That La Kid

wishin' an' hopin'!

niacin

It’s a lot.  You don’t have to read it.

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ermagherd! strerss!

I had a very happy birthday week.  When I left Charlotte and headed towards Charlottesville for Labor Day, my weight was at an all-time low of 232.8.  (Well, all-time so far in this new weight loss journey.  Obviously, I’ve been that weight before.)  I got on the scale at my Dad’s house at some point at it said 239.something.  I assumed it was wrong.  I was feeling like I must be 230 when I weighed in the last time at his house at 237.  When I got home, I was still around 236.  Today, I am 235.  Man.  Three pounds.  Do you know how hard it was to get to 232?  Tom brought up a valid point, that I’m forever out of the 240s.  I remember dancing between 238 and 241 and hating myself.  I tell you what, 232-235 doesn’t feel much better.

I read somewhere that when our ancestors felt the stress of famine, or winter, or a big sabertooth tiger, they would eat as part of their body’s reaction.  Nowadays, we have different stresses.  No famine.  (That’s for sure.)  Things like deadlines affect our bodies much like the sabertooth, and our subconscious is like, “Ah! Stress! We may not survive! Pack on calories! Survive! Survive! Survive!”

I’m sure you think it’s bullcrap.  I did.  Until today.  Today, I am stressing and I just want to eat.  I had a lot of cake over the past 3 days, but now the cake is gone.  So, hopefully we can get back on track.  I feel so stressed.  The house is a wreck.  I MUST finish some illustrations and I’m just not feeling motivated.  I’ve got to find time to jog at some point.  It’s Wednesday!  I haven’t jogged at all this week!  We bought a piece of furniture from World Market and the doors don’t close the way they’re supposed to.  I spent a whole day putting it together, all for the final piece, the door, to not fit properly.  I wasted a whole day that I should have spent illustrating!

There’s nothing to do about that now but sigh and move on.  I have to take the thing back to World Market, because I’m not keeping a messed up one, and probably put another one together.  I guess that doesn’t have to happen today, or even this week.  So, I need to let that go.

I also can’t find my very expensive Nikon.  I thought it was in the truck for a long time.  Then, I assumed I took it to Easter in Virginia, but I didn’t have it to take pictures.  I never had that “AH!” moment when I realized that I left it in a cab or something.  We had it when we went to get Bruce’s picture taken with the Easter Bunny.  That’s the last time I remember having it.  I hope beyond hope that it’s at my parents’ house, but no one has seen it.  I’m devastated.  The loss keeps me up at night and the sleep depravation = more stress.

My plan is to be 225 by Bruce’s party on 9/28.  215 by Halloween would be nice.  205 by Thanksgiving would feel spectacular.  And while we’re setting goals, lets see what we can do about being under 200 by Christmas, 195 to be specific.

I’m going to see if I can get the scale down to 229 by Sunday.  I just have to lose the pounds I accidentally put back on with cake and then 3 more.  I already feel things starting to settle back down.  I ate out for lunch today with my Great Aunt Sara Beth, so there’s no reason for me to go out and have a big sit-down meal.  A few smoothies should do the trick, fill me with healthy veggies, and motivate me to stay motivated.

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idiot

Hey, if you sell your 6 year old car seat, which is expired and does not conform to safety standards, to two innocent brand-spanking new parents who barely know which end the diaper goes on, YOU SUUUUUUUCK.

Likewise, if you decide you’re not going to pay retail anymore and you’re going to do this baby thing on the cheap and you think, “Wow, what a bargain! Those fools! How dumb of all the other noobs out there to be buying all new stuff!” YOU SUUUUUUUCK!

Yeah. Did you know car seats have expiration dates? Apparently, they do! So, special note to any moms to-be who may be reading this and wondering if they can save money by buying used: just buy a new stroller, for heaven’s sake.

We registered for this: http://www.target.com/p/chicco-cortina-keyfit-travel-system-vega/-/A-13206365#prodSlot=medium_1_24&term=chicco

Image

I remember seeing it in a store display once when I thought I was pregnant but just had a huge cyst. Love at first sight. It was so pretty. So cool. But you know what, it’s not sold in stores. I didn’t see it in a store after that. It’s expensive. We didn’t get it. So, we got this:

picture-25

 

It’s not bad, and it was $75 on craigslist. What a bargain! I don’t love it, but I don’t hate it. It gets the job done. (I know what you’re thinking, and I couldn’t locate the expiration date on it, but it was manufactured in 2011. So worst case scenario, it shouldn’t expire until 2017. We actually bought it in 2012, so I still think we got a good deal.)

I continued the search for a used Chicco KeyFit in Vega because I love it. Found a Chicco KeyFit that was black and green. Not as cool as the Vega, but still pretty cool. AND it matches the diaper bag that Great Aunt Dee Dee gave us (which I LOVE). So, it looked like a win all around. They asked $100 for the stroller, car seat and two bases.

Everything was going fine. We even test-drove the new (OLD) Chicco stroller at Disney World. I loved it. Downside: it has one cup-holder. My old (newer!) Graco stroller had two. But it’s so pretty and in essence is the travel system that was on our registry. Then, for some reason this morning I woke up with a wild hair up my butt to check out what the dealio is with this whole expiration thing.

