidding- he really says it).
With the new year comes an end to this honeymoon and the "back to reality" moment I have been dreading since I saw the plus sign on a pregnancy test. I will always look back on this month as being the woman that I never thought I would be..but loving it.
I tried my hand this month and making my own Christmas gifts. I mean, how can you mess up giving a family member pictures of your newborn? Apparently I can. So I found that the factor that makes me uncrafty isn't not having the time to do it-it's just apparently that I'm not talented. But I hope that being a mom will stick. I hope that I will always love laying in the floor playing with my baby, memorizing where all of his little fat rolls are and racing my husband to see who gets to wake our baby up first in the morning. These are the precious moments that I have loved in the month of December and the things that I feel like I will lose in just a few short weeks. The months ahead will be filled with bittersweetness- getting to watch my little boy get bigger and smarter and even more handsome, but knowing that I will have to miss many precious moments of his life while I'm doing something far less important- like ensuring compliance with state and federal labor laws and investigating sexual harassment complaints. Nice.
Even though my days may be cut short, God has given me the gift of being the constant in my little boy's life. So as the days of December fall off the calendar, this month turns from something ahead to a memory that I will treasure with everything I have. I didn't know that being home with "mom" and "wife" as my only titles could ever make me feel so accomplished. December, 2010: the most meaningful month of my life.

Sunday, December 5, 2010

Just trust your instincts...

I realize that I promised to blog about the making of my other two Thanksgiving dishes. Well, clearly that didn't happen. So sorry- I made the food, people ate it, blah blah blah. Really not that interesting. All I will say is that potatos au gratin should not be cut the night before and then made the next day- bad move. We'll just say that it made potatos au gratin look like potatos au black. Not apetizing. Enough said on that.

I realized through that cute little project that I am not made for commenting on cooking. My writing style is meant more for meaningless banter, narcissistic revelations and useless sarcasm. I shant detour again.

Today I would like to explore the cliche that is "just trust your instincts." Never is this phrase heard more than with the process of birthing and raising a child. No matter what the topic, the inevitable "end all, be all" answer that the expert seems to resort to is "but just trust your instincts." Here's how it goes:

Question: When will I know that I'm in labor?
Answer: Just trust your instincts

Question: When should I go to the hospital when I'm in labor?
Answer: Just trust your instincts

Question: How will I know if my baby has eaten enough?
Answer: Just trust your instincts

Question: How will I know if it's okay to let my 1-month old cry or if I should go comfort him?
Answer: Just trust your instincts

While this answer might be very helpful for the majority of the people out there, my instincts seem to be broken. Not just when it comes to child rearing, but pretty much any other decision I've ever been faced with...but for the time being, I'm pretty caught up in the whole child-rearing situation. Furthermore, I think that the "experts" say this to be empowering- like a whole "you're the mom, you'll make the right choice" type of thing...but for me, knowing that the ultimate choice of what to do in situation is up to me is just a tad bit terrifying. I'm the mom equals there's no one else here more qualified to make a better decision. Eeks.

For example, my instincts would tell me not to put my child in a straight jacket to sleep...however every night, we "swaddle" our baby boy..and without it, he inevitably wakes himself up. I mean, the swaddle is even Biblical (Luke 2:12). My instincts would also tell me that if I want my child to sleep at night, I should keep him awake in the evening. Oh contrare. Apparently sleep begats sleep, so if your child gets "over tired" he will not sleep well. Hmph. My instincts also told me that when I went to the hospital in labor that I was going to have my baby within 6 hours...and then I found out I was dilated to a 2 and endured a 19 hour labor! So, the instincts..they are no good.

Maybe I need, like an instinct "tune-up" or something. I'd really like to be a "natural" at all of this. I'd really like to know the innate answer to all of the hard questions, but I have a feeling that if I don't have it now, I'm never going to. And from what I hear, the questions only get harder: Should we let our child have a cell phone? Is our child making good friends? Are we disciplining our child the right way? You can look in all the books, but all of the general examples in the world don't seem to give me the concrete answer that I need. And whatever the answer is that I picked, there always seems to be a secret "door number 3" that I should have picked.

The other night after a series of quandaries, all of which I seemed to have the wrong answer to, I asked my husband "How do the idiots do it?" I guess it makes me hopeful that not every decision is life changing...that maybe that if I accidentally hold my baby too long, or not swaddle him tight enough or don't feed him long enought that just maybe I won't ruin him for life.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Julie, Julia and Me- Part 2

Messes was right. Today was a day of messes. Ay yay yay.

I have never prided myself in being a great cook. I am an okay cook and I can make a few things really well, but as far as being known as a good cook is not really a way that someone would describe me. I would describe myself as a haphazard cook. I make messes. I don't clean up as I go along. I get easily frustrated. So I guess you could say that my cooking life matches my personality :).

However today I proved to myself not that I can cook, but that I can be in control of my emotions...for the first time in a very long time. I have LOVED that I have had the excuse of either being pregnant or having new mom hormones to excuse my emotional outbursts and overall weirdness, but the truth is, more of it has to do with me just being me then the fact that there may or may not be hormonal imbalances going on. Since my son was born, I have found that I am less and less able to keep my composure- thus resulting in public embarrassement of myself from yelling at people who didn't see me coming. It's probably a good thing that today I didn't leave my house whatsoever.

I did start with my first of three items to make for Thanksgiving. The Chocolate Cake Roll which is basically a giant Little Debbie swiss cake roll. The picture looks so pretty and perfect and chocolatey. Well screw the dang picture because that's not what mine looks like.

To make the "roll" portion of this dessert, you have to place the baked cake onto a towell, role it up and let it cool. On my FIRST attempt to place the baked cake onto the towell, I missed the towell and the entire thing landed and broke on my stove top. Nice. The normal me- pregnant or not- would have done something awesome like throw the pan on the ground (which was not an option as I had a sleeping child about 15 feet from where I was) or cry while I put the entire cake down the disposal. For some reason I had the composure to take things in stride and very calmly see if I could correct the broken cake...which I could not. I carefully put the broken cake in the trash and started to make another one.

One would think that the lovely moral to this story would be that as a tribute to my calmness and collectedness that the second cake turned out lovely. That's not the story of my life. It never has been and it wasn't today. I made my second Chocolate Cake Roll attempt and happily made it a few steps further than I did with my first one- however as I unrolled the roll to put in it's filling, the entire cake fell into five peices. The story of my life.

Other messes that occurred today- the new "usual" being spit up on, being pooped on..and my new favorite...being pee'd on mid-diaper change. And who says being a mother isn't glamorous.

So as item one of my three Thanksgiving items comes to a close, I can only thank God that I was able to keep in control of my emotions a little more than usual...and hope that my next two items are a little more successful. And I also vow that I will never make any other food item that has the word "roll" in the title. Oy.

Friday, November 19, 2010

Julie, Julia and Me- Part 1

My favorite movie of almost all time is Julie and Julia. For those of you who haven't seen it, you probably won't like it. I don't think that it got great reviews and everyone that I've ever talked to about it said that it was slow and anticlimactic. I can see all of those points, which some might say is a betrayal to say about ones favorite movie. It really is an odd choice for me as I usually like very whimsical movies- like White Christmas- or very suspenseful, thriller type movies. The reason that I think that I have fallen in love with Julie and Julia is that I feel like I am watching myself on on the silver screen- the Julie parts- not the Julia parts.

