Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Dear Mother Nature

Dear Mother Nature,

You have gone too far this time.

It was all fun and games that time I was home from college for the holidays and you decided to slam our area with an ice storm that left everyone without power over Christmas.  Although he nearly froze, my goldfish survived and I was able to manage without my car door handle, though you thought it would be funny to freeze it so it would snap off.

You tested my patience the time I was driving home from NC and you deviously placed a winter storm right over the mountainous part of my trip.  I tried to outsmart you by taking a detour, and was rewarded with a 14 hour trip instead of 8, plus a drooling, carsick dog who I had to sedate with Benadryl.

Then you decided to mess with my mom and stepdad by sending a storm when they were trying to make that same trip over the holidays a different year.  I’m sure you found it hilarious that they spent several treacherous hours in the mountains and then were greeted by a blanket of snow instead of our normally mild southern temperatures once they finally arrived.

Those incidents were nothing compared to what you had planned for this year.  Yes, you timed the storm perfectly, so that my mom and stepdad couldn’t make the trip down here today as originally planned.  Instead, they will have to postpone till tomorrow.

You, mother nature, are a raging bitch.

Under normal circumstances, a day isn’t a big deal, but you know that I haven’t seen my mom since July, meaning she hasn’t seen me since I’ve started to show and she hasn’t felt the baby kick or anything.  At 34 weeks pregnant, a day seems like an eternity.

I’m raising the white flag.  You win.  Let’s not keep doing this.

Tonight, I’m going to go home and enjoy some yummy pasta and a Friends marathon with my sister.  Tomorrow, my parents will arrive, and you are NOT going to spoil that- not again anyway.  You’ve done enough.  Let’s take it easy for a while.

Your Frienemy

Sunday, December 23, 2012

The Spirit of Giving

Here’s the thing.  I LOVE Christmas.  I LOVE time spent with family and decorations and shopping for people and wrapping presents and yummy food.  But I seriously lose my patience when it comes to holiday crowds and the traffic around shopping centers.  It’s as simple as

1.       Learn how to drive
2.       Don’t be an a-hole
3.       Don’t crowd my personal space

This is supposed to be a festive time, people!  Why all the chaos?

Anyway, 8 months pregnant + holiday a-holes = not a good combination.  So, I relied mostly on online shopping, the majority of which was done at Amazon (free shipping!) or Etsy (If you haven’t explored Etsy, please do.  There are a bunch of different sellers with their own “shops.”  Pretty much everything is handmade, unique, and a better bargain than what you’ll find in the big box stores.  I’ve bought jewelry, scarves, a nursing cover, the baby’s first rattle, hand-etched glasses, Christmas ornaments, and probably a bunch of other stuff I’m forgetting on there.  My only warning is that it’s quite addicting). 

I probably saved a ton of time, stress, and money by shopping online, but it came at a cost- not to me, but to our poor mail delivery lady, who has delivered packages to our door practically every day for the past 2 weeks.  Not only is it more for her to carry around and probably a huge hassle to get in and out of the truck, but she is absolutely terrified of our dogs.  I can’t really blame her for that, the sound of all 3 of them barking can be quite terrifying.  She usually puts the packages on the porch, rings the bell, and literally runs back to her truck.

Yep, pretty sure she hates us.

Not only that, but I can tell she’s been swamped.  Normally, we get our mail by 4pm, but the other night I saw her drive by at nearly 8pm.  Yuck.  Remember, people, postal workers don’t have “hours,” they have a route, and they work until they’re done.  I can only imagine what a nightmare this time of year is.

So, to help make up for this, I’ve decided to get her a Christmas gift.  Normally, I’m not one of those people that gives out gifts to everyone who serves me in some way (pest control, hair stylist, etc), but I feel like she deserves a Starbucks gift card or something as a way to say “Thanks for all you do and sorry for being a pain. Merry Christmas.”

I’m excited to do this for her, and I encourage you to look around at the people who serve you.  Maybe you’ll find a good opportunity to give a little something and brighten someone’s holiday J

Friday, December 21, 2012

And a Partridge in a Pear Tree

11 visiting family members.  4 large canines.  1 baby shower.  And a partridge in a pear tree.

Let the holiday chaos commence.

Thankfully, JD and I (and my increasingly large belly) do not have to travel anywhere this year.  We have family travelling to visit us from Ohio, Michigan, and Georgia!  It worked out this way mostly because his grandma and mom are throwing me a baby shower the weekend after Christmas.  Planning the shower around Christmas just seemed like the easiest way to ensure that out of town family could attend.  Also, my mom is going to do a beautiful classic Pooh mural in the nursery (beyond excited about this), so this visit will give her time to complete that as well.

