That La Kid

wishin' an' hopin'!

levine children’s hospital

I wrote Tom a note recounting our brief stay at Levine Children’s Hospital earlier this month.  I wrote it almost as soon as we got home because I didn’t want to risk forgetting things like I did when Bruce was born.  I’ve recounted his birth story with all the details more or less in tact, it just would have been nice to have the sheer emotion that we experienced in writing.

So, here are tidbits from a letter that I wrote Tom dated Friday, November 16.

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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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fiiiiiiiinally!

Guess who’s baby’s finally got a car seat?!  Woo hoo!

I hate posting twice in one day, but in my defense we are getting awfully close, I didn’t post at all over the weekend, and these are exciting new developments (if you consider shopping for the bare necessities exciting).

Here’s the thing… love this because it goes all the way.

No, we didn’t buy this one.

Look at it.  It’s like a throne for an astronaut.  Love the color.  One purchase lasts from birth to booster seat.  Love it.  But, it’s $185.  I’m also kind of confused about how to use it, because I remember when my cousin Amy would bring her baby, Kyle (“baby,” who just got his drivers license), to Gammy and Papa’s house she’d bring him inside the house in the infant carrier.  I just feel like that’s more convenient for Christmas, Thanksgiving, Easter, restaurants and all that kind of stuff than taking him out of the car seat and carrying him in.  I got a stroller that’s super lightweight and reeks of awesomeness.  It is perfect for Walt Disney World – it folds up pretty tight but it doesn’t have the infant seat component.  It just reclines back enough for a newborn.

At some point, I am going to be rolled out of the hospital and they’re going to need to see a car seat before they’ll let me leave.  Even if I had the dough for the Alpha-Omega… I don’t know if I can pull the trigger on it while I’m still confused about the carrier situation.  I have also registered for a really cool Chicco Travel System, but it all comes back to the same thing – okay, it’s $300 and I HAVE a kick-ass stroller already.  Do I want to spend all that money on this thing when I really just need the carrier?  I love the stroller part, too, but I hate how big and bulky those things are even when they’re folded down.  It would take up the vast majority of the back of the 4Runner.  And while we could probably fit a few duffel bags back there with it, I don’t know whether or not we could fit a few duffel bags, a Pack ‘n’ Play, a baby tub, a diaper bag, and a dog.

Enter craigslist.  We bought a Graco Travel System for $75.  For $75, I don’t mind taking a risk on a travel system that includes a bulky stroller that we never use.  I was really hoping to spend $25-$40 for a used infant car seat/carrier that would carry us through the first few months while we decided what we liked, so I don’t mind dropping $50 on a stroller that it will click into.  That’s fine.  If we hate it, we can sell it on craigslist.  Maybe we’ll enjoy the travel system.  Who knows?

Our “new” stroller and car seat!

Now, Pack ‘n’ Plays… they are so advanced.  It used to just be a cloth/metal/plastic playpen.  Now it’s that, but with different heights, a bassinet, a changing table, side storage and a character mobile.  Forget it.  I don’t want all that.  Once I get all of that put together I’m never going to want to take it back down and go anywhere.  It’s not temporary enough.  I do, however, LOVE the super-pricey Baby Bjorn Travel Crib.

Only $279!

Stream-lined.  Simple.  Portable.  TWO HUNDRED AND SEVENTY-NINE DOLLARS.  And you’re probably going to want a crib sheet for that, and that’ll set you back an additional $43.  Yowza.

Enter craigslist.

I know Dragon Kid needs a place to sleep while we’re in VA.  I know I don’t like Pack ‘n’ Plays.  I know I don’t want to spend $200 on something I don’t like… but $40… I could go $40 on it.

Retail: $189.95
Because I’m so smart: $40. Boom baby!

Look at that.  Little happy can sleep right next to Papa Bear and Mama Bear… assuming he can sleep through the two of us sawing logs all night.  I don’t have to get up to feed him.  Just grab him and pull him into the bed.

All this talk about baby travel has made me really want that Puj tub.  Someone listed one on CL here in Charlotte, and I found a couple in DC.  If I could get my hands on it for $20-$25 I’d be one happy camper.  Cross your fingers for me.