The movie of Julie and Julia-for those of you who haven't seen it- follows Julia Child and Julie Powell as they find themselves in their passions for life- cooking and writing. Julia was a stay at home wife who loved cooking and wanted to learn to master French cooking and write her own cookbook. Julie was a 29-year-old, never-finished-anything-she-started, aspiring writer who felt that life was passing her by. Julie decided to give herself a project which was to cook her way through Julia Child's French cookbook and blog about it. During the process, her blog aquired many followers, she became a "writer" and eventually wrote a book about the experience...and here we are talking about her today because of the experience.

Some say the movie is a love story about food. While there are some beautiful looking meals in the movies and some things that I wouldn't mind eating myself, I missed the whole food love story. To me, it was a movie about pursuing your passion and finding a sense of accomplishment in it.

I have lots of similarities with Julie- first and foremost being that I am a spaz. Completely. I am one of the most emotionally volatile people that I know- as evidenced by the many people that I have yelled at since my baby was born because they either weren't doing their jobs fast enough, weren't aware that I was a mommy to a 2-week old, or told me that I still looked pregnant. Nice. There is a scene in Julie and Julia in which Julie is stuffing a chicken, it falls on the floor and she has the emotional meltdown of a 2-year-old laying flat on her back on the floor crying about how she can't do anything right. Now, I have never stuffed a chicken, but I have done all of those other thing. The second similarity that I have with Julie is that she has an uber supportive husband, that (most of the time) instead of being annoyed by Julie's lack of self control, he finds it endearing and loves her through it. The third similarity is Julie's love of writing; however I've never remained committed enough to the idea or art of it to actually do anything worth merit.

So in honor of my favorite movie, I am going to pay tribute through the Julie, Julia and Jorda project. My son was born 4 weeks ago tomorrow and I have yet to cook since his birth. In my romanticizing of what a maternity leave would look like before he was born, I vowed that I was going to be Suzie HomeMaker- complete with making heaping dishes that I have never made before and bringing culinary masterpieces to Thanksgiving and Christmas. As Thanksgiving approaches and my baby still doesn't go down for his regularly scheduled naps, I am skeptical; however I will TRY.

So I will cook and blog about the making of my three Thanksgiving masterpieces: Potatoes and Mushroom Au Gratin, Stuffing and Spinach ball, and a Chocolate Swirl cake- all dishes that I have never made before. Stay tuned and we will see what messes I can make.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Today on Regis and Kelly...

I am into my fourth week of being on maternity leave. It has been completely fabulous and I words can't even describe how much I love spending time with my little boy. I have never stayed home in my life except for two weeks when I was unemployed. I got my first job when I was 16 and have worked ever since unless I was on a mission trip- I am not even joking. So being home is a weird, but wonderful feeling. Too bad it can't last forever...

I will say the one DOWNSIDE to being at home is day time television. FOR REAL. I am terribly unimpressed with what is offered as well as what is covered. As previously stated, we do not have cable television in our home. It wasn't until about two months ago that this family even had the internet, so we aren't going any where (technologically speaking) fast. Now, I love a good "Today show"- in fact that used to be my life's ambition- to be the next "Katie Couric" back in her Today show days. But the rest of it is just depressing. Here are a few thoughts on how non-exciting day time television is:

• America's Funniest Home Videos- This show is on ALL THE TIME. And while you think that seeing someone get hit on the crotch while trying to break a pinata will never get old- it actually will. Why is this show on at all hours of the day? And why are all of the videos from the 90's? Probably because everyone is posting their videos now to YouTube, so I am seeing an economic breakdown where home movies are concerned. Hopefully the YouTube generation will shut this show down. I really just can't take it any more.

• There are 100,000 Dr shows on day time television. It's a wonder that people that are able to stay at home all day aren't hypochondriacs. Between Dr. Oz, the Doctor's and all of the herbal supplement informercials, I have discovered that I can use alcaseltzer as a remedy for canker sores, I will probably die of heart disease becuase I have a stressful job, my bra doesn't fit me correctly and if I don't take my entire antibiotic as prescribed, my liver might explode..or something like that.

• What the heck are we paying loads of money for? I saw a news story on a chimpanzee at a zoo that was addicted to cigarettes. Well, apparently the story doesn't stop there. Someone out there felt the need to send that chimp to REHAB! Yes, somewhere out there, someone has the superfluous dollars to send a monkey to a rehabilitation center. Why that generous donor can't write me a big fat check so that I can stay at home with my little boy is beyond me. Clearly, helping a primate kick the habit of tobacco is a far loftier charity. Come on, people. There are hungry people in our own backyards, there are children that are dying of child abuse because we don't have the resources to take them out of their homes, the rent in New York is to dang high and yet we are paying for MONKEYS TO GO TO REHAB. Do I need to say it one more time? Spare me- my heart rate is getting higher, which Dr. Oz would tell you will kill me in time..and stress is bad for weightloss.

• Do we need any more gameshows in America? And where are they getting all of these studio audience people? I have never heard someone tell me that they are going on vacation and they get to sit in the audience to watch a taping of "Let's Make a Deal." I don't even think I would go if someone offered me free tickets. I think my favorite was watching a Muslim family wearing burka's compete on "Family Feud". Now I'm all about diversity...and there is nothing wrong with wearing a burka if you so choose; however it just seems like a complete paradox to be on a game show listing off jobs in which men can go shirtless and still be wearing a burka. Odd combination...but whatever.

• How does one get to be labled an "expert" in America? I want to be one. I could tell you the same things these "experts" are telling people and probably save you a ton of money on the research end of it. Here is an example- "Experts say that men and women really ARE different." or "Experts say that kids who text more than 200 times a day are more likely to be involved in activities there parents don't know about." WHAT? Why did we need to do a study on this? I could have told you that. It's called boundaries people!! Set them. Ay yay yay. Again, with the heart rate. Maybe this falls under the chimps with smoking habits category, but do we really need to so studies on things that are just common sense? And what does it pay to be an expert anyways? Are there are any part time expert jobs available out there? I think I would make a darn good expert.

Don't even get me started on all of the courtroom television shows. I haven't let myself watch even one becuase I think I would become too depressed. Maybe an "expert" should do a study on how smart it is to let your unemployed boyfriend come live with you and borrow your money to "fix his car." 9 out of 10 experts agree that he will probably use your car money to buy presents for the girl that he's cheating on you with, move out, take your furniture and leave a stain on the carpet... and you will wind up on Judge Judy trying to get back your security deposit. Classy stuff, folks.

Therefore I am opting to shut off the day time television and watch old episodes of "I love Lucy." Much more realistic than the society that we live in today...

Wednesday, November 10, 2010


Today my thoughts are random and varied...probably because I am a new mommy and sleep is low on my list of items of things I get to do lately. Really everything is low on my list of things that I get to do besides feed the cutest baby in the world. I added it up yesterday- each feeding takes around one hour and he has about eight feedings per day...which means, I have a full time job JUST feeding this kid. Now if this job paid as much as my other (less important) full time job, then we would be in business...but this one compensates only in love and poopy diapers.