It makes me mad. The sellers told us that the people who looked at the car seat before us didn’t take it because the base was expired. If the previous people knew to check the base, surely they knew to also check the bottom of the seat. (Although, we didn’t. But, I mean, CLEARLY we are idiots because we knew the base was going to expire and bought it anyway. It expires in October, so I figured at that point he’d be a year old and we’d upgrade to a bigger seat.) So, the sellers had to be lying to our faces. Dangit. They seemed so nice. They said it was all a scam by the car seat companies to sell more car seats. And, “oh, back in my day we just rolled around in the back of the station wagon with no seat belts…”

Well, it’s not a scam by car seat manufacturers. It’s a plastic-becomes-dry-and-brittle-after-sitting-in-the-sun-in-you-car-for-6-years legit thing! I’m sure it’s a conservative estimate, but how can I put Bruce in it now that I’ve seen the label that says, “DO NOT USE AFTER 02 FEB 2013?”

expiration date

Other than this, I’ve had such positive experiences on craigslist! I hate that my constant quest for the best quality at the best price has cost me more money. Our family has spent $315 on strollers and car seats! I could have bought a brand new travel system for $300! To top it off, a new one might have lasted through several kids without expiring! Dangit!

I forget that you are not in my head, so as I write and re-read and re-write this, I am wondering what backstory I need to add or clarify. I love the Liteway. Maybe I shouldn’t count it in my tally of money wasted on strollers because that one is a keeper either way.

I also have a new liteway stroller, so maybe I should just buy a convertible car seat, new, like, from a store, and be done with it. Contrary to what Tom thinks, Bruce is getting too big and too heavy to be toted around in the car seat as a carrier. He’s starting to sit up on his own. (Oh yeah, that happened! Brand new this week!) Maybe he can sit up in shopping carts and high chairs from now on, and if he needs pushing, we do it in the Liteway.

So. I’m new at this. I’d love to hear your thoughts. Love to. I’m feeling very overwhelmed. Can I get by with just using the Liteway, which is a very glorified umbrella stroller? I guess it all depends on my lifestyle? My only issue with the Liteway is that it doesn’t have a huge basket underneath for the diaper bag. It has a cup holder for mom, but no tray or cup holder for Bruce. I don’t want to buy a new travel system if we’re on the cusp of not using it as a system anymore. How long did you use your big stroller? Did you have both a regular stroller and an umbrella stroller? Bruce is almost 8 months old. How long to babies ride backwards in car seats? When do we need to get a bigger seat? The car seat, it seems, goes to 22 lbs. I forget what he was at the last check-up. I want to say it was around 17. Okay, yeah I just checked. He was 17 lbs. at his 6 month check-up. So, he’s 5 lbs. away from growing out of the car seat anyway, which I am guesstimating will happen at about the one year mark?

I am thinking we switch back to ol’ reliable, the old newer one. Well, I mean, definitely we do that first because this new OLD one isn’t safe. But, I mean as a long-term plan, do I just go back to what I have or should I just buy a new Chicco car seat and continue to use the prettier Chicco stroller? Or should I buy a convertible seat and use the big Chicco travel system’s stroller and the Liteway depending on the situation? Or do I just sell the new OLD stroller to recoup my loss because I’m mad at it? Or do I sell the used crap for what I paid for it, buy the Chicco KeyFit in Vega, because that’s what I wanted all along, use that car seat for a couple of months, hoping I’ll have another kid in the next 5 years that can use it for real?

Sad thing is I have $100 in giftcards. Plus the $175 I spent on craigslist… Yeah. Absolutely could’ve had exactly what I wanted from day one with about the amount I’ve spent so far. In my defense, though, I had every intention of selling the $75 Graco when we bought the new OLDER $100 Chicco.

I feel bad, because when I bought the shiny new OLDER one, Tom said, “I like the one he has, but if you like this better…” *facepalm*

We were good! Why did I have to — whatever. Doesn’t matter. It’s really just a $100 mistake. $100 Stupid Tax. I keep thinking that it was a $315 minstake, but it wasn’t. If we can get rid of the new OLD stroller for $100, then it’s a $0 mistake. Even if I unload the new OLD stroller for $50 and throw away the car seat, I’ve only paid a $50 stupid tax.

AND it smelled funny! I should have known. The new OLD car seat that we bought always smelled weird. I immediately missed the smell of my old newer one.

Wish Ikea sold car seats.

***UPDATE 6/29/13***
We sold the stroller a week or two ago. The guy said “what can you do to help out a Mexican guy?”
To which Tom replied, “Make me an offer.”
“$80?”
“Sounds good.”
“Aw, man. You see, I should’ve said $50.” It worked out, because before the dude showed up we talked about going as low as $75.

We also bought a convertible car seat, brand-spanking-new, for about $90 and I have fallen back in love with the original Graco travel system that we bought. I have a new respect for the thing. The sellers were wonderful people and we got a great deal.

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who, me? oh, i’m just one bad mofo.

Thanks to my ability to finally do something relatively sit-up-esque on my own and all the steri-strips from my c-section falling off in the middle of the night last night (all of them, every single one – on their own, I didn’t rip them off – but it was time, they were due off today), I finally got my first look at my scar.  I panicked a little bit before I saw it.  What am I doing to my body, slicing and dicing it left and right?  What would God say about me butchering this body that he made for me?