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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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phew! glad that’s over! (almost)

  • Chocolate Milkshake from Baskin Robbins
  • M & M Minis
  • M & M or Oreo Blizzard from Dairy Queen
  • McDonald’s Fries
  • Little Debbie Oatmeal Cream Pie
  • Mei Wah Roll
  • Outback Steakhouse Aussie Cheese Fries
  • A big, soft, ooey-gooey chocolate chip cookie
  • Serious Dark Chocolate from Lindt or Ghirardelli
  • Phish Food and Chocolate Fudge Brownie Ice Cream from Ben & Jerry’s
  • Bread from Topeka’s Steakhouse

The MJH Diabetes Nurse Educator suggested I make a list of things from Tom to bring me in the hospital after the baby is born.  That is what I’ve got so far.  I’ve been writing it down in the back of the log book that came with my meter.  I should also put granola cereal and lots and lots of fruit on there, because that has also raised my blood sugar so I haven’t been able to have it.

I’m just too damn sweet.

I’ve gotten in the habit now of eating meat and vegetables and not much else.  I can’t imagine that it’s very good for me to have so much red meat.  (Before you say anything, I have had enough chicken!)  I wonder how hard it will be to revert back to cereal and applesauce for breakfast.  A sub would be nice.  I miss sandwiches.

BUT!

My numbers this week have been declining.  I’m thrilled.  I’ve gone from 135 – 170 on 9/4-9/6 to 87 – 127 so far this week.  I guess, that doesn’t mean anything to you unless you are diabetic, but I’m supposed to keep it under 120.  The MJH DNE said the placental hormone production peaks at 36 weeks, which was 9/9.

So although we’re not done pricking and bleeding and metering and logging yet… we’re getting there.  Won’t be long now and Tom can bring me all the things on that list!  I was so frustrated with the whole thing, I’m glad to have a handle on it.

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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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two things

First of all, relative to what I was saying yesterday, *HEADDESK!*

I feel like they must be trolling, and making that up.

AND WHOA!  145 PEOPLE LIKE IT?!

“Spelt.”  It seems in this person’s world, everything is “spelt” uniquely.  Nikki Davidson and I came up with a term for people like this, “Certified Moron.”

And second, a love story:

Baby Daddy promised me the best chair on God’s green Earth.  That was his contribution to this whole baby thing (well, that and half the genes).  We got a cheap crib, cheap furniture – but I wanted a really great chair for rocking our little fella.  Those wooden gliders with padding don’t do it for me either.  I wanted a real rocking chair.

Tom and I went to Buy Buy Baby and found a cute navy chair for about $600.  The cushion on the back was high.  It felt soft.  I sank into it.  Here’s the chair in some kid named Caden’s room.

It takes 8-16 weeks for delivery.  Wow.  Little Happy could be pretty old by the time that thing finds its way into his room sometime between November 8 and January 3.  So, I went home and began frantically searching for the Little Castle Treasure from an online retailer.  I found some things that were close.  If we’re just getting a navy chair, maybe i can find something I like at a furniture store, a store without the word “baby” in the name.  Fortunately for us, Charlotte is some kind of furniture epicenter.

We started at Good’s.  I discovered that we aren’t shopping for a rocking chair.  We are actually shopping for a rocker recliner or swivel rocker or swivel glider.  Good’s had some good stuff, but good God!  The chairs I liked were upwards of $800 – and same deal with delivery, about 8 weeks – and I’ll bet delivery’s not free.  We weren’t hounded by employees, but someone did approach us after a while.  Tom might have gone to get the guy.  I forget.

  

After Good’s, we went to Thomasville.  We did a lap around the store.  Didn’t see anything that swiveled or glided or rocked AND we didn’t see a single employee.  It was just us, so we were in and out in about 3 minutes.  Moving on!

The next stop on the road of furniture stores was La-Z-Boy.  I don’t really want a La-Z-Boy.  They are generally unattractive, but isn’t what’s her name… ugh… dated Michael jackson way back… shoot… BROOKE SHIELDS!  Isn’t Brooke Shields on their commercials talking about how stylish they are?  Okay.  We can take a look.  We were approached right away – no me gusta.  I like to just have the freedom to look around.

“Can I help you find anything?”

“Gliders, or rockers?”   The lady looked right at my stomach, “Oh, OHHH!  Yes!  Let me show you what we have!”

The sales pitch actually wasn’t bad at all.  It was nice to have a tour guide because each rocker/glider/swiveler is in a different model living room in the store.  We learned the difference between glide and rock – and learned that I’m a rocker girl, myself.  We learned any glider or rocker can be made into a swiveler, and because it’s La-Z-Boy, they ALL recline.  We looked at some very pretty designy chairs, but as it turned out the softest and most comfy was another plain navy blue chair like the Buy Buy Baby chair.  It was $649.98 (the tag said, “was $850” but you and I both know no one has ever paid that), and it was huge – significantly bigger than the BBB chair.  We told her we needed to sleep on it before we made a decision and we also needed to measure.  She mentioned “the chair sale” started tomorrow (which is now today) but couldn’t elaborate.  It’s two great chairs for one great price – but no idea what the price would be.  She also dropped a hint about a “private sale” in passing.  Later in the conversation, Tom asked about that and she said she was allowed to give out 3 passes to her personal customers, but she had someone drop out.  You either get 10%, 15% or 20% off based on how much you spend, and while she has existing customers that she could invite, we have a whooooole house to furnish, so she was thinking that’d be a solid investment on her part.

