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."