Well, my anxiety was ridiculous.  This scar is ridiculous… ly tiny.  I’m serious, it looks like a little red hair across my pelvis, just a thin red horizontal line.  I’m amazed by how short it is, too.  It’s maybe 7? 8 inches long?  (That’s what she said.)  I can’t believe Dr. Wolanski pulled a person out of there.  The scar from Mr. Nasty is maybe 10 inches or a foot long, and zig zags vertically down my stomach and around my belly button down to my pelvic area.  It’s no wonder that when any doctor sees the Mr. Nasty scar his eyes bug out of his head.  I’ve told doctors before about having a big cyst, then lifted up my shirt later, during the exam, and they’re all like, “and what was THIS from?” implying that I didn’t reveal my entire medical history.  I paused, like, are you serious, and said, “Um… the CYST.”  It’s really unbelievable.  It is.  People see it, and they do not believe it.  Tom’s friends said things like, “my wife had 3 kids, none of them were that big,” and “you are officially the baddest mofo I know.”  Yeah.  Well…  He’s right, and I AM.

I texted Mom about my scar comparison and she just responded [Mr. Nasty] “Seriously was serious!”  I told her that might be my favorite text of all time.

I took pictures, but no one needs to see all that.  Yes, the scar is small… my gut is not.  (Although it’s nice to be instantly skinnier again – very much like after having a certain 15 lb. cyst removed.  I can see my feet!)

So, I’m proud and excited.  I feel a lot like I did after Mr. Nasty was removed: I CAN TAKE ON THE WORLD and I WANT TO GO TO DISNEY WORLD.  It’s nice to be sitting up unassisted.  Weening off pain medicine.  I feel good.

In other news: Breastfeeding is tough!  I should have been tipped off when the nurses and lactation specialists at Martha Jefferson said, “don’t give up” and stuff like that.  Bruce is a good little sucker, but my supply is pretty measly.  It got up to about 2 ounces at one point the week that Mom was here, but it has declined ever since.  I’m lucky to get an ounce every 3 hours.  That’s not enough for this growing boy, so we’ve been supplementing with formula.  I am blaming it on lack of nutrition (I generally just eat dinner, maybe a snack or two in the afternoon… I know, right?  Awful.) and lack of my mommy here taking care of me and things around the house.  Gosh, that was nice.  I haven’t talked enough about how wonderful it was to have Mom here.  I keep meaning to devote a blog post to recapping our week together.  It was just nice to have someone make me a peanut butter sandwich and walk the dog.  Everyone in the house was content, and we never got back into the groove after she left.

Anyway, as far as the breastfeeding… I’ve got a plan.  Eat more.  Drink more.  We’ll see how that does.  I had a good sized lunch, fed Bruce, pumped a tiny bit, then had a bowl of oatmeal (gross!) and orange juice and a whole lot of water so we’ll see how we do.  Bruce lost a whole lot of weight because I have no clue what a growing boy needs… so, we’re working on beefing him up.  At two and a half weeks old, he’s a little over his birth weight today.  Yikes.  But… he is gaining at a steady rate.  Mommy and Daddy are new at this, but we’re figuring it out.

Just hope the little guy doesn’t starve to death in the process.

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enter the dragon

I feel bad.  I should be posting daily about each cute and perfect thing my new son, Bruce, does each day.  I’ve just had this daunting task of recounting his birth story looming over me, and I know it’s a long story and a lot to sit down and write, so I’ve been procrastinating.  It’s also really, really important so I feel guilty for not typing it up right away.  I did try in the hospital, I just could never get Tom to hand me the laptop.

I don’t know where to start.  Where did I leave off?  Oh, right… a terrified, anxious, scared little girl.  How can I have a kid?  I AM a kid.  I want my husband to myself… mehhhh.

On Sunday night, our last night of freedom, Tom and I went to see Finding Nemo in 3D.  It was really good.  I mean, it was well-done in 3D and it’s just a good movie, period.  It’s almost like we were supposed to see that movie that night.  It’s almost like it was destiny.  We spent 80 minutes watching a father love his son, you know?  It might be the most important movie I’ll ever see in my life.  I walked out of the theater and told Tom, “I think I can do this.”

I didn’t sleep at all on Sunday night.  We went to bed at around 12, and I woke up at about 3:30 tossing and turning.  Our plan was to be up at 5 and at the hospital by 6.  I kept trying to slide back into sleep mode and claim those precious few minutes, but I never did.

We got to the hospital around 6:05, or 6:10 or something.  They showed us to our room, 3048.  I changed into my hospital gown.  Someone came in and took blood samples and someone else hooked me up to an IV.  Mom, Dad and Lindsay came around 8 I think.

Surgery was supposed to be at 7:45, but I got pushed back because of an emergency that someone else was having.  I don’t remember waiting very long.  The wait time flew by.  I want to say they took me back around 8:45.

You know I was a wreck during the pregnancy.  That all culminated on Monday morning, right before surgery, with me not being very nice to Grandma.  No joke, it was so awful that she was about to leave 5 minutes before they took me into the operating room.  Leave.  Like, that’s it… and she’d go and I’d just go back into surgery and she wouldn’t be there.  Okay, honestly, I ruined it.  I took this beautiful moment, you know, all the excitement of getting ready to have a baby and basically made everyone in the room upset.  I’m, like, the best at being the WORST.  Everyone was worked up.

Then they came to collect me for surgery.

It was a complete disaster.

The doctors were fantastic.  It’s the patient that was a train wreck – all worked up.  Everything went by so fast.  I just kept crying and wishing I could take it all back.  I wasn’t at all focused on the fact that I was having a baby.  I was just thinking of that f-bomb that I dropped.  I was totally and completely out of it.  Depressed.  It was almost an out-of-body experience.  I kept looking at myself, and telling myself to get my head in the game.  It was like the halls and rooms were whizzing by and I couldn’t keep up.  Everyone was talking.  Everyone was telling me to do something.

