Friday, December 3, 2010


Man, so, that last post was written sometime in August, but sat as a draft in my email files for a long time, until I had the guts to post it. Not that I have a lot of eyes on my site, but I felt too... vulnerable? posting it as I was in the moment. It was easier to hit "publish" after those feelings had subsided. Things are much less hectic around here now.

Look at this attractive couple! Lindsay and NIck, wedding reception style.
One thing that helped is the half marathon is finally over. Nick and I both finished! It was pretty cool. It was an international marathon in that you ran across the Ambassador Bridge which connects the US (via Detroit, MI) to Canada (via Windsor, Ontario), ran along the Detroit River in Canada for a couple of miles, and then ran back into the US in the Windsor-Detroit tunnel. I had completed a half marathon in my early 20s (2006? I was 23... almost 24) and my time then was 2:39. When I finished this one, at 28.5 years old, and only 6 months after having my first baby, my time was 2:33! All that stressing out about getting enough runs in! Look at that!

                   Cute                                                        Cuter                                                   Cutest

Another reason the stress has lifted is because I'm no longer trying to meet some crazy, self-imposed breastfeeding goal. This one was a tricky subject. I really, really enjoyed breastfeeding. I felt close to my baby, I enjoyed providing nutrients for her, helping her grow, yadda yadda, but the stress plus work craziness essentially made me switch to supplementing with formula. Once I started that, I began the subliminal process of weaning. I didn't know that breastfeeding would cease completely at the time... in hindsight, maybe that's a good thing. It happened gradually, and eventually I just stopped breastfeeding. It went from a little bit in the morning, plus a full feeding after work to just the full feeding after work, to nothing. :( Sad face. But you know what? Almost making it to 6 months is great, I can't complain about that, I guess.

                                                          Pre-Race, Detroit Free Press (Half) Marathon, Oct 2010

The funny thing is... she still gets sick. Everyone says breastfeeding makes your kid super healthy. I guess the bugs at her daycare are immune to breastmilk. :P Because those things definitely didn't escape her!

                                                       Zebra (Front) and Murphy (Back), Halloween 2010

What else...

                                                 Claire and Grandpa Don play Nintendo, old-school style (obvs)

I changed jobs at work. (NEVER TALK ABOUT WORK.) That's all I'll say about that, as my Dooce angel just appeared on my shoulder. Well, okay, I'll say one more thing. Changing jobs at work = good. :)

Claire is a wee one, but a colorful one
So now is the "brag about my baby" time. She's almost 9 months old, and is a quick little whipper-snapper! She started crawling around 7 months, standing/pulling herself up unassisted at 8 months, and is starting to scoot around places (scaling the perimeters) by herself at 9 months. Her BFF from school, Sydney, is only 6 weeks older than she is, and is already walking. So if she wants to keep up with her (literally, and I suppose figuratively), she'll probably be walking in the near future.

Diddy White Party up in here! Ignore the awful paint job. Of course you didn't notice it until I just pointed it out, right?

I guess that isn't really bragging rights, as I do realize this means nothing in the way of "is she a good soul?" "will she be a kind person?" "will she treat others with respect?" etc. Those are the true bragging rights a parent can have. This developmental stuff isn't so much bragging rights, as conversation starters to talk with other people, as everyone, yes EVERYONE, loves to wax poetic about their kids days as babies. I could literally talk about my baby for hours with people, but I try to limit myself as I know people are eventually like "OKAY I GOTTA GO NOW, PLEASE STOP TALKING".

She loves him, yeah, yeah, yeah... he is her Paul McCarttney
What else...

Eyes are as big as they appear
Well, so I may feel less stressed than I did a few months ago, but.... I don't know. I feel kind of... boring. And bored. I guess those two go hand-in-hand, don't they? I am bored, mostly because I don't really have any hobbies at the moment, other than talking about babies, and reading about babies on the internet. :P That, in turn, makes me boring. And anytime I find myself in a situation where I have to talk to a stranger (see: this week at the company holiday luncheon where they bussed us to downtown Ann Arbor and I sat next to 'strangers' from work on the bus) I get a little self-conscious about what I'm "bringing to the conversation". Not that I can't talk to people, I just fear that I bore them with my lame-o small talk. Then I eavesdrop on others and get jealous of their chit-chat-repertoire. I guess I just always am able to find a way to pick at aspects of my personality (see: this entire paragraph), and this sort of negative self-talk (or, blog post) is not good for the psyche.
Best $3 I ever spent

I need to love myself more!

                               Ham                                                              Hammier                                                  Hammiest (Oink Oink!)


I love that I completed a half marathon just six months after having a baby.

Wheeeee!  P.S. Like my powder blue minivan in the background?!
I love that I got a new job and that people respect me.

Baby and Mama
I love that it's Christmas time and that I'm like 97.5% sure that Claire remembers me blasting Mariah Carey's "All I Want For Christmas Is You" while she was in-utero reaaaaally really loudly because now every time she hears it (at least 2x/day) she dances and kicks her legs like crazy.

She truly couldn't be a happier baby, and for that I am thankful.
I love my baby.

She loves bathtime. When we remember to give her one! (True story)
I love my husband.

Look at how lucky I am!
I love my dog. My really crazy dog. The one who must insert himself between you and the baby anytime you're playing on the floor with her (omg, need to document this via picture... it's so funny), because HE'S THE BABY, REMEMBER ME MOM? YOUR FIRST BABY? PLAY WITH ME!!

Murphy, Christmas Spirit 2010. Love him!

Monday, August 16, 2010

How To Be Everything

My biggest problem right now is that I'm trying to be everything. I am trying to do all of these things at once: be a good, healthy mom, breastfeed my child, be a good wife, maintain a house, have a dog, be a good employee, have friends (haha - more on this later), be a good family person. Notice I said "good" on most of those things. That's all I'm aiming for at this point. In the past, I would have been aiming for "great" but even writing the word "great" gives me hives at this point.

To say I am stressed would be the understatement of my year.

First off: try to be a good mom. Claire is such a good baby that really, she makes me shine by her own virtue. So, she can't read yet, but hey Claire! Thanks! You make me look good. Between you and me, I know it's really just your easy disposition that makes you a good baby, not necessarily anything I'm doing per se, so thanks. ;) I'll totally let you get a belly button ring when you're 16 or whatever kids are doing in 2026 to pay you back for this.

