Wednesday, December 31, 2008

New Year

It is a New Year indeed. And as I packed up all of the Christmas decor, in preparation of the turning of the calendar, I could not help but surmise that chances are getting more and more likely that by next New Year, I could be cradling a six month old. I try not to shiver when I say that.
As my husband and I lay in bed this morning, we began to chat about where everything would GO. Like as in the Christmas decor I just packed up, and the boxing arena we so carefully put together. Or the clothes I have in the spare closet, and the boxes full of camping gear we have artfully accumulated with very little cash. I don't think either of us are quite ready yet to say goodbye to these "things", and my husband and I talked about how difficult it would be to take a tiny new baby camping. It will be at least 2010 before we get out the tent again.
Everyone tells me, the money and space will just exist when we need it and not to worry. But the list of necessities makes my stomach flutter. We have not even purchased our fold out bed yet- which is really the only option we can think of for overnight guests... namely my Mother who, if and when I do deliver this child, we will so desperately need.
Or the SUV my husband insists I have, even though to me it sounds extraneous. Because I drive like crap and Winter here can be difficult without four wheel drive.
I am not worried per say. I know babies can be raised without all the financial extras and turn out just fine. I know that millions of folks have babies without four wheel drive, and my Mom can surely sleep on the couch or blow up mattress. But these are the things that will bring us peace when we bring a baby into this world.
I have my 13 week ultrasound on January 5th. And because of the holidays and Doctor schedules, not only will I have ONE ultrasound, I will have TWO. One with my "regular" doctor, and then another with my "specialist", and no matter how hard I tried to schedule them at least a week apart, or even a few days, neither of them would budge. So...sigh.... it's TWO in ONE day.
Either way, I guess this means I will be "doubly" confident as we enter into our 14th week of the safety or our baby. As we bring in the New Year this evening, I will have a lot to think about. Including many what ifs and maybes. But it's all good. I am sure my biggest concern will end up being that I don't split out of my pants.

Friday, December 26, 2008

A Perfect Day

I had a great time yesterday. Maybe it was the gifts in abundance that graced my feet, ready to be opened. Maybe it was the tradition we have in our family of opening the gifts slowly and thoughtfully one by one from youngest to oldest. Most likely it was the relaxing and enjoyable time I got to spend with my generous and loving family.
As my husband and I approached my brother's house, I clapped my hands and gleefully exclamined, " I can't WAIT to see everyone today!". And while as soon as I said it I felt slightly like a four year old, it was completely true. I knew there would be a fire roaring, music playing joyfully in the background. A plethura of decadent food choices. Presents beyond any sort of humbleness, and of course, the pleasant and laugh filled cadence of my family socializing together.
I had chosen gifts for my neices and nephews carefully. I anticipated the excitement they would have in opening ALL of thier gifts, but it gives me such pleasure in watching them be happy about something I personally have chosen. I desperately don't want to be like Aunt Jenny from the Brady Bunch.
It was a scream to watch the four oldest children sit together at thier own table, dining on thier own Christmas day feasts. Nary an egg was eaten as I saw them walk gingerly to the kitchen for more chocolate chip cookies, than to me, seemed humanly possible. And while thier table conversations were short lived on any one subject, they did seem to create "stocking" banter for at least one solid minute.
My favorite moment of all was when my five year old nephew gave my husband a gift all on his own. Granted, it is a plastic eagle head, but my husband actually loved it. Like as in put it out the second we got home last night. He stood behind his Mom as Billy unwrapped it, and I actually saw him hold his breath. And the whole thing was just so sweet I wanted to cry. Because he demonstrated not only his love, but his incredible thoughtfulness and sincerity.
In addition, my family, being mostly some form or other of type "A's"- which is where I sometimes fail them all, has it all down to a very enjoyable science. Arrive, eat a traditional egg casserole breakfast ( and who knew that my self-proclaimed "horrible cook" SIL would turn into a baking afficionado overnight and produce such spectactularness as a pumpkin roll and sticky buns? DELICIOUS. Both. ) Open gifts. Take a break. Open more gifts. Take another break. Stop. Eat again. Relax.
Towards the latter part of the day, I noticed my husband was nowhere to be found. And come to think of it, my niece and brother were also MIA. I found them in the back family room, rocking out to Rock Band. And who would have thought? My husband found a new talent in drumming, my brother the guitar, and my niece... a vocalist? Let me just say now, there is NO ONE in our family, aside from my mother, that can carry even the slightest of tunes. Finding a willing participant to play lead singer, and undoubtedly making a complete ass out of themselves is hard to come by in my family. But the desire to play Rock Band seemed to have an interesting affect, overshadowing any thoughts of ass-making or self-esteem issues. Many a family member, some of whom I have not heard so much as hum, were doing thier best to belt it out for the love of the game. Amazing what technology can do.
After almost twelve hours of celebrating together, which even surprised myself, the little ones needed to go to bed, as did we. My husband warmed up the car and loaded in all the gifts ( being pregnant does have some advantages) and after saying goodbye no less than three times, we slowly drove away, not wanting the perfect day to fade away.