I walked down to the OR with the nurse.  Tom was close behind us trying to put on his moon suit and walk at the same time, but they made him wait outside for the spinal block anyway.

I sat on the table and was surrounded by happy, friendly people, but I just cried like a little baby.  I was losing it.  I sat on the operating table leaning forward, hunched over so the anesthesiologist could get the needle in my spine.  I didn’t realize how distracted I was until the nurse said, “calm down, just take a deep breath and relax.”  I did.  I laid down on the table.  I couldn’t feel my legs.  Am I having a baby?  Is this happening?  I was crying like I couldn’t catch my breath.  I can’t do this.  I felt so bad… like… knives in my eyes.  What had I done?

They brought Tom in.  Oh, sweet, wonderful, familiar Tom.

He was cute as hell in his cap, space suit, mask and booties.  He sat on my right side, held my hand and stroked my hair.

I just remember that it hurt.  Not like, “you’ll feel some pressure,” but like, cutting.  It hurt.  I was wincing.  Honestly, it was like i could feel them pulling the baby down from under my ribs.  I was numb to a certain height, but above that I still felt feelings… and it didn’t feel good at all.

Someone said, “Dad, you can take pictures.”  It was all happening really fast, like an oncoming train that I couldn’t escape.  Take pictures?  Pictures of what?  Baby?  Already?!  I am not ready to be a mom…  We thought we could only take pictures on the non-surgery side of the sheet.  Tom asked if he was allowed to take pictures of the surgery side, and the doctors said they didn’t mind 1 or 2.

 

I heard, “Alright, 9:06.”  Before I knew it, they were saying, “There he is!  That’s your son!”  I saw him sitting on a table past Tom.  He looked like an old Chinese man.  Great.  An ugly baby.  I told Tom to take his picture.

 

I felt sick.

Tom told Dr. Mathis, who was monitoring things by my head.  I felt like I was going to throw up.  My stomach was in knots.  I asked Dr. Mathis what to do – he said if I was going to do it, turn to the left.  I did, and I did.  He put a pink bowl by my face.  I was crying, wincing and hurting as they moved higher up my body pulling and tugging at stuff.  Dr. Mathis said, “I’m going to ask you to stop for a second,” to Dr. Wolanski.  Oh my gosh I was so sick…  Crying and nervous and just physically ill… violently ill.

He gave me something for the nausea and some morphine and we waited a minute.  I thought it was a quick second, Tom said it was about 5 minutes.  They kept asking if it was better, and when I finally said okay, they let Dr. Wolanski continue.

Someone said, “look to your left.”  I looked to my right first, at Tom, then to my left.

 

I saw the most beautiful little pink face… teeny-tiny, sweet, soft, perfect little face.  It was the most amazing thing that I’ve ever laid eyes on.

 

NOT AN UGLY BABY!

Everything else melted away.  They took him away to go take care of all the stuff they do to newborns.  They told Tom to come with them, but he asked if it would be okay if he stayed with me.  No one minded.  I was so relieved.  He continued holding my hand and rubbing his hand on my head.  Everything was going to be okay.

They lifted me onto another bed and carted me down to recovery and brought the baby in.  We tried nursing, but mostly we just held our little boy and spent the first two hours or so of his life getting to know each other a little bit.

 

 

When we made it back to our room, all that tension had melted away, too.

Everything feels so perfect.  It’s been two weeks and it still feels perfect… like this is how it was supposed to be all along.

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head down

Hook Hand Thug: Head down.
Flynn Rider: HEAD DOWN!
Hook Hand Thug: Arms In.
Flynn Rider: ARMS IN!
Hook Hand Thug: Knees apart.
Flynn Rider: KNEES APA – Knees Apart?

Little Happy’s head is down… “That boy has assumed the position!”  I don’t know how anyone can tell that by looking at my stomach, but apparently Dr. Wolanski can.  Feeling kind of crampy, but now that I think about it, it’s not as bad as regular period cramps, but it is a sign that my body’s getting ready to get this wagon train a-rollin’.  Everyone says when it’s labor you will definitely know – so I’m not worried about that.  Dr. Wolanski said he’s 95% sure this week will be uneventful and it’s safe to go back to Charlotte, so that’s what we did.  Doc also said that if the worst should happen, you know, if my water does break – we have plenty of time.  Just call him, tell him what’s happening and he’ll tell us what to do.

So, this week will be spent packing and cleaning and packing some more.  I need to buy a car seat, probably from Craigslist for the time-being.  I also need a solid name.

I want a really good name, like Thomas Andrew La or Wendy Michelle Johnson.  I had so many excellent girl names.  Oh boy, what am I going to do.

I think I also need to print and fill out one of those birth plans.  How does that work?  Does anyone in the hospital actually read/honor those?  I spent a lot of time telling Tom my demands last night on the way home.  It’s nice to have that dude in my corner 24/7.  An example is, okay, there will be hundreds of thousands of photos taken of this kid throughout his lifetime… I want Daddy to take the very first one.  I can’t think of other things on the birth plan.  Drugs, yes.  Water birth, no… although I really would like an excuse to get in the Jacuzzi in my MJH birth room.  Keep the placenta, HELLLLLLLL NO.

