Sunday, May 24, 2009

The Squeeze

I have never been one that can appreciate the pomp and circumstance of routine and attention. I dreaded my graduation from high school, didn't attend my graduation from college, anxiously awaited my wedding showers and feel no differently now that I am in the midst of baby showers.
I have had two thus far. One hosted by my "city girlfriends", the next by my "co-workers"... which doesn't sound fair because they are also my friends, and then next weekend, last but certainly not least, the "family" shower.
And while I feel like an elephant in a China shop at such events, particularly when I am the guest of honor, I have been doing my best to initiate, salivate, and gratiate all over the place so that everyone feels welcome, appreciated and thanked. And the fact of the matter is that I am very thankful.
When I initially created a baby registry, I nearly had a panic attack and had 911 dialed in on my cellular. Luckily, hearty Italian fair and a good dose of cheesecake alleviated the necissity for me to actually have to place that call... but it did result in some heartburn as well as a dose of insomnia. I had no idea I would need so much... STUFF. Not only was I concerned about where I would PUT the STUFF, I also didn't know how I was going to PAY for the STUFF. I had thoughts like.. ... Well, we could always spend five hundred dollars on the stroller we HAVE TO HAVE and I can lock it up with a bike chain to our grill. Or we could live without a crib, right? The kid can sleep in a nicely padded cardboard box? I know our child may actually not survive unless we buy him the "techno-euro-space-saver 5000" car seat, but will a used one from our friends be good enough?

Eventually, the insomnia led to some plotting, and the plotting led to some discussion, and the discussion led to some fighting with the husband which eventually turned into mature adult discusion and then ultimately to a "grand master plan". Which basically meant throw out everything you own and love and currently use, like the dining room table, and make room for baby. End of story. It has been working for us.

And so as the stuff rolls in, which again, I am very thankful for, I am realizing not so quickly that the "grand master plan" was not GOOD enough. Because the truth is our place isn't BIG enough. But we will make it work. Too bad someone I know isn't into Longaberger basket sales or they would make a killing off of me. Which has turned into my go to for "extra-storage solutions". Not Longabergers, per say... but BASKETS. I currently know a heck of a lot about what baskets are out there.
At any rate. The showers have been fabulous and my friends generous. More than I feel we deserve but we do appreciate it( really, I had to say that yet again). With most of the major items off of our registry purchased we have some financial breathing room. So really, I have no right to make any complaints. It's just if you come over and I ask you to sit in the crib for dinner, please understand we are just a tad bit tight on space.

Saturday, May 16, 2009

Cracked Up

The week? Highs and lows, my friends, highs and lows. Crown fell off- which led to an emergency dental visit. Twice got to work and had forgotten something at home and had to turn around and come back and get it (pregnant brain, anyone?). Got lost taking the behavior disordered students to the Museum of Science and Industry. Behavior disordered students tried to UN PLUG HUGE displays and dismantle large computer systems while AT the Museum of Science and Industry. Had to turn in my FMLA request ( and for those of you who DON'T know me- this is, to me, a commitment... and you can guess how well I managed THAT...). Had our friends over for pizza and while I was looking forward to their visit I had ulterior motives of confirming and negotiating our child care needs for next Fall... ( mission accomplished, and I will not brag, at this moment, about our extremely fortunate set-up- but let's just say the price is beyond reasonable). This amid a night class, a switch to 4:45 am work outs, a Dr. appointment, swimming class, groceries, dinner, and laundry- and the kids not even HERE yet!
OF course, me being me, and me being PREGNANT me to boot- this led to a melt down of sorts last night. While listening to my phone messages at the tail end of our evening ( and a good hour or so post normal bed time ) my husband gently hugged me in the most loving of fashions. His hand slipped dangerously close to my behind and while I normally would giggle and squirm I instead roared at him at the top of my lungs the obvious..., " DON'T DO MY CRACK!", poltergeist style. After my eyes rescinded back into my head I looked at him and we began to giggle hysterically.
Actually, we were laughing so hard we had to sit down on the couch so as not to fall over. WHILE laughing so hard, my body emitted a disgusting and embarrassing series of uncontrollable farts. And of course, while my husband began to laugh harder, I suddenly, to his shock, became irate. Next poltergiest moment enter here, ( Poor, poor husband) " WHY ARE YOU LAUGHING AT ME?"... and then I exited stage left, ran to the bedroom and began to cry hysterically.
And while I knew this was in-SANE... I could not stop the eMOTion. Luckily for me the very patient husband was there to comfort me back to reality... Needless to say, the last 20 minutes of my week very much emulated the week in general.
I slept heavily and am already not sure that was really ME last night. However, considering my husband's walk on eggshells approach towards me upon waking confirmed that yes, it had to have been true.
Eight more weeks, people... EIGHT more weeks.