The most profound thought in my mind today is the fact that I am officially boycotting BabiesRUS. That's right. I know it should be a staple in my life for the next 6-12 months; however I have decided that Babies R Us is the devil. Particularly the Store Manager, Steve, at the 71st and Memorial store in Tulsa, Oklahoma. Oh yeah, I'm naming names. Don't mess with hormonal mommies. Here is the story behind this revelation:
You would THINK that if you are going to place your livelihood in managing a store that is targeted at providing goods and services for new and expectant mothers, you would exhibit some type of new mother couth. Maybe they have classes like this for men-I'm not sure, but you would think that Babies R Us in particular might have some type of sensivity training for how to treat new mothers...because as we all know- hell hath no fury like a hormonal pregnant woman and even LESS fury like a hormonal new mother that has been sleep deprived. I have always been underimpressed with the cleanliness of BabiesRUs and their poor customer service- why would I ask a 16-year-old how to pick the most safety efficient stroller for the health and wellbeing of my baby? And that's if you can find the 16-year-old that works there. They all happen to be on break when I'm there. I have actually gotten behind there customer service counter myself, gotten on their computer and looked up the availability of an item since I could not find someone. Yeah, now where's my $7.25 an hour?! So, clearly, the impressiveness bar is set very low for me.
But my trip 5 days post partum happened to be the straw that broke the camels back. My husband and I made our way to the front of the longest line ever to be waited on by a- you guessed it- 16-year-old. Unfortunately, our coupon was one day past it's expiration date. We kindly asked the perturbed looking manager, Steve, if we could use the coupon anyways. He, looking at my husband and I pushing our 5 day old baby in our stroller, said yes. How nice of Steve. However when I got out to the car, I realized that he gave us 20% off of a $4.00 container of ointment as opposed a a $40.00 box of diapers, so I proceeded back into the store to collect my $7.20.
Now good old Steve recognized I had only been in there WITH MY BABY 25 seconds prior; however he decided to get huffy...which is the worst mistake he ever made.
As he processed my reimbursement, Mr. Steve decided to utter these words out of his mouth- Are you ready for this? "So, how much longer do you have?" Feeling quite certain I had misunderstood him, I stated back "Excuse me?" To which he proceeded "How much longer...of your pregnancy." Oh Steve. Steve, Steve, Steve. Now I realize he might have the short term memory of Dori from Finding Nemo, but really? All of the hormones in my body started to swirl around, my eyes bulged out, my voice got shrill, and the earth stood still for just one moment...the only thing I could muster was "You JUST saw me in here with my baby." Good ole Steve decided to banter back with his best argument, which will go down in the record books as the dumbest thing ever said by a male at Babies R Us- "Well when my wife had her babies, she always looked pregnant afterwards."
I'm guessing Steve's wife is a blessed woman with lots of patience; however if my husband portrayed me in such a flattering light to women that he was insulting, I don't know how entact my husband's head would still be.
So to finish out our conversation, I graciously told Steve to keep his mouth shut and give me my money...and then went out to the car and cried becuase the Babies R Us man still thought I looked which my very sensitive and appropriate husband consoled me and told me how amazing he thought I was.
So, the moral of this story- BOYCOTT BABIES R US- at least the one in Tulsa, Oklahoma! Will you continue to throw your money at an organization that insults women and provides less than acceptable bathrooms for mothers carrying new life? I say NO! These are the people that are ruining consumerism in this country!!! Don't let Steve steal your dignity and your civil liberty. Vote no with your dollars and take them elsewhere.

So other than that, I have been thinking about how the tip of my middle finger has yet to regain feeling since I was in labor over two weeks ago, how nipple creme is now a regular staple carry-along item in my purse along with my phone, keys and wallet, and finally how someone needs to invent a nursing bra that actually has SUPPORT as I don't care to add "saggy" to the list of words that currently describes how I feel about myself.

And they say becoming a mother makes one scatter brained...what are they talking about?!

Friday, November 5, 2010

Welcome to Life

Baby Gus's pep talk might have been a few days late, but Baby Gus finally decided to make his appearance into the world and into our lives. October 24, 2010 will forever be remembered by me as the most beautiful day of my entire life. That does not mean that I looked beautiful by any means, but the day changed my life and exceeded every expectation of the moment I would get to lay eyes on my son. It's a crazy thing, really. To get to meet someone that you know is going to change your life. I mean, I remember meeting my husband, but I didn't know that he was going to be my husband at the time, so meeting him, while memorable, was inconsequential at the time.

For all of those who bet against me being able to complete a natural child birth- you LOSE. I know, I know- I lost money on that bet too :). I NEVER really thought I'd be able to do it. My goal was to just make it far enough so that all the people that I'd told I was going to try to do it naturally would not laugh at me for caving too early. God is good though and at every mile marker I set mentally to quit at, I progressed a little further. Plus, I call my husband my epidural because he massaged my back with tennis balls for at least 12 hours without stopping. So after 19 hours of labor, two hard working tennis balls, 2 1/2 hours of pushing, at least 5 repeats of the same Hillsong CD and about 1200 contractions later, a tiny miracle entered the world.

I don't know that my life has ever felt so full. With my mom on one side of me and my husband on the other, I watched a child that God has been creating and perfecting for over nine months make his first appearance into the world. It was exactly what I hoped it would be- even though every moment wasn't everything we had planned. The whole reason I was drawn to a natural experience was so that my husband and I could be an active part of the process. It's one of the most poignant pictures of a marriage- one member going through something so dramatic, but the other one right by their side going through it with them. My husband was 100% present 100% of the time.

And the climax of the whole story: seeing my baby for the first time. Ironically enough, the first thing I saw of him was his little feet- and no, he wasn't breach. My husband handed him to me and I saw his big blue eyes staring up at me. Words can't describe how full my heart felt..and still feels just thinking of it.

I had several thoughts that powered me through the 19 hours that it took to get my little boy here. Early on in my pregnancy, my husband asked me what he would be "allowed" to say in the event that I started to cave and ask for pain medicine. Since he knows me and knows how irrational I can be at times, he knew that he would have to choose his words very carefully- especially at a time when my emotions might be the most volatile. I accomodated by making him a list of 10 to 15 motivating factors that he would be allowed to read to me in the event that I started to lose heart. During the actual labor, I never asked him to read me my list...the only "reason" that I remember contemplating during my labor was the fact that I will probably never get to compete in the "Escape from Alcatraz". I remember picturing a runner and thinking- This is my marathon. Odd choice as I had several far more motivating factors, but apparently effective. I also remember during the peak of each contraction thinking "It's a choice" over and over again in my head.

I hope you'll forgive an entire post of sappiness and fluff, but you're dealing with the hormones of a new and sleep deprived mommy, so humor me. At the end of this chapter of my life, I feel like I met a hero and a miracle. My little boy is the sweetest gift I have ever been given in my life and I can't believe each day that I get to be a mommy to such an amazing little boy. And my hero- I have never been more in love with my husband than at this stage our lives together. Watching my husband become a daddy has been an incredible gift to see. And my life at this moment: full. Absolutely full.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

A pep talk for Baby Gus

My due date has come and gone. As much as I bragged and let on that I was totally fine going past my due date and letting our little man who my family lovingly refers to as Baby Gus bake as long as he can, I might not be the super hero woman that I thought I was and am getting a little on edge waiting for him. When you hear a deadline, it’s engrained with you- there is no other date in the history of the world short of my own birthday that I have ever quoted to so many people. When is your baby due? October 17th. It’s as easy as that. But now when I say October 17th it is PAST tense as opposed to future tense, which can cause a poor hormonal woman a teeny bit of angst. Not to mention the countless phone calls from people asking me if I’ve had a baby yet.