I’ve gone through various stages as we prepare to host 11 family members at our house this week (they’ll be filtering in and out, so we won’t have all 11 at once, but we will have 7 at one point, plus one extra dog, on top of our own crazy mutts, because my mom’s dog can’t be kenneled).  At first, I was just relieved that we didn’t have to travel, and that we found a time that worked for everyone for the shower.  Important events are hard to plan when your family is so far away! 

After Thanksgiving, I reached a level of panic when I realized that we had a series of things to do in preparation.  Our house was in disarray as we moved things around and prepped the nursery.  Both the second and third bedrooms needed to be painted, and we had to move, box up, or donate most of what was already in those rooms.  This was on top of the usual Christmas preparations such as shopping, wrapping, parties, meal planning… all with an increasing belly, decreasing stamina, and a husband who is working 50% of the time I’m home and available to do these things.  I also didn’t know where we were going to put everyone once they arrived.  Our house isn’t THAT big.  We have 1 guest bed and a couch, but other than that, we’ll have to rely on air mattresses.

We managed to get everything taken care of and I think I have a menu/sleeping plan that will accommodate everyone next week.  Now, I’m finally in a place where I’m SUPER excited to have so much family here, most of whom haven’t seen me since my belly really started to take shape and she started moving enough for people to feel it.  It will be a wonderful, long overdue visit.  Happy chaos J

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

The Things I Will Miss About Pregnancy

Towards the end of pregnancy, most women are just ready to be DONE with it.  I’m not saying I won’t feel that way in the next month or so, but I have to admit that I’ve had an EXTREMELY easy pregnancy.  I’m definitely getting anxious to meet and hold little Loralai, but there are still some things about pregnancy I’ll miss (I can almost hear the collective groan of the women who spent a large chunk of pregnancy being miserable… sorry for being that girl).

1.     Getting away with stuff
No one judges a pregnant woman who loads an entire plate devoted solely to desserts at the holiday potluck.  No one questions the pregnant women for thinking the vacuum is broken because it won’t turn on, when really, it just wasn’t plugged in (yes, this actually happened).  Leaving in the middle of a party to take a nap is socially acceptable when you’re pregnant.  It’s not viewed as “unprofessional” if you get up in the midst of a work meeting to use the restroom.  It’s one of those times that your needs come before almost everyone else’s.  I’ve spent the first 29 years of my life trying to please others, and will spend the rest of my life putting the needs of my child before my own, so it was both enjoyable and freeing to have a time where it could be about me for a while.

2.     Maternity Pants
Admittedly, I was terrified of maternity pants in the beginning.  I mean, those waistbands are horrifying to look at.  I put off wearing maternity jeans for as long as possible, because I was afraid I’d feel frumpy.  When I finally got to the point where I just couldn’t procrastinate anymore, I grabbed a few pairs and bravely tried them on.  I was pleasantly surprised by how comfortable they are.  Then, it hit me. Why aren’t ALL pants made with an elastic band?  It’s SO much more comfortable. 

3.     The blissful act of eating
Someone told me that food will never taste as good as it does when you’re pregnant.  I thought it was kind of a weird statement, because I’ve always enjoyed food.  Like so many things, you can’t really understand till you’ve experienced it (not just eating, but eating while pregnant).  It doesn’t take long to go from full to starving, and I would have random, uncontrollable cravings that would pop into my head and consume me until I got exactly what I wanted (as in, when I wanted an Oreo milkshake, it had to be an Oreo milkshake, not a chocolate or vanilla milkshake).  For these reasons, when I finally did eat or get that craving satisfied, it tasted SO much better than I could have imagined.  I remember a particularly intense craving for fried chicken one day at work which led to KFC for lunch.  I swear to you, I’ve never had such an amazing meal in my life.  Eating = heaven.  In fact, it was always a little sad to be full, because everything is so delicious, you just want to keep eating.

4.     Feeling her move
The moment you start feeling distinctive movements, is the moment that everything becomes very real.  Each movement seemed to deepen the sacred bond between us.  I know nothing will compare to being able to hold her in my arms and see her face every day, but I will miss those little movements in my belly.  I took it as her way of communicating with me- checking in, saying hello, and even signaling when she didn’t want that arm resting on my belly, because it was in her way (and yes, she really did kick me in the arm one day when I had it draped across my belly).