But sometimes I make tiny fails, and even though it's really not a big deal, I still feel guilty about it. Like, she rarely cries, but when she does, I am not overly eager to pick her up for fear of coddlng her. Then, when I finally do pick her up, I realize she's been crying because she's sitting in a pile of her own shit and her butt is red. Yeah, I'd cry too. Sorry about that, Claire!

I'll segue into my next point: I'm trying to breastfeed exclusively. By that, I mean, she only drinks breastmilk. Sometimes from a bottle, sometimes from me directly. But since I'm a working mom, this means pumping at work. Fine, okay. Not a big deal. But - there's always a but - I'm between jobs right now (within the same company/building) so training has been kicked in high gear (omg never talk about work, I'm getting Dooce hives already) and I can barely afford the time to pump once, let alone twice, and I try to make up for it at night or early in the morning before the birds wake. I'm barely getting by. I was just away from Claire for the first time last weekend and used up all of my freezer stash so I am literally hand to boob at this point. We're supposed to go away for Labor Day weekend (sans baby) so I don't know, I may have to just cut my breastfeeding ties. I don't know why, but I had made a mini-goal to myself that I would try my darnedest to breastfeed exclusively for six months. She turns six months right after Labor Day, so if I were following this goal to a T, I'd have to have enough freezer stash to last me through Labor Day weekend. I just don't know if I can cut it. I can barely give her daycare enough milk to last for the next day, let alone pump extra milk to cover for a weekend away. The stress of everything I'm writing about is probably making me produce less, plus with me pumping less at work (due to no time) I'm also probably producing less. Being that I work in Supply Chain Management, I should understand how this whole Supply/Demand thing works, you would think. I'm so close to making this goal, I feel like I should just do everything I can to try and make it to the end. Then the flip side of me says... this is not important. After all is said and done, does it really matter if I went 5.5 months vs. 6 months? No, not at all. But I always make these goals for myself, and I never follow through. NEVER. Such as, "I'm gonna floss once a day for a week." Fail after 2 days. "I'm going to clean my bathroom once a month." (Yes, I realize this is gross, but this would be a vast improvement over the cleaning schedule (or lack thereof) of the last eight months!) FAIL BIG TIME. Ugh, I'm totally rambling. But, I NEVER do anything I say I'm going to do, and this one thing, this thing that is supposed to be so good for your baby, I wanted to do this, for her, and for myself, to prove that I can follow through if I try hard enough. I think I'm going to fail at it anyway, the goal I mean. I know going 5 months is great, not a lot of people even do that.

I also mentioned that I'm trying to be healthy. I am trying to work out, jog, get in shape, train for a half marathon. Between working, trying (and failing half of the time) to cook dinner for me and Nick, feed Claire, put her to bed, keep a house clean, and get sleep so I am sane for work the next morning, I am barely able to get out for a jog during the week. Now I am finding the only time I can make it out for a jog is on the weekend, which is supposed to be when you do your long jogs. But not doing the shorter jogs during the week is only going to cause me injury, and I'm not actually being healthy, I'm just limping along, trying to reach another goal (finishing a half marathon in October). I wish I could manufacture more hours in the day, but duh, wouldn't everyone want that? Geez, I'm not even original in my gripes.

IF I were to have an extra hour, I better spend it on cleaning the house. HOO BOY. Let's just say... if Nick and I are bitches to each other, there's a 95% chance it's due to a spat about keeping the house clean. Or mainly, my lack thereof, and his picking up my piece of the slack. Or, perhaps, (not saying it's 100% this) it's his PERCEPTION of such a thing. Who knows. All I know is, we better get a maid, and fast. My lack of keeping the kitchen floors clean can ruin my weekend, quite frankly. That's all I will say about that. :\

Let's see, what else am I failing at. OH - friends. Haha. Those. I only have a small handful of close girlfriends, and I don't even know if we're close anymore, honestly. None of them are even close enough that we can meet for dinner on a whim. One is way far away, out of state, and she is so busy with a new, great career, and I am so fake-busy doing/not-doing all of the above mentioned things, that we barely even connect. I keep in touch with some people via email, which is nice, but there is NOTHING that can take place of face-to-face hanging out with friends. I guess what I need is mom friends, local mom-friends. But how do you start from scratch? Especially when you're a working mom. It's not like I can go to playgroups during the day, or those coffeeshop jungle gym cafes, whatever. WHATEVER. I don't even have anything to offer a friend at this point in time, I can't even feed myself breakfast or lunch (I just finished my first "meal" of the day which consisted of a pack of salted peanuts from the vending machine), or get a load of laundry done, or shave my legs. How am I supposed to have friends?! Really!

Then on top of this, I am a wife. Really, this should be #1. But I've put it down further on the list, and I think things suffer because of it. I don't even know what else to say about it. How do you make time for your spouse when you don't even remember to put on deodarant in the morning, or remember to send out that REALLY important email at work that is like the hot-hot-hot thing at work that everyone is relying on?

What else could be piling up at really inopportune times?

  • my car lease is up in one month, meaning we have to shop for a new car
    • I would rather go to the DENTIST than car shop
    • I mean, really, who can say that? doesn't the whole world hate the dentist?
  • my clothes make me feel uber frumpy, so not only do I feel stressed out to the max, but I feel like I look awful in my ill-fitting, poor quality, old and frumpy clothes
  • my sister is about to move in with us, which is GREAT! but I have to clear out the room that she will be in, because it's full of my stuff
    • this is only a minor inconvenience, though - I'm super excited she's moving in for a bit (internship!)
  • I really wish I could talk more about work, as that is about 40% of my stress, but we all read Dooce, and thus we all speak not of where we earn our keep. But damn, forty percent. That's a big chunk of stress.
  • I am the gatekeeper of our finances, and I usually "run the numbers" every 1-2 days. Which is really just me balancing our checkbook and looking ahead to see where the numbers fall. I am backlogged on doing this, because that takes TIME, remember, that elusive thing which I wish I could just slow down, or replicate? The fact that I'm behind on running my numbers makes me feel uneasy.
  • Oh, another gripe on the breastfeeding front? I think I'm getting a clogged milk duct. You're welcome... I know you REALLY wanted to know this information.
So, yeah, the title of this post was "How To Be Everything" but really should be re-titled "How Not To Be Anything" because that's more of what it feels like. Stress stress stress. And look at the time. I have to drop everything at work to go pick up my daughter. While this does stress me out (leaving loose ends at work), it truly is the one highlight of my day... walking into that room, making eye contact with my daughter, and seeing her squeal with excitement of seeing her Mama... it helps to make some of this above nonsense turn to garbage.