All along I have hoped that this sweet child of mine would be born on 10/23- for silly reasons that don’t really matter all that much- and quite honestly if I KNEW he was coming on that date, I don’t think I would have a problem. It’s just the fact that I don’t know and that I’m not in control. (I haven’t blogged about how I’m a control freak yet. That’s another topic for another day.) This leaves my mind reeling with all sorts of thoughts. For example; what if I’m the only woman in the history of the world to ever stay pregnant forever? As gratifying as being in the Guinness Book of World Records would be, I just don’t think it could compare to holding my little baby in my arms…and plus, they would probably just put my picture next to the woman with the world’s longest fingernails or something and I would just pale in comparison to her. Or maybe this has all been the world’s longest dream and I just believed it so much with all of my heart that I told all of my friends and family, but all that has really happened is that I have eaten too many oreos which as caused the wasteline expansion. Then, being a stereotypical woman who second guesses myself constantly, I have wondered if maybe Baby Gus doesn’t want to come meet me. Maybe he has the innate wisdom to know that his mother is a tad bit awkward, probably won’t let him drink pop until he’s 10, doesn’t really understand the rules to football and that he’s going to grow up in a house that doesn’t have cable television! Where’s the incentive to come out now?

In my desperation to want my baby to want to meet me, I have written him a letter. Now I am generally annoyed at people to send their children social networking messages when their children are not of the age to have such devices, but again, I am the CEO and President of this blog, so I can be a hypocrite when I want to be. In the event that technology is so advanced that my unborn child can access a weblog in utero, this is the message that I would like to send him:

Dear Baby Gus:

Your mommy and daddy are very excited to meet you and hope that you will come out very soon to meet us. Your mommy has put together a list of all the reasons that you probably really want to join us as soon as possible:
• Mommy made you your very first Halloween costume and if you don’t get here in time you won’t get to wear it. (This is true- I have MADE him the cutest Halloween costume- a hot dog. A tribute to my one and only craving during my pregnancy. Now this mommy doesn’t do ANYTHING crafty, so this is a huge achievement and I would be remisce if we weren’t able to utilize it.)

• We just bought Captain Crunch cereal at the grocery store. This is a very special treat and not something that I believe we have ever had in our house- however amazing things happen when you get bored at Target. At any rate, if you understand the science behind breast feeding, you will know that it is likely to taste like things that Mommy just ate, so if you play your cards right, you’ll get to indulge in this nectar of the gods in your first week of life.

• Your mommy and daddy finally picked out an AWESOME name for you and we CAN’T WAIT to tell everyone what it is. We haven’t told a soul your name except for the lady that made him his personalized blanket…and we are bursting at the seams.

• The Texas Rangers MIGHT just make it to the World series. This would be the first time ever in the history of the franchise and I just know that your Daddy would like to watch those monumental games with his little boy in tow.

• Your daddy has really big shoulders and the longer you're inside of mommy, the bigger your little shoulders get. All mommy can say is "yowza."

We have lots of fun things planned for you and hope that you really like us. Even though we don't know EVERYTHING that we're doing, we're going to try our best and promise to embarrass you as little as possible. We're all ready to meet you and can't wait to see what you look like. Come see us soon.

Daddy and Mommy

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Timing is everything

Here we are at t-minus 2 days to go- give or take depending on when I actually go into labor. I have my hospital bag half way packed, a pack-n-play in my bedroom, bottles in my kitchen cabinets and breast pads in my dresser drawer- I am officially ready to be a mother.

I got the question the other day, "so has anyone else said anything heinously inappropriate about your pregnancy lately." Ha ha! Of course they have! BUT as I am trying to finish out the pregnancy as Little Miss Mary Sunshine (in spite of my super swollen feet and the fact that I found my very first stretch mark) I thought I would share a NICE comment for once.

So I was stopped in a baby store by some people that knew me when I was growing up. We exchanged pleasantries and they commented on me being pregnant and then a miracle happened:
Sweet Lady that I will forever remember with fondness: Well, sweetie, now when are you due?
Me: Sunday is my due date.
Sweet Lady: Sunday? Well, my goodness,dear-you aren't that big!

What? I'm not that big?! I wanted to hug her in the potty chair aisle. After all of the people that asked me if I was having twins, after all of the gawking when I told people I wasn't due for two more months- I finally received my just reward! Ah, there is good in mankind :).

In all seriousness, being pregnant has been 9 of the most wonderful months of my life. It's amazing to actually live a miracle- not something that I get to do every day. I think I freaked my husband out when I said that I didn't mind if we were pregnant again really soon- to which he reminded me that the thing that happens after the pregnancy is the taking-care-of-the-kid thing which we have NO IDEA yet if we are any good at yet. Therefore I recanted my statement.

So I will forever be grateful to the sweet potty chair aisle lady. This on the night after I burst into tears after I tried real shoes on for the first time in 2 months and realized that none of my shoes fit any more. God really does know what we can handle...

Saturday, October 9, 2010

Macho macho man...

I grew up with lots of sisters. In an effort to maintain my anonymity which is really quite silly as everyone that reads my blog is someone that I know, I will not say how many sisters that I have..but there are lots of us. We are a force to be reckoned with. All that being said, I know girls. I saw my mother raise lots of us. We're dramatic, we're hormonal, we're petty...we're girls! And for those of you who have learned about opposites- the opposite of girls are BOYS! Boys are scary. Which is why when our dr. told us that we were having a boy (his exact words were "well that's a weiner") it was quite a sobering moment for me- even in spite of the word weiner ringing in my ears.

Boys are a mystery to me. Even though I am married to one- I haven't quite figured them out. Our society would have us believe that they are shallow, non-complex, hot headed pigs who think about three things- sports, boobs and food- maybe throw in a video game here and there- but that's pretty much the sum of today's stereotypical American male. Our society would also have us believe that we women were sent here to earth to make these men civilized and that we, in all of our wisdom, put up with these men and their silliness. This is not what I believe- I believe that God can use a man of conviction and morals to do amazing things. Sadly, this is not what most of the men in today's society are being challenged to be.

Raising a boy is a scary thought for me because I see the world that they are being made to be brought up in, and I'll just say, it's not a friendly place. Boys have a lot against them- girls do to, but I feel that the very essence of who a man is is at risk in our society today. It's what I call the "deballification of the American Male"- which I know is classy, but hey, I'm going for truth, not class. I know that times change, people change and social norms change, but an observation that I have made as of late is that men are not encouraged to be men any more. They're not encouraged to pursue things like they once did or have a vision for anything more substantial than what's for dinner.

So all that to say- I'm shaking in my boots thinking about raising a boy in this next generation. How do you raise a boy to be a man that has a passion for God, has morals, has conviction and has a dream worth pursuing? I haven't quite figured it out yet.

