Sunday, January 25, 2009

Pleasant Surprises

Ok, so I felt bad being all gloom and doom with the negatives. I worked hard to come up with my list of positives only to realize that they're mostly more positives of post-pregnancy. But I'm going to go with it anyway...

1) Moving Babies - Sounds so cliche and until you really feel it, it totally IS cliche! But when your baby moves, I mean REALLY moves, for the first time it's all warm and fuzzy magic. For me it's the first time I feel genuinely connected to the growing babe. And when you get to share that with your baby daddy? Awesome. When it becomes visibly apparent to strangers (think like in the movie Alien)? Even better!

2) Eating - Sure it sucks to get all fat, but there is something cool about being able to turn to your husband at 11pm, loudly exclaim "CHEESEBURGER!" and have him actually respond. Without making you feel like a junkie. Of course, this is only in your first pregnancy. By your second he will have wised up and will remind you how pissy you will be to be left with that cheeseburger strapped to your thighs once the baby has vacated the premises. But I still remember the joy of it all the first time around. And yes, I admit, there were times I asked for things just to see if he'd actually go get it. Bless his heart, he always did.

3) Massages - This really could have just been labeled "guilt". Men will never be able to live down the fact that we're the ones who have to go through this while they get to go on with their lives and continue to sleep on their stomachs. My favorite use of this guilt (other than the aforementioned food collection) is massages. The hubs always manages to go above and beyond with this one and make me - for a few moments at least - glad to be pregnant.

4) Opting Out - Pregnancy gets you out of anything. I can't fly, I'm pregnant and don't feel well. Can't clean the bathroom, I'm pregnant and the fumes are bad. Can't make the party, I'm pregnant. Can't drive, I'm pregnant. Can't cook, I'm pregnant. Can't clean chinchilla cages, I'm pregnant. Can't watch my children, I'm pregnant. It can also be used as an excuse similar to "I was in college" when explaining questionable behavior.

5) Pregnant Parking Spaces - The hubs thinks that my enthusiasm over this particular aspect of pregnant life is a little irrational. I LOVE THE PREGNANT PARKING SPACE!!! I actually decide to go to one grocery store over another because one has a pregnant lady parking spot and the other doesn't. When it's free, I jump up and down like a crazy cheerleader watching her favorite team score. I pull in gleefully and jump out with exaggerated rubbing of my barely-there belly. When I was pregnant with Fin, the hubs and I went on a baby-buying binge and then to a favorite hot-spot for dinner. There was NO WHERE to park and then, lit like we were in a cheesy movie with angels singing in the background, was a super close pregnant lady spot. We were so excited to park there we even made unnecessary gestures at the crib strapped to our roof to passers-by. Indeed, losing this privilege is the saddest thing about not being pregnant. Just watch out if you think you can take one of those spots and you are NOT an expectant mother. Whilst pregnant with Dash, someone cut me off to take the pregnant lady spot, only to step out of the car as a LARGE MAN. I yelled at him and then shamelessly ratted him out to the grocery store manager who I'm sure took immediate action (yeah, right).

6) Baby Love - This is a duh, but really you just don't get it until you live it. And for me it wasn't so much immediate. I can actually remember looking at my boys on day 1 and worrying that I just didn't know them so how could I love them. But somewhere around day 3 you find yourself looking into their increasingly alert eyes and it hits you like a jackhammer. You're just overflowing with love for this needy little bundle. For me it comes pouring out my eyeballs and makes the hubs giggle that I was worried about knowing them.

7) Baby Daddy Love - I never considered it, but of course it makes total sense. I didn't think I could love the hubs more than I did on our wedding day (or on the day he proposed, etc), but something happens when you, oh, bring a LIFE into the world together. I was blown away by the sight of the hubs holding our children for the first time. And that love grew with every diaper he changed and every swaddle he crafted. And trust me when I tell you that he is the Swaddle Ninja. Our kids were always the snuggliest little burrito babies and very rarely escaped (and as mamas know, once they do it's only a matter of time before they wake themselves up by dislodging their pacifier or smacking themselves in the face). It was a wonderful feeling to be so in love with him again.