Monday, July 12, 2010

Too Long For Twitter - Blurb 1

You know you read too many blogs when...

... you dream about reading a blog post in which a popular blogger reveals that she's just made piping hot, hot-out-of-the-oven snickerdoodle cookies. You somehow find out where she lives, and pass by her house, where she just happens to be closing the front door as you walk by. She sees you when the door is halfway shut, but keeps shutting it anyway. You knock, kind of embarassed. She answers it out of politeness, but looks like she's bothered.

"May I have a cookie?"

"Um... I'm sorry, but no. I made them for a party I'm going to."

I can see into her house and see her family laying on the bed. The bed is in the family room - Charlie and the Chocolate Factory style.

I'm really bummed about the cookie, and turn away.

Monday, July 5, 2010

Fourth of July Weekend - In Haikus

Part I:

Mold in the basement
Doesn't hold a candle to
Soft baby kisses

Part II:

Remembered sunscreen
But mostly camped out inside
I like the AC

Part III:

We are reactive
Learning to be proactive
There goes some savings

In a nutshell: super hot in Michigan (and everywhere else, it seems?) so we spent most of the weekend inside, avoiding dehydration and heat-stroke. Claire is pretty sensitive to the heat, it seems. I guess it makes sense that a delicate little flower of a baby (aren't they all?) should stay cool, and not marinade in the heat. Lucky me :) I'm all for making myself more outdoorsy, but to be outside just for the sake of being outside, when it's so hot? And I need to stay hydrated so I can keep Claire hydrated (breastfeeding). It worked well for me.

Only problem is, we found mold in our basement today. I wonder if the snot nose, cough, and general congestion that we blamed on daycare is actually attributed to the mold? Either way, we fixed it up this afternoon, and I realized just how lazy it is when it comes to my house. Man, I felt like a HERO because I was willing to walk around the perimeter of the basement, sucking up dead roly-polys with the ShopVac. There must have been 300 of them. Truth be told, I HAD to do it, because Nick wouldn't. They "skeeve" him out. OK, whatever, you get a bye on this.

I ponied up and kind of became a poser mom by buying a Sophie the Giraffe for Claire. She is teething like a mother, at least that's what the whole world has been telling us. I felt kind of stupid afterward, spending $25 on a teether toy, but thankfully she loves her! We also bought a couple of generic ones from our big-box grocery/everything store, which she actually hates so much that she cries when I put them in front of her. OK, that only happened once, but I'm trying to justify $25 spent on a teether toy, okay?

Speaking of expensive shit for babies... we bought this toy at a boutique-slash-natural-baby-stuff-store in our town. (Well, Ann Arbor.) There are tons of people in Ann Arbor who are willing to spend an arm and a leg for their kids. Point in case. I was perusing their clothing section, and found a cute top for a 12 month old girl. Simple summer top, cotton fabric with maybe some sheen to it? FORTY-FOUR DOLLARS. Yeah right. I don't even spend that on a shirt for myself, let alone a baby who will spit up on it and staint it forever after wearing it for ten minutes. These people have to be out of their ever-loving mind.

Now, I don't say this out loud, because in actuality, I like the store. I wish we cloth diapered. (Cloth diapering is their main schtick at this store.) I like all of their natural product - everything orgainc. I wish we could afford the really nice stroller, and the adorable toys (wooden! not plastic!) and so on, so forth.

Nick hates this place with a passion. He thinks it's pretentious. It really isn't. It's just... overpriced. Okay, maybe slightly pretentious, but so what? Everyone thinks their baby deserves nice things. I just would rather, I don't know, pay off my student loan debt that pay for a $400 stroller. I agree it's a racket, and I really just like to invite him to go there with me to get a rise out of him. :)

Other than that, and spending some time with family, it was a lovely, lovely three-day weekend.