I do know that I have a lot to learn. Case in point- last Saturday I was at my little brother's soccer game. I have lots of sister, but God put the cherry on top when He sent us our little brother who is 21 years younger than I am. He is 7 and is playing in his second year of soccer. As he played the goalie position, two goals got past him and one of his teammates started to get mad at him and told him he needed to do better. Now the big sister in me started to get livid upon witnessing this- and I am not a quiet, livid person. No, when I'm livid, I usually like to channel that into something non-productive- like tripping 7-year-olds. My plan to make this situation right was to trip the teammate as he ran by on the sidelines and tell him to watch himself. Nice- yes, not only am I a big sister, but I'm a role model too, apparently...and one that is getting ready to be a mother no less. As my brother came off the field crying and I inched my foot further away from me...I heard my mother consoling- not babying, but consoling my little brother by saying "He's going to do what he's going to do- you're not in control of him, you're only in control of yourself." Immediately I pulled my foot back and realized- this is exactly the moment that I would have needed to know how to be a good mom. Instead of fighting the battle for my little boy- or getting arrested for harming small children- I needed to be able to make this a life lesson- and had I been the mom in this situation, I would have completely failed.

So with t-minus 5 days to go, I have to admit that I have SO MUCH to learn. And I'm a little scared by that. I have heard the quote- "It's easier to build a boy then to mend a man." I am hoping that God gives me the wisdom as a mom to build a boy- complete with holding back my foot when I'd rather trip an adversary- rather then leave it up to someone else to mend a broken man. Maybe my son will come out with the perverbial handbook- or maybe I'll have to learn it along the way- complete with mistakes. Stay tuned for more mistakes, I have a feeling.

Thursday, September 30, 2010

He's still the man, but you see he's a "They"

As I enter the last few weeks of my first pregnancy, I am drawn to explore yet one more facet of the phenomenon of carrying a child. I cannot believe that I am almost done being pregnant. In some ways I can't believe it's almost over because I can't believe I'm old enough to have a baby...and in some ways it feels like it's been the longest 9 months ever. Either way I have loved(almost)every minute of it. However it is about to come to a close and a new page is about to be turned (cue the hopeful, upbeat music). But I do promise that I have more content in my brain other than just random and opinionated thoughts about being you can look forward to that.

One of the last and final pregnancy frontiers that I would like to cover in these last 2-3 weeks of being a knocked up member of society is the stark contrast between mixed conversations between couples that HAVE had babies and couples that have not had babies. It's a fun social experiment to be sure.

I will start by saying that I am not always a very appropriate person- but usually not on purpose. I'm surprised that my wonderful husband of 5 1/2 years has not already died of embarassment from many of the things I have said. I work in a job where I conduct sexual harassment investigations on a regular basis, so we can just leave up to your own imaginations things that I say on a daily and professional basis. With all of that being said, I have not usually had a problem talking about taboo subjects and usually that works to the chagrin of my very appropriate husband. But one thing I have noticed about pregnancy is the difference in conversations that can be had between couples that have had babies and couples that haven't- particularly dads.

All of our friends have had babies. We are one of the last to have a child with only a few couple friends who are still footloose and fancy-free, so we have heard all about how each of our non-footloose friends have dilated, each of their labors in great detail and all of the gory details that go into this miracle called childbirth. Somewhere along the way we became desensitized to words like "uterus" "mucous plug" and "colostrum". However we forget that some people haven't. Case in point, the other day we were out with a couple that has not had children and I proceeded to explain that I can't lay on my back when I sleep any more since my uterus could press onto some artery and cause certain and immediate death. The second I said the "u" word, the footloose husband's eyes got really big and his face turned a little red..and there was an awkward silence- which I broke by saying "Oops I said uterus." Nice save.

Now take a non-footloose husband. He has gone through the dr's appointments, birthing classes, the breastfeeding classes. He has watched countless child births in class and likely even been forced to watch a c-section. Gone is the taboo of calling "girly parts" by their rightful name. I saw this played out while sitting with my sister and brother-in-law who have had two children of their own. I felt no shame in asking- in front of my male brother-in-law mind you- about the art of breast feeding, engorged breasts, baby latching...and he listened like we were talking about the weather or a recipe or something. My sister even said "now what's that foremilk stuff called." To which he confidently and without embarassment replied "colostrum."

So a stark difference and just another transformation that occurs during pregnancy. So say it proudly men- Uterus! Cervix! After birth! Mucous plug!

Holla out there to all of the uber involved husbands who care enough to go with their wives through this process as engaged and proactive daddy's. You know more about all of this stuff than you ever cared to know because you care so much about a lovely little mama who is carrying a tiny miracle that you already love more than you ever thought you could. You're officially "the man".

Sunday, September 19, 2010

It's the most wonderful time of the year...

Ah,the joys of being pregnant. It's a magical time- both satirically and sincerely. Even before I was pregnant I knew it had to be pretty life changing- and I'm not talking about the "bringing a new life into the world" thing but the actual process of being pregnant. Women talk for years and years about stories from when they were pregnant with their children- even when their children are grown and have children of their own. If I had a nickel for every time I heard "When I was pregnant with my first baby..." So I had to know that it would be an exceptional experience, to say the least. But you never know quite how life changing something will be until you go through it yourself. Of course, you hear of all the stereotypes of what to expect- going to the bathroom a lot, craving weird things like mashed potatoes with cherries, watching your feet swell...but there are a host of things that people do NOT tell you about that make pregnancy way more unusual than what I ever expected.

It is funny because the first few months of being pregnant, I waited and waited for something stereotypically pregnant to occur. It's like I found out I was pregnant and immediately thought I would have morning sickness. I actually WANTED to puke at the sight of eggs..and the time did come, but not immediately. And as I got further and further into this miracle, more of the "traditional pregnant symptoms" occurred...but then there have been the things that I never thought would happen. The strangely odd things that I never heard about. Here are a random sampling of odd things that I have experienced while being pregnant that far from make a top 10 list of normal pregnancy symptoms:

• I have walked into men’s restrooms more times than I ever have in my life. And I really don’t know why. Possibly because I am carrying a boy and I feel that he has rights to the restroom of his choice?! I’m not sure. I’m just glad that men’s restrooms have urinals and that was the tell tale sign that I had entered the wrong room as opposed to something more offensive…
• I mismeasure my girth. This has only happened in the past few weeks. I guess I forget that I’m pregnant and think that I can squeeze into tiny places….but I am and I can’t. So I end up hitting my baby with tables, doors, chairs- pretty much anything sticking out.
• I am officially nocturnal. Sleep is one of the most precious things in my life. I love it. In fact, this was one reason that I felt as though I would make a terrible mother- I like to sleep too much. But from about week 16 until now I have not had a full nights sleep. This I chalk up to God’s miracle of easing me into sleepless nights with a crying child…but nonetheless it is strange and I would prefer to get to do all the sleeping I can before our little man arrives.
• I have a strange sense of entitlement in parking lots. I am not sure why- and it’s not because I want a front spot either. I typically like to park in the back and walk- as this is the only exercise I have been getting lately. I think it’s because people can’t see that I’m pregnant and I feel like they should know. I’m normally a pretty irritable driver as it is, but for some reason when people are whipping in and out of parking spaces now I yell things like “yeah, sure, you need the front spot more than I do” or “never mind the 8-month pregnant lady over here.” I am so mean.
• I have the strong desire to do nothing. I know in your first trimester you’re supposed to be tired and comatose like…and I know in your third trimester, you’re supposed to be so uncomfortable that you don’t want to do anything- but I thought that somewhere in there, you were supposed to nest. This urge has not hit me yet and I really want it to. My house is messy, I don’t want to cook and I don’t even want to go the grocery store- maybe this is because of my new nocturnal quality; however it has to stop. I just hope that once I’m not pregnant again, the desire to cook and maintain a clean household return to me .
• I am the official loudest person that I know. Every movement I make is done with a great deal of grunting and groaning. Used to, you drop something, you bend down and pick it up- simple. Not any more. I drop something, I have to stick my foot out to spread my legs wider, I bend down halfway, I grunt a little bit, I actually pick up the item, then I let out a huge grown as I move my body back up to a standing position. Sexy. Somebody once said that rolling over in bed when you're pregnant is like a 17-step process...and it is. It's like, before I role over to lay on my right side, I want to properly weigh the pro's and con's of such a decision because getting there will expend so much energy that it may or may not be worth it. BUT usually by the time I'm half way through my pro's and con's list, I have to go to the bathroom anyways, so then I am forced to move, which forces me to make a huge grunt as I get out of the bed- but upon my return I must choose wisely the position that I choose to assume, otherwise we'll start this whole thing over again.
• I put my clothes on backwards. This I have no reason for. I can explain a lot of things by just saying “hormones” or “because I’m pregnant with a boy.” But this one is just plain weird. I’ve only made it all the way to work with my clothes on inside out once…and I caught it with only three people having seen me. Way to save face.

I'm not sure what other odd pregnany symptoms will hit me by the time this is all done, but very few of these would actually be found in the "What to expect when you're expecting" book. And while I immensely enjoy being pregnant, I also enjoy the fact that it gives me an excuse to do and be all of these crazy things. I am just hoping that about the time that I lose my excuse for being crazy like this that all of these crazy things will stop!

Sunday, September 12, 2010

A shout out to my baby daddy

There have been two things that have gotten me through this pregnancy- well, certainly more than two, but for the purposes of this blog post, I will mention two of the many factors that have gotten me through my pregnancy.

The first is what my real (and only) husband and I lovingly refer to as my “second husband.” This second husband is none other than a bright fuscia body pillow that has made it possible for me to sleep for the past 15 weeks. My real husband who is a sleepy time cuddler is jealous of my second husband because I myself am not a cuddler, yet he watches in envy every night as I break off our late night cuddling to rollover and spend quality time with my second husband for the remainder of the night’s sleep. Needless to say it has caused some jealousy and angst in our household; however I don’t think that it’s a completely hate/hate relationship between real and second husband- I have seen them cuddling a few times too, which real hubby would adamantly deny.

But props go out to my REAL husband for being husband of the year, best supporting actor and Most likely to succeed as a Daddy. It has been a long and winding road to get to this place in life. There were days when I truly never thought having a baby was in the plan for us. BUT God has a way of making new creations; whether literally as in a baby or figuratively as in grown ups. Both of us have had to undergo huge transformations as adults that have brought us where we are today. Not that either one of us is perfect or even close to it, but we are more of a WE now then we ever were before. There are days when I am not so sure how I will be at this whole “mom” thing, but I feel like I have a teammate by my side that will make the endeavor far more chewable.

So here are some things that I would like to give a shout out to my baby daddy for. There are a million more reasons why he’s amazing, but here are the ones to note:
• He has gone to all of my birthing classes with me- and even one without me- so that he can be the best birthing coach in the history of the world.
• He has painted my toenails for the past 2 months- and not just when I ask him to- he volunteers when he sees the chips.
• He went through “Chili dog craving month” with me and let me eat Chili dogs whenever I wanted to (I don’t know how much of a hardship this was for him, but none the less, it earns him a shout out)
• He painted our baby room, assembled all of our baby furniture and bedroom furniture- all without one inkling of help from me and did it while I was at work so that I would be surprised when I got home.
• He coached me through the Walmart parking lot hyperventilation when I thought my car was stolen- and then didn't get mad at me when I told him my car was just 3 aisles over. Instead he laughed and said I was cute.

But I think what make me the most grateful to him is the encouragement that he has given me throughout this whole experience. He has believed in me when I haven’t believed in myself- which might be the reason I am so drawn to the natural birthing experience because it looks at giving birth as a team effort, not just the dad sitting in the corner watching the mom bring a miracle into the world. That’s how he has approached the whole pregnancy. One night in birthing class when I was cracking up during a “relaxation practice” and he was taking everything seriously and encouraging me to focus- it hit me that that’s what we had become- a team. The fact that we have become a team has been far more related to his endurance with me than my ability to be a team for him- cause let's face it- I'm pretty much a spaz. But I'm grateul for a husband that loves me and loves our family more than I ever thought he would. I know there are late nights and big decisions and life changes and all around scarinesses ahead, but I am glad I have mon ami by my side as the two of us become the three of us.

Friday, September 3, 2010

Big wheels keep on turnin'

So I need to know what it is about me that makes people feel as though they can say what seem to me to be very socially inappropriate things. It's not like I'm Miss Manners just waiting for someone to say the wrong thing. In fact, I like to think of myself as having a sense of humor. BUT sometimes I feel that asking someone if they have ever "pee'd themselves" or telling someone that they are "huge" kind of steps over humor and takes things to a new level. Well alas, tonight I had a new and fun experience that believe it or not had nothing to do with being pregnant. Check it out- I'm at the starbucks drive through driving my car, which is and has been for 5 years a PT Cruiser. Now I realize that a PT Cruiser is no Rolls Royce; however it's my car, it's paid off and it gets me from point A to point B without having to work it Fred Flintstone style. So here's what I experience:

Starbucks Man: Would like your receipt? (normal thing for a Starbuck drivethrough man to say, right?!)
Me: No, I'm good thanks.
Starbucks Man: So can I tell you something that's just between you and me?
Me: Sure.
Starbucks Man: I hate PT Cruisers. I don't know why, I just hate them.
Me: Okay.
I wanted so badly to say "well I hate bearded men who serve me coffee." But I didn't- and do you know why I didn't? Because that would be rude. So instead of saying that I just stared at the wart on his finger and said:
Me: Well I'm sorry about that- how about I tell your manager?
to which he replied:
Starbucks Man: Oh, she hates them too.
So there you have it folks. The Starbucks man hates my car with such a passion that he feels the need to tell me about it. Whatever happened to the days where they just handed you your drink and said "have a nice day?" What is this world coming to?

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

I've got friends in low places

So this one tops them all. I have written in the past about bizarre things that people say or ask you when you're pregnant, but this one is inconceivable. The story I am about to tell you is real...the names haven't been changed to protect anyone because I don't know the names of the people involved. But I must remind you that this story is true and this is a real live adult that we are talking about that said these things.