5.     Having her with me all the time
This one is easy to say now, because she’s pretty low maintenance in there- no crying, dirty diapers, or feeding required, but it’s still nice to know she’s always with me, no matter where I go or what I’m doing. 

Friday, December 7, 2012

To Trust or Not To Trust Pt 2

My company does this thing called a "day of giving" where you're allowed to take 1 day off work a year, without using vacation time for it, if you use it to do volunteer work (LOVE that my company does this and LOVE that so many people take advantage of it).  There is a group of us from my department who've decided to do our day together by volunteering with the Salvation Army by helping organize their toy warehouse for their "Christmas Cheer Distribution."  

I came home and excitedly told JD what we would be doing, pointing out that we'd be spending our day in his district.

"Well, I'm not working that day," he announced, sounding somewhat panicked.

"I know," I said.  "I checked the schedule but you're on night shift, so you won't be around while we're there."

"I don't like you going over there when I'm not around," he grumbled.

Remember, JD's district is the worst district in the city.  Still, I'll be going with a big group of people in the middle of the day to do volunteer work.  It's not like I'm going to be walking down the street by myself provoking people.  Besides, just because it's a bad area doesn't mean you can't go there without getting mugged or shot.  I mean, people live and work there, just like every other area in the city.

"What do you think is going to happen?" I laughed.  "Do you think some gang member will anticipate that your wife, who he's never seen and probably doesn't even know exists, is going to be in the area that day, single me out from a group of people, and attack me?"

"I just don't like you going over there without me," he repeated.

I gave him a kiss and promised I'll be fine, but I'd be willing to bet he'll have someone who happens to be working that shift "keep an eye on things."

Monday, November 19, 2012

To Trust Or Not To Trust

Being a police officer has made JD very untrusting.  I mean, I guess that’s what happens when you see the worst of humanity on a daily basis, but I’m still in the “people are inherently good” camp, so we make an interesting team.  The cynic vs. the faithful.

This weekend, we started moving some furniture around so we could start setting up the nursery.  This basically means that JD is sacrificing his “man room” so that it can become the guest room/office and the former guest room/office is becoming the nursery (wives can be so demanding).  Anyway, the previous owners had left a hideous entertainment unit in what was formerly the man room.  We had never bothered to get rid of it- JD was using it as storage for bike parts and such.  Now, we need as much space as we can get, so it was (finally) time for the entertainment unit to go.

“I’ll just post it on Craigslist and say it’s free as long as someone can come pick it up,” I said.

Officer JD did not like this idea.

“People use Craigslist to case houses,” he insisted.  “I see stuff like this all the time at work.”

While I knew he was probably right, I also knew that not everyone using Craigslist is using it for evil.  Some people genuinely can’t afford decent furniture and stuff, so I saw it as a mutually beneficial opportunity.  We didn’t have a vehicle large enough to take the entertainment unit to the dump (plus, preggers shouldn’t really be lifting heavy things), and the city would charge us to take it away if we left it at the curb.

“What if we put it on the porch, that way no one would have to come in the house?” I asked.

He agreed, although he still didn’t seem thrilled with the idea, and made sure I didn’t put our address in the actual posting.  Anyone interested would have to email me first for the address.  I was actually planning to do this anyway, but still wasn’t really sure how posting our address with no information that identified us personally would be beneficial to a Craigslist thief, since the posting clearly stated that the unit was on the porch and whoever was interested didn’t even have to ring the bell- “Just come by and take it!”

After he moved it to the porch, I took measurements and snapped a picture.  Within an hour of creating the posting, I had my first response.  The woman was clearly desperate, and said she would drive from an hour and half away to pick it up that same night.  It is for this exact reason that I wanted to be able to post it.  It seemed like a waste to send it to the dump, when there was someone out there who needed it. 

She and her husband came as promised, and quietly removed it from the porch.  Officer JD peeked out the window and took their license plate number, “just in case.”  I had to laugh a bit, but I do appreciate his protectiveness.

This morning, I came into another email from her that read, “Thank you very much for your help.  God bless you and your family.”  And that’s how I know we made the right decision.