8) Sibling Love - Sure there will be plenty of times when the big one bites the little one for no reason, or pushes him over when he's learning to walk, or commits countless other undesirable crimes against his new sibling, but overall, it's pretty sweet. I'll never forget the first time Fin met Dash. Brooks brought him to the hospital the morning after Dash was born. He was sweet, quiet, loving and gentile. Which is saying alot for a child of 22 mos. He sat on the bed with me and stroked Dash's head and planted more kisses on him than I could count. The love fest continues and even as I have to break up a zillion fights a day, there's no doubt that these two dudes are best buds. Dash hates it when Fin's naps stretch out longer than his own and get's insanely excited when it's time to pick Fin up from school. Fin loves teaching his brother new things and is always full of encouragement. Watching them enjoy growing together is one of the sweetest sights in the world.

9) Sleep - I know, it's awful to try and sleep while you're pregnant. And people will always tell you, "oh, get as much sleep as you can now because once that baby comes..." This no longer scares me. Why? Because once the baby comes, sleep becomes a totally different animal. The second that baby closes it's eyes, I'm OUT! And it's not just like I'm sleeping. It's like I'm dead. And even if the baby only sleeps for an hour, it's enough. Or at least it's enough to get you through the hour it takes to feed and change the baby and get him back to sleep before you can die once again. That's a sleep I'll take over the miserable pregnant lady sleep ANY day.

10) The Baby - Total cop out, I know. I have pregnant brain but also the OCD desire to see this list end in a nice round number. So I'm using it. The baby. I mean, right, you know that's how this thing ends, but then you HAVE one. You're a MOM (or a DAD). And you'll look at that other list, laugh at it's accuracy, and how you would do it all over again. And hopefully you will :)

Friday, January 23, 2009

Oh Marshalls, How I Love You

I love Marshalls. Especially on Tuesdays. After dropping Fin off at School, I take Dash out for coffee and bagels and then on to MyGym. That leaves us a little more than an hour before we have to pick up Fin, and Marshalls is the perfect place to kill that time since it's right next to both MyGym and School. This week Dash was particularly well behaved and I set out to the toy section to reward his good behavior. Marshalls didn't let me down. For a mere $2, I found this treasure...

I'm still not sure what it is. A computer virus catcher? Sure, whatever you say. But MAN does Dash love it...

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Rude Surprises

Since I have more than a few buds who are getting baby-ready, and also because I don't want to forget any of this in years to come, I decided to make a list of what I think are the rudest surprises that pregnancy has thrust upon me...

1) Extra Junk In My Trunk
Yes, ass growth. I know where babies grow. SO WHAT'S UP WITH YOU HINEY?? Before I had Fin, I heard someone say that they had worn their lowrise jeans their whole pregnancy as they fell just below the belly. With each pregnancy, I have managed to outgrow my pants far faster than my morning sickness. Even my mother, who is nothing if not an honest woman, remarked (while pregnant with Dash) that she didn't think it was possible for a butt to get that large. I've got a call in to Kim Kardashian to find out where she gets her pants.

2) Being Violated
As a woman becoming a mother, you will inevitably have that vision of the first time you see your child - at least on the small screen. Your husband will be holding your hand while your perfect belly is covered in goo that makes you giggle because it's cold. And then on the screen appears your teeny wiggling angel. Ahhh pure magic. But that's SOOO not what happens. Instead you are introduced to what I have heard referred to as the "dildo cam". And instead of your belly, the goo goes...well, somewhere else. Hopefully your husband isn't too horrified by witnessing you violated in such a way and is still able to enjoy the experience. Heh, right. But don't worry, you will experience similar uncomfortable situations throughout the coming months.

3) Weight Gain
Related to the "junk" referenced above, this probably sounds like a stupid thing to be surprised by. With Fin, I ate for two. Or four. It wasn't pretty. But I learned that lesson, and with Dash I scaled wayyy back (and stayed clear of McDonalds). Honestly, other than helping with water retention, it didn't make that much of a difference in poundage. Apparently my metabolism shuts down before I can even find a stick to pee on. I've heard you're only supposed to gain 25-35 lbs, but I honestly think I could eat 1000 calories a day and gain more. I'm ok with that. I've lost it all and then some each time, but it would sure be nice if my Dr.'s could take notice of that fact and leave me the heck alone.

