Sunday, December 25, 2011

Monday, November 28, 2011

It's official


In my current with-child state... I-- I mean, WE-- outweigh my husband. Sigh.
I am probably going to need another pint of Ben and Jerry's to cry this one out.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Need a little Christmas?

Surely you've heard the Chirstmas song "We need a little Christmas". You may not know all the words, but you could probably hum a few bars, right?

(I'm not a huge Glee fan, but this song from MAME the 1970-something movie involved Lucille Ball singing and a scary as crap santa mask that I won't subject you to. You're welcome.)
The song is actually from the musical Mame, and in the context of the story takes place one week before Thanksgiving when everyone is broke and downtrodden and in need of some distraction and celebration in the midst of their anxiety and hard times.  So they counter that by decorating their home and giving everyone's Christmas gifts early!
My husband is a strict "NO CHRISTMAS UNTIL DECEMBER" type scrooge. He last night was preaching some blah-blah about how decorating and celebrating before thanksgiving waters down the holiday, makes things less meaningful, and doesn't give Thanksgiving a fair chance... I don't know when he became the "Spirit of Thanksgiving" Police... but as far as I can tell his previous thoughts on the subject have been as follows: Thanksgiving, I get to sleep in and get a day off work before peak season begins. Yay. Oh, and also I have to eat stuff my wife makes. Meh.
Spirit of Thanksgiving. I can see why he might be concerned about that being brushed over and watered down. (rolls eyes)
Look, I am generally on board with the wait 'til after thanksgiving to put up your Christmas decor crowd. Really, I am. Thats how my family always did it, I'm at peace with it normally. But this year is not normal.
This year I am 9 months pregnant.
I have more or less completed the nursery. I am anxious and uncomfortable and in need of distraction... but mostly in need of something to DO so I don't sit at home and obsess over every tiny hiccup coming from my overly large belly. I want to decorate and prepare for Christmas NOW.
I have wanted to for several weeks, and Mr. Spirit of Thanksgiving is all no, no, NO.
But I NEED this. I need something to do and something to distract and something to make me feel warm and fuzzy and celebratory... so it can choke out the feelings of panic and anxiety and impatience. I need a little Christmas now!
Last weekend while Z was blissfully sleeping in, the peanut in my belly woke me up at 7:00 and I couldn't go back to sleep... so I went downstairs, moved some boxes around, and hauled out the Christmas tree. I told Z what I had done after he woke up and he didn't believe me until he went downstairs... NO. He said. No tree until after thanksgiving! But it's already out and ready to go, and it makes no sense to just leave it in a box. I want it out and sparkling in my living room! And since the tree, garlands, and wreaths are all in the same box, it only makes sense to get those out as well, before putting the box away. He said to me the other day, Why do I get the feeling I am going to come home to a decorated house some day this week?
I don't know, Z? Maybe because this is what your wife NEEEEEEEEDS right now.
I need a little Christmas.
Just a little bit.
So I am taking a cue from Mame. We may be rushing things but... deck the halls again now!

Sunday, November 20, 2011

"For unto us a child is born!"

We took an 8 hr marathon childbirth class yesterday. We couldn't sign up for the class series because Z works evenings, so our only option was an all day Saturday class. Overall, it wasn't terrible. The instructor kept things fast paced and we got frequent breaks so it didn't feel overwhelming. The worst part was the videos (saw way more vag yesterday than I ever thought I would in my lifetime) but that was to be expected I guess.
In the end I came away more informed and a little more comfortable with how the whole process is going to go. So I think it was worth the $70 and giving up a full Saturday (despite the scary vag videos).
Z learned something too.
As we were leaving i asked him what he thought was the most valuable thing he learned from the class. He said: "If you go into labor at night, you can't wake me up"
Which is... true. I mean the instructor DID say if you are in early stages of labor in the middle of the night, try to rest and let your birth partner rest for as long as possible. I do find it interesting that he singled this comment out as the most important thing from the whole class. Hmmm... priorities, Z.

Last night when we were sitting around watching TV after the class Z asked me what music I would put on a play list to take to the hospital with me. After considering briefly I said-- OOH! Christmas music!
And Z gave me an irritated look. "Not ALL Christmas music... lets make a long play list and you can mix it in here and there" he said.
"Okay, but mostly Christmas..." I said.
And Z groaned.
Because he knows his wife. And he knows that to me 'Christmas music' is NOT Bing Crosby or Here comes Santa Claus, or even a tasteful O Holy Night. To me Christmas Music is Handel's Messiah. And I sing along. And so does each member of my family in their respective part. And my family will probably be around some (maybe most?) of my labor.
But you can't tell me we will be the first family to have a Do It Yourself Messiah in L&D.
Or maybe we will, but what the heck.
Distraction, relaxation, breathing... I tell you what, an oratorio has it all for me. Mind if I melisma through this next contraction?

Friday, November 18, 2011

The Longest Month


I have truly tried to stay away from my blog when I am feeling particularly emotional or mushy... which is pretty much all the time these days, given my current state. But I didn't figure you all needed post after post or prego-emoting.
But I looked at a calnedar today... and we have about a month left before our due date.
A MONTH!
4 weeks. Or it could be sooner... or longer.
One month from today could very possibly be his birthday, or we might wait another 2 weeks to meet him. But about a month.
One month is so frustrating. It's such a short time-- while also seeming like an eternity.
A whole month.
Only a month.
How does one wait such a long time when it's flying by?
And with all the millions of things I should do each day to be ready... all I really want to do is sit at home and rest and watch my wiggling belly. Enjoy this as much as I can, and soak it in. Everyone thinks they are clever and original when they tell me everything is about to change-- I know that. I am excited and terrified. And anxious. And trying to soak it all in and not wish it away becuase this time-- while miserably uncomfortable-- is important too. But everything is already changing.
I want my baby boy! And I want to wait patiently for him too.
One month.

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Unemployed.

Four weeks from today will be my last day of work here.
After much consideration, debate, 'running numbers', discussion, and even some tears... Z and I made the decision that we think will be best for our family. When our little Boy (Due Dec 22-- but maybe sooner???) is born... I am going to be a full time stay at home mom.
About 2 weeks ago I informed my employer. Dec. 15th will be my last day. After that I will be unemployed and making a huge career shift to full-time Mommy-hood.
I have some trepidation over this for many reasons...
First, we will soon be a single income family. And while my husband makes a decent income, our take-home pay is strangled by nearly $700 in student loans we pay every month. Without a second income, our monthly dent in those student loans will greatly decrease, as we will need more of that money to live off of. Also our 'lifestyle' may have to be altered a bit as there will be less disposable income for frivolous spending and eating out as often as (particularly my husband) likes to. But it will be okay. I am certain we will find a way to make it work. What I know for sure is that we didn't want to put our child in full time day-care, and even if I were working part time, after paying for childcare and gas... we'd be barely breaking even with my salary. And that's just not worth it. So staying at home was the best-- really only option for us-- and the rest of the finances will be worked out as we go!
Second, there is so much unknown about this future 'career' for me. Will I be a good mom? Will I know what to do? Will it come naturally to me... like everyone tells me? Will I like staying at home with my kid? Will I be dying to get away for a few hours? Will the pressures of all day every day childcare and household duties overwhelm me? Will I love it? Will it be a perfect fit? I don't know... I don't know the answers to any of those questions, but they run through my mind on autoplay loop as I anxiously await the arrival of that 'last day' and the arrival of our baby boy.
Also I wonder if I will feel guilt over not being able to contribute financially to our family. Or... If I will feel lost and without a sense of purpose. And I know those are shallow selfish concerns, but they are more questions that haunt me right now.
Don't get me wrong-- I said above that Z and I made this decision together, and we made the decision we thought would be best for our family. And I am excited. Truly. I feel lucky to be in the situation we are in allowing me to stay home with my kiddo. Also, because Z's schedule is so erratic, this will allow us the most time to spend together as a family, not bound to other work and daycare schedules. That is a blessing as well.
So I am actually surprised at my own feelings toward this change, because it's really what I have wanted all along for my family... but the new and unknown make me feel so uneasy about the future.
The first big step was made-- alerting my employer that I would not be returning to work after the birth of our kiddo. Now we wait for (and try not to obsess over), the next step the arrival of the baby that will change everything.
Everything... including my employment status. In 4 weeks. Or maybe sooner...

Oh, and I hate the abbreviation SAHM. Just in case you cared.

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Classy!