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Life in General

Last year, when I was pregnant, and before the miscarriage, my cravings were met with an ambitious and chesire like grin. As a woman who was born with a constant weight battle, I finally got my free for all. That is until it was all said and done and I was big as a house and had to join weight watchers to lose it all. So THIS time, I have apporached pregnancy with much more caution. And when my friend Sonja gave me her Gabrielle Reese Pregnancy Work-out DVD, I accepted with unbridled delight.
Yesterday was the first time I got the chance to tune in. And because our DVD player is a piece of crap, and it skips, I ended up accidently holding positions for much longer than I should have. Not realizing that I would be holding it forever unless I manually fast-forwarded it. As a result, my arms are killing me. Today I will tuck the DVD remote in my sports bra for when I realize ten minutes have passed and my leg is shaking in pain.
While on the subject of pregnancy, I must say, I understand weird things happen. I have decided to have a blase approach and do my best to not give in to to whims of exhaustion, aches and pains and of course, feelings of vomitous disgustous. And even as my skin transforms into ailen like patches here and there, I am accepting. But seriously, when I awoke in pain last night due to a searing shot in my ear, I admit, I can longer conceal my gross out. The pimple on my EAR? has given me the creeps. I dont' GET pimples on my ear. I didn't even really think my ear had pores. I know it's just the beginning. But YUCK.
In other news, I am conflicted over the in-law Christmas Eve party. When I asked what I could bring I did not get a response. My husband then went to bat for me and demanded I be told what to bring. My husband then told me, "Bring whatever you want". Huh?
My family is organization station. I am not used to such a vast wonderland of food creation possibilties. While some would flourish in these conditions, I feel like it is a set up.
I nearly created a fight with my husband, demanding he tell me a dessert he would eat. His casual tone irritated me as I explained, " I want at least ONE PERSON to EAT WHAT I MAKE". OH! okay, he says, make apple cobbler then. And if things follow tradition as I suspect they may, he will be full from dinner and see me coming with the "dessert", and look like a deer in headlights with Twilight Zone squawks in the back ground. "NO!" he will think, "I am FULL, I don't WANT THAT! My wife will be so pissed if I don't eat it and tell her it's good. Fake smile fake smile, I would LOVE a piece honey! It looks delicious!" and I will smile and hand him his plate.
When it's time to leave I will look at my slaved over pathetic dessert and see the one chunk cut out of it. My MIL will try to usher me out the door with it, but I will refuse. "NO! YOU keep it, really!" and I will walk out to the car empty handed and be irritated that I didn't just "get an assignment that would have been eaten" when I initially asked. It is an effort in futility.
Overall, Christmas vacation is off to a good start. Today I am going on a girl's day to the movies and then out to a bar. I am slightly concerned about the bar, as one lady doesn't drink and me and the other girl are pregnant. I am not sure why we are even going there. However, it will be good to get out of the house with the girl's, even if we can only pretend to sip on cocktails.