Friday, July 2, 2010

Why Having a Kid Makes You Want to be a Better Person

We were out to dinner last night, and I had one of those not-so-good moments that turned into a oh-so-good moment. Such is the whirlwind of new parenthood.
The not-so-good moment was this: I had gotten home from work and started feeding Claire. I am still breastfeeding, so this is exclusively my job, 100%. (AKA, Nick gets a free pass on this duty - making sure she is fed.) She was being a Fussy Hussy while eating, which I partly attribute to the fact that I had a normal-people bra on as opposed to a nursing mom bra (which btw is way sexier than a normal-people bra. did you hear that today is opposite day?) and partially attribute to the stuffy and hot house. Since she didn't have easy-access, and was hot, and was bothered (hehe), she didn't get a full feeding. I stood up to compose myself, pawned Claire off on Nick, and, well, promptly forgot that she didn't get a full feeding. WHOOPSIE.
An hour or so later, after an impromptu "screw-dinner-let's-go-out" decision, when we were already at the pub for dinner when she started fussing, I remembered that she hadn't properly eaten, and of course I didn't have anything for back-up. That was my "shitty mom" moment. No diaper bag, no toys, no back-up bottle, nothing. Naturally, she was hungry and started crying. We are trying really hard not to be "those people" who let their baby cry in a restaurant. (Full disclosure: we have definitely let her cry in restaurants previously. In fact, last night was the first time that we consciously said "oh, let's pick her up, she's crying" because people - it's not that parents are doing it to be jerks - it's just that we let them cry at home and forget that we're out in public when the baby is crying during dinner (parenthetical inside parenthetical: I'm talking 'fussy cry', not 'the-world-is-ending cry' or 'I-just-got-a-shot cry')).
So she's fussing, Nick says to me, "You only fed her partially right? You gotta go feed her!" and I really didn't have a choice. Once the child starts fussing because she's hungry, the child does not stop fussing until she is no longer hungry. Simple math, people. Conundrum. We had walked to the pub, so no car to zip off to. I don't whip it out in public, so no at-the-table feeding as an option. (Plus, regular bra. Other Moms reading this will SURELY UNDERSTAND.)
So what did I do?
Yes, you guessed it. The Bathroom.
Yes, I know this is horrifically gross. Yes, I do realize that I WOULD NOT EVER EAT MY DINNER IN THE BATHROOM, why should I make my daughter?
And the biggest dilemma of all? Pants on, or pants off? Well, actually, after writing it down on this here blog, I see that the answer was clear (Pants On - duh) but the idea of sitting on a toilet seat with my pants on seemed really weird at the time. In hindsight, sitting on a toilet, pants off, while nursing my baby is even weirder. Not any toilet, a restaurant toilet. Holy shit, I feel like a shit mom even remembering the incident, not even a day later.
Anyway - quick feeding sesh and she was a happy baby.
I came back to the table and Nick happily took her on his lap while I caught up on my meal. They were directly across from me, and she was so cute with her hands on the table, looking right at me. I started telling Nick a really funny story that had both of us cracking up. It was one of those nights where we're in our own little world and the little random stories that make us both laugh really hard (funny to no one else) make me SO HAPPY. But the thing that happened next made me even more happy.
Claire was watching me howl with laughter - I was almost crying, it was so funny - and she started laughing too.  Her first ever laugh.  OMG. I know it's so boring to hear about parents talk about their kids, so I am thinking that other parents are probably the only ones who are able to read this without barfing, but to hear your first-born have her first laugh?  Best moment in my life, I swear. I've told the story to two people at work, emailed it as well, and now writing a blog about it, and I'm still beaming. We just got the first giggle about a week or two ago, and she's only done it a handful of times.  A giggle is cute, but only lasts like half a second.  This was a good 3-4 second laugh.  Best thing ever.
So that's how our dinner went from "oops, not the best parent" to "OMG I love this", and also shed some light as to why people always say they want to be better people because of their kids. Claire laughed because I was laughing. She was looking right at me when she did it, and it was a direct response to my guffaw-guffaws. Kids are such sponges, and they absorb up their surroundings and do what they see. That age-old cliche "the apple doesn't fall far from the tree" comes to mind, and is so true. Granted, that saying is typically used as a blanket statement, but it was true in that simple, solitary moment as well.
But in all honesty, here's the thing. And this is just an example. I can be negative about my body, let's say. Put on a shirt, and bemoan that it makes me look prego. (See: this morning.) My daughter was right there, laying on the bed with my husband, and he said "Honey, you have to stop saying bad things about yourself. It happens everytime you put something on." And he was so right. With all of that complaining about my looks and being self-conscious, especially verbally (not just inside my own head), I am putting that out there for my spongy daughter to absorb. And obviously, I don't want her to grow up with those thoughts of her own.
It reminds me of a (Nick, don't cringe) Oprah show that I watched while on maternity leave. I think it was called "Why I Will Never Diet Again" and this one woman in the audience basically said (through tears, obvs.): "My daughter is only 7 and she complains to me that her thighs are so fat and that she feels so ugly, and it hurts me so because I know exactly how she feels because MY thighs are so fat and I feel so ugly and I don't want her to feel that way." So the author (whose book they were discussing) asked this woman if she ever complained out loud or talked about her thighs, etc. and the woman answered "yes" and it was like DUH. Apple, meet tree. The branches were very, very low.
I know that isn't rocket science, but I had a newborn baby in my arms, a perfect soul in every way possible. She had no preconceived notions about what society "expects" out of her, what beautiful is, what ugly is (and I'm not even talking in a physical way only).  And now that she is slowly associating us - her parents and the people she is familiar with - with things like happiness (the laugh! the giggles!) I can only hope that anything/everything she gets from me is the best that I can give her.
No - not every day will be a day of laughing, I am 100% a realist. There will be days she is a brat, days I am a brat, days the dog is a brat. But in general, overall, I have to be a better person so that SHE can be the best person possible. Essentially, I want to be a grand oak tree, so she can be a bountiful, juicy apple.
And oh, how I do love apples.

Wednesday, June 30, 2010


I have an irrational fear of stepping on frogs. I think this stems back to 7th grade, when I was a fair-skinned emo-wannabe (before emo was even a term), who sat in the backyard on a blanket reading, no doubt a literature piece that I didn't "get", probably something that I would re-read in 10th grade honors English and still "not get".

One of such days, I saw a murmur beneath the blanket. It was a frog. The thought that I could have been sitting on the frog that whole time skeeved me out to no end. Fifteen years later, I cannot walk through my parent's lush backyard without watching where every foot lands, looking for murmurs below.

To add fuel to my frog-filled fear-fire, there is one week in August, the hottest week in the summer, when the frogs come out to play. When we take our dog for a walk, there is bound to be no less than one frog per sidewalk slab. Do you know how many sidewalk slabs we walk across when we take a loop around our subdivision? Neither do I, but I'm guessing it's in the hundreds? I kid you not, I see hundreds (OK, maybe I exaggerate SLIGHTLY; let's say "dozens") of frogs during these dreaded treks in August. I usually make Nick bring a flashlight to look out for the things. Less than a quarter of the way through with the walk, I take over the flashlight duties because he doesn't fan the slabs properly for MAXIMUM frog detection. You see, I take this very seriously.

Why all the frog talk? Well, I went for a jog tonight as a part of my official 2010 Detroit Half-Marathon training. Go me! Go Nick! (He's doing the competitive walk. Not a jogger, my man.) And you guys? I think global warming IS REAL. Because the frogs? Well, it's not even July yet (hey! I have 1.5 hours still...) and the frogs - they are out.

I'm pretty sure I kicked one up the curb. I heard nary a ribbit, but I felt something... soft... propel forth from my new kicks, and well, it's all downhill from here. (Pun not intended, but only mildly funny, anyway.)

Monday, June 28, 2010

Monday Night Haiku

{Full disclosure: I had to Wikipedia "haiku" to make sure I had the syllables right. I have no idea what a mora is. Still don't after reading it.}

Monday Night Haiku
by Lindsay Collins

Nick plays golf while I
Eat solo dinner, feed Claire,
Clean up the dog poop.

Alternately, tonight's haiku could read:

Caught up with Oprah
In a daze with sleeping babe
Nuzzled on my chest.


Cannot find phone to
Vent like a frazzled housewife
About the dog's poop.

Saturday, June 5, 2010

Reflections on Mother's Day

So, it was my first Mother's Day.  Perfect time to reflect on being a mom, right?  [Ed. Note: it's not Mother's Day anymore. It was when I first started writing this, but you know how that goes...] Where better a place to start than Claire's birthday.  Or, the events leading up to Claire's birthday, anyway.