The sales lady challenged us to compare La-Z-Boy’s stand-by-their-product ethic to other stores.  I told her we were pretty much done shopping, that I loved the chair.  But then when we left, we saw that Rooms To Go was right next door.  My parents bought at Rooms To Go when we lived in Florida.  (Actually, saw Mom’s current couch and super stylish giant round chair thing when we walked in.)  The rooms at Rooms To Go are awfully pretty.

An employee approached us right away.  “Can I help you find anything?”

I expected her to have the same insight as the La-Z-Boy lady.  “Rockers?”  Cue hand on my giant stomach.

“Oh,” she said, “Like for a baby’s room?  We don’t have those we only have the rocker-recliners like in a living room set.  Maybe try Target or Babies ‘R’ Us down the street.”  I was so irritated at being dismissed that I didn’t press the issue.  If I had tried, it would have been too late.  She was walking away, back to the cluster of employees just chillin’ in some model living room, but Tom and I had an awkward look around anyway.  Didn’t see much that we liked as far as rockers, actually we didn’t see anything.  Geez, if only an employee had been on hand to show us the rocker-recliners…  Their loss.  As we did our lap I said, “Wow. She basically just sold the La-Z-Boy chair.”  Look, maybe that wooden job with the pad is okay for YOU and your baby, or maybe that’s the only thing that will fit in YOUR nursery, but I’m in the market for serious comfort.

We have a rule in our little family, if it’s over $100, we have to sleep on the decision.  (Thank you, Pastor Lon Solomon.)  Take yourself out of the showroom.  Get away from the salesman.  Relax.  Take a step back and try to avoid Toad’s Motorcar Fever.

This is me in the store sitting in my Recliner-Swivel-Rocker.

Well, as far as sleeping on it, it is the most comfortable.  I mean, not that we slept on it… although we could.  But as far as making a list of pros and cons:

  • It’s more expensive.
  • It’s bigger.  (For better or worse.)
  • It not only rocks and swivels, but also reclines.  I keep forgetting that part.
  • La-Z-Boy is THE relaxing chair.  They are basically the gold standard of recliners, and I think we can trust the integrity of a rocker from La-Z-Boy more than some baby furniture company.
  • It was supremely comfortable.  I said I wanted THE BEST chair and this is THE BEST.  My favorite, if that counts for anything, and the one I found most comfortable – which was what Tom said he was going to buy in the first place.
  • Lots of warranties, although IMHO warranties are complete bullsh*t.

Tom came home for lunch today and we went back to the La-Z-Boy store.  The chair sale actually brought the price down to $629.98.  The private sale took off another 10%.  Adding a swivel costs $150, and there is delivery and fabric protection… the only thing I think we really could have gone without is the fabric protection, but whatever… baby’s going to throw up who knows what on the chair, so we might as well go for it.

Ladies and gentlemen, meet my new La-Z-Boy.

It’s actually darker blue in person.  More navy blue… but anyway.  We are the proud owners of a La-Z-Boy to be delivered on SEPTEMBER 20.  It’s nice the chair will be delivered before baby boy.

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i’ll take your 2 cents now.

Alright… my washing machine just will not stop irritating me. I washed some baby clothes in the Ainsworth St. house (Gramma’s machine), and when I was folding them I was like, “dang – they smell so good.”  Washed new baby clothes today in the machine that came with Balenie Trace house and they either smell like nothing or they still smell new, like the store – you know… like they weren’t washed at all.  I just did the side by side comparison.  The older stuff still smells amazing.  Same fragrance/dye-free gentle detergent…  Who buys a KitchenAid washing machine…  Honestly…

How can I be sure that they’re getting cleaned at all?  Should I throw in more detergent?  Gramma’s machine used more detergent, but the KitchenAid Katastrophe is supposed to be more efficient, and it was a small load so I didn’t think I needed much detergent.  I filled the cap up to the line it told me to.  Should I put in a little of the regular detergent to make it smell nice?  Won’t that defeat the purpose of buying this Gentle/Free crap for baby’s sensitive skin?