Present Problems

My friend Rachel just got married at the end of November. And like most brides, I am sure she is still on that gift-getting high that only can happen when you literally get to sign up for a wish list beyond wish lists and watch it all roll in over the course of a year as you skip along from one shower to the next and then on to the big day.
Needless to say, I have had a difficult time picking out a Chirstmas gift for her.
I might also add, it would not be SO so difficult if I wasn't knee deep in budget land and could spend whatever I wanted on the perfect gift, but life being what it is prevents that.
After mulling it over and checking out her bridal registries for "gifts NOT purchased", I opted for a lower grade, and might I add, much more affordable, yet nice, throw, that would compliment thier new bedroom.
And as I trimmed my own tree and happened across a very beautiful, yet sentimental ornament that commemorated my own very first Christmas with MY betrothed, nearly bringing me to tears, decided I would throw in a very first Christmas ornament for them as well.
Done deal.
And since the new bride just traipsed off to Hawaii to honymoon, and I didn't get the chance to deliver my perfect, yet affordable gift, it sat in waiting for thier return.
So it does not surprise me, after talking to her sister, that not only did the bride purchase such a throw for her new husband as a Christmas present, she herself had already purchased and GIVEN a much NICER very first Christmas ornament to her sister.
SO suddenly my gift fell flat. I stood in the return line at Target yesterday, considering what I would get her now, but nothing came to mind.
I have perused the internet for ideas and unless I want to spend sixty bucks- which is almost double my budget, there is little to be found. I considered Omaha steaks, as they both love to eat and cook, however the gift card I would purchase would not cover the costs of the perfect set of four steaks, not even the on-sale lowest grade cheapies. Somehow that does not strike me as a "nice" gift.
I have until January 3 to make a decision. If all else fails, they will receive a gift card to a local restuarant, but being that she is my best friend, I was hoping to think of something a little more... thoughtful.
In any case, she will hear this story when I give her whatever it is I give her so she will know that my FIRST time around I was right on the money.

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Kung Pao Chicken?

I have been too busy to blog. But... alas! The children ushered in thier last day of school in bed, as I did not have more than two students per class on our snow-filled day. So the party organizing was for naught. The class I was taking three nights a week for the month of December is finally over. The presents are bought and wrapped, and Billy and I spent the better part of our day running errands and filling in all of the last minute details. I collasped into bed last night, exhausted, ready for my own "break" to begin, only to be struck with my recurring insomnia problem and awoke, wide-eyed at the strike of two. A. M. There were surprisingly a great many Christmas specials on at that late hour, so despite my bodies resistance to rest, the holidays were being enjoyed.
And because I still have much to do today, I have not much time to write. I will leave you with this question...
What in the world is Lisa Kudrow doing in a Nintendo DS commercial making Kung Pao chicken? The first time I saw I waited with bated breath for the punch line, and when I didn't hear one, I figured I didn't pay close enough attention. After seeing it at least ten more times since, I have come to the frightening conclusion that she is as serious about that chicken making as a child making a Santa list.
Hollywood must be a very difficult place to be.

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Stick of What?

So, um, yeah, about that being pregnant stuff. Things have begun to take on new odors lately. I am not particularly sick. Nor especially tired. I am considering myself lucky. And aside from my amazing snout, and an incredible aversion to my favorite food of all time, hummus, things are running smoothly.

So back to that snout thing.

Last night, a friend of ours came with us to try out a new church, Harvest. As we were walking in, he popped a stick of gum in his mouth. After we sat down, he offered a stick to Billy, who sat between us. Because I was running to the bathroom and taking my coat off, I hadn't noticed. Once settled, and as the service began, Billy leaned over and asked me if I also would like a stick. But as he talked, an overwhelming bathroom smell came over me.