I blogged on the Thursday before Claire was born from the bathroom of my Dr. office.  Classy.  It was my 39-week appointment, and at the appointment, I was shocked when my Dr. said "so let's talk about induction."  I wanted to avoid induction (this seems obvious to me, but some people schedule inductions out of convenience, or supposed need, or actual need), and after my Dr. explained induction methods, I REALLY wanted to avoid induction.  Let's just say, I don't want someone's hand up my hoo-ha separating things from other things.  Honestly, I still don't quite understand what it entailed, but OMG NO THANKS if it involves the aforementioend hand up the aforementioend hoo-ha.

Approximately three seconds after that conversation, I told myself to deliver on time.  My Dr. suggested some things to help get things moving.  Long walks, um, relations with your husband, spicy food.  All very scientific methods, right?

So, we headed to Las Fuentes, our favorite Mexican (haha, well, they serve enchiladas, but you won't find this food in Mexico) restaurant.  And MAN.  DID I CHOW DOWN.  Spicy salsa?  Check.  (And seconds, and thirds... waitress probably lost 2 lbs. with all the running back to the kitchen she did for me.)  Spicy enchilada sauce all over my burrito?  CHECK.  (And doesn't Mexican food talk sound dirty?)  Fried apple dumpling ice cream caramel omg dessert?  CHECK.  Although, that didn't necessarily help get labor started.  But come on, I was 39 weeks pregnant.  I'm sure you can understand.

On the drive home, I was in a panic that I'd have the baby that night.  Why the panic?  Well, after consuming so much food, it's gotta come out sooner or later, if you catch my drift.  I honestly had a quick panic that the spicy food would cause some, um, intestinal issues, and that I'd shit all over the doctors if I was pushing a baby out within the next 12 hours.  I think every woman fears shitting in the delivery room, so I won't pretend like the thought didn't cross my mind.  Thankfully, the baby wasn't really ready to come out quite yet.

I went to work the next day, a Friday, and was so busybusybusy that I stayed until 6:30 p.m. wrapping things up.  Perhaps my subconscious knew that it would be my last day of work for 12 weeks, hence the staying so late.  I mean, shit, it was a Friday night?  Who stays until 6:30 p.m.?! 

I don't really remember what we did on Friday night.  Probably cashed in early as we are wont to do after a long week of working.  Oh, and the whole 39 weeks pregnant thing.  Yeah, pregnant bitches be TIRED.

Saturday morning was when it all started, in my opinion.  The spicy food of Thursday and the long work day of Friday were the precursors of the beginning, but I wasn't contracting or anything.  Saturday morning, I went to my chiropractor.  He asked when I was due, I indicated "any day now", and he did an adjustment on my pelvis that he'd never done before.  I didn't ask about it, but the moment after he did it, I thought "this is going to start my labor."  I had spoken to a man in the chiropractor's office a month or so prior, who mentioned that his wife went into labor with both of their kids the day she went to the chiropractor.  He even joked that for their second child, she wanted to deliver so badly that she drove to the chiropractor for an adjustment because she knew that would jump-start labor. 

Maybe it's psychosomatic, but I had my first contraction in the car within 10 minutes of leaving his office.  We went to breakfast at our favorite Coney Island, where we had gone every Saturday for the past month.  The waitresses joked "still pregnant?" and we chuckled with our stock answer of "any day now." 

I had a couple more contractions sporadically, but nothing to indicate "this is it."  Nick's friends came over and the three of them hung out in Ann Arbor for the afternoon.  I was invited, but was definitely not in the mood to be traipsing around.  Plus, they were going to get Indian food, and well, if I didn't want to shit Mexican food on the delivery table, I sure as hell didn't want to shit Indian food on the delivery table.  Right?  Right.

Instead, I got a pedicure, thinking that if my legs would be up in the air within the next week or so (in labor! you pervs), my toes better look nice.  This is the smartest thing I have ever done.  Well, not really, going to college was pretty smart, starting a 401k was pretty smart, etc. etc., but it was the best $35 spent for sure.  Everyone commented on how nice my toes looked during labor, I swear.  And I felt like a million bucks, just because some guy loofah'ed my feet and slapped some polish on my toes.  It's pretty hard to make a pregnant lady feel hot, but nice toes did the trick.

In hindsight, I can't believe I didn't realize that I was in "pre-labor" - I spent the rest of the day big-time nesting, pretty much just napping non-stop the rest of the day on the couch while I watched horrible (both in plot-line and execution) documentaries on Netflix OnDemand. 

Sunday morning and afternoon were pretty uneventful, except for the random contraction here and there.  I knew these were real contractions, because they hurt like a mother.  Not totally gut-wrenching, but definitely sobered me up to the realization that ouch, I'm about to have a baby, and ouch, it's going to hurt.  We had lunch at Grand Traverse Pie company.  I was trying to sneak in as many "dates" as I could before the baby arrived.  Plus, while I normally love to cook, I couldn't bear the thought of cooking, or, even more so, cleaning up after cooking.  I was starting to get exhausted, even though I hadn't really done anything but lounge around.

That night was the Oscars.  My contractions started to get closer together, and more consistent around the start of the Oscars, around 8:00 p.m.  I later decided that this was the start of my labor.  We started timing contractions, and kept a log of them for an hour or so.  I remember getting up to walk through a contraction, but stopping to say that Ryan Reynolds was looking mighty hot in a tux.  Early labor, clearly, as I could still converse and have clear thoughts.  Thoughts that were not like "OMFGGGZZARSGGEASHITFUCKDAMNAZZZZEAPPPAEEERRRPPRPEZMGAGPAO!"  Those would come later.

We went to sleep around midnight.  Well, I should say, Nick went to sleep around midnight.  I got into bed, had a few contractions, and said "aw hell naw" because laying down made them horrible to bear.  I got an exercise ball, situated it next to my bed, and sat on it for 3 hours, contracting every 5-6 minutes.  Nick was none the wiser.  I figured I'd let him sleep, it's not like he could have helped anyway.  Very early on in labor, I realized that I wouldn't be needing Nick's help other than to have him in the same room as me.  I didn't need him timing, counting, massaging, or even coaching.  I just needed him to be in the room with me.  So there he slept, because I didn't even let him know that my labor was charging ahead full steam.