Guess what? In (possibly less than) two months we are going to be first time parents! Holy cow!
You may have noticed the blog has been a little more silent than usual recently... that's because it seems every waking second is consumed with preparation for this kiddo coming. Which is a good thing...
But would you believe we are still feeling a little overwhelmed???
I know, I know... We are like, the first parents ever to be terrified and/or overwhelmed by impending parenthood.
Anyway, to help ease our worries and trepidation, I have been readying myself with lots of reading and research on various baby and parenting topics... and I have enrolled us in about 10 different education courses offered by a local hospital.
Okay, not 10.
4.
But whatever.
(Yes, I enrolled us in a class called: Baby 101)
I know veteran parents are shaking heads in amusement at my frantic preparation, but I know shockingly little about children and childcare and what the crap I am actually supposed to DO with the kid when I bring him home. While I know the classes I signed us up for won't be all-encompassing, I am hoping they can at least give us a base of reference... and from there we are sane, logical people who can mostly figure it out, right? Here's hoping that assumption is true.
So in the next couple months, if we seem a little extra busy and unavailable for social interaction-- please don't take it personally. Know that we are filling our little heads with lots of baby knowledge so that hopefully in 2-ish months when Baby P gets here we don't screw him up too much. (Fingers crossed!)

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

We're still not saying...

But you are welcome to take a guess should your heart so desire.
At our shower last week everyone wrote their guesses on the chalkboard... do you think anyone got it right?

Monday, October 24, 2011

Fears

I'm pretty terrified of this Dr. appointment today. I am terrified I am going to get there, and step on that scale, and the numbers are going to blink back at me something... something higher than THAT number that I have been terrified of reaching.
And my husband will stare in horrified shock, and nurses will whisper behind their hands and the whole office will get quiet and stare at the whale of a pregnant woman who just broke the scale... and it will be awful.
I have been careful and considerate of the food I consume and my level of activity my entire pregnancy. I had a reasonable and healthy goal for the amount of weight I would gain... but the past couple weeks I've been packing on the pounds like it's my JOB. And, yes, I know, it's normal and healthy and you are SUPPOSED to gain when you are pregnant... but there is this number that I never wanted to see... and I am tipping dangerously close to it...
And terrified I will see it today.
Sigh.
And the world might end.

In other less dramatic news... Z is playing video games and named one of his players after our kid. Awww. My Mom is totally going to try to break into his video games now and try to figure out the name.
Hint: It's not Floyd.

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Technology Paranoia

You know whats weird? We now have a friend who has the same first name as my Husband. Every time I call or text my husband I check the number about 15 times before hitting 'send' because I am just certain someday I will be careless and hit the first Zach I see in my phone and embarrass myself. Not that I send incriminating texts or voice mails on a regular basis... but a "Hey Babe, I love you!" sent to the wrong person would still be a little awkward.
But then, I have always been extra paranoid about that kind of thing. Since the very first day I had an email account (we had dial-up Juno on our family desktop-- anyone remember juno???) I always kinda worried that maybe my emails weren't going to who they were supposed to. Even today, I always check and double check my addresses several times-- even if the email is not of a personal nature. I am terrified when I do send something of a more personal nature and often will check my 'sent' box several times just to make sure I didn't hit 'reply all' or something.
And again, it's not that I am sending nasty or incriminating emails out... I just... wonder how my thoughts and info in the wrong hands might be perceived?
When I am out with friends, or even just having conversations with my husband, I frequently check my phone to make sure I haven't pocket-dialed someone who is getting an earful. This has happened to my dad several times (and got him in big trouble with mom when he was commenting on her cooking... oops!) and actually happened to me when I, unbeknownst to me, announced my pregnancy on my cousin's voicemail through an over heard conversation with my husband... via pocket dial. Oops.
Not that I spend a lot of my time secretly plotting things, or bad mouthing friends... but everyone has personal stuff that they discuss with their spouse or close friends they'd rather not the whole world hear, right?
And so this world of technology at our fingertips (or pocket tips?) and all the simple but disastrous ways things could go wrong has me double checking like a paranoid freak on a regular basis. Just to make sure...
Am I the only one who does that?

Monday, September 12, 2011

Recovery

We had two cars 'in the shop' last week. That's always a bummer. Shuffling cars and rides about and trying to get everyone where they are supposed to be is a pain. But not as painful as the repair bill when you get the cars back. I mean, we are totally grateful for our good friend, and honest mechanic who saves us a buttload of money on car repairs... but even still car repairs always produce cringe-worthy bills at inopportune times.
Times like last week, when we had just been on vacation, paychecks were smaller than usual, and rent was due. Yikes.
I felt like last week we were holding our breath financially-- trying to squeak by without spending any money on anything so we wouldn't have to pull from savings to pay for the car repairs. (I HATE pulling money from savings for any reason. I know that's why you have 'emergency' savings-- for emergencies like cars, but I still hate using it because it goes so darn fast.)
Anyway, we made it through the week, and when our paychecks hit the bank on Friday we went to the grocery store, filled our cars with gas, and paid our rent real-quick-like. And it felt like a sigh of relief. We went about our weekend in a normal manner, made no large purchases, but the normal trip to walmart to pick up some cleaning supplies, and a lunch at chipotle on Saturday afternoon.
I checked our bank account this morning online (as I do fairly regularly), did some quick calculations in my head, and sucked in a quick breath as I realized after the student loans due to pay this week, our bank account would be nearing that dreaded round number again by the end of the week.
Dang.
I guess it is going to take us a little longer to financially recover from those car repairs than I had hoped. By the end of the month we should have that happy little 'cushion' in the bottom of our account again... you know the one that makes me feel all comfy and less anxious? But even still, I know that I need to find new ways to define 'comfort' and 'security'. Ways that don't involve dollar signs, nagging my husband about his 'lunch money', and stressing about our financial and work situation once Baby P arrives.
So I guess for me, TRUE recovery is going to take a bit more than waiting a few weeks for things to spring back in our favor. Sigh...

Thursday, September 8, 2011

The Name Game: You could win an all expense paid Guilt Trip!

Yes, we have selected a name for our child.
No, we will not share with you what it is until he is born.
Stop pouting. It's unattractive, and will get you no where. We understand you think this is annoying and selfish. You are welcome to that opinion.
We decided not to tell you our kid's name yet because-- listen closely, now...
WE DON'T CARE ABOUT YOUR OPINION.
For real. We really don't.
And I don't say this to be confrontational or rude. There are some things we might desire your input and opinion on, in which case we will ask you. Naming our child is not one of those things.
You see, when you start throwing names out there that you are considering... then other people feel like they have a right to comment...
"Oh, that was my grandfathers name!"
"Oh, I knew a kid with that name I just couldn't stand..."
"I have heard 16 other kids with that name in the last month, wow."
"Eh... I don't know if I like that as well as _____"
Um, yeah... don't care about your grandfather/uncle/teacher/niece/barber who had the same name-- even if you think they are a great person. Don't care that you have bad connotations relating to someone else's kid. Don't care to know how many other people you know who have the name. Don't care if you think it 'works' or 'flows' or isn't as lovely a name as 'Jimmy'.
The reason we pick names is because we like them. We have good memories or connotations of people with the same or similar names. We think it 'works'. Sooo... your comments are not necessary.
I was talking with a friend of the family the other day who was trying to pry the name out of me, and then she started guessing... "Oh, I bet you will name him after your dad. I just can't see any reason why you wouldn't name him after your Dad. I mean, I haven't said anything to your dad just in case you don't, but I will fall off my chair if that baby doesn't have your dad's name."
Yeah, so... what if I am not naming my kid after my dad? What if I want to name him after his own dad or the paternal grandfather, or Z's buddy who died in Iraq, or any number of other special influential people in our lives? What if we are not the kind of people who want to name our kid for someone else? Then what?
Then she just put on a big ol' guilt trip about naming our kid, and stuck her big ol' foot in her mouth, now didn't she?
And yeah, we have the perfect name all picked out-- but what if we change our mind at the very last minute? Then would we have to poll the public for all ya'lls opinions again before we could settle on something? Gosh, I should hope not. The kid would just have to be called BABY for the first couple months of his life. That's silly.
No, my friends. We are keeping this to ourselves. It's a personal, though well thought out decision between just the two of us... And Z and I feel confident you will love the name as much as you love our little bundle as soon as he makes his appearance.
We get it. You are excited.
We are excited, too.
You want to feel involved and important.
And we want you to be involved in Baby P's life.
Just not his name game.
But for real, we are really excited to share the name with you. All of you. As soon as he gets here. 
Until then... should the urge strike you... please refer to the large bold type near the top of this post.
Thanks.


Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Back Seat Granny Driver

It's no secret: I drive like an old lady. I know it. I've dealt with it. I embrace it.
I have certain physical limitations that have forced me to make adaptations when I am driving... mainly the fact that I have very VERY poor depth perception makes driving difficult. Driving at night is nearly impossible for me. But I know my limitations, and becuase of this, I drive 'slow' (never more than the speed limit) and allow myself 'extra space' (when parking, following, or merging... whatever) Slower speeds and more space offer me more reaction time, therefore make me a safer drivier despite my physical limitations... but it also means sometimes I drive slower than the people I share the road with... or even the people I share a vehicle with.
At the risk of really sounding like an old lady fuddy-duddy... I want you to know that I do not drive over the speed limit. And I don't really like riding in vehicles where the driver does. I know, I know... You are sitting there thinking, well, I only drive 5-10 miles over, and they are not going to give you a ticket for that and I am a safe driver, so it's fine. And perhaps you are an excellent driver... But Joe-Schmo driving next to you on the interstate is not. And when Joe-Schmo makes a bad decision that threatens your safety that 10 mph over the speed you should be driving has just drastically reduced the time you would have to react to Joe cutting you off or slamming on his brakes... etc. Besides, 5-10 miles over the speed limit is only REALLY going to shave a matter of seconds off of your arrival time, though it increases your risk of accident and/or injury exponentially. To me... not really worth it.
So when I am driving, I don't get in a hurry. I make it a habit to allow myself plenty of time to get to my destination so 'hurrying' is not a temptation, and I stay as calm and focused as possible while driving.

Anyway, I am thinking about all this becuase the other day I was in a vehicle with a family member who was driving in such a way that I felt unsafe and uncomfortable. There was a small case of road rage in which the driver of the vehicle decided to tail another driver at a greatly increased rate of speed (in excess of 15 mph over the posted speed limit) on a two lane highway. There was little shoulder on either side of the road, and little room for error. I was exceptionally nervous.
It's pretty universally understood that no one really appreciates a back seat driver. So I closed my eyes and gripped the door and prayed that nothing drastic would happen. We arrived safely. But it kinda made me wonder. When, if ever, is it appropriate to comment on someone else's driving?
Is there ever a time when it is appropriate for someone beside the driver to make a call on how fast someone should be driving for the the situation, road condition, safety of others in the car, etc.?
Is there a time when it is appropriate to say to a driver, your actions or attitude are impairing your ability to drive, you need to cool down/focus or allow someone else to take over? (And I am not talking about someone who has been drinking, lets all just agree that you would never let them begin to drive... but I have told my husband before not to eat, or flip through his CD's while driving... my sister is the queen of texting while driving--which scares me to death... or the case the other day with the road rage impairing the driver's judgement...) At this point should you as a passenger say-- for the safety of myself and others, you need to slow down/cool down/ take a break/put the phone down...
OR
Do you accept their driving and judgement when you get in the car with them and respect their space and keep your mouth shut?
What do you think? Is there a line there? Where would you draw it?

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Equilibrium

We have a lot of stuff.
A LOT OF STUFF.
We have a small house.
And we try to cram our lot of stuff in that small house and it makes everything more difficult. It makes less room in the small house, and less stuff actually accessible to us. So therefore... I would say 80% of the STUFF we have we don't use. No good.
I want to get rid of the un-used stuff so we have more room to get to and to use the usable stuff.
This however, is not an easy task. Taking a large amount of time to sort through and decide what we should part with sounds neither appealing nor glamorous... and also really frustrating and mundane, to be truthful.
So in the mean time, I have a new method to deal with it. It's my one for one method. It won't truthfully help to cut down on the amount of stuff we have. It will help control the accumulation of more stuff ON TOP OF the stuff we already have. It's pretty simple and straightforward and it goes like this:
For every new item we bring into our home, we must get rid of something.
This is easy as pie when you are replacing consumable or worn out/broken objects. A few examples:
  • Z got new running shoes, threw out the old muddy garden shoes. (his old running shoes are the new mud shoes... but we have the same number of shoes in the house to fulfilling the same purpose.)
  • Z got new undershirts, because his old ones were dingy and hole-y. Old undershirts were discarded. (actually, they were used as rags for staining and glazing furniture, then discarded. Lest you think I would toss something useful.)
It's a bit harder when you aren't replacing something, but here are some examples:
  • Z bought several new books and video games with birthday money, but sorted out about 30 books from a bookshelf that he took to 1/2 price books. (bonus-- sold them and got about $50 out of the deal)
  • I got a new serger for my B-day (Eeks! sooooo excited) and I am getting rid of the carpet cleaning machine that (sadly) no longer works (but we kept around hoping it might some day).
  • I am thinking of spending some birthday $$ on a food processor... which will eliminate a salad shooter (yup, i actually have 2 of these-- straight from the 90's with all the attachments in perfect working condition. Wait-- why do I have two???) and immersion blender attachments from my kitchen cabinets. (do I get a bonus points for getting rid of multiple items???)
I know, it's technically not cutting down on the amount of STUFF in our house. But the new rule is a step in the right direction. Z seems okay with it too. Probably because thinking one thing at a time is a lot better option (for both of us) than thinking... you need to clean out the basement.
My hope is that it will create a sort of equilibrium in our house, teach us to use and value the things that we have, and keep you from seeing us on an episode of hoarders in a few years. :)
Soooooo... would anyone like a salad shooter???

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

BBABL Update

Yesterday I said to Z: "I know we can't wait for Baby P to get here, but I am kinda glad we still have 'til December when he will arrive."
It's one of those things... days are dragging on monotonously, but time is just flying by faster than I can count. And we can't wait for the day we hold our little one in our arms for the first time, but are desperately trying to have everything ready for something we won't ever have enough time to prepare for.
Anyway, I said it because I feel like there are still a ton of things I want to do before he arrives and ties up our 'spare time' for the next 18-ish years. Also, there is still much prep for him, but yesterday I was thinking mostly selfishly: I want to complete some things for me.
And I have a few things on my BBABL (Before Baby Arrives Bucket List) that I have completed. I am quite proud. Here's what it looks like now: (comments in green)

1. Purchase prints of engagement and wedding photos and hang in house. (actually, I got a REALLY good deal on some canvases from THIS website...  highly recommend!
2. Re-paint that chunk of red wall in the kitchen that never got hit after the bathroom remodel.
3. Train dogs to stay off furniture.
4. Create Recipe Book of Z approved meals for easy access.
5. Replace grungy, stinky living room rug. Didn't actually replace it... but cleaned it to a less stinky state, that might be liveable, so I am marking it off for now.
6. Finish upholstering zebra chair.
7. Teach Z to make a few simple meals. Really havn't done a lot of teaching, but he has been takign care of about one meal a week, which has honestly been really nice. He can rock pasta, grilled cheese, tacos, and quesadillas. So thats a good start.
8. Romantic getaway with Z. We leave soon for a romantic evening at a fancy hotel... followed by some road tripping to see fam.
9. Get my keyboard from parent's attic and set up/accessible in my house -- play piano or sing a little bit at least a couple times a week.
10. Tame the paper monster in the office/basement, get a filing system in place for important documents and bills. I got halfway there, I piled it in one place, cleaned out the filing cabinet, made folders and lebels... and now I just need to file.
11. Sort through clothes and shoes and get rid of torn, faded, stained, and too small stuff I don't wear anymore.
12. Do more reading for fun -- I'll give myself a goal of completing at least 2 more novels before Dec. (Don't judge, I am a ridiculously slow reader!) Halfway through Novel #1. Woot. Remember I read slow.
13. Invite friends and family over for dinner... dessert... or even just coffee at our house so I can participate in that oh-so-fulfilling practice of hospitality. Had fam over for dinner, girls night the other night, and plans to have some friend over in the the next couple weeks, I don't know if I should mark this off, becuase it's kind of an ongoing thing... but I like to mark things off, so I am going to.
14. Complete Christmas shopping (it'll have to be done early this year).
15. Memorize Scripture passage (was supposed to be my summer project, opps.) Started...
16. Actually SEND the gifts I made for friends MONTHS ago. Um... yeah. The baby I made gifts for is officially here. I should get on that.

And... I have another one to add to my list:
17. Refinish sewing cabinet. (my parents scored a really cool old sewing cabinet from some friends for $0!!! it's kind grubby and ugly, but I see potential. I am excited to fix her up!)