I get updates from different baby websites in my inbox, today: “Especially for you this week on thebump.com: CRAZY Labor and Delivery Stories!”  Really, thebump.com?  Why the HELL would you think I want to read that right now?

Uncle Haley turned 22 on the 22nd.  Dee Dee came and it was like, “Birthdays all around!”  She brought me a birthday present and Mom a birthday present and Haley a birthday present and Baby a birthday present!  She had some things off the registry including the first thing I registered for (back when I thought we were pregnant in Sept. 2011):

 

It makes me SO happy, and is going to look great in his room next to his orange lamp.  It reminds me how devastated I was when my period came that time, and how elated we were to finally get that positive test a few months later.  She bought a Finding Nemo sleeper that features Bruce and the other sharks, it really makes me want to name him Bruce.  That thing is SO much cuter in person than online!  It’s no longer in stock, and I feel like I want to find it in every size now.

I need to finish the changing table.  It’s almost all sanded… and I need to paint it.  I was always planning dark blue and lime green, even back when I was sure my baby was a girl.  I never bought newborn cloth diapers.  I think I’ll just have to use the disposables while we’re in VA and work out the cloth when we get back home.

I’m slowly, and I mean slowly getting excited about seeing his face.  This surprise has been building for months and months… and is finally about to be revealed.  You know that I’m crazy and have only been cautiously optimistic all this time.  I start thinking about how “all this time” goes back to the Super Bowl.  Tom and I were both in the bathroom and just cried and cried.  Happy crying!  Really, I thought something might be up when Dad, Lindsay, Haley and I went to Daytona for the Rolex 24.

We went over to WDW and took this picture at Animal Kingdom the day before the race.  Look at my face.  I’m thinking, “they don’t even KNOW!”

Yeah. Right now it’s a cartoon lion baby. Give it 9 months.

I’m not sure why Dad’s yawning.

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your cadaverous pallor betrays an aura of foreboding

Who writes like that?  Honestly.  Amazing.  X. Atencio, Disney Imagineer… he’s “the M.F.S.” as we say in my family.  It’s just so well-done.  I wish that I could write like that.  Side note: at Disneyland, the floor in the stretching room goes down, at Walt Disney World, the ceiling goes up.

To tie it in to the blog… I’m anxious.  I bet you can see it on my face.  But, today’s a much better day than yesterday.  I’m puttin’ my behind in my past and moving on.  Reopened a lot of baby gifts from Courtney Ryalls… just feeling really blessed.  I bought giraffe thank you notes and sat them on the kitchen counter at the old house.  After 2 weeks of searching and not finding them, I broke down and bought some lesser thank you notes.  I didn’t want to do it, but I mean, c’mon… it’s been almost 2 freakin’ weeks.

I’m listening to a Disney Theme Park Audio radio station right now that happens to be playing the entire Haunted Mansion ride from Disneyland.  I think I sat down at the computer right as he said the bit about the disquieting metamorphosis.  I love that ride.  I am so homesick for Disney World.

The Disney Vacation Club Member Cruise is happening this week.  Dad wanted to go, but we opted not to because of the baby.  What if he came early, you know?  Of course now, sitting here, I can see we’re no where close.  He’s still up way high and everything.  The doc checked my cervix and isn’t worried.  We would have been fine.

Then again… we need to save Tom’s days off for the weeks after the baby and our anniversary in December.  So, I guess we really couldn’t afford it.

Now the music from El Rio del Tiempo in Mexico at Epcot is on.  Takes me back.  I can smell it.  If you’re not in my family, that probably makes no sense.  I think our new anniversary tradition is trying something new every year.  Last year, Tom and I ate at San Angel Inn for the first time and had priority seating for the Candlelight Processional.  It was so romantic.  Everything is romantic with Tommy, but it was just really neat.  I’ve ridden past our table countless times while I was on the ride and always wondered what it would be like.  Last year we got to find out.

Mexico at twilight… always at twilight.

Temple with Donald’s Gran Fiesta Tour boats passing. Tom’s ear.

Dessert! Natilla de Cajeta: Caramelized “cajeta” custard cream served
with seasonal berries and sugar powder.

One of these years I think we’ll do Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party at the Magic Kingdom.  Maybe when the baby is 5 or so.  One of these years I want to do a private fireworks cruise.  One of these years I want to celebrate Christmas with a sleigh ride at Fort Wilderness.  I guess the new thing this year is that we’re taking another person with us.  I think I will wait in line for as long as it takes to get baby’s picture with Mickey Mouse.

While I’ve got you… WHAT THE HECK SHOULD I NAME MY KID?!  You may think that we’re being aloof.  We’re not.  I still don’t have a boy’s name that I love.  We’re dangerously close to Mickey if we don’t come up with something.

I just read a blog post that I wrote a while back hoping baby would be born on 10/11/12.  I had totally forgotten about that!  I’ve just been so excited to see what he looks like, I was hoping he’d come asap.  Now I’m thinkin’ it’d be cool to hold off.  Oh well.

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cloudy: another rant

I read somewhere that artists are prone to being over-sensitive and depressed.  ::shrug::  I don’t know… I guess it’s just one of those days.  I’m apprehensive about everything that motherhood entails.  I’m making mountains out of molehills.  Tom asked me today, “what’s wrong?”  And I said something about a college fund.

I just can’t seem to get my head on straight.