Truthfully, I wasn't even 100% sure I was in labor.  I still didn't believe it.  I knew I was having contractions, but I had read too many birth stories about women being sent home after tons of contractions.  I didn't want to be that woman, because I had/have such anxiety about hospitals (no, like, REALLY) that the thought of going to a hospital, getting checked out, and being sent home was akin to torture to me.  I don't mean that metaphorically, either.  I would rather pay someone $1000 than have that happen. 

So when Nick woke up at 3:00 a.m., found me next to the bed contracting every 5 minutes, and learned that I'd been doing that for the past three hours, he jumped up and said "we're going to the hospital!"  I dragged my feet big time, taking a long, hot shower, packing my hospital bag verrrrry slooooowly, and blow-drying my hair.  He kept rushing me, and I kept saying "well, we still have time..." 

Not only did I not want to get sent home for false labor, but I didn't want to spend most of my labor at the hospital.  We had already visited the hospital, and while it's one of the best in the country, the rooms leave much to be desired.  I was enjoying (as much as I could) being in my own room, on my own exercise ball, in sweats.  In hindsight, I should have stayed home longer, but I had to get hooked up to an IV to get antibiotics (group B strep positive) at least 4 hours before delivery, so Nick was eager to get to the hospital.

Before we left the house, I hopped on the computer to write my boss an email.  "I think I'm in labor, so I won't be in today."  On the way out the door, I gave my dog a sympathetic speech.  Poor guy watched us pack our suitcases, and thought he was going on a trip with us.  Most of the time, when we packed a suitcase, it meant we were going on a roadtrip, and Murphy usually is in attendance.  So he got geeked for this trip we were obviously about to take, and wagged his little tail to the garage door.  I had to explain to him that we were going to the hospital to have his baby sister, and I apologized for the upheaval I was about to cause him. 

I think only "dog people" will understand.  I truly felt devastated and sad that I was leaving my little guy, and about to betray him by having a baby and shifting all of my love elsewhere.  As a non-parent, that feeling made sense to me at the time.  Now, as a parent, it seems silly that even happened, and maybe it was partly the hormones, but I truly got a little choked up as I saw him stare up at us, like "we're going on a trip, right? Right?! Yay!" only to have us leave without him.

We arrived at the hospital - it was a ghost-town - at 5:30 a.m.  I was checked within an hour.  4 cm!  Not being sent home! HIP-HIP-HOORAY!  I could have kissed the Resident Dr.  I couldn't believe I had actually started labor, and that this was the real thing.  Contractions were definitely uncomfortable still, and painful.  But I could walk to my hospital room, and still talk fine.

By the time I was in my room, around 6:45 a.m., the nurses were about to change shifts.  The nurse who was leaving put my IV in.  "You're really really good at this, right? You never miss, right?"  After she assured me she was an expert... she missed.  Of course.  Cue mild panic attack.  I have a needle phobia, if you will.  Yeah, I was about to have a baby.  You'd think that the excitement of the event, along with the pain of the contractions would distract my mind from focusing on the needle about to pierce my vein, but you'd be wrong.  Anyway, once that fiasco was over, my new nurse arrived.

I swear, someone was looking out for me.  Or maybe this was some good karma coming back my way for past good deeds.  Or maybe it was just dumb luck.  But this nurse couldn't have been better, I swear.  She was with me from 7:00 a.m. until her shift ended at 7:00 p.m.  I told her that I planned on trying to have a natural birth, and she was my biggest cheerleader.  She was so present (I think I was her only patient) and gave me just the right amount of praise ("you CAN do this, you absolutely can") and encouragement ("why don't you go walk some laps around the hall?"  "do you want to try to get in the tub now?") that I became really confident in my ability to labor and birth a child.

I had no idea what to expect of labor - I think that was my biggest question while I was pregnant.  How would I handle labor?  How much would it really hurt?  Was I strong enough to go natural?  Despite my fear of needles, would I beg for an epidural.

This nurse could not have been a more perfect match for me.  Yes, it hurt, but she told me I could do it, and I believed her.  I credit her with helping me to believe that I could actually do it.

But I'm not going to sugar-coat it.  Contractions?  Hurt like hell.  Toward the end, they were so bad that I was barely able to stand.  We were making loops around the maternity wing, and the loop would take us past the waiting room where my mom, sister, and in-laws were waiting with baited breath.  Those last few hours, though, I told Nick I just wanted to walk back and forth down the short hall, instead of making loops, because I didn't want to have to walk by my family.  The thought of having to stop and say hi, make funny comments about being in labor (all things I felt obliged to do, I mean, they had been sitting there nearly 10 hours at that point!) was more than I could bear.  I was having out-of-body experiences with the pain at that point, and couldn't make eye contact or even smile.

After my first check in triage, before I was admitted, I was checked two times in about 8 hours.  The prognosis?   First I was 4-5 cm, then I was 5 cm.  WHAT THE EFF?  I had labored at home and got to 4 cm.  Then for EIGHT HOURS I only went 1 cm further.  It had to be a mistake.  They said to keep on walking... so walking I did.

Finally, after a brief stint in the tub, and more swaying and walking and out-of-body holy-hell-this-hurts pain, I was 8 cm.  More walking.   More eyes rolling back in my head.  It never even occurred to me to ask for an epidural.  I was so focused on getting through each contraction, that I didn't really even notice the time or how long I had been in labor.  When Nick quietly asked me if it was okay for him to order some food, I couldn't believe that hours had passed.  Labor was so strange, it was as if time stood still and I existed in some sort of parallel universe.  I actually couldn't think past the next three minutes.  With the end of each contraction, I just focused on resting for the brief 1-3 minutes I had until another one came. Sometimes they were back-to-back and it was just survival mode.

When I was finally 10 cm, my Dr. asked if she could break my water.  She did that, and I went back to 8 cm dilated!  I was FLOORED.  THE HELL?!  Contractions post-water-breaking were much more painful than before.  (Which, side-bar, makes me wonder if my water had broken early in the labor... if I would have been able to go drug-free - because really - they hurt a hell of a lot more after my water broke!)  It only took 20 minutes or so to get back to 10 cm. 