In other news, part of the reason I liked the idea of just putting it on the porch is that the dogs can be such a hassle when people stop by.  I even responded to the woman to warn her that our dogs would probably go crazy when they heard someone on the porch.  These are dogs who bark at squirrels, doorbells on TV, our own neighbors in the cul-de-sac, or a leaf idly blowing through the yard.  Apparently, they do not bark at strangers walking up to our porch, seemingly uninvited.  Even Harrier, who has snapped at our own friends, sat quietly with his ears perked up- not a peep out of him.

JD and I both just looked at each other, dumbfounded.  Our only guess is that they were SO quiet when they picked up the unit that the dogs heard something, but weren’t quite sure what it was.  We never heard voices; all we heard was a bit of sliding when they moved it around before carrying it off.  Still, if the dogs are going to be loud and annoying over irrelevant things, I’d like to think that they’ll also be loud and annoying when we have a genuine security concern.

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Baby Crap R Us

Babies need a lot of crap.  A crap-ton of expensive crap.  At times, I’ve gotten overwhelmed by all the things we need to buy- from nursery furniture to car seats and a stroller to the everyday stuff like diapers.

I was relieved when a friend recommended a Craigslist posting her friend had posted with some beautiful, handmade nursery furniture (which also happened to be a steal of a deal).  It was a relief knowing we had some of the “big” things out of the way, and at least my baby would have a place to sleep at night.

Then, a friend who was visiting brought me some ADORABLE, gently used clothes that her girls had outgrown, and it was a relief to have a few things to hang in her closet and put in her dresser  (side note: there is a cherry-patterned swimsuit with a red ruffle and matching hat that I’m DYING to dress her in).

JD’s grandmother’s church does a huge kids’ consignment sale every year.  I have no problem with consignment, so I gladly went, and was able to pick up some of the staple items like a high-end Graco Pack N Play (many thanks to Grandma Carol for putting this aside for us!) and a bouncer seat.

After that, we had friends swoop in with incredible generosity.  Maybe because they’re all parents, and know that terrifying feeling of how are we ever going to acquire all we need?  Maybe it’s just because we have amazing, supportive, loving friends.  I think it’s a combination of both.  We had a couple offer us a full-sized baby swing.  Like, the mother of all baby swings.  This thing goes side-to-side, front-to-back, plays music or nature sounds, and might even vibrate, if I remember it correctly.  Basically, this swing covers anything your baby might find soothing.

The woman we found to do in-home day care even offered to let us borrow a bassinet.  How sweet! 

Thanks to a circle of women who meet once a month for ladies night (most of whom happen to be moms and have already proven a GREAT resource for scary pregnancy and baby-related stuff), a new mom offered us a high-end infant car seat that her son had outgrown.  Pretty sure there’s no safer place for your baby to be than this car seat.

Then, a co-worker offered me a barely-used umbrella stroller- a brand name one that comes with its own carrying pouch!  We won’t be needing that immediately since we have the infant carrier which will snap into a stroller base, but it only takes a few months for the babies to outgrow the infant seats, so I’m sure the time we will need it will sneak up on us, and it will be one less thing we have to buy.

Perhaps the most amazing thing to me is that none of these people asked for anything in return.  They could have sold them to a second-hand store or put the items on Craigslist or offered to let me buy them (which I still would have taken advantage of, for sure), but they just wanted to help us out.  I certainly plan to pay it forward.  Hopefully, once we’re done with our baby gear, there will be another new mom feeling nauseous every time she enters a Babies R Us or a Buy Buy Baby who I can offer a few things to and make her life a little easier.

Monday, November 5, 2012

Fall Fun

There’s something about fall that seems to bring out good friends and good fun.

JD and I usually make a trip to the mountains at least once a year (usually camping at least once), but with the pregnancy, things just didn’t pan out this year.  The idea of backpacking and then sleeping on the hard ground just wasn’t appealing at all.  Plus, my stamina is not near what it used to be pre-pregnancy, so I’m not sure I would have been able to do it even if I’d wanted to, but once the weather started to change and fall was in the air, I started to really ache for the fresh air and views.  A friend mentioned some hiking that was less than 3 hours away, so JD and I decided to do a day trip.  We could not have picked a better weekend.  The sun was shining, the temperature was perfect, and the leaves were beautiful.  Although there still appears to be a lot of green on the trees, JD was back out that way riding his motorcycle a week later and said that a bunch of leaves had already fallen off the trees, so I guess we caught peak color after all.

The hiking wasn’t rigorous, but there was a lot of uphill, since we hiked to the top of Hanging Rock.  I was surprised how often I had to stop and catch my breath.  Oh, baby, you stole all my stamina!  (Note to self: Always stay in shape, because having no endurance stinks). 