I feel bad for letting people down, for not being giddy all the time.  I was already a worrier, already anxious.  Now there’s all this extra hormonal stuff going on… I feel out of it.  I feel like a disappointment.  I feel like everyone’s stoked about the fact that there’s going to be a baby in the family, but they’re also kind of bummed because it’s mine.  (Someone very hateful actually told me once, years ago, that she feels sorry for my future off-spring because they’ll have me for a mom… I try not to think about it, and to consider the source, but it’s still pretty painful all these years later.)

So, then… do I say something?  Do I talk about my feelings?  Because my feelings are wrong.  Most people, I don’t know, they just don’t understand what I could possibly be complaining about.  How can I possibly be sad now?!

I don’t know.  I just am.  I don’t even feel completely comfortable writing this because I’m afraid of the fallout.  I should just write about my awesome visit with Dr. Wolanski on Friday and happy things that people actually want to read about.  Sunshine.  Lollipops.  Glitter.  Rainbows.  Why am I so weird?  Why is all the happiness tempered with this overwhelming anxiety?  I don’t know what I want.  I just want to be honest and say I don’t feel good.  This is my blog, dammit, and I’m going to tell you the truth about my feelings.

I want to be like Lindsay and Trudy.  Outgoing, life of the party, happy, hilarious… FUN TO BE AROUND.  Why am I stuck being me?!  It suuuuucks.  Cynical.  Sarcastic.  Downright mean sometimes.  I think I’m being funny and people are like, “what the h*ll is the matter with you?”  I’m not trying to be mean!  I was telling Dad and Haley at dinner at Outback the other night that I wanted a birthday re-do and was going to tell the waitress that my birthday was a bad night and they were like, “you don’t have to be a jerk about it.”  And I said, “I’m not!”  But they were both like, “actually… you are.”

I’m not calling you out, Haley (or Dad, although he has probably never read any of these entries).  It was unanimous around the table that I was harsh.  I had no idea.

I mean, I’m starting to think that I have no redeeming qualities except a functioning reproductive system.  But I can’t make people like me.

I’m not outgoing and fun to be around, I guess… I’m just not, but I’ve got other stuff going for me.  I’m smart.  Ask me anything about Disney – I can tell you anything you want to know.  I can paint.  I am crafty.  I can organize the sh*t out of an art closet.  I don’t do much of anything unless my whole heart is in it.  I’m thoughtful and compassionate… and despite how Dad, Haley and Tom felt about my little monologue at Outback, I’m very sweet.  I was nice to the waitress, and for me there was no discernible difference between the way I said it to them and the way I said it to her.

While we’re on the subject of who I am and what I stand for, I’m sincere… not judgmental.  I’d like to think if I’m telling you something, something important, if I’m going out on that limb coming into your life trying to rebuke and admonish or even just connect, that you’d understand how much I care about you and that I thought we had that kind of deep relationship.  I thought I could come to you with anything and everything.  You think it’s easy to waltz right up to someone and say, “you’re doing it wrong?”  No way man… that takes a lot of freakin’ guts!  God’s put some stuff on my heart, things that cause me worry and anxiety, things that I want to share with you and you think I’m just being critical – just looking down my nose and judging you.

Nothing happened!  I mean… I’m not talking about a recent event – so cool your jets – I’m just saying people look at me and think I’m judging them.  I get that a lot.  I’m not over here in silence staring you up and down criticizing your life choices.  I don’t talk because I’m shy.  Bottom line.  I’m wishing I could be more like you, over there having fun and doing your thing.  I’m shy and I hate it.

If it’s important, like Richard Sherman is just standing by himself on the deck of the Disney Wonder, or Jim Korkis (great guy!) is sitting alone right in front of me in the Walt Disney Theater, or I run into Virginia Davis in a hallway, then I am going to make a move.  If it’s important, like I’m worried about you, or I feel like we are growing apart, then that’s a move I have to make as well.  Not easy.

I woke up early today and didn’t have breakfast even though I know I need to check my blood sugar.  Sometimes I sleep in and miss breakfast… but today I was up early and everything and STILL skipped it.

It still hasn’t set in that there is a person inside me.  I know he’s there, he’s moving.  If he’s born today, he’ll be full-term and he will live.  It’s important for me to say that to myself.  He is alive.  He will live.  Even now, I find myself saying to myself, “well, barring any unforeseen circumstance,” but, I mean, I’ve got to stop that.  It’s a habit that I got into as we dealt with infertility.  Cautious optimism.  I want to be happy, but I can’t get too happy, because there’s always the chance I will find myself on the floor in the fetal position begging God for answers.  Again.

I guess if you care about me and are reading this, it’s important that you see that.  You know?  The weak moment.  Maybe it’ll help you understand the weirdness, and why I am not just straight-up happy.  He kicks me all day, but you’re much more likely to believe he’s really there than I am.  Part of me can’t understand that we made a baby and won’t trust it until the thing is in my arms.

In my arms.

Really… he will live.  He’ll eat.  He’ll sleep.  He’ll poop.  He’ll cry.  And he’ll start kindergarten, and he’ll do wushu with his dad, and we’ll ride Winnie the Pooh and Dumbo at Disney World, and he’ll wear hats and sunglasses, and he’ll throw a baseball through a window then lie about it, and he’ll place in the science fair, and he’ll spend summers working in the restaurant and learning Chinese, and his grandparents will take him to visit distant cousins, and his grandparents will take him on Disney Cruises, and we’ll give him charging privileges on his Key to the World card and he’ll buy way too much, and he’ll keep an eye on his little sister and fight with her and say, “that’s not fair,” and he’ll go to band camp, and he’ll graduate high school, and he’ll go to college, and he’ll meet a girl, and I’ll wonder who the h*ll she thinks she is…

But he will live.  He will.