4) Insomnia
No, I'm not talking about the kind that comes at the end where you're as big as a house and it's no small wonder that you can't find a comfortable position to save your life. Or the part in the middle where your bladder develops a four hour shelf life. I'm always surprised by the insomnia that meets me in the beginning. I fall asleep like a baby. Or a mother who has taken care of two babies all day. But then, sometime around 2am, it all comes to a screeching halt. I am wide awake. I stare at the ceiling. I calculate how much time I have left before someone wakes up and permanently puts an end to my hopes of falling back into a blissful slumber. And although Tylenol PM is acceptable to take, I don't think every night counts.

5) Pain.
I know, duh, right? But no, you don't know. Until you're lying in a bed actually contemplating how you could get across the room, through your husband and the nurses, so that you could HURL YOURSELF out the window onto the ground below just to end the pain, you don't know. I can clearly remember thinking that I could probably do it and land on my back and Fin would be ok. I also have to note that this was when induced. Dash's birth hurt too, but no where near as much.

6) Hospital Release
This is really just with your firstborn, but holy mother, is anyone prepared for that moment where they cut off the little baby low-jack and shoo you all out the door? I know I wasn't! I kept feeling like I was walking out of a store with an armful and without paying the bill (you know, like the Ikea commercial where the woman is yelling to her husband to "start the car!", just like that). Wait, no one's going to check our car and make sure we have a car seat? No one's going to follow us home and make sure we're not total lunatics who are about to screw this child up before he hits the two day mark? I felt more prepared when we adopted a dog then when we took home a baby. And I even WATCHED all the on demand "how to" movies in my hospital room!

7) More Pain
I know, duh again. I've heard plenty of times that the "afterpains" with a second child are just as painful as contractions. And YES! Why is there no epidural for that business!! And just to add insult to injury, or I guess more injury to injury, they're strongest when you're breastfeeding. More on that later.

8) Post-partum Physique
Dude, I totally get why there are no mirrors in recovery rooms. Once we were home and I caught my first glimpse, I actually had to laugh. I mean, who replaced all the mirrors in my dressing area with stuff they stole from a fun house? No one can really look like that. Can they? Oh GOD! But on the nice side, it was also shocking how quickly things went back to at least somewhat resemble where they used to be. I sometimes wish I had actually taken pictures just to document the fact that I'm not crazy or vain, it really was that awful. Guess there's always this time though, right?

9) Breastfeeding
I actually have a close friend who thinks you're already a bad mother if you elect not to breastfeed. I totally CANNOT WAIT till she has a baby! A Womanly Art? HA! A beautiful moment between mother and child? Yes, well, as much as painful bloody nipples can mean love and beauty. When you've just been through the ringer of birth, it just seems so unfair to then have to face the trails of breastfeeding. Bleeding cracked nipples. Mastitis. Thrush. Engorgement. And did I mention the bloody nipples? And please, don't bother telling me I was doing it wrong. I wasn't. It was "fine" after my body had a week or two to adjust, but damn! Now I have to say that my children were both nursed almost to the year mark, and they're smart and rarely ill. For fear that I would have a less intelligent, sickly baby I will nurse Snoopy. But I won't like it.

10) Mental Impairment
I totally had a great #10 in my head. At 2am last night. And now it's gone. Because I'm pregnant and have the memory of a goldfish. As well as no ability to operate heavy machinery. Or do anything that even remotely requires grace or balance. Or finish a sentence. Or a thought.

I'm working on a list of pleasant surprises. It's taking longer...

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

A Good Read...

I don't often pimp out other sites, but someone tweeted this today and I just really liked it. Especially given my current situation :)

We Get What We Need...

(I originally posted this over on Fin's blog...oops...)

Saturday, January 10, 2009

Finally, I post...

You've probably heard some rumors (what, Maggie was at a bar and NOT drinking? Something's up...)Yes it's true! Come August, we parents will be outnumbered here. We're still getting over our shock (and our stomach flu) but looking at our (no longer hurling) perfect children, we're excited for what the future holds for us. At least this explains my incurable desire to correct all children everywhere as well as my inability to drive, well, anything lately.