When they say "you'll know when you need to push" - they aren't kidding.  One second, I was in labor, having contractions.  The next second, I was immediately feeling the need to push.  The need to push? by the way, feels like you're about to shit your pants.  I know, it's not really the romantic and beautiful side of childbirth, but I'm just being honest.  It's that feeling you get (well, maybe you don't get it, but I get it occasionally) when you have to get to the bathroom quickly, or else.  Except the release of that pressure feeling would take nearly an hour to get rid of!   Can you imagine?  Thankfully, by this point, though, I'd been in labor for 24 hours, and had already, um, gone to the bathroom while I could. And I hadn't had anything to eat in those 24 hours (no Mexican food, no Indian food, I was in the clear!) so thankfully there wasn't a whole messy mess to clean up.  Well, it was messy, but most of the mess was due to the birth, and not due to my last 2 days worth of food.

I pushed for about 45 minutes.  I won't lie... at first, I was fake-pushing. Because that shit HURTS.  So I would give maybe 30% effort and then take a break.  Luckily, the lights were low, and the nurses/doctors in the room weren't super loud or cheerleadery.  I told Nick early into my pregnancy that I didn't want a cheerleadery nurse chirping at me to pushpushpush! It was pretty calm and quiet. 

But after a few dozen fake-pushes, my doctor leveled with me. "Listen Lindsay... you're not really giving it your all.  You're going to waste a lot of energy with these pushes, which you need down the road."  I knew she was right, and I tried to give myself a pep-talk.  "It's not like I can keep avoiding this pain, the longer I dink around with these fake pushes, the longer I will be in labor."  I just had to accept the fact that I was about to endure horrific pain, and get on with it.

At this point, they took a bed sheet that had a bunch of knots in it, almost fashioned it into a rope, and had me hold on to one end of it while Nick held on to the other.  He was literally standing at the foot of the bed, front and center right between my legs where the doctor normally is, coaching me through each contraction. I was kind of nervous that he would end up delivering the baby!  Finally, the doctor told him he could resume his spot up closer to my head, and she prepped for delivery.

I honestly don't really remember many more details - lots of pushing, which is basically like you're constipated and about to have a human-head-sized-crap, if we're just being honest. Turns out it kinda hurts for a human head to come out of your nether regions.  I am sure this is the first time you have ever heard that, I am a visionary, right?

And all of a sudden, I open my eyes, and there's a skinny, crying baby, arms spread out, covered in blood.  My first question was "are you sure it's a girl?" because I had been terrified that all of our pink clothes and purple walls would be for naught, but I had no reason to worry.  They plopped her on me, and there we have it - I became a Mom.

This was pieced together mostly for my own posterity... because while I had planned to write it down for within a week of the birth, here it is almost 3 months later and the details are already kinda fuzzy to me. (And truthfully, it took me 4 weeks to write. Yeah, this lovely piece of Nobel-prize-worthy literature took me 4 weeks to write.  Call Stockholm!  Or is it Helsinki?  Some Scandanavian city, right?  I am so smrt.)

Here is a picture of my kid as George Washington, because how else do you end a cluster-(swearword) of a post that really has no cohesion or flow?

Friday, May 7, 2010

Thursday Night Thoughts

I read a very thought-provoking tweet earlier this week. It read, "what's the one thing you would you do if you knew you couldn't fail?"

I was floored.

The answer was so simple for me.  Barely had to think about it.  I would be my own boss.  Work as much as I wanted to.  If we were doing fine, financially, I'd take some time off to spend with Claire.  When I needed to contribute to the pot, I'd throw on my working pants (figuratively speaking) and get to work.  I could work at night, after bedtime, with the crickets chirping, or during daylight hours like most other peeps.  I could walk to my favorite local coffeeshop and caffeinate myself, or work in my skivvies from the office at The Noble Home. 

The only thing I'm not quite sure about?  What in the hell I would actually do.  According to the tweet, I CANNOT FAIL in this scenario.  So, in a perfect world, my dream job (the one where I am my own boss) should be something I LOVE to do.  Only problem is, I don't even know what I really love to do. 

Here's what I do know, though:
  • no 8:00 a.m. meeting every day
  • no cubicle
  • workspace would have access to windows
  • no countdowns (I swear, every day is a countdown (I'm sure this will increase ten-fold once I return to work after my maternity leave is over in three weeks...))
  • no annual reviews, no upper managers to silently talk back to, no fear of layoffs
I am sure there are people who approach life in general this way.  It seems like the resounding theme lately is to just do what you love, and the rest will fall into place (with a lot of countless hours, elbow grease, plenty of uphill battles, nonetheless).  It sounds so easy when you hear success stories, and I like to focus on that aspect of it, but the realist side of me knows that for every success story, there are ninety-nine other stories.  People don't typically get their grandslam, walk-off home-run idea on the first try, but eventually hard work pays off, right? Right?

Now I just need to figure out what it is that would make my clock tick, and then work on breaking down my fear of failure, and I'm set. Not such a hard task for a Thursday night, right? ;)

And, a little off-subject, but: some baby pictures, just because.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Three things I love in this picture, and one thing I don't... (hint, it's the garden). (Guess it isn't a hint if I just flat out give you the answer!)

Monday, April 12, 2010

So our dog ate something foul and has diarrhea. During the trip to the vit, our vet said "Oh look, he's sleeping!" about Claire. Hmmm... I wonder why?!
Okay, in all fairness... the carseat isn't exactly screaming GIRL. It's gender-neutral, with a leaning towards the weenie.

The blanket was a gift. I swear. Oddly, the gift contained all boys stuff, I swear. I was like "hmmm what's this all about" but hey, free stuff, I won't turn it down.

The shirt is yellow, and actually has cupcakes on it (note to self... don't make cupcakes, cupcakes taste like feet and will give you herpes - let's hope that works) - BUT - the vet couldn't see the cupcakes because she was covered up by her testosterone-y looking blanket.

Although, I'm sure that even if the cupcakes were visible, he'd probably just think I have a screw loose and still would think she was a dude, all else considered. Oh well. All I really care about at this point is getting my dog to stop shitting in the house! I already have another bum other than my own to take care of, I don't need to add "dog's bum" to the list.
On that note... ta ta.

Thursday, April 8, 2010

A Day In The Life

Before I was pregnant, I always used to wonder "what in the hell do moms do all day?" Well... ever since I pushed out that 6lb baby, my question has been answered. I'll walk you through a day I had this week.