Sooo... I've got my work cut out for me over the next couple months, but i feel good about the progress I've made on my list. Plus, the Baby room is slowly coming together... which makes me heart happy. :) Check back with me in a few...

Friday, August 19, 2011

Man-date

Z went on what I would consider a very successful man-date yesterday. I was having some girls over for a movie night, so I kicked him out of the house and told him he needed to find a guy to hang out with and do guy stuff. He seemed sheepish about asking, so I plowed ahead and asked an acquaintance at our church for him this previous Sunday. In retrospect, I probably should have let him do it, but I was afraid he never would, and Z needs guy friends to hang out with. Anyway, arrangements were made and yesterday afternoon he left for his man-date-- an afternoon fishing with a buddy. Very manly.
Last night when Z finally got home after 10:00 he was all kinds of excited. He spent the next couple hours rattling off all kinds of stories about his new BFF and telling me all about why they were a perfect match and it just seems like fate wants them to be best friends, and even their wives are very similar so the couple pairing is pretty much a dream team, and this is going to be great! I just laughed at him. He was positively giddy to have a guy friend again. I haven't seen him this smitten since Caleb left.
Speaking of Caleb... whenever he was around, Z used to get all defensive when I would say 'man-date'. "It's not a date, we are just hanging out. Don't call it a date." The word 'bromance' was strictly forbidden. Either he has gotten over himself or I have worn him down or something because Z didn't seem to blink when I talked about his 'man-date' this week. In fact, last night after he got home I asked him if they had talked about getting together to 'jam' (as this has always been the ultimate, unattainable quality in a friend for Z... someone to 'jam' with.) And he said, "Nah, that's really not a first date kind of topic. Maybe the second or third date."
HA!
I laughed at his joke, and he did too. But I felt a small twinge of pride. Yup, I wore him down.
Okay seriously now, all joking about awkward male relationship terms aside...
Before we even got married Z and I talked a lot about the importance of maintaining relationships outside of our marriage. Obviously the marriage is the first and most important relationship in both our lives... But we also recognize that it's important to one's emotional and spiritual health to maintain relationships with other family members, personal friends, and couples.
We have been pretty successful with the family side of things... but friends, especially for Z, became kind of a hardship. Right before, or shortly after our wedding all of Z's good friends moved out of the area-- for different reasons. Several of them were married, some were not, but that took most of our 'couple friends' our age and pretty much all of Z's guy friends that he hung out with regularly.
And we haven't been hermits, there are a few people that we hang out with somewhat regularly, but I know that Z has especially been missing that 'best friend' connection-- or just a guy to hang out with, you know without it being a big deal. (do you like how awkward this is? Here's me trying to not over-feminize a conversation about a male relationship and not really being terribly successful. All I know is that everyone, male or female, desires that reliable, close, honest, best friend relationship... and you can call it a million different things, and we joke about it because our culture doesn't really value that kind of vulnerability... but whatever. Bottom line is... everyone needs it. It's important.)
Anyway, I know my husband is excited and happy to have new guy-friends in his life, and possibly a new BFF (he loves it when I use junior high girly terms like that). It also makes me happy to see him fulfilled and happy... and I am especially happy that because he has a guy friend now-- I will never have to go fishing or camping.
Win.

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Dad's Home!

Every night when Z gets home from work the boys go NUTS. They hear his car pull up and wait at the door crying. Once he opens it they start jumping about and barking and wiggling and whining joyously until they get a little attention from their Dad. They love their dad. I kinda get the feeling that they wait around all day for Z to get home so they can get their few moments of attention and snuggle time once he sits down.
Last night, I wasn't feeling so hot. I was laying on the bed when Z got home. I heard the boys start to whine, then the door opened downstairs and Z came in. I smiled as I heard him greeting the dogs. He came right up to our room and as soon as he walked through the door and said "Hey," Baby P--who had been pretty still all day--starting kicking and rolling around like CRAZY. Strong kicks. stronger than usual. Z sat down on the bed next to me and we chatted for a few minutes while kiddo continued to kick around. I laughed and told Z that his child was going crazy.
He sighed... because he hasn't been able to feel Baby P kick yet. (I kinda think he doesn't really believe I am feeling him move, since he hasn't been able to yet.)
"Can I feel him move yet?" he asked.
I don't know...??? It's worth a try. I grabbed his hand and placed it on my belly. Of course, the kid immediately went still. We sat quietly for a few moments.
"He's not moving now, I'm sorry." I said.
"It's okay..." Z said. But at the sound of his dad's voice Baby gave a timid kick.
"Wait-- did you feel that???"
And this huge, giddy smile spread across Z's face.
"I think I did!" and then Baby P kicked again harder... "Was that him?"
Yup. That's him.
He was so excited. Well, actually, I am pretty sure they both were.
We reached the point in pregnancy a few weeks ago where baby can supposedly 'hear' us, and start to recognize our voices. While that's a charming sentiment, I didn't put much stock in this claim because it seemed a little silly-- like something made up by over enthusiastic parents trying too hard to make up a connection with their unborn child. But... now I am thinking there is some validity to it.
It COULD just be coincidence.
But it seemed to me like Baby P was responding to his Dad's voice last night. It seems like, just like the boys, he got SUPER excited when dad got home. Like he started wiggling around and showing off just to get a little attention and snuggle time from his dad.
And... I don't think Z minded. In fact, I think he quite enjoyed finally getting some attention from his son. The smile on his face made me giddy too. It makes this Mama's heart happy that my boys-- ALL my boys-- love their Dad so much. And that my Dear Husband loves his boys-- the furry, needy ones, and the little one kicking for attention from my belly. :)
What a sweet day!

Friday, August 12, 2011

Nursery Prep Update

Remember THIS LIST?
Well, now it looks like this:

1. Clean out basement to make space for 'guest bedroom'
2. Move guest bed to basement
3. Remove all clothes and items from guest bedroom closet and dresser
4. Sand and paint all furniture for nursery.
5. Line all drawers
6. Assemble Crib scheduled for 9/12 delivery and set up
7. Build more shelving in nursery closet this weekend! 8/14
8. Paint nursery this weekend! 8/13
9. Select and purchase rug for nursery
10. Select and purchase rocker/glider/chair for nursery
11. Select and purchase fabric/linens for nursery
12. Sew curtains for window and closet 'door'
13. Sew bedding, baby quilt
14. Decide on other decor/accessories to purchase/make/register for
15. Hang all pictures/artwork/shelving, Move in all clothing and care items, put all toys and other personal items in place.
16. Show Baby P his new room!

Okay, so there is a little fib. You know how #4 claims that I have sanded and painted all furniture for the nursery... well... I have. I just... still have to put on the top coat. Tonight. this stupid project is one I mistakenly thought I could tackle in about 3 days (sand day 1, paint day 2, reassemble and enjoy a lemonade on the patio day 3). HA. 3 weeks later... well, you see, the sanding took longer than I predicted. I mean, I am still working full time so I only have about an hour or two to devote to this project every night... once you calculate in the number of breaks I have to take because the up and down and the fumes and the dust can make me sick really fast! Anyway... once the sanding was done, it was a coat of primer... and a 4 hour dry time before painting. Then 3 coats of chocolate brown paint, a light sanding and a final coat-- each of those with a 4 hr dry time in between. Then glazing... so it looks kinda better than fake wood painted brown. And it does look good... but now it needs a hard protective top coat. Which claims to might take 3 coats to cover... SIGH.
At least my husband took pity on me after I had a pregnant breakdown a few days ago. (okay, lets not lie I have a pregnant breakdown every day... look my kid likes to lay on my spine so my sciatic nerve thing is going nuts, and I never claimed to be tough cookies.) So he helped me finish the painting and glazing technique last night. (He held a lamp because that room is stupid dark, and said... "a little more there... and fix that there... " while I was trying to get the faux technique to look perfect. He also cleaned up my mess when I dumped an entire cup of glaze on the floor in the middle of the dresser top.) So now all that's left to do is the *expensive* safecoat so our kid doesn't die from toxic paint and off-gassing. That is, if he doesn't already have flippers from the all fumes I've been sucking while painting.
(Okay, I wore a mask to minimize hazards. You know I am paranoid about having a flipper child though.)
So tonight I am going to safecoat the furniture, and I will stay up 'til dawn to finish the stupid thing if I have to... because that's how dedicated I am.  And while I am happy with the results, this whole thing has made me realize that I never ever ever want to refinish furniture again. Ever.
This weekend we are painting the room a soothing blue, tropical lagoon, and the closet a peppy green, spring leaf. 'We' meaning, I am making Z do it... and my dad is going to build us some shelving for our closet. And lest you think I am skipping out on the painting projects this weekend, rest assured I am not. I fully intend to take myself and get a pedicure while dear husband is painting the nursery on Saturday.
I know. It's a tough life, but I am fully dedicated to this project.