Scene: Quik Trip bathroom
Background information: This was a particularly hot summer Saturday around 3:00 and I am very hot, cranky and I haven't eaten lunch yet. Add to that the stress that I am just returning from one of those consignment things that occur at a huge expo arena that resembles the mayhem of the day after Thanksgiving except all there is to buy is pre-owned baby clothes. I do not thrive in such an environment. So not only did I endure it, but I am walking out empty handed because I am so overwelmed that I can't seem to compute times of the year and what size my son will be. Add to that the fact that I am even further annoyed because I can't seem to make it all the way home with out having to go the bathroom, so only 5 miles from my house, I had to pull over and attempt to quickly use the restroom only to be confronted with someone that I anticipate I will soon see on America's most wanted. So there you go- the stage has been set-

Girl in bathroom: wow- you look miserable.
Me: (in the nicest voice that I can muster)I guess I'm just hot.
Girl: So you're pregnant right. (Did I mention she must have been a genius)
Me: Yes I am.
Girl: so how much weight have you gained.
Me: I don't know (I really do know, but I don't find it to be Quik trip girl's business and don't find that it's really anyone's business)
Girl: Probably 20. right?
Me: Maybe.
Girl: (and this she says with complete glee and accomplishment) I gained 50!!
Me: Huh (I mean, what really is the response to that?)
And here is the clincher-
Girl: So have you pee'd yourself yet?
Me: No, I have not.
Girl: Oh wow. Well, I pee'd myself all the time.

Why? Truly why? I just really don't understand why! And what is more amusing is that she said it with that same sense of accomplishment that she told me about the 50 lbs. I am sincerely at a loss. The only moral to this story that I can even imagine coming up with is never try to make friends in the Quik Trip bathroom.

Friday, August 20, 2010

Where have you gone, Joe DiMaggio?

I am slightly obsessed with the movie Inglorious B’s. (Disclaimer: I realize that this is not the actual title of the movie and if you’re confused, you can just google the word inglorious and the correct following word will autopopulate. I’m not sure why I choose not to report the entire word, even for the practical purpose of naming the title of a movie; however since it’s my blog, I’ll make the rules and for some reason I have chosen not to use a word that rhymes with rasterds spelled out in full view for everyone. Now I realize that the very mention of the word has made some of you think of the actual bad word to which I am referring, which may or may not mean that I have caused you to stumble, therefore for the rest of this post, I will refer to the movie as Inglorious B’s and you can fill in the favorite B-word of your choice- I relinquish all creative rights to you the reader. I also realize that this has nothing to do with babies or pregnancy, but in keeping with the original flavor of the blog and since I am the CEO and President, it is about my opinion and I reserve the right to change the topic on a whim.)

So as I was saying before, my new favorite movie and a slight new obsession of mine is the movie Inglorious B’s. I can’t pick my favorite thing about it. The story line is wonderful, the artistry is brilliant, and the actors (with the exception of BJ Novak who I have decided must be Quentin Tarantino’s nephew or something) are perfect for their roles. The part that takes the cake however (or takes the strudel if you’ve seen the movie) is Christoph Waltz who plays the part of the Jew Hunter. He gives, without a doubt, the best performance of anyone in a motion picture since Citizen Cain. I didn’t even know who he was until this movie, but now I’m a fan! He speaks four languages in the film flawlessly (okay, maybe I can’t say flawlessly since I am not Italian, French or German, but it sounds flawless to my ear, so I will give him that credit). His character is cunning, manipulative and calculated, but you almost find yourself liking him- which I believe is a fete for an actor to accomplish. Bravo to Mr. Waltz.

Which leads me to today’s SOAPBOX! I am positively intrigued at how un-talented people can be these days and yet still be famous. It really bugs me. As long as you are remotely attractive (or even remotely unattractrive, case in point Scarlett Johannsen) you can be famous and considered the best of the best in your craft. I know there have to be extremely talented people out there, but for some reason America is very satisfied with setting the bar so low that someone like Eva Longoria is a multi millionaire and considered a great actress. Bleh.

I must thank my mother for many things in life, but one of the one of funnest gifts that she gave me was not allowing me to watch any current movie until I was about 18 years old. Instead, we were raised with movies like “Singing in the Rain” and “Thoroughly Modern Millie”, “Holiday Inn” and “Father Goose”. That’s right- if you were unfortunate enough to have been invited to my 8th birthday party, you would have been subjected to watch “Arsenic and Old Lace” which is black and white, starring Cary Grant and hardly a slumber party movie. Granted all of these movies come with the melodramatic flair of the time and no, they don’t have the special effects or budget of the movies that we have today. But they were witty, they were well made and you actually had to have a sense of talent and artistry to be an actor back then…and comedy actually had to clever, not just a potty joke, that to me is an easy laugh.

And don’t even get me started on music. That’s a whole other soapbox.

So again, bravo to Mr. Waltz and to the brilliant movie that is Inglorious B’s. I hope to see more like you to come, but I fear that with today’s zest for mediocrity and obsession with reality TV, sex appeal, and effects rather than artistry, cleverness and talent you will be few and far between. So as Mrs. Meers would have said to Millie- “Oh pook.”

Saturday, August 7, 2010

More Quotes

So I have to add a few more odd pregnancy questions/statements that I have received that I am in awe of. I find it strange that all of these quotes are from men. It's not just the ladies that make crazy pregnancy remarks. My inner monologue is written in italics. Social etiquette people!!!

Male business associate of mine that I have only met a few times: So was this a planned pregnancy?
Me: No response. I have nothing. Nothing.
Are you kidding me? What is the proper answer to that question? If I say no, the inevitable next question is "so what is your form of birth control?" And if say yes, this just feels icky.

Man I'm giving my business card to: So if I call you, who is going to answer the phone?
Me: Oh, that's my direct line.
Man: No, I mean will you answer or your baby?

And one more quote just to emphasize how fun it is when people make fun of how big I am EVERY DAY:
Man at work: Girl, are you about to pop?
Me: Oh, not for a couple more months.
Man: What? You serious?
Me: Yep.
Man: Well you go girl. You drop a 10 lb. baby!
And here we have an actual cheerleader. We've gone from just poking fun of the big pregnant lady to actual words of motivation. This is a guy I want to see as I am being wheeled up to floor 8 for labor and delivery. Motivation and class.

A non natural woman's adventures in natural child birth

I don’t like granola. I never have. I have tried it in various stages of my life- convinced that this trendy, earthy snack should be part of my life. But I just don’t like it and really I can’t make myself eat it. On my grocery list every week I write “granola bars”- but that’s not what I get. Nope- I get nutrigrain bars- but that doesn’t seem nearly as healthy or trendy to even have on my grocery list. So I lie- even if only to myself.

This is only a mere example of one of the many ways that I am probably one of the least natural people that you will ever meet. From about 45 minutes after I wake up to about 15 minutes before I go to bed, my face is covered with an unnatural cosmetic that enhances my features to be something that they are not on their own. I eat processed food. I don’t hike. I don’t really even like to sweat that much. The wind on my back and the sun on my face is not a feeling that I prefer nearly as much to the air conditioning on my feet. I eat oreos and watch the Bachelor. I don’t recycle.

Needless to say, I am not a “natural person”and no one who has spent more than 10 minutes talking to me- and observing the gobs of mascara that I applied earlier that morning- would ever say that I am. So why, one might ask- would I choose to "go naturale" for one of the most challenging things I will ever do- give birth to a baby?