Even Harrier got to enjoy the day with us (Sadie probably couldn’t do all that hiking because of her hip injury/surgery from 2 years ago, and Boyd would be too busy wailing at everything to even get up the mountain).  He was loving life for the first few hours, happily greeting every person and canine we passed.  We hiked a few short trails to some waterfalls and then up the longer trail to the top of Hanging Rock.  We stopped and had a little picnic lunch while enjoying the view at the top.  Being the moody dog he is, by the time we made our way back down, Harrier had decided he was done for the day, and was quite disgruntled.  He growled at pretty much every dog we saw (what a rough life he leads).

Our lunchtime view

Harrier's "majestic" pose atop Hanging Rock

Halloween generally isn’t my favorite holiday.  I’ll attend a Halloween party and maybe pass out some candy (although trying to wrestle 3 giant dogs to get to the door isn’t really worth it), but Halloween to me is more an obstacle in the way of better holidays such as Thanksgiving and Christmas.  Things were a little more exciting this year, because I went to a Halloween party where costumes were required and it gave me a chance to take advantage of the round belly and incorporate it into my costume.  I had a few ideas, but on the night of the party, nothing was panning out the way I’d wanted, till JD had a stroke of genius.  “You should go as the Kool-Aid Man!” he exclaimed.  So, we painted my belly red and he painted the Kool-Aid smiley face on my belly.  Best part of the costume was that almost everyone at the party knew what I was right away (I was slightly afraid people would look at me and say, “So you’re a… red smiley face?”

This past weekend, we went to JD’s cousin’s wedding in Florida.  After a week at work that made me feel particularly burnt out, I was grateful for an extended weekend and a trip out of town.  Even though it was a long trip, I got to sleep plenty in the car and spend some quality time with his grandparents, who we rode with.  We stayed with JD’s aunt and uncle in Florida, who treated us to fresh omelets every morning and good times with good family, many of whom I hadn’t had the chance to meet before this trip. 

The weather was absolutely gorgeous.  Now that things are starting to cool off in NC, it was nice for a few days in the 80’s again!  More importantly, we had beautiful weather for his cousin’s wedding day, who had an outdoor ceremony.  The highlight of the wedding day?  All of the groom’s Venezuelan friends and family rocking the dance floor.  You may consider yourself a great dancer… until you’re shown up by a room full of Venezuelans busting out their Latin moves and showing you how it’s done.

I, of course, am continuing to grow.  Every few days, I’m caught off-guard when I see my reflection and notice my ever-growing belly.  Little Loralai continues to move a bunch.  We’ve gone from taps and kicks to more rolling movements, where I can feel her rub all the way across my belly.  If I have my hand on my belly at the right time, I can feel roundness of a fist or a foot, rather than just pressure or bumps.  One evening, JD and I both happened to be looking when she kicked hard enough to make my belly move!  It was a little freaky, but we figured it was her way of saying hello :)

Friday, October 19, 2012

Strange Condition

Being a police wife is a strange lifestyle.  Very few things compare.  Besides the weird hours and the fact that your husband goes to work in a Kevlar vest and a belt full of guns and pepper spray, there are unusual dinner conversations about dead bodies and drugs up people’s butts.

Yeah, JD and I have had some unnerving conversations about work, but after a while, what used to seem strange becomes your norm.  It’s not unusual to get a text at 11pm along the lines of, “Going on a drug raid.  EPIC!!!!”  In the beginning, I wasn’t really sure how to react to these types of texts, but I’ve learned just to say something like, “Have fun and be safe,” because, to him, it IS fun, but for my sake, I want him to be safe.

He often comes home and tells me about the names he was called that day.  “Skinhead” and “Nazi” are amongst the most popular, but to be fair, someone also called one of his African-American co-workers a Nazi as well.  Not sure how that works.

There was the time a woman’s water broke in the back of his squad car.  I also think several drunk people have peed in the back of his car as well.  Not to be gross, but there’s been a lot of bodily fluid back there.  Don’t get arrested, if for no other reason than you wouldn’t know what’s been in that car before you (and yes, they clean it, but still).

And then there are the hookers.  I mean, how many women can be like, “So my husband was talking to this hooker today… no big deal.”  That’s right, JD spends an unusual amount of time around hookers, because there are a bunch in his district.  And he knows them by name.  Some have even hit on him.  Perhaps this should concern me, but I actually find it pretty amusing.  Real-life hookers don’t look like they do in the movies.  He usually shudders when he tells me about them.