"NO!" I said. "I mean, no thank you." And then I started to giggle. "What?" Billy whispered. "Nothing! I will tell you later!".

After church, we went to dinner. Wherein our friend ordered a glass of red wine. And even though it was sitting ample distance from me, the scent wafting out of the glass seemed to be making a beeline for my nose, and henceforth making me want to seriously gag. I was very thankful when my entree showed up, crowding the smell space and therefore overpowering the wine scent, putting me back at ease.

As we were leaving the restaurant, a stick of the before mentioned gum fell out of Billy's coat pocket. The friend said, "OH! Lori! Your gum! Bill, you never gave it to her?" I just stood there and stared blankly at "my" gum, now laying in it's foil wrapper on the restuarant floor. Sighing, Billy picked it up and shoved it back in his pocket, mumbling, "She didn't want it."

When we got home, Billy asked me what the deal with the gum was. "OH!" I said. "It smelled like a urinal cake". "What?" he asked. A urinal cake. That gum wreaked of urinal cake and almost sent me running to the ladies. So no. I don't want that stick of gum, not then and especially not after being on the floor.

All thing considered, I can't complain.

Saturday, December 13, 2008


I have an announcement to make. Drum roll please...... I am pregnant. That's right. I am. It was a surprise to say the least. But according to my doctor- there is a baby in the making.
It all started when I woke several times in the night to aching boulders on my chest. The first night I shrugged it off as being a bad case of PMS. After the third night, at 2 am, I rifled through my bathroom drawers until finding a First Response test. I don't think I have ever seen a line number two show up so quickly. I sat on the couch for the next four hours- like a deer in headlights. When I heard my husband rolling around in the bed, showing his first signs of morning life, I ran to him and gave him my news. He thought the test was wrong.
After getting some medical verification and the onslaught of initial "You are 35 or over" appointments, it started to become slightly real.
I will spare all of the gory details, but two very significant events have since occurred, already marking this as a pregnancy to never forget.
The first was a rather horrid trip to get a date identifying ultrasound. Being that this was not planned, there had been some confusion as to "dates" and what not. Below is a copy and pasted e-mail I sent to my Mother, post-trauma describing the "experience".
The girl was a trainee from a local community college. Very nice, obviously very green. She took her time but also wouldn't let Billy in. She did the tummy ultrasound first, then had me pee so she could do the internal. It took her forever. She forgot to adjsut the stirrups so after 30 min. my legs started to shake. I asked her if it was almost over... she said yeah- so i decided to tough it out. She couldn't find my ovaries- since it took her so long my bladder was filling up again. Eventually- her supervisor Alex came in. He bitched her out for taking too long and said the reason she was having trouble was because it was on the wrong setting. He then took over. He was very gruff with the girl, explaining what she did wrong. I kept winking at her and giving her sympathetic looks. She told me I could ask my questions now... so I asked him if I would walk out of there today knowing if the baby was alive or not. He then started in on this long-winded story ( they placed the screen so I could not see anything) and said my dr. would call me in 2/3 days... I was like.. 2 or 3 DAYS? he interrupted me and yelled, "LET ME FINISH". I then was annyoed because here I am, laying there with my legs up, exhausted and worried. I snapped. I said, "You know what, I am losing my patience here, I just want to know what I am going to find out today." He mumbled a sorry and carried on with his arrogance. A few minutes later the ."trainee told him my husband was waiting outside. His response? "How special." I almost started crying. I was now laying there for over 45 minutes- no knowledge yet, vulnerable, and upset. Billy came in then and he did nothing to cover my crotch from the door- which had the ultrasound machine in it- so Billy walks in to see me like that and the guy made no eye contact with him. I was so embarrased.
The guy did nothing to make sure I was comfortable in any way. He took any specialness out of the situation and made me so upset. He waited until the very last minute to show me the screen and by then I was so pissed I just wanted out of there. It was terrible.
I went home and wrote a letter immediately to the hospital. They usually are so awesome there. Anyway- it was nothing like it was supposed to be. The good news is that I am six weeks along and the heart was beating. Oh yeah- the tech also said, "Well, you CAN see the heart beating but you wouldn't have last week, you are barely pregnant at six weeks"... and that was my " information".