If you are interested in my 'Baby Space Design' ideas and plans... you can check out these posts from my other blog:
Baby Space Design: Part I
Baby Space Design: Part II
Baby Space Design: Part III
It's slightly more interesting than listening to me complain about painting.

Monday, August 8, 2011

I work with hillbillies and all about buying expensive baby junk

I have mentioned before that the people I work with are certifiably crazy. I have mentioned before that the people I work with are dirty hillbillies. I imagine that you, my faithful reader, aware of my love for hyperbole (used strictly as literary device to make my strong opinions clear) may have written these accusations off as more of my excited ramblings.
Today, while sitting in my office minding my own business, I witnessed a lengthy conversation about how to make your own moonshine in your kitchen. How to rig the whole thing up with a pressure cooker and (this is an exact quote) 'some copper tubing taken off a job site.' This conversation took place IN. MY. OFFICE. In the middle of the work day.
Hillbillies. Dirty ones. It's official. Making moonshine in your kitchen with stolen copper tubing official.
First of all, EW.
Second, EWWWWW, why do I work here???
Third, anyone know of opening in a non-hillbilly operated business open immediately? I feel as though i have had all the moonshine chat I can handle for... the rest of my life.

On a mostly not related note, I went garage sale-ing with my mom on Saturday. We went to some shaaaaaady sales in g-town. I'm talking shady. They are probably cousins/married to the hillbillies I work with. Then we stopped by a friend's house who was having a garage sale, and scored an extra base for our carseat for $5. (they are $60 to purchase new from the store.) Normally, I would be against purchasing items such as carseats used, just because you never know if the item has been in an accident or has in some other way been compromised. I felt confident purchasing it from my friend, as I trust her and she said it had never been in an accident and she is a very clean person and excellent mother.
Second hand safety items from trusted friend = okay.
Second hand safety items from hillbilly stranger = just say no.
Actually, it doesn't have to be a hillbilly (that's just my theme today) I wouldn't recommend second hand safety items like a carseat or base from any stranger... even if they have all their teeth.
Okay.

On the tail end of my car seat bargain, we decided to spent a buttload of money on a fancy upholstered glider/rocker for our nursery. I kept going back and forth on whether or not I was willing to spend that kind of money on it... but I was having an 'it's okay to splurge with money we did save for this specific purpose' kind of day, so I told Z we should go shopping. I set us a budget that I thought was on the high side of reasonable, but we quickly discovered we would be hard pressed to stay within that budget for what we were wanting. In fact the first store we went to... the cheapest chair they had (which we did like well enough) was sill going to put us over that budget, and that was before tax, and all the protection plan they would try to sell you 'becuase your kid will probably puke on it'. SIGH.
Store number two. Cheaper prices... lower quality... but still found something that we liked, coming in just a little under our budget but tax and 'your kids gonna puke on it' plan would take us to just above our budget. I sighed, but decided we wouldn't find anything cheaper (trust me, I have searched tirelessly) so lets just do it.
So we did. they totalled up our ticket-- just over our budget, as predicted. We took the ticket to the front to pay, and SURPRISE!
There was a mystery sale price that rung up that the sales person apparently didn't know about or didn't tell us about. And because the 'your kids gonna puke on it' plan was based on a price point, the sale price took that cost down as well... and our 'just over budget' rocker came in at about $100 UNDER budget. And I didn't sigh and feel frustrated about the amount anymore, but strutted out of the store like a ROCKING CHAIR BUYING ROCK STAR.
Because that's pretty much what I am.
(And I guess Z can be too if he wants... because he let me get the chunky corduroy upholstery which is super soft and I am a little bit tooooooo excited about.)

So, just to summarize this post (heck I could have saved you a bunch of reading): If you make moonshine you are a hillbilly and I might be your co-worker. Don't put your child's safety in the hands of a stranger, even if they have all their teeth. Z and I bought a chair and are rock stars.
That is all.

Friday, July 29, 2011

Baby P

Here's your first peek at Baby P. Just... amazing.

Monday, July 25, 2011

Nursery Prep To Do List

1. Clean out basement to make space for 'guest bedroom'
2. Move guest bed to basement
3. Remove all clothes and items from guest bedroom closet and dresser
4. Sand and paint all furniture for nursery.
5. Line all drawers
6. Assemble Crib
7. Build more shelving in nursery closet
8. Paint nursery
9. Select and purchase rug for nursery
10. Select and purchase rocker/glider/chair for nursery
11. Select and purchase fabric/linens for nursery
12. Sew curtains for window and closet 'door'
13. Sew bedding, baby quilt
14. Decide on other decor/accesories to purchase/make/register for
15. Hang all pictures/artwork/shelving, Move in all clothing and care items, put all toys and other personal items in place.
16. Show Baby P his new room!

WHEW! It looks like we have a lot to do... until I tell you that items 1 and 2 were completed this weekend. Then you are like... "Oh! Well then, you... still have a lot to do."
Sigh. I know. It's daunting. Items number 3 and 4 start tonight...
We have until December. And even then I hear infants don't complain TOO much about incomplete nurseries as long as it's, you know, safe and whatnot.
We'll take out the paint cans and cover any exposed wiring by December, okay? Cool.
And... GO!

Monday, July 18, 2011

Boy or Girl?

The Chinese Gender Prediction chart (it's based on your lunar age or something reliable like that...) says:
IT'S A BOY!

THIS nifty gender prediction test guesses:
IT'S A GIRL!
You have a 35% chance of having a boy.
And you have a 64% chance of having a girl.
(hmmm... 64+35=99 There is a 1% chance my child will be a hippopotomus.)And Here's Why...
You are carrying the extra weight out front, so it's a boy.
The hair on your legs is not growing any faster during your preganacy, so it's a girl.
Boys are carried low. You are going to have a boy.
Sleeping in a bed with your pillow to the south indicates that you will be having a girl.
Your feet are not colder than they were before pregnancy. You are having a girl.
Dad-to-be hasn't been gaining weight along with Mom-to-be, so it will be a girl.
The maternal grandmother doesn't have gray hair (dyed or natural), so a girl will be born.
You had morning sickness early in pregnancy, so you are expecting a girl.
You are looking particularly good during pregnancy. Therefore, it must be a boy, because girls steal their mother's looks.
Your chest development has been quite dramatic during pregnancy. You should expect a girl.
Since the sum of the mother's age at conception and the number of the month of conception is even, it will be a boy.
You have a craving for salty or sour foods, which means that it is a boy.
You have been craving fruits, so it is a girl.
Your baby's heart rate is 140 or more beats per minute, so it's a girl.

A facebook poll of friends and family's guesses had an overwhelming response of:
IT'S A BOY!

Daddy thinks he's figured it out that:
IT'S A GIRL!

...But Mama still thinks:
IT'S A BOY!

I guess none of these are terribly reliable sources... so we will just have to hold on. The sonogram in a few weeks should shed some light on the subject... if not? Well we will know for sure on or around Dec 22, 2011 (Baby P's Birthday!).
What's your guess?

Thursday, July 14, 2011

BBABL

(Before Baby Arrives Bucket List)
Aside from the obvious baby preparations, these are some things around my house and around my life that I want to accomplish before Baby P arrives:

1. Purchase prints of engagement and wedding photos and hang in house.
2. Re-paint that chunk of red wall in the kitchen that never got hit after the bathroom remodel.
3. Train dogs to stay off furniture.
4. Create Recipe Book of Z approved meals for easy access.
5. Replace grungy, stinky living room rug.
6. Finish upholstering zebra chair.
7. Teach Z to make a few simple meals.
8. Romantic getaway with Z.
9. Get my keyboard from parent's attic and set up/accessible in my house -- play piano or sing a little bit at least a couple times a week.
10. Tame the paper monster in the office/basement, get a filing system in place for important documents and bills.
11. Sort through clothes and shoes and get rid of torn, faded, stained, and too small stuff I don't wear anymore.
12. Do more reading for fun -- I'll give myself a goal of completing at least 2 more novels before Dec. (Don't judge, I am a ridiculously slow reader!)
13. Invite friends and family over for dinner... dessert... or even just coffee at our house so I can participate in that oh-so-fulfilling practice of hospitality.
14. Complete Christmas shopping (it'll have to be done early this year).
15. Memorize Scripture passage (was supposed to be my summer project, opps.)
16. Actually SEND the gifts I made for friends MONTHS ago.