Of course, conversations about my day are usually more traditional.  He’ll ask if anything exciting happened, and I’ll be like, “Oh, you know, helped out a sales manager, saved someone from cancelling their… advertising.”  These are probably the types of things normal couples discuss over dinner, but compared to his work stories, mine are really tame (in a good way, I’d rather not have stories that involve bar brawls and chasing down suspects).


In baby news, JD got to feel his first kicks this week!  I’ve been feeling her move for a while, but the movements hadn’t been strong enough for him to feel up to this point.  We tried.  I feel her the most when I’m laying down in bed, so in the evenings I would wait till I felt her moving and then have him put his hand in that spot.  When I felt her move, I would ask if he felt anything, and this was always met with a disappointed, “no.”  I felt bad because I knew he felt a little left out that I was so connected to her and he wasn’t able to be a part of it yet.  This week, we were lying in bed and she was making quite a statement down there, punching and rolling around.  So I put his hand on my belly and waited, silently begging her to kick her daddy to say hello.  After a motionless couple of minutes, I felt a big kick right where his hand was. 

“Did you feel that?” I asked hopefully.

He pulled his hand away and his eyes got wide.  “Yes,” he replied.  “It was freaky.  It’s like you have an alien in there.”

“Well,” I laughed, “there IS a baby growing in my belly.”

She wasn’t done yet, so I put his hand back on my belly so he could feel some more kicks.  In that moment, I could tell he was connecting, and I was so happy that he could feel her and say hello.

Friday, September 28, 2012


Attending a large, outdoor music festival in downtown Atlanta while 21 weeks pregnant may seem like a bad idea to some, but if there are artists you can’t miss like Florence + the Machine and Ludacris (and an artist your hubby can’t miss like Pearl Jam), it will be totally worth it.  Just follow a few tips, and you’ll be good to go.

1.        Do bring your husband with you, especially if he happens to be extremely protective.  He will yell at the guy who tries to smoke a joint right next to you and your unborn child.  (Disclaimer: I was under no illusion that there wouldn’t be weed there, but this guy was a little too close for comfort)

2.       Don’t pass up the opportunity to skip ahead in line for the port-a-potties when a nice couple notices your belly and offers to let you go in front of them. 

3.       Do rock out to Luda harder than the barely-legal drunks who probably can’t name a single Luda song from before this year.  Belt out all the lyrics and dance to your favorite songs until your womb peanut is dancing right along with you.
Me and the sis... the "real" Luda fans

4.       Don’t stay near the stage for Pearl Jam.  Those fans are crazy.  Instead, escape with your sister for some food and one-on-one time while the hubby has the time of his life jumping around with the other fans.

JD on a post-Pearl Jam high

5.       Do find a shady spot to sit back and chug some water while groups you don’t care as much about are playing.  You’ll want to save your energy for the good stuff.

6.       Don’t forget to bring a blanket to sit on for shade-sitting and water-chugging.

7.       Do fill yourself up with some Jimmy John’s before the festival, so you don’t have to rely on the overly expensive garbage they have there.  And yes, Jimmy John’s is equally delicious in other states.

8.       Don’t expect anyone to notice your bump in the giant sea of people trying to catch the subway home.  Prepare to stand for this return trip.

9.       Do brush up on your “sculpting with play-doh”  and “drawing with your eyes closed” skills before going over to your hubby’s cousin’s house for dinner and Cranium.

And finally….

10.   Do cherish these last few opportunities when road trips and weekend getaways are still breezy and feasible.

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

The Battle

There is a battle raging.  It’s parents, soon-to-be parents, and wanna-be parents vs. non-parents.  Naturally, this battle is all playing out via Facebook, and I’m starting to feel very much in the midst of it all.

Shortly after I found out I was pregnant (but before I was ready to announce it), a Facebook friend (an acquaintance I knew from a few classes in college) posted a status venting about other people celebrating their pregnancies and their children on Facebook.  She admitted that her and her husband had been dealing with fertility issues and complained that others don’t realize how hurtful their statuses can be to someone who is unable to conceive.  My heart breaks for her, because I can’t imagine how difficult that would be… BUT… it’s not like anyone is out there purposefully rubbing her own pregnancy in her face.  I’m allowed to celebrate the fact that I’m pregnant.  It doesn’t mean I’m gloating; it means I’m sharing my personal happiness with my friends and family.  While I do feel bad for her, I resent her for making me feel guilty about sharing my joyful news (when the time came) on Facebook.

