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


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.