We put the washer on the home warranty.  Should I get someone to come look at it?  Every other wash cycle it gives us some kooky error code.  But then runs fine, so I’m sure if someone comes out to look at it, we’ll give them $100 to tell us that it runs fine.  Should I just get rid of it and get a new-to-me one off of craigslist?  (Couldn’t be any worse than this one, right?)  Should I just make my Dad bring Gramma’s machine up to the laundry room?  I freakin’ love that thing.  They sure don’t make ’em like they used to.  I liked the idea of this bigger, front load guy so I can wash cloth diapers guilt-free.  I’m scared I’ll mess up Gramma’s machine with a load of thick, heavy, germy diapers every day.

Then again, it’s not doing anyone any good out in the garage.

What are your thoughts?

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overwhelmed

There are so many one-liners that I keep thinking up as facebook statuses, but then I’m like, “No, I really need to just write a blog post.”  At the same time, I am totally speechless.  They don’t make big enough words to describe how special I feel.  It’s amazing that so many people can love someone so much when they haven’t met him yet.  He is one fantastically lucky little boy to be entering a family that’s this incredible.

My baby shower was the shower that I have fantasized about since Tom and I started thinking about making babies.

It started on Saturday morning.  Tom and I were up at 6:30 to continue cleaning after having been up until 2 (me) and 3 (Tom) the night before.  At about 10:30, the doorbell rang and we were pretty far from being ready for company.  Tom answered it, I freaked out about still being in my pajamas.  I crossed my fingers and hoped it was a neighbor.  I said, “Is it people?”  Tom looked out the window by the door and said something to the effect of, “Oh, it’s people alright!”  He opened the door and it was Lindsay Kaye and Sarah.  All the way from Florida, a whole day early!  They were hungry, so the first thing that they did after hugging and hugging and hugging and touring the house was run out and try to find something to eat.  They found Five Guys and brought back lunch for everybody.

Since they picked Five Guys, we had to show them this:

After we ate, they helped us clean up and put a whooooole bunch of boxes in the attic.  Since I want to live here forever and never move again, there’s nothing in the attic that we have to ever get to unless we are moving out.  I have a crapload of Disney collectibles that each came in a box with styrofoam and whatnot, so we put all of those in the attic and that’s it.  Tom doesn’t like going up there, so he’s putting all the holiday decorations in the garage.  Anyway – in 3 minutes, Lindsay, Sarah and Tom took care of a job that Tom and I have put off for 3 weeks.

Kayce showed up sometime in the early afternoon.  Kayce – drove all the way from Northern VA, stopping in Cville, just to go shopping at Ikea with me and watch me open a bunch of presents.  I mean, basically that’s the only reason everyone was there.  Amazing.  AMAZING.  Amazing that all these people would come all this way for that.

Later in the afternoon, Trudy, Sunny and Haley showed up WITH MOM!  Mom!  …or, well, Grandma – I guess… who tried to tell me all week that she was going to the UVA game and coming after that surprised me and showed up with the Herolds + Hay Nick.  First Lindsay and Sarah, then Mom.. that’s TWO awesome surprises.

We went to Ikea.  Tom was versus me.  He’s always versus me.  I sat a bunch of stuff by the door to go to Goodwill on Friday night and asked him to load it up and take it.  Wouldn’t you know it, not only was the truck (that we needed to fill with baby furniture) full of stuff, but it was also out of gas – which we had ALSO talked about waaaay before everyone was walking out the door to go to Ikea.  Try Thursday night.  Between Thursday night and Saturday evening he didn’t have a second to put gas in the truck – get outta here.

I didn’t want to be held up any more from getting the gang to the meatballs.  I told Tom to drop the stuff off at Goodwill, go to South Carolina to get gas, and then meet us at Ikea… instead of napping, which was our original plan for him.

Trudy drove Grandma, Kayce and me.  Lindsay drove Sarah, Haley and Sunny.  Tom came by himself after doing his chores, ate with us and then napped in the parking lot.  We needed the truck… and on the way home it would only seat two anyway, so we needed to take that many cars.

IKEA was, well… it was IKEA, which is always awesome.  We had dinner, then went shopping.  Oh!  I just remembered one of my would-be facebook statuses.  We had a shopping list that totaled over $800 and through savvy shopping, endless generosity from my Mom and sisters and aunts and cousins, and pure dumb luck – we walked out of there spending $175 out of pocket.  I was flabbergasted.  So flabbergasted in fact that I just used the word “flabbergasted.”

I was adamant about making Tom come in and pay with his debit card so we could get 1%, or what I thought would be $8, in cash back… but after all that we made less than $2.  Ha.  AND there was no coupon on the bottom of the receipt… so who knows if they even do that anymore.

I told Tom on the way home from Ikea that I felt like all the molecules that make me up were buzzing.  I felt electric.  There was so much happiness in me that my cells were unable to contain it all.