And with this announcement, I bring you....
Top ten things NOT to say when your friend tells you she's pregnant...
(And some answers)

1) Again?
(Yes? No, I just put the last one back? Why is that funny?)

2) Did you do this on purpose?
(That's a rude question. Or, do I look crazy? Depending on when asked.)

3) You know how this happens, right?
(Why this ever comes out of anyone's mouth is a mystery to me.)

4) Oh, you want a girl don't you?
(No, why does everyone assume that? I loves me some boys.)

5) Wow, do you know you'll have 3 kids 3 and under?
(Yes. Being pregnant three times in as many years has NOT taken away my ability to do simple math.)

6) I thought I saw a tummy!
(After your first you show faster. Or, F*$#k Off. Depending when heard.)

7) Where are you going to put the kid?
(We're not giving up the office so don't ask. Fin and Dash will draw strawls and loser shares a room. Note that this will be rigged. Best sleepers must bunk up.)

8) You're due in August? Wow, you're in for a long hot summer!
(Um, yeah, but last time I checked, it's not really any hotter just because you're pregnant. I'm looking forward to having an excuse for the excessive sweating that triple digits bring.)

9) So is three it or are you just going to keep going?
(Never ask a pregnant woman about her future childbearing plans. You won't get an accurate answer.)

10) Better you than me!
(I couldn't agree with you more.)

Tuesday, January 06, 2009

Bad Driver. Ratted Out By Kids.

*Fin: Daddy, Mommy had an accident today...

Hubs: WHAT?

Mom: (sigh, keeping expletives to myself)In the grocery store. With a shopping cart.

Hubs: Did you hit someone?

Mom: Uh huh.

Hubs: Hard?

Mom: Uh huh.

Hubs: With one of those giant double carts?

Mom: Yes, (defeat) and it was full. And I was going fast. And the guy I hit was pushing a walker. And I knocked his basket off of the little walker shelf and all over the floor...But he said he was ok and I helped him pick it all up...

Apparently, I shouldn't be allowed to push or drive anything. And yes, it was that kind of day.

*Still SO not the post I want to write, but I have actual real WORK to do tonight so it will have to wait :)

Monday, January 05, 2009

Resolutions Smesolutions

I have a post that I so badly want to write, but I need ooonnnee more thing to fall into place before I'm allowed to. Which is hard because that post is ALL that I want to write. And I promised the nice ad folks at BlogHer that I would post at least weekly. Never mind that I said I would make it interesting. Alas you are stuck with this rant for quasi rant/ call for assistance for now...

I HATE New Year's Resolutions.

The whole concept that one day of the calendar is a better day to change something than any other day is s-t-u-p-i-d.

(I have to spell s-t-u-p-i-d now because Fin says it's a bad word and people who say it will go to jail. He has a long list of these allegedly bad words - b-u-t-t is another one - and I have NO idea where he got the idea that you go to jail, but whatever works right?)

Anyway, I also don't like being left out. So the fact that everyone I know is making these resolutions makes me feel obligated to make one as well. So I was trying to come up with some ideas...

Lose Weight? So over that one. Ditto Eat Healthier or Exercise More. Curse less? I gave that up when Fin became a parrot, which is good since he's now evolved into the language police. Like his mama, he has no shame to correct strangers either. hehe.

So what to do? My house couldn't be cleaner. I think I do a good job of entertaining my wee beasties. I'd like to go to Church more often, but it's hard to come home feeling full of the Holy Spirit when all you want to do is scream at the kids for their poor behavior. I think I'm pretty nice to my mom. There's nothing about my life right now that I'd really like to change. And yes, I know that probably makes me pretty lucky so don't tell me to be more appreciative. My car does need an oil change but I don't think that counts. I really would like to cook more, and I actually thought of starting that tonight but then Brooks was in traffic and didn't get home till 8:30 so any dinner would have been totaled.

Anyone have any bright ideas? I don't feel bound by dates, but I feel like I should come up with something soon. Then again, maybe you can just start helping me think of something to give up for lent :)

Friday, January 02, 2009

A HS Flashback

Sorry for the lack of posts - but I have 300 pics to go through from our Christmas adventures. I promise a big post soon - and I promise it will be interesting! Meanwhile, here are some pics from the Visi 96'ers get together in DC after Christmas...