Anything else I need to add?
Check in with me occasionally... ask me how I am doing on my BBABL if you see me. :)

Monday, July 11, 2011

About Z

Last night my husband refused to run to the convenience store for ice and milk at 11:30, so I told him he obviously wasn't ready to be a father, and made a big dramatic deal about putting on my flippy-flops, and getting my keys... to haul my pregnant self to the convenience store for these essentials. Apparently that's when the guilt hit him (and not a moment too soon, if you ask me) and he said he wasn't going to let poor little pathetic pregnant (gah, alliteration) me go out alone at 11:30.
When we got home I was happily sipping my iced beverage and hopped on face book and started typing away... and Z started to freak--
Are you writing about me? What are you saying about me? Please don't write anything about me...
Poor Z. The only time I ever talk about him on my blog or on facebook is when I am making fun of him.


He really is not an idiot, nor is he a bad person, or lazy, or thoughtless, or projected to be a poor father to his as of yet unborn child. We have a good friend who always says that Z is probably the nicest, most easy-going person he's ever met, which is what makes him such a good target for giving him a hard time. You know he will just take it in stride, or laugh along with you, or whatever.
But he's right-- he gets a bad rap from my sarcasm, need for attention, and constant quest for a good story. But I need to set the record straight.

Zachary is a good guy.
I would go so far as to say a GREAT guy.
He is kind, level-headed, and patient as crap (I mean, he would have to be putting up with my antics and compulsiveness, right?)
He is a hard worker, a good friend, and a loving husband. He will listen and take criticism. He loves a good debate, will respectfully consider and discuss any topic, and has a way of graciously asserting his opinions while diffusing tension and anger in heated arguments-- but he always treats others as intellectual equals, never condescending. And while he can 'agree to disagree' on most topics he has what I can only describe as this sense of urgency and necessity to share with people the truth he knows, and to make right the wrongs he sees around him. I admire these things about him so much.

As intellectual and smarty-pants as he is... he also knows how to relax and have fun. He makes me laugh, and helps me not take things so seriously. He encourages me relax and take naps. He has greatly expanded my taste in movies. He is a perfect balance to my craziness. He takes good care of me, and our little dogs, and our little Baby P.
He will be a great daddy-- I get all misty just thinking of him with our little one. I love that picture so much already.

So I know... that I give him a hard time, and I make him sound silly, or simple, or thoughtless. But maybe it's just because he's the nicest guy I know, and that makes him an easy target?
In the future, if you ever start to think of him as anything less, you can just refer yourself back to this post to remember that he's a great guy who just happens to have a spastic wife who likes a good story. :)

SLURP

Note the date...
it's 7/11
You know what that means?
FREE SLURPEES
Best day ever... am I wrong? I heart free slurpee day! :)
Get thee to a 7-Eleven, STAT!

Thursday, July 7, 2011

The Best Kept Secret

There are two questions people ask when they find out you are pregnant.
The first is: When are you due?
The second is: Are you finding out?

As in... finding out the gender before the baby is born?
Up until recently my answer was, Oh absolutely, yes.
My reasoning being I am a control freak. It takes time for me to wrap my brain around changes of plans, I want time to prepare for boy or girl. I want a pink nursery or a blue nursery... not a huge fan of ducks (sidenote: why are ducks internationally recognized as THE gender nuetral decor for clothes, nurseries, or any other junk you want to look baby-ish. Whats up with ducks? Not that I have anything against ducks... but there are only so many 'duck' things a kid can have, you know?). I just thought it would be better and easier for everyone to find out as soon as possible.
Also there is that other argument-- it's still a surprise if you find out 5 months pregnant, or if you find out in the delivery room, you are just choosing when you want the surprise. Z definitely wants it now. The sooner the better. He is counting the days until that sonogram when we will find out... and I was too.
But as I get closer to the day of that sonogram... I am starting to panic a little. I don't know why I am panicking. It just all of a sudden seems like such a huge deal. Trust me, I want to know. I am DYING to know. I am dying to know all kinds of things about my baby.
Just the other day I was laying in my bed yelling at the bump on my belly like I expected it to respond. "Who are you!?" I want to know so bad who this little person is. What do you look like? What is your name? Will you be laid back like your daddy, or compulsive like your mama? Will you have red hair? How long will we wait for you? What will your birthday be like? What will you feel like when I hold you in my arms?  Who will you be???
I was laying there with all these, and so many more questions in my mind. But for all the questions in my head, not a single one of them was 'are you a boy or a girl?' And I just kinda think... maybe It's just not that important right now. Maybe I am more comfortable not knowing... since there are so many other unknowns right now.
Or maybe I am afraid. I mean, Z wants a boy so bad-- so does Grandpa. The Grandmas are both dying for a little girl. I have kinda felt all along like Baby P would be a boy, so I have been getting all excited about 'boy things' but if baby P is a girl, am I going to be disappointed? Is Z going to be disappointed and my dad, who wants a grandson so bad? What if Baby P is a boy and the grandmas are disappointed? I just can't handle that right now. And I know, I KNOW everyone says that they will be happy no matter what-- they have to say that-- but i just can't fathom the thought of ANYONE-- including myself-- being disappointed with Baby P right now. Becuase My little Baby P is perfect. And right now, Baby P is fulfilling everyone's expectations, and not because of a penis or a vag, but because this perfect little person is changing and will forever change all our lives. I just have this instinct to protect that as long as I possibly can.
IF we wait to find out on Baby P's birthday I truly believe that we will all be so enamored and excited and overjoyed that there won't be room for disappointment that day.
I don't know... what do you think? What did you/would you do? Am I crazy for feeling like I do?

Thursday, June 30, 2011

Special Times

It has to be interesting being a daddy-to-be. I mean, though it can be an unpleasant experience for preggers here, I also have the benefit of the small subtle daily changes. Feeling and knowing baby is there... and 24 hrs a day opportunity for bonding. And then there is My husband... whom I only see for an hour or so every day myself  (while awake) and who has really had no first-hand bonding experience with baby. I bet that's a little weird for him... or... for any Daddy-to-be.
I guess that just makes the little moments he does have extra special.
Every morning when the alarm goes off Z rolls over to turn it off. Then he rolls back over close to me and puts his hand on my belly. Sometimes he will spend a few minutes rubbing my back or give me a little kiss on the forehead. But he usually spends a few moments resting his hand on my belly... and it's like special daddy- baby time. It's usually brief-- and then he gets out of bed and starts his day. But I kinda think those few moments every day are extra special.
After he gets out of bed I will lay there for a few moments and I smile and breathe a prayer of thanks for my husband who loves me. And for the Daddy who loves his little child. And I try to remind myself to cherish these moments... because even now it feels as though the days move by too quickly and our 'baby' is already growing and changing in so many ways, and it simultaneously breaks my heart and excites me to know that life won't be just like this forever.
And in the midst of that heart break and excitement I think... Ohhh... so this is what it feels like to be a mom.

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

9000 words (give or take a few)










So proud! Seleceted, purchased, and assembled the travel system with no arguments, meltdowns, or marital crisis. Go Team Pogemiller!

Friday, June 24, 2011

Thoughts on summer reading...