From way back: “Impression: Single living intrauterine pregnancy.  No complications noted.”

You know what really makes me mad… I can’t find my ankle bones.  My feet are that swollen.

I wish I had a picture with Jim Korkis.  I have pictures OF him.  We met at the Disney Institute when I was 15, then became Pen Pals after I saw him on the Disney Cruise in 2003.  He even took Courtney and I around Epcot one day.  Really awesome, awesome guy.

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lately

It’s been a busy couple of weeks.  No progress on Little Happy’s room or anything.  At this point we’re just trying to get out of the old house.  We’ve got one week.

It’s been a rough few days.

We bought a house, closed on 7/27 and have to be moved out of our rental by 8/18.

I don’t have gestational diabetes per se… but my numbers are elevated.  So I’m diligently trying to figure that whole mess out.

Tom went to Dallas last Thursday and Friday, so in addition to be pregnant and having to work on the old house by myself, I was super-duper depressed at being alone.  There’s nothing in the new house to eat.  So, I had to go to the store.  Everyone I know who has a pet can just walk out the door and go to the store.  Not us.  We have to dog-proof the whole house.  Close all the doors to all the bedrooms…  Put boxes on the couch so she doesn’t jump up there and cover it in fur…  Move anything that’s edible higher than 5 feet off the floor…  It’s exhausting.  I just want to be able to go to the freaking store without having to turn my pantry into Fort Knox.  I just want things to be easy.  I just want my life to be simple!

So.  I put the dog in the garage.  I prayed she wouldn’t crap in the garage – because I’m still nauseous all the time and didn’t want her sh*t to make me throw up.  Still, I bought clothespins at Walmart so I could put one on my nose if she did poop and figured we could use them at the baby shower.

It started raining when I went into Walmart, when I was ready to leave it was a gosh-darned MONSOON.  I got soaked, despite the umbrella (“…big ol’ fat rain.  Rain that flew in sideways…”)  I looked like a drowned rat.  Aaaand I slipped in the parking lot.  Stubbed my toe.  I’ll live.  My super-long second toe kind of folded and saved the rest of me from going down, but it got cut pretty bad and hurts like a mug.  Added injury to the insult of being soaking wet, and lonely, and sad, and frantic about Jasmine.

At home, of course there was sh*t in the garage, which infuriated me.  Of course.  Just because I DID NOT NEED THAT IN MY LIFE AT THAT MOMENT.  So, okay… fine.  I can pick up poop.  I mean.  I’m having a baby.  Me an’ poop are about to get real friendly.

But geeeeeez… do I hate dog poop.

So, I open the clothespins and they don’t fit on my GIGANTIC, HUGE, ENORMOUS, TITANIC nose.

I stuffed a paper towel up my schnoz and picked up the crap, put it in a bag and cracked the garage door so I could throw it out on to the driveway and throw it away when it’s not raining cats and dogs.  Oh!  And speaking of rain/dogs… Jasmine decides she’s out.  She’s gon’ bounce.  She peacin’.  So, she runs out of the garage into the rain.  Nice little plus.  Like my evening wasn’t already awesome… now I get to go find a wet dog.

JASMINE!  WHY YOU SO DUMB!  WHY YOU RUN OUT INTO STORM!

I don’t get it.  I’ll be damned if I’m going out there.  I yelled and she came back.  I yelled at her to stay and went inside to get a cup of water the flush out the pee that she also made for me while I was gone.  Come back out – she’s gone again.

SUNNUVA!

I called her again and she came back.  WTF, Jasmine?!  It. Is. RAINING.  Stay in the garage… if for no other reason, because I JUST told you to.

WHY YOU SO DUMB?!

This happened every time I went in to get another cup of water.  By the time the pee was flushed out into the rain I was ready to just shut the door and leave Jasmine out there.  I didn’t.  I called her back into the garage from wherever the heck she was.  I stood by her bowl and watched her eat the food that had been there since I left.  (If you don’t know this dog, she loves to eat.  We pour the food at dinner time, she eats it.  Interesting, huh?  Leave her in the house and she will eat anything within those 5 feet of ground level.  Leave her in the garage with a full bowl of food and she doesn’t touch it.)  Poured her some water.  Stood there while she drank it.  Went in the house, told her to get the F away from me, and I finally got to eat something.  Finally.  Sat in the kitchen and cried and ate “dinner,” a Lean Cuisine.

I was beginning to think Tom had forgotten about his wife.  It was about midnight, Texas time.  So… clearly he’s having more fun than I was.  Whatever.  I’m going to bed… Jasmine was finally dry, but I didn’t want her near me and she knew it.  She got as close as she thought she could safely, which was the landing halfway up the stairs and eventually outside my bedroom door.

Tom called at about the same moment I gave up on him.

Maybe none of it is a big deal, but I FEEL depressed.  So, I FEEL like it’s a nightmare.

Tom got home and we decided that we’re never doing that again.  Ever.  That was stupid.  Lil’ Happy and I are going next year.

The screen on my laptop, my only means of communication with the outside world, went black on Tom’s first day away – JUST as I was opening photoshop to create Baby Shower invitations.  I also have someone WAITING for me on Etsy, and no way to create a listing.  Our shower leaks.  The washing machine stopped working.  The ceiling fan and light in our bedroom turn on and off at random.  And oh yeah, we have a house to move out of.  Oh yeah, and my nose is huge.