When we got home, Aunt Lindsay and Aunt Haley put Little Happy’s crib together.  Tom took Grandma and the Great Aunts to WalMart and Krispy Kreme.

It was a late night.  Everybody was exhausted.  We had a huge slumber party.

It was awesome.  Can you believe all this people went through all this for me?!  Well, for one lucky little boy, anyway.

The next morning was a frenzy of activity.  Dad and Lindsay went to the grocery store.  Then Dad and Debbie went to the grocery store.  Then Dad said he needed some wires to hang up the chandelier and had to go to Lowe’s, and before I knew he was gone, he was back and the chandelier was hung.  Our menu was based on the invitations.  We had Mexican dip, Chinese wontons, Hawaiian pineapple, American (although not Native American) mac n’ cheese, Italian caprese skewers, and ham and cheese croissants from France.  Each dish had a little small world kid on a toothpick stuck in it.  I wish I had taken pictures.  It was so cute.  I found a tube of toy buildings from around the world at Michael’s, so the Pyramids, Leaning Tower of Pisa, Parthenon, Empire State Building, Taj Mahal, and Eiffel Tower were scattered around the food as well.  The cake also matched the invitations PERFECTLY.

I made a pennant banner out of card stock and hung it over the fireplace.  It was a quick and dirty project, but in hindsight I like it so much that I think I’m going to hang it in the baby’s room.  I wrote “baby” in a different language on each flag.  It looked so good.

We played a lot of fun games that I’ve never played at a shower before.  Haley and I had each bought a bunch of prizes.  It’s funny, because I picked some of my favorite things, fancy soaps, and Haley picked her favorite things, wild animals on stickers, magnets and notepads. There was a worksheet with a list of features (eyes, hair, smile, toes, etc.) and you had to check off whether you thought that I wanted the baby to get each feature from Tom or from me.  We put paper plate on top of our heads and had to draw a baby without looking.  Everyone tried to guess how big around I was and cut a piece of yarn that length.  My cousin Erika came within about ONE INCH!

Speaking of Erika!  She and my Great Aunt Jean left Rockville, MD at 5:30 AM to surprise me at the shower.  I was totally blown away!  Flabbergasted again!  I still can’t believe Erika was there.  Amazing.  Surprise number 3!  And Jean!  Surprise number 4!

I really want to go into detail about all the incredible stuff that I got, but don’t want to bore you.  It was really just… I don’t know.  I already used “amazing” and “incredible.”  Did I use “awesome?”  It was awesome.  It was epic.  I cannot understand how people love me so much, I just don’t have the brain power to comprehend it.  I’ve been unpacking Lil’ Happy’s gifts this morning and it just moves me to tears.  I don’t think it’s pregnancy hormones, I think it’s just being so full of joy that it leaks out of my face.

The things that stand out most in my mind are the handmade things.  I wanted to buy a stool at Ikea for his room.  Ikea was out of the yellow ones.  But that’s okay, because Great Aunt Trudy MADE him a stool with Mickey and the gang on it.  Anyone can wrap up some onesies and socks and blankets and things, but his Great Aunt Debbie made a platter of onesie cupcakes.  It was so adorable that I didn’t want to take it apart.  I still don’t.  Great Great Aunt Sara Beth made him a blankey and a hat.  I am so excited about those that they’re going to the hospital with us.  They smell like her house.  Love, love, love it.  Kayce and Erika are BOTH in the process of stitching something up.  Kayce’s sneaky.  She surprised me.  I didn’t know she did all that.  Erika said, “Yeah, she does… and she knits all the time.  She’s very crafty.”

OMG, I still can’t believe Erika and Kayce were here for the shower.  Totally awesome.

Grandma, Grandpa and Lil’ Happy’s Aunts kept giving us presents filled with more presents.  You know?  Not just a bathtub, but a bathtub stuffed with shampoo, towels, lotion, etc.  We didn’t just get a diaper bag with a giraffe on it, it was stuffed with diapers, bottles, bibs, diaper cream, etc.  I LOOOOVE those types of presents.

I really wanted to decorate onesies at the party, but we didn’t get around to it.  It worked out alright, though.  Lindsay, Sarah, Tom and I decorated a few after everyone left.  I had such a good time doing that.  It was fun with out intimate little group.  I think the one that Tom made is probably my favorite, but he doesn’t want you to see it until you see it on the baby.  Sarah’s are hysterical.  Lindsay’s are PERFECT for MY kid.  Mine were kind of anti-climactic compared to everyone else’s.

Looks like this post has gotten long enough.  I’m going to go reopen some more presents for a while.

Kirk out.

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