I'm reading a good book right now. The Help by Karen Stockett. It's a civil rights era fiction that takes place in Jackson, Mississippi. Good story... not quite done with it, but really enjoying it.
There is a part of the story I keep going back to. One of the characters, Aibilene has been a maid for years and years. Part of her duties include caring for the white children of the people she works for. The 'society' people that employ her have little time or patience for their children... which breaks Aibilene's heart, as she loves each of them as if they were her own. At one point in the story, a little girl asks her if she has any children, and she laughs and says-- I've had nineteen! Referring to all the white children she has raised.
One thing that really struck me in the story is Aibilene's pondering one day about the fate and lives of these children. She is scared they will grow up like their parents, to treat their children as their parents treated them-- with indifference, annoyance, and often anger. She makes a point of telling one of the little girls she is raising 'good things' every day as she rocks her to sleep. She tells her-- you are a GOOD girl. You are a KIND girl. You are a SMART girl. You are IMPORTANT. She prays every night that good things she tells the little girl will be a stronger influence on her life than the frustration and negligence of her parents.
As she is praying for the little girl she starts to wonder about other children she raised and how their lives might have been different had she spoken words of love and encouragement into their lives. If someone had told them they were good, important, smart... instead of ignoring them or beating them because they were 'different'.
I found this portion of the book so striking because I think everyone knows what it feels like to hear and believe lies... that we are wrong, or bad, or unlovable. I keep thinking about my own life and the places I have heard these lies... from people I trusted, from people I wanted to love me, from the church I grew up in.
The character in the story loves these children unconditionally, with a love that doesn't see the color of their skin, the mistakes in their past, or the faults in their belief system. She prays that even though her voice is a single voice in their lives, that the example of love and the words she speaks will be louder than the lies the rest of the world tries to tell them.
I think about my own life... and the places I go, the people I come into contact with. As I go through my daily life, am I living an example of love that tells people they are important, valuable, worthwhile? Or do my attitude and actions portray judgement, or even indifference? What if my voice were the only voice to speak love and worth into a person's life... would the person that needs to, ever hear it?
I know it is just a passing section of a fictional story, but it has been on my mind the past week, and has been a great challenge to me.
What if those broken, beaten, and discouraged around me heard words of encouragement?
What if those forgotten or deemed unlovable heard they were loved, valued?
What if just one voice rang out over the lies our ears are assaulted with daily?
What if just one person chose to live out a relentless, scandalous, unconditional love in the midst of the turmoil, injustice, and hurt so many live in...
How would lives be different?
How would my life be different if I lived and loved like that?

Friday, June 17, 2011

Baby's First... Musical Theatre Production!

It's that time of year again... What? You didn't think I was going to sit this one out just because I was 4 months pregnant, did you??? Pshhhh...
Yeah, maybe you are right... maybe i should have. BUT! I didn't! Sooo... GCT's Summer Production of Cinderella will officially be Baby P's Musical Theatre debut! (Baby P will be playing the role of... um... a bump)
We are a bit less than a month away from the show, and I did not at all calculate the toll Baby P would take on my formerly quick, agile, slender figure... or my previously high energy levels... or my ability to take deep enough breaths to sustain vocal passages while simultaneously waltzing about the stage. Awesome.
So the decline in my capabilities paired with other pregnancy symptoms like nausea ("Valerie, there is a trashcan conveniently located on either side of the stage for you, should you need to puke."), weight gain (sz. 6? not so much my ball gown is a sz 13-14 to allow for 'baby room'), and increased irritability/emotional-ness (I will not cry at rehearsal because the arrogant 19 year old thinks he can count a waltz in 4... I will not cry at rehearsal... I will not cry at rehearsal) all mean this has been one of the more interesting shows I have been a part of.
Even still I am enjoying it. I am exhausted, I long for my bed, and wish I could see my husband more often, but overall I enjoy it. I just love to perform. I can't help it. Give me a stage... give me a pit, and a tune to sing, and a costume to build. All of the many ways I love to create all combined into one big fantastic end result. Even on my tired/sick/grumpy days, I am still enjoying it... there is just nothing like musical theatre.
I hope that this will be the first of many shows for Baby P, too. I mean, I guess every parent kinda hopes their kid will take up the same passions and talents they possess... but nothing like starting the brain washing early, right? As I am waltzing about the stage with my 'stage husband' I like to think Baby P is enjoying the ride, enjoying the music, or at the very least... not hating it. Maybe-- just maybe-- Baby P will catch the same bug for performing that Mama has.
Maybe. (cue tune from Annie...)

(Yup, that Annie song is going to be with you all day now. You're welcome.)

Monday, June 6, 2011

Put it in the Baby Book.

My husband has this problem.
I hear it's common in males. Particularly married ones.
He says stupid stuff a lot. He doesn't think about what he is saying, he just blurts out the first thing that comes to mind.

I have this problem.
I hear it's common in females. Particularly pregnant ones.
I am over sensitive to comments made by my husband, particularly about my appearance, or changing (growing) shape or any related topics including but not limited to eating habits, clothing, etc.

Last night we were finishing up dinner. I had just consumed an impressive amount of bread, salad, red meat, shellfish, potato, and steamed veggies. Everyone else at the table had been done for quite some time... I was still going to town. The server came by to take my plate and I told him I wasn't done. Everyone was getting anxious to leave because there was a promise of a trip to the sno-cone place on the way home. I finally gave up on the last remnants of potato skins left on my plate and I was done eating. Everyone had been giggling about the amount of food I had consumed, and my husband was watching me incredulously the whole time I ate. When I finally put down my fork he laughed and said:
"Man, did you leave enough room for that thing down there?" indicating my belly as he said so.
I KNOW he did not just mock his pregnant wife for eating, AND simultaneously refer to his child as 'That thing down there.' I was immediately furious.
He immediately tried to back track and say-- thats not what he meant-- he was asking if I had room for a snow cone (that thing) when we got back to gardner (down there). Not buying it.
He called his child 'that thing down there'. I am totally putting this in the baby book, and someday when our kid is in jr.high and high school and trying to decide which one of us they like better, I am SO pulling that book out and reminding them of thier father's feelings for them.

Also, --and this goes for males worldwide, not just my husband-- don't commment on a pregant woman's eating habits. Just don't do it. For any reason, really. It's probably not going to end well for you.
That is all.

(And, Yes. I had room for a sno cone. A large one. It was delicious.)

Sunday, June 5, 2011

Experience

It's what you get when you didn't get what you wanted.


(saw this on a poster at Jimmy John's --of all places!-- yesterday. made me giggle. and nod in agreement.)

Thursday, June 2, 2011

Hit and Run (Two stories about how I was almost a criminal)

I have been involved in 2 hit and run accidents in the past year.
The first happened when my car was parked in front of our house last fall. We were asleep inside and according to a neighbor, about 11:00 pm a white van tried to pull into the spot next to us, crunched my back fender then promptly pulled back out and drove away. He tried to follow the van to get plates but wasn't successful. we found it the next morning, and I was super bummed. We were even more bummed when we contacted our insurance company and they said we only had liability on my vehicle so they wouldn't fix it-- WHAT? When we added my vehicle to the policy we thought we had full coverage-- just like our other vehicle. We were certainly paying for the full coverage, but button somewhere didn't get switched, and the insurance company wouldn't cover it. We were so frustrated. My car was drivable, definitely just some 'cosmetic' damage... but who wants to drive around with a crunched up car if they don't have to? We got the insurance thing straightened out, and counted ourselves lucky that it was not a more major accident where we discovered we only had liability...
But I was furious with this white van person who crunched my car... and then just drove off and never reappeared to accept responsibility for what they had done. Or, you know, pay for the damages they caused. Jerks. I mean it sucks when you make an expensive mistake-- but you have to suck it up and own up to it... and not force other people to have to deal with the consequences of your mistake while you run away. I mean, that's how i would act if the situation was reversed.
Soooo... then a few months later I was sitting at a red light on my way home. There was a tan-ish car in front of me, and the light turned green and I started easing off my brake. However the person in front of me didn't catch the 'Green light go' signal as fast as I did, and I tapped their bumper. Crap. It obviously was not hard enough to do damage to either car or persons involved, even still I was prepared to pull over just to check everyone out and apologize and double check... etc. The passenger in the car in front of me turned around and looked at me in horror... and then they pulled out into the intersection, hesitated, and then took off. I pulled through the intersection and off to the side of the road, wondering if they might come back? But they were long gone. How strange. But okay.
It bugged me though. I mean, no damage done that I know of, but what if something I didn't know of had happened? I didn't know what to do. I talked to my husband and debated calling the local police dept. Just to report that it had happened in case the other person decided to report it. My husband told me because they had left the scene of the accident they had forfeited their rights to a claim of any kind... or whatever. but it still bugged me. I was guilty. I was annoyed that I didn't have a chance to clear myslef of guilt. I might be a criminal now. What if down the road there was a warrant out for my arrest for a hit and run? I mean, I know I am dramatic, but I just couldn't get that thought to leave the back of my mind. I hit, they ran-- was I going to some day be held responsible for this?
Last week I got pulled over by a cop. Apparently cops don't like it when you don't turn into the closest lane. I only got a warning... but I held my breath as I handed him my license and he was running my tags. Would this be it? Would this be the day the hit and run came back to haunt me and I would go to jail and obviously I am a criminal now...
He came back and handed me my insurance and license, along with a pink written warning and told me the error of my ways, asking me to be more attentive about turns in the future and told me to enjoy the day.
... and he could have added that I could enjoy the freedom of knowing that I am not a criminal being pursued by the law. Because I truly felt a sense of relief from that stupid hit and run incident that's been hanging over my head since March. Never has someone been so neurotic so relieved to be pulled over by a cop.