The hopsital sent me an apology letter and a prescription for the infection I recieved from the 30 minutes of mutilation. Thanks. At any rate, I then recieved a report from the doctor suggesting there was something "wrong" with my uterus. Uh. Gross? I hate that word anyway- and now it's getting tossed around constantly. Not to mention, in case you haven't seen Baby Mama- the number one comedy of the year, it's the same "issue" Tina Fey had. So now I am infected, scared, and devasted. As well as feeling like my whole pregnancy is now a complete joke.

After a visit to the specialist some good news was eventually confirmed. The shape of my..ugh..sorry...UTERUS... is not going to be too much of an issue here after all. Some. But not major. I have heard the words "stitches"... "bed rest"... and "C-section" tossed around quite a bit. Trying to pretend that is not happening.
Either way I suppose I am around 9 weeks. Early to be talking about it, but in case you don't know this about me, I am not one to keep it to myself. Because regardless of what happens, I will want to talk about it, write about it, and garner support. So it's all for the best to just reveal.

Friday, December 5, 2008

Back in the Swing

As the holiday transformed itself overnight from cornocopias to Christmas trees, and the temperatures dropped from 30 to eight, and the first of the sticky snowfalls decorated our lawns, I have found myself intensely... busy. Between night classes and medical concerns and appointments and preparing our home for the Winter, I could say that life has been passing me by, a task in going through the motions, one moment to the next.

Until today, that is. I have one final doctor appointment today at 10:30. The news so far has been nothing but promising and with each passing appointment ( FOUR in the last week), my confidence has catapulted itself almost to the point of "no worries at all". Thank God. And since the appointment is at 10:30, I decided, as a gift to myself, to spend the afternoon NOT going back to work, but instead, perusing the shopping mall to tackle my Christmas lists.

I have chosen an outdoor mall. Probably not ideal for eight degree weather, but the sparse crowds mixed with my "plan", not to mention it's proximity to my doctor, should make the outing fruitful. I am planning on wearing TWO pairs of pants, three shirts and a stocking cap. I have already googled the layout of the mall and pairing it with my Christmas lists have managed to come up with a plan of attack, complete with coffee breaks, bathroom breaks, and pit stops at the car to unload. Did I mention I will not DON the extra thick gear until AFTER my appointment? I would not want to risk an "I weigh a lot melt down" so have even decided to "pack a bag" to carry INTO the doctor's office and will not gear up until after the dreaded weigh in. Thinking ahead my friends, just thinking ahead.

Overall, I am finally feeling at peace. When December 1 rolled around, just a few short days ago, my life felt up in the air. I resigned myself to avoiding all things Christmas and wasn't even bothered by the Thanksgiving decor still covering the nooks and crannies of my house. But with each passing appointment, and the good news began to warm my soul and soften my hardened and scared heart, I began to hear myself humming jingle bells softly to myself. Last night, at 9:30, while driving home from my night class, I heard myself belting out at top long, along with the radio, Joy to the World. I knew the tides had finally turned.

Tomorrow, when my husband will be gone for several hours on an outing with a friend, I plan to transform our Fall leaf laden home into a Winter wonderland, fake tree and all. When my husband gets home, I envision sipping cocoa and listening quietly to my Bing Crosby Christmas CD while the twinkling lights of the tress illuminate the background. In reality, we will order a pizza while my husband watches UFC, and drinks a beer and I read books about psyhcogical torment. But still, it will be "normal" which is what I am really going for.