Monday, May 11, 2009

New Job?

On our way back to Chicago via I-80, my husband and I stopped in my hometown to visit my Mother for a Mother's Day hello. Part of the overnight pitstop included, on behalf of Billy's birthday as well as an observance of the day itself, dinner at my very favorite restaurant, The Cellar in Geneseo, Illinois.
The Cellar is a small town steakhouse, with a motto of "food worth traveling for"...While it's basement location and fake brick wall-papered walls might be reason to give pause to it's deeper offerings, the bottom line is the food is delicious. Basic, fresh, grilled, and delicious.
Some of my favorite memories are rooted in this restaurant. Daddy/daughter dates, birthday celebrations, sports banquets, and even the home of my very first waittressing gig, which led to a part-time career in the field and was the origins of a humiliating memory of dumping an entire pitcher of iced tea in the center of 8-top well-dressed round before I even served up the appetizers.
At any rate, I was very much looking forward to my meal.
As we approached the restaurant, we noticed immediately the two police cars parked out front. Within a matter of seconds, we also heard the shrill whir of the ambulace following up behind. As we were meeting my Grandma there, I noticed my parents dart quickly inside the restarant to make sure there were no issues with her, while Billy and I lingered back, not wanting to clog the entrance. Seems as if this split second decision was the difference between "helping" and/or not.
While the ambulance people unloaded and made their way inside, I was met with relief as I watched my Father through the window chatting up my Grandma, realizing at once that at least the victim was not... well, her.
While this fact settled in, I was interuppted by a lone, uniformed woman standing beside me on the sidewalk, holding onto a stretcher- contemplating how to lug the huge steel bed down the 8 steps to the lower level of the restaurant entrance. Without remembering that I am nearly 8 months pregnant, I heard myself mutter, "Did you want me to help you with that?"... thinking while speaking that of course the ambulace worker would recognize my very pregnat state, as well as my heels and quickly deny me.
She didn't. "SURE!" She exclaimed. I immediately did what any wife would do and said, "BILLY- Help her get this down there!". While he took over, the lone woman thrust a large canvas medical bag at me. I stood there patiently waiting for them to get the gurney down the stairs and was shocked when the woman abruptly yelled, "Get that DOWN there, it's the oxygen."
What the hell? I thought. The OXYGEN??? Why is this on ME? I sprinted down the stairs and in the foyer of the restuarant was trying to convey to the masses that I needed to know where the "emergency" was as I was, unlikely as it might seem, suddenly, the "lady with the oxygen". In stilted English I managed to convey my importance and was directed to a section of the dining room, where I came across two police officers as well as some other EMT's helping a non-breathing victim to the floor. Tables had been moved. Patrons were staring. A once bustling dining area was stunned into silence. Again, as I made my way over to the "situation" I again tried to convey the importance of what I held...
I demanded the officer look at me via several attempts of holding the canvas bag at his eye level and yelling, "This is the oxygen, THIS is the oxygen, THIS IS the oxyGEN." Eventually, he was able to hear me and held out his arms to take the life saving oxygen machine.
When I turned around to locate my family, instinct had me searching for our "table", which was thankfully, in a different room altogether and no where near any of this.
As I sat down, I felt tears of overwhelm fill the corners of my eyes as the waittress informed us that the woman was fine and was breathing but was merely choking. Whew.
As my dinner and my family and my celebration came back into focus, I wondered when I had started working for the ambulance services in town.