Not long after that, I found out about a new app called Unbaby.Me that will automatically cover baby pictures posted by friends with something that you do like, whether it be animals, landscapes, etc.  On one hand, I feel like I should be okay with this one because it kind of falls under the category of “if you don’t want to see it, just hide it.”  On the other hand, I’m kind of offended this app even exists because I don’t understand what’s SO offensive about babies.  Sure, maybe you’re not a kid person and you get tired of seeing people post pictures of their kids over and over, but maybe I hate seeing you post pictures of yourself drunk at the bar over and over.  There’s no app to hide THOSE pictures, is there?

A week or so ago, another Facebook friend (a girl I knew in high school) posted a status complaining about people posting pictures of their ultrasound photos on Facebook by ever-so-eloquently saying, “Since when is it okay to post pictures of your uterus on Facebook?”  She then proceeded to spew out a sarcastic congratulations for “proving to the world that you’ll be squeezing a person out from between your legs in 9 months.”  Uhhh, okay.  I didn’t realize pregnancy was so offensive, or that there was something disturbing or private about an ultrasound photo.  I mean, RELAX, it’s not like I’m posting pictures of the ACTUAL CHILDBIRTH PART.

All of these developments were pretty shocking to me.  I’d always assumed that pregnancy and childbirth were celebrated by everyone, and now it seems like people with babies are practically the enemy.  I understand some people can be over-the-top by only talking about their kids and nothing else, or continually bragging about what makes their kid the BEST EVER, but I don’t understand when it became a bad thing to share pregnancy and baby pics and updates?  My guess is, most of the people who are upset about these things either 1. Don’t want kids or 2. want kids but aren’t in a place in their life where they’re ready for kids and are insecure, so they have to twist things around to make people with kids “the enemy.”

Personally, I LOVE seeing pictures of my friends’ babies so I can watch them grow and change.  I love when people announce pregnancies or births on Facebook, because it allows me to keep in touch with people I might not have otherwise.  My response to all of the people who don’t enjoy these things is the same.  My Facebook profile is my place to share my own thoughts, opinions, and life changes.  I have a lot of friends and family who live far away, and Facebook is a great place to share pictures and updates so that they can feel like they’re still going through the journey with me.  If you don’t like what I or anyone out there is sharing, it’s as simple as removing me from your friends list or hiding me from your news feed (this IS a feature Facebook offers, and is EXTREMELY easy to do).  Same goes for me, I may not agree with your political opinions or your incessant updates about mundane things like what you’re eating, but if I don’t like it, it’s my responsibility to deal with it, or hide it from my view.  NO ONE should have to censor themselves just to please other people, not even people with babies.


Saturday, September 15, 2012


It’s hard to believe but I’m officially 20 weeks, which means I’m HALFWAY THERE!  It’s exciting, scary and a little bit sad all at the same time.  Of course, the bigger I get, the more I realize why women are SO ready to deliver by the end, so I’m sure I’ll be over being pregnant soon enough.  For now, at least, I’m loving it.

This week, I’ve started to feel her moving around.  At first, I wasn’t 100% sure what it was.  I thought it could have been gas bubbles or a muscle twitch, and I didn’t want to go around telling everyone I was feeling something in case I actually wasn’t (not that they’d know the difference, but still).  The other night, I laid down in bed and I could feel her.  People always refer to it as “flutters,” so I guess I had imagined it would feel lighter than it did, but it felt like a cross between a muscle twitch and someone lightly tapping me from inside my belly.  I laid there for a while, just feeling her move around, feeling so full of love and happiness.  The first part of the pregnancy is so surreal.  You barely grow at all and it’s easy to wonder if there really is anything in there.  The ultrasounds help, but they are few and far between.  Suddenly, my belly has grown exponentially and she’s poking around to let me know she’s there.  It makes me feel really connected to her and reminds me that there’s really a person in there, not just a few cells that happen to be growing.

I told JD about the moving, but he didn’t seem overly excited at first.  I might have been offended if I didn’t know him well enough to ask, “Do you feel left out that you can’t feel it yet?” 

“Yeah,” he replied sadly.

I tried to explain to him how it felt, so that he could be a part of it.  He poked my belly a few times, but she seemed to be done moving around for a while.  Soon enough she’ll be kicking hard enough for him to feel it and maybe even see her moving around.  I can’t wait for him to share in those moments.