Friday night – Tom was finally home!  I met him at the door.  It was like in the movies where they guy has been over seas fighting Nazis for 9 months.  We just wanted to be together.  We drove to get food at 11:30 – not because we were hungry, but because we wanted to drive around and talk and just be together.  Took the Holy Terror with us.  Got home and Tom showed me cupcakes! And presents! We were in bed around 12:30.

At about 1:30 am, his phone starts going off and we both thought it was the alarm.  We were supposed to leave early to go to Virginia.  It wasn’t the alarm, it was the neighbor that lives by the old house.  She said some kid told her he thought our house was robbed.  We got dressed, loaded Jasmine up in the truck that was full of stuff from me moving earlier that day and went to the old house.  The cops were there.  They said the back door was open.  Great.  We went in the front door.  The cop was like, “alright – what’s missing?”  “Nothing.  It looks just as it did when I left this evening.”

Turns out, they had parked the getaway car in front of our house, broke in to a house about 5 houses down and ran behind all the houses in-between with the goods.  But it wasn’t us.  It’s like Tom’s back home and all is right with the world.  Nothing is a big deal.  Everything’s okay.

We were up late.

We went to Virginia for a glorious wedding – but traveling is always tough anyway.  I’ve got this gestational diabetes problem and it’s been tough to find good nutritious food on the road.  Anyway.  Being on the road is just an extra stressor on the existing list of crap that’s going on.  We were both tired from the night before.

It was a whoooole weekend that we weren’t moving.

It was a great weekend.  Great wedding.  Great day at Busch Gardens – although I could not ride a damn thing.

I take that back, I rode the carousel.  Everything else was either too dangerous or part of the Sesame Street Forest of Fun.

As if my list of whiny complaints wasn’t long enough, at the wedding a friend of mine pointed out that my voice is suddenly very deep.  Yes, it is.  Thank you.  I actually find it quite devastating.  Huge nose… growing a beard… voice of Gaston… wedding band doesn’t fit… yes… pregnancy is AWESOME.

Side note: this sounds like me, http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1770619/, I’d love to know other peoples’ opinions on the subject.  People on various message boards claim the nose thing will go away after I have the baby, but the deep voice bit sounds like a legit issue (that will resolve itself eventually, but an issue nonetheless).  All the stuff about the ovaries sounds like me… just sayin’.  Look at it.

So… yeah.  That’s what’s happening down here.  I’m just kind of waiting for this pregnancy thing to get fun.  At first, I figured it was lame because I was waiting until after my cousin’s wedding to make a big deal about it.  But here it is a month later and I’m still miserable.  I don’t feel special!  I’m not glowing!  I’m just… kind of… blubbering.  I’m tired.  I’m fat.  I’m sad.  Projects are not getting done.  The house is a mess.  I was looking forward to the baby shower because that’ll be fun… show off my new house, you know?  But like, people have a problem with it because I want it to be at my house in Charlotte.  That’s really getting to me for some reason… like, making them unhappy is completely filling me with anxiety and irritability.  There really just aren’t words to express my feelings about that.  I can’t imagine any of the complainers being like, “oh – you know what, I’m going to have my baby 4 hours from home because that’ll be easier on Wendy,” but that’s what I’m doing for them.  (Not just for them, I like the doctor, too – but if you ask, “wow, why are you having the baby in Cville?”  First thing out of my mouth is, “Well, my whole family is there.”)  And they can’t come here, to my home for a shower, so I can nest for one f*cking minute before I have to move to Charlottesville for a month – away from Tom, and we’ve seen how well that worked out – and live as a guest, out of a suitcase while I have this baby?!

Buuuuut…. trying to be optimistic.  I don’t know.  Trying.  Sorry if you wanted a fluffy entry about magic baby fairy dust.  Tom makes me feel better.  We tried for so long.  This is our little miracle.  I’m hoping it’ll be a whole different story when he emerges from… my… gosh… I do not want to think about that right now.

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it’s my beach house…

I got upset in the Outer Banks.  I was cryin’.

Tom was amazing.

Earlier in the week, we had been to the Cape Hatteras lighthouse.  They are a National Park, so they sell these National Park Passports.  You can get your passport stamped at every National Park.  The only ones I’ve been to are Cape Hatteras and Jamestown.  So, in the car driving around Buxton, Tom was saying wouldn’t it be neat if that was something we did with our son.  Every year we take a trip to get his National Parks Passport stamped.  Sometimes we’ll go on big trips, like to Yosemite in California or the Grand Canyon in Arizona.  Other times, the trips will be closer to home, like Hatteras or Jamestown.  At Christmas, we’ll present options, and Little Mr. Happy gets to make the final choice.

Image

Anyway, so I’m crying… and Tom starts talking to me about taking our son to Hatteras.  He described how our little boy will stamp his passport all by himself, then turn around and show his mom and dad.  Smiling.  So excited.  So proud – we’ll all be proud.  We’ll walk around and explore the old lighthouse site, and the Keeper’s Quarters, and I’ll say, “the last time we were here, you were in Mommy’s tummy.”

It was so good.  It made me so happy – turned my frown upside-down!  Someone said that having a kid intensifies whatever kind of relationship you have.  So, if you and your husband’s relationship isn’t great, a kid will make it super-challenging, but if your relationship is awesome, well, then you’ll be a super-awesome family.  I think that’s us.  I think we’re going to be super-awesome.

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