After many, many, many e-mails, my husband and I finally made it out to Iowa to visit my Aunt and Uncle's dream home in the South Central portion of the state. After getting used to the slower, yet thinner, traffic, as well as the hourly stops my body necessitated, we arrived early Friday afternoon ready to get out of the car.
After a quick tour of the beautiful brand new custom home, complete with Frank Lloyd Wright inspired detail, windows overlooking a scenic pond and cloverfield, a deck larger than our entire condo, a walk in shower, two fireplaces, a kitchen complete with prep sink and double oven, and many other enviable details ( like an indoor putting green ), we headed to the great outdoors.
Billy's tour was taken on an ATV that rivaled our actual vehicle in terms of power. My tour, while just as thorough, was in a bigger and stronger, and much safer for a woman in my "condition", SUV. Eighty acres of land, filled with fields, orchards, ponds, forest, hills. Flora and fauna in abundance. Careful attention to native grasses, plants and trees in an effort to attract wildlife also native to the area, particularly deer, turkey and a plethura of birds, including, but not limited to, several varieties of hawks as well as hummingbirds.
After the tours, Billy was off to turkey hunt with my Uncle on the property, while I quickly and happily slid into social hour(s) with my Aunt. And while they came back empty handed, we cheerily engaged in a feast of homemade and right-from-the-pond caught fried catfish fingers.
The next two days followed similar patterns. The remoteness created a peace in me I had forgotten was possible. Sleep came easily and lingered for longer than I thought conceivable. Nature walks resulted in muskrat spottings, fawn glimpses, Tom scares ( I had no idea a male turkey could be so "BIG" looking in person, and therefore... slightly scary! ), and venison so varied I had no idea I was even eating it... delicious, by the way!
In the end, while we did not walk away with a turkey, or even a catfish for that matter, a whole new world was opened to us. Submergance deep in Iowa country. God's country is what some might say and I can see why. Re-established relationships with an Aunt and Uncle that were previously good, but more remnants of the past as opposed to realities of today. Refreshed minds and spirits. Bonded more tightly in our marriage by a shared weekend that brought both of us deep pleasure and a reassertion of our life's goals and priorities. And the lesson that a couple committed to a joint and focused goal can lead to a realized dream of this vastness- this amazing.
We had a great weekend. It was a great way to spend one of our last child-free weekends. We are looking forward to going back, but better yet, we have taken the experience with us and will use it as one of the foundations of our marriage.

Saturday, May 2, 2009

Farter Starter

My body is turning against me. Really. It hates me.

Somewhere between my first bra and the braces coming off, I figured out that farting in public was way taboo. By the time I was a full fledged teenager I was most lady-like in gassy situations and seldom recall a situation where I was emabarrassed by any kind of flatulence. In my twenties I somehow basically lost the ability altogether. By my 30th birthday, I lit an additional candle on my cake to commemorate a decade of fart-free-living. More or less.

In the three years my husband and I have co-habitated, I have essentially been fart-free. He's not heard a peep nor has he sniffed a smell. I have managed to convince him AND myself that I no longer fart at all. Now, mind you, we all know that is impossible, but I have worked hard at learning to conceal what some might consider a deadly weapon.

Suffice it to say, since I have become pregnant, that has all changed. And against my will, of course. Because I don't think an hour has gone by where I have NOT farted. Actually, if I could figure out a way to harness all of the gaseous energy I am creating I could seriously make bank. Seriously.

And the worst part is not admitting that I have turned into a fart fest- but that I no longer have the social skills needed to handle these "touchy" situations in public.

Take for example the other day. A co-worker and I ran into each other in the stairwell. We talked for several minutes and then I felt it. I did my best to keep it "quiet" so as not to interrupt our conversation... but I knew within seconds that while you could not hear what I had done, that was certainly other "evidence". Luckily for me it's Spring in the high school, so she immediately confused my body's hatred for me as a Senior prank, "Eww, another stink bomb- I am outta here!". So, I managed to escape blame free on that one. However- the embarrassment has been haunting me.

Last night at dinner, I was chatting with my husband at the table. He said something funny and when I busted out in laughter I also busted out in sing-songy fart. I didn't know what to say- or DO. So I of course did what any 35 year old would do, I ran into the living room and hid from him.

And while I am most certainly "out of control", I don't want to create a "reputation" as a liar OR as a farter- so I am trying very hard to manage moments like these with grace and consideration.

I cannot believe I have almost three more months of this! Please someone, tell me that AFTER I deliver this baby that certain "things" will go back to SOME sort of normalcy? Either that I will have to get THIS :
tatooed as a tramp stamp on my back.