I have lots of reasons that I want to do this- and if you REALLY care that much, most of my reasons could be summed up in the movie "The Business of Being Born". However as stated before- people are TOO OPINIONATED when it comes to pregnancy, so I will not dare try and tell anyone what they should or shouldn't do. But for some reason this unnatural woman is drawn to this natural experience of bringing a child into the world.

I realize the odds are stacked against me- the biggest odd of all being myself. But my uber supportive husband and I are pursuing this goal and drinking the kool-aid of our natural child birth class- which is an adventure all in it's own. At the end of the day on my son's birth day, I just want to hold my little boy and know that he is healthy and here...but I would also like to fall asleep that night- or maybe not fall asleep- knowing that my husband and I were able to achieve this goal together.

Call me crazy and place your bests that I can't do it (some days I'd bet against myself as well..and we could use the winnings) but just don't say it to my face or I'll blog about you. So this unnatural woman will go back to the paradox of drinking her caffeinated pop (do not judge me) and reading her natural child birth "how to" book. But cue the "Chariots of Fire" music because my goal is to give you a run for your money.

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

My first soapbox

Pregnancy is a beautiful phenomenon. I realize that most people are aware of that, but as I go through each stage I am completely in awe of how God's greatness is shown through this process. No matter how much I know that it's truly a miracle, I am still amazed at each little kick that I feel inside, each time I hear my baby's heart beat- even the annoying things amaze me because I realize that there is a little miracle going on inside. I have said over and over, I don't see how you can go through this experience and not know that there is a God who knows us so intricately and has woven us together with such purpose. I am in awe.

So here's today's soapbox: I am also in awe of another phenomenon that occurs during pregnancy- albeit a completely different and much less inspiring form of awe. Why is it that as soon as conception occurs, people think it's okay to start giving their opinion and saying things that under non-pregnant circumstances a person with any shred of decency or social awareness would NEVER say? There is obviously a difference between friends saying certain things and strangers (or relatives that you see twice a year). A friend has a certain level of trust that is appropriate...but then the lady that you just met in the soup aisle at Target...why does she get a say?! Everything from the amount of weight you have gained to your financial decisions post-pregnancy to your anesthetic choices to the name of your baby is up for discussion by everyone! Here is a list of questions/statements that I have encountered during pregnancy and how I would like to respond..but I don't:

Stranger: Wow- you're huge! Are you having twins?!
Real Response: Nope just one- he's a big guy. Tee hee.
Desired Response: Wow- you're huge too! Might want to lay off those cheeseburgers. At least I have an excuse.

Bald Stranger: So when are you due?
Me: October.
Bald Stranger: (with shocked look on his face and eyes rolling) Wow. Okay.
Desired Response-
Me: So when did your hair start falling out?
Bald Stranger: It doesn't fall out, I voluntarily shave my head.
Me: Wow. Okay.

Distant family member that I hardly ever talk to: So what are you going to name your baby?
Me: We're not sure yet...but I think we're going to keep it a surprise until the baby is here.
Distant Family Member: Well, just as long as you don't name him something and then call him by his middle name, you'll be fine. I hate when parents do that.
Me: (Awkward smile)
Desired Response by me: You know what I hate when parents do? Name their kid (insert name of distant family member that I hardly ever talk to).

Walmart Cashier: So when is your baby due?
Me: October.
WalMart cashier: I'm glad you said that, I wasn't really sure if you were pregnant or not.
Me: (awkward smile)
Desired response by me: Then why would ask me?

Stranger: So are you getting an epidural?
Me: I'm not sure. I'm doing a lot of research on all of my options.
Stranger: (with big eyes and a face that indicates the person thinks I'm a freak) Oh girl, that's what you think now, but it's TERRIBLE. You're going to want your epidural. You should sign up for it now.
My soapbox: So if you were only going to shoot down my response, then why did you ask me? Asking the question implies that the person has choices, but by your response you're indicating that I shouldn't have a choice. And to further my point from above- is it okay to ask a non-pregnant stranger about their invasive medical procedures? Would it be okay for me to ask, "so when is your next colonoscopy" or "so do you prefer to use tampons or pads" ? Probably not.

Not that I want to sound too jaded because there are highlights to being pregnant as well. People give you that sweet smile that says "I know what you're going through- isn't it amazing?!" Some people offer you their chairs when you have to stand for 30 minutes at your gate at the airport. It really is a beautiful time and there are far more terribly kind people than there are terrible rude people. And hey, I learn that once you go through a full pregnancy, your level of modesty goes down substantially, so maybe by the time I'm through I'll be the person that stops pregnant ladies in the grocery store and wants to talk about previously socially inappropriate topics...

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Chapter 1

Over the past year I have found out two pieces of information that have significantly changed my life forever. The first bit of news brings to end a dream that I have had for many years. The sad truth is that I learned that Oprah Winfrey is in her last season of production. Yes, folks, my longstanding hidden ambition was to write a book that would achieve such high acclaim that Harpo Industries itself would not be able to bypass having me on the most prestigious of all day time television shows. For years, I have reveled in the anticipation of this day. Will Oprah do the “ugly cry” over the things I say? How many times will her viewers break out into applause over my words of wisdom? What will it sounds like to hear Ms. Winfrey herself say my one syllable last name in her remarkable two syllable way. But alas in all of my basking in the Oprah sunlight I failed to do one thing- write my book. Oh, I thought about it- that’s for dang sure. I imagined what previously undisclosed stories from my life would make Oprah the most hysterical or that she would feel the most profound; however ideas never met paper and pen to produce a book. So I will, like most of Americans, never realize my longstanding dream of gracing Oprah with my presence and allowing her and her viewers to be impacted by my words of wisdom. A dream deferred.

The second event that has significantly changed my life- and by far more lifechanging was the news that I was expecting mine and my husband’s first baby. No matter how much I longed for the day and thought about what it would be like, I never imagined that it would be as real as it is now. To know that in three months our family will not just be a him and a her, but we will actually be a little family is surreal. Almost like imagining walking out onto Oprah’s stage and being invited to sit on the esteemed “Oprah couch”- I dreamed about it, but I never thought it would really be real. Even more surreal is that the person I am today is going to be a Mommy. I always thought of Moms as having so much more wisdom- having it all figured out- as though you have to pass some kind of certification to be allowed to “try.” But I found out that it doesn’t work that way. ANYONE can have a baby- I mean anyone- from the smartest of the smart to the most ridiculously stupid of the stupid. And somewhere in the range falls me. I would like to think that I range a little more on the smarter side, but some days, I am really not sure. But nevertheless, God has chosen to bless my husband and I with one of the most rich blessings that a person can ever receive.

Ergo, I decided to accept my status as a non-Oprah enlightening member of the human race and accept my fate as just an “every woman” in life. However I still have thoughts that I feel that Oprah could at least chuckle at- so I will do the next best thing to writing a book and appearing on her show- I will blog!!! And with every strike of my keyboard, I will write with as much zest and enthusiasm as I can, knowing that I once gave up on a dream and I dare not do it again. Amy Adams would be so proud!

So in three months, whether I’m ready or not, a new little life is going to be brought into my world, of which I will have the most cherished honor of raising. And for those that dare to type in the web address, you will have the…er…privilege? of getting to read about my days of minutia, my mundane thoughts and the experiences that everyone woman who has even been pregnant or had a child has also had…but in an original way all of my own.

Saturday, May 22, 2010

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