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Big Shoes, little feet.

As of the last post, you know know that we are expecting a baby in December. Until the day that we meet our baby face to face, in person, in the real air for the first time... we have been calling him* Baby P. We talk about Baby P all the time, and always use that name-- Baby P. Of course in that theme it is easy to pull in all the other appropriate names, so of course Z is 'Daddy P' now and I am...
Well... I can't be 'Mama P'
Because that is my MIL's name. In fact all of Z's friends and quite a few other people call her exclusively 'Mama P'. Not Linda, not Mrs. Pogemiller. Mama P. Sooo... I was quite hesitant to start calling myself by... someone else's name. I've been avoiding it wondering if I would ever be able to call myself that-- and would the 'real' Mama P be upset if I did?
Well, the real Mama P came for a visit this weekend. And she could not be more thrilled to be a first time Grandma. So thrilled, in fact, that she has already seamlessly transitioned into her new position: Grandmama P. She called herself by it several times this weekend. And we called her Grandmama P, and she would beam. Out with the old and on to bigger and better.
Which I guess means there is a gap in the nomenclature universe waiting to be filled, and far be it from me not to fill a gap that needs filling.
So there is once again exactly one Mama P in the world... and that one is: Me. And when I look at the woman who previously bore the title, I am excited and humbled. I shall strive to be worthy of the title. To live my life and love my family with compassion, enthusiasm, optimism, and service.
Hmmm... those are big shoes to fill. (Which is funny, because we enjoy shoe shopping together because we have the same size tiny feet...)


*I say 'him' not because we know the sex of our baby-- so don't get excited because we don't know yet, and won't for a while-- but becuase I think we are just more comfortable with male pronouns around our house seeing as how we have two male dogs and all. Also, typing him/her or he/she all the time seems unnecessary. And people freak out when I call babies 'it' so I am trying not to do so with my own child-- lest you think I am an unfit, unloving mother.

Friday, May 27, 2011

The Most Amazing Sound...

This morning I went to the Dr.
I've had this appointment scheduled for weeks and I have been pretty anxious about it. It was one of those situations where it was either going to be really good news, or really bad news. Probably a very small chance of bad news, but the worrier in me was obsessing over that tiny percentage. I wanted Z to come with me, but his work scheduled him even though he requested off... and I panicked wondering how i would make it through without my strong, calm husband by my side.
I asked my mom to come with me, just in case-- I didn't want to be alone.
I got there and did the normal thing--you know, answer a billion personal, prying, and embarrassing questions. Then the doctor came in, squirted goop on my tummy and pressed a little device to my abdomen. There were a few quiet, tense seconds of silence... and then! The most amazing sound in the whole world: A quick, but strong and healthy fetal heartbeat. But not any heartbeat-- the heartbeat of MY baby. The one growing inside of ME.
I beamed. And then my eyes got all misty and a tear may have slipped out. It was the most amazing thing I've ever heard... like a little train chugging away... or kinda like a washing machine... only, amazing. haha. It's beautiful and indescribable.
My fear and anxiety immediately were gone. Everyone in the room was smiling. Everything is right and perfect and our little baby is healthy and strong and doing just what he should be: growing and growing until December when we will finally get to meet Baby P for the first time.
I already love my little Baby P more than I can even stand. Being a parent is going to be such a trip. :)

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Happy Anniversary

You can read about The Perfect Day if you want... Part I and Part II

May 22, 2010

May 22, 2011

It's been a good year. Had it's ups and downs and moments when I was afraid my husband wouldn't make it through meal time becuase I was going to choke him if he made one more comment about me trying to poison him with vegetables on his plate... but for the most part good. At the same time, I think we have both learned a lot about ourselves and each other in this past year and we have stretched and grown because of it. We are happy. And very much in love. :)
And...  right now we are hopeful and excited about the future and the wonderful things year #2 will bring to our lives... (and of course many more years after that!)
Happy Anniversary to my Hubs! Love you so much!

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

In Defense of 'The Bandwagon'

Sometimes 'because everyone else is' turns out to be a really lousy reason to do something. But when you find yourself doing the same thing as everyone else at the same time as everyone else (lets just give you the benefit of the doubt and say you had your own plans and reasons for it--) well it turns out sometimes the bandwagon can be a comfortable and supportive place to carry those plans out...
I'm just saying... sometimes deciding NOT to march to your own beat can be helpful.
Am I making sense or just mashing too many metaphors into a confusing porridge of my own musings and vagueness?
 

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Distractions

My work is a little crazy. Crazy people who bring their crazy kids and crazy dogs to work with them.
Anyway I am a bit spacey and having trouble staying focused on my work today anyway.
And then there was just an overly dramatic dog fight, and the dogs were crying and people were yelling and trying to tear them apart and now person A is mad at person B becuase their dog A hurt dog B but person A thinks that dog A is innocent and dog B was the one that attacked. And person C is all upset becuase what if dog A or B goes after children C when they are here...
And I think that the whole issue could be resolved quite easily.
Leave your kids and dogs at home. This is an office. None of them have any place here. Let's get back to work.
Amen.

Friday, April 29, 2011

Sadness

I am always surprised when adults act like children. When they lose their temper, or throw tantrums, or act selfishly with no regard to how or who it might affect around them. Sometimes adults allow themselves to go so far that they lose control of their thought processes, their reasoning, and their actions.
I am always surprised when adults don't understand that their out of control actions hurt people. And hurt relationships. And hurt careers. And hurt themselves in many ways.
I know we all occasionally get frustrated, say things we regret, hurt people without thinking... that's normal, that's human. That's not what I am talking about. To not be able to control your rage and your actions in your rage? To be so blinded by your rage that you hurt and destroy your property, relationships, or loved ones beyond repair? To lose control and start acting in a manner aimed specifically at hurting someone? I am worried about those people. I am saddened by those people.
And I am a little surprised by it whenever I see it. You are an adult. Stop acting out of childish, selfish, anger. Put in the work to learn self control and love, and let that rule your actions. Nope, it's not really a simple task, but it is is necessary. It doesn't mean that you will never feel angry again. It does mean that when you are angry you can act without destroying your property, your relationships, your loved ones, and even ultimately, yourself.
It's time to grow up.

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Just another day at work.

I have told you before that the people I work with are kinda crazy. I mean, I think everyone's boss and coworkers are crazy... but mine are sitcom level crazy. Sometimes I am so absolutely bewildered and frustrated trying to communicate with them all I can do is shake my head and walk away. Today is one of those days.
This is an actual conversation with my boss. On a normal day, I will have at least 4-6 conversations with similar structure and outcome. It basically boils down to this issue: My boss doesn't listen to me. When I talk  he stares at me blankly then guesses what he thinks I might have said, and goes with that. Like today:

Me: Boss, I just talked to them and the ABC account is scheduled to pay on the 30th of this month.
Boss: Okay, hold on. Let me look that up.
(he proceeds to start clicking stuff on his screen for about 3 minutes. At one point I start to leave because I only came back to tell him that one thing, and he says-- no wait this what you were asking about, I almost got it. So I wait.)
Boss: Well they haven't made a payment since Feb 5th.
Me: Who hasn't pad since Feb?
Boss: XYZ account.
Me: Okay, well I just came back to tell you that ABC account will pay on the 30th.
Boss: Oh, well why did you have me look up XYZ?
Me: I didn't.  I said ABC is scheduled to pay on the 30th of this month
Boss: Oh, I thought you said we received payment from XYZ last month, and I don't know why you had me look that up, because you can look it up just like I can.
Me: I didn't ask you to look up anything. I told you ABC is scheduled to pay April 30th.
Boss: Oh, April 30th. I thought you meant February. Well, sorry you got confused about that.

Um... what was that conversation even about? How many times did I say ABC account was paying on April 30th? Why was he thinking February? Is he aware there is no such thing as the 30th of February? Did he walk away from this conversation with any more knowledge than he started it with? I don't think so.
Like I said, though, I will have probably 4 or 5 more like this today.
I think my favorite part of the whole interchange is always the last part where he in some way blames me for the confusion.
Yes. I was quite unclear.
My apologies.
Oi.