We also started our baby registry and are about half done.  Many, MANY thanks go to two of my friends, who I emailed asking for advice and they provided very detailed responses with stuff they recommend, brands, features, etc.  This saved a TON of time (and probably a nervous breakdown) when registering. 

When we originally found out we were having a girl, JD was insistent that there would be absolutely no pink.  I just smiled and nodded, knowing that there would be plenty of people who would buy us pink outfits or pink toys, but I was surprised that when we registered, he picked out a few pink things on his own.  We were looking at some green swaddling blankets, and he turned to the pink and brown polka dot ones and said, “I like these.”  I didn’t argue, just smiled to myself and said “okay,” picturing JD holding our little baby girl, all wrapped in a pink polka dot blanket.

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Baby Fever

The theme of last week seemed to be “baby fever.”  The bathroom project was finalized and JD hung up all the fixtures.  We have transformed it from a 90’s mess to a fun, baby-friendly bathroom.

From the paint color to the wallpaper border, there were many atrocities in this bathroom.

Lighter and brighter- the monkey theme comes to life.

I had started looking at nursery furniture at places like Babies R Us and Rooms To Go Kids, when a friend saw a Craigslist posting on Facebook and shared it with me.  Ah, the beauty of social networking.  I hadn’t really been checking Craigslist because there’s so much junk on there and I didn’t have the patience to be checking it all the time.  Plus, a lot of the nicer stuff I could find wasn’t priced much below the brand new stuff I was looking at, so it didn’t seem worth it.  That is, until we received the posting from our friend.

They had listed a crib, dresser, and changing table for just over what I was going to pay for a crib alone.  The best part is that the pieces were HAND MADE by one of their friends, so they are beautiful, unique, high quality pieces.  JD and I drove over to look at them Wednesday night.  The couple selling the furniture is SO warm and friendly, and they seem happy that the pieces will be going to a family that appreciates them.  We still need to buy a glider, but getting this furniture is a huge weight lifted off my shoulders.  (For now, I'm holding off on pics of the nursery until it's finished).

I had 2 (yes, 2!) doctor appointments last week.  The first was just a quick checkup at my regular OB.  They took my weight, blood pressure, and listened to the heartbeat.  At first, all we could hear was muffled noises as the baby moved around (definitely an active one!), but we were eventually able to hear the heartbeat, which is strong and healthy.

The next day, we had to go to another doctor to get my level II ultrasound.  This is the ultrasound where they measure the baby, check for any abnormalities and determine the gender!   I’m very pleased to report that everything looks perfectly healthy!  The baby measures up to the right size, all of the organs like the heart, brain, and kidneys are developing normally, and there are no signs of any defects.  How thrilling and what a relief to know that!  The baby was once again very active in there, touching its face and even rolling over during the appointment.  At our last ultrasound, our little one was still just a tiny peanut, but this time we could see limbs, the spine and some of the facial features.  There’s no turning back now- there’s definitely a baby in there!

At the very end, they revealed the gender.

When they said girl, I cried.  Actually, every time I tell someone it’s a girl, I cry.  I mean it when I say I would have been happy either way, because I think a boy would have been so much fun too, but I think most moms want to have a little girl of their own.  I’ve always had a close relationship with my mother, so I hope that I can have the same with my daughter.  Plus, I think JD will be SUPER CUTE with a little girl.  She is going to be such a daddy’s girl.  He quickly announced, “I’m still going to take her dirt biking and teach her to shoot.”

I laughed, “Of course, babe.  Just because she’s a girl doesn’t mean you can’t do those things.”

Then I could see him start to get nervous.

“She’s not wearing makeup till she’s 18…. And no dating till 30!” he announced.

He is happy to be having a girl, but I think he’s afraid of having one too, because he feels he will have to be more protective.  I’m not too worried about it.  Once it gets around that her daddy is a police officer who answers the door with a shotgun, I doubt she will have many dates :)

Over the weekend, a good friend was visiting from Indiana and we went shopping.  JD suggested we make a Build-A-Bear as the baby’s first stuffed animal (I love that this was JD’s idea).  It’s really special knowing that we made something for the baby with love.  When we signed the certificate “With love from Mommy and Daddy,” I almost cried.  Things are starting to get very real. 

"Teddy" waiting patiently in the crib

She is now a “she” and not an “it.”  Her nursery is coming along.  She’s starting to get some clothes and toys here and there.  She is well on her way, this little person we made.

 Coming soon!