On Monday, I had the great idea to meet Roxanne and Jackie for lunch. With those two living and working in Metro Detroit, and me living in Metro Ann Arbor (such a thing doesn't exist, but go with it) - I thought that the 45-to-60-minute drive was too long to do all at once and still have a sleeping and cooperative baby, so I pit-stopped at my parent's Metro Detroit house to nurse and diaper change and raid their snack cupboard. What? I was hungry. And they have way better snacks than I ever have in my house.

Anyway, back to my day. Here goes... (and I'll start from the beginning...)

12:00 midnight - go to sleep with Nick. Poor Nick - for him, it is a "school night". Poor Lindsay - that means that I am on night duty solo. (I don't make him get up in the middle of the night if all I am going to do the next day is stay at home with the baby!)

2:45 a.m. - Claire wakes up for some boob time.

3:20 a.m. - Boob time is OVAH. I have closed up shop, for the hour. Thank God I don't have a fussy baby, and she goes back to sleep like a CHARM.

5:00 a.m. - There is demand for the boobs, once again. I am surprised that when I hear her newborn coo'ing, even though it's sweet, that since it is 5:00 a.m. and I am tired as all get-out, that I don't get pissed. Wow, does that sentence made an iota of sense? Let me rephrase: she is so perfect, that even though I am tired like the wolf, the fact that she is hungry like the wolf makes me eager like the wolf to give her what she wants. (Too much WOLF?)

5:12 a.m. - Nick's alarm clock goes off to Jason Mraz on the radio. Nothing gets Nick up more than Jason Mraz. HAHAHAHA. I didn't intend for that to be funny/innuendo, but it is! But really, though, Nick hates his guts and hits snooze so hard that he wakes up and no more snoozing for Nick. Basically, if Nick wants to be at work at like 6:30 a.m. (who the eff would want to do that?!) then make sure Jason Mraz is playing at 5:12 because that = no snoozing for Nick and he's out the door super early.

5:15 a.m. - Nick takes Claire and snuggles with her between teats, and I get a 60-second nap. My boob starts leaking, though, and I snatch her back.

5:30 a.m. - breakfast is over. Back to bed for us, and Nick gets dressed for work.

6:15 a.m. - Nick kisses us each goodbye on his way out the door but I barely remember it because HELLO two feedings in the middle of the night?

8:30 a.m. - I had to set my alarm for this morning, otherwise we wouldn't make our 12 noon lunch date. Seriously. You'll see why in a second.

8:35 a.m. - Never wake a sleeping baby. THAT IS, unless you have 12 noon lunch plans with your girlfriends who live and work almost an hour away.

8:36 a.m. - Wake a sleeping baby, for breakfast. Not of the Carnation Instant variety. (I am not funny.)

9:00 a.m. - Breakfast is over, I am pretty filthy and smell of sour milk. Motherhood is pretty glamorous, like on TV. HA.
9:05 a.m. - Check my email on my mobile device - I am soooo hip to technology since I finally bought a cellphone that was manufactured in the 2000s. Last one was from 1998, I swear. The fact that I can CHECK EMAIL seems like the coolest thing ever to me. Clearly I need to get out of the house more.
9:10 a.m. - Jump in the shower. Get rid of my smellies, and make my hair smell nice with my fancy shampoo.
9:25 a.m. - Claire has taken the biggest shit ever when I was in the shower.
9:30 a.m. - Pre-treat the shit stain on her white onesie outfit.
9:35 a.m. - Wash her bum a few times over and put a cute dress on her so my friends will think she is adorable (which she is without the dress, but the dress didn't hurt...).
9:40 a.m. - Blow-dry hair, and pray she doesn't shit again while in the bouncy chair.
10:00 a.m. - Finagle Claire into the car seat, and the car seat into the car, oh! and thaw out some milk in the off-chance she fusses while we're out (oh hell no not ready to breastfeed in public yet!).
10:15 a.m. - We're "late" to my plan, but finally leave the house. Start off the car ride by playing a children's CD of xylophone rendition of Johnny Cash songs, but change to the radio after "Walk the Line" is done.
11:00 a.m. - Arrive at my parents house. Get car seat and diaper bag out of the car, grab the house key (separate from my car keys) to my parent's house, and head for the door.
11:01 a.m. - WAIT - this key is NOT for my parent's house. SHIT. WTF am I going to do? Parents are in Mexico on vacation.

11:02 a.m. - Try the keyless entry to the garage. Duh I'm stupid. Works, thank God.
11:05 a.m. - Raid parent's snack cupboard, eat a Costco biscotti, and peruse through the Sunday paper ads which are on the kitchen table. Oh yeah, I have a kid, I should tend to her.
11:10 a.m. - Feed Claire her 2nd breakfast (or 4th, depending on how you look at it). Make her bottom a clean one, and wrangle the dress over her little bottom. This will be the last day she can fit into her Newborn size clothes. She is 4 weeks old today.
11:15 a.m. - Check the internet, to see what I missed in the last two hours. Not much.
11:30 a.m. - Being 15 minutes away from the lunch place, I decide to get going, so I get there early or on time.  I pat myself on the back like thirty times because I am NEVER on time, let alone early, and look at me now, all responsible and a mom and I can do this!  Go me!

11:31 a.m. - OMFG WHERE IS THE CAR KEY?   Side note: my dog got ahold of my keys when he was a puppy.  He ate the shit out of the key, so I have been using a key that no longer has any way to be attached to a key ring.  I just carry around the solitary key so it's SUPER EASY to lose, unfortch.

11:31 a.m. - 12:10 p.m. - SHITF*CKDAMN The key has dissipated into thin air, it has fallen into the black hole of the dryer (where all of those socks go), it fell into the toilet while I did my bidness, I accidentally ate it, SOMETHING.  Something happened to the key and it no longer exists. Maybe I should call a voodoo priestess or something. 

12:10 p.m. - call my friends to cancel our lunch date. Am SUPER bummed. Wonder how in the hell we're going to get home. Nick is going to be THRILLED to have to drive over her after work to pick us up.

12:11 p.m. - I pick up Claire, resigning my fate to stay at my parent's house for at least 5 hours until Nick can pick us up, and what is that under her butt?   The key.   Of course Claire is sitting on the key.

12:37 p.m. - I show up at lunch - thank God Roxanne and Jackie could still make it and the day is not a total waste!

1:45 p.m. - Lunch time ovah. Friends have to go back to the real world. They both agree my baby is the cutest baby that ever came into existence.

2:45 p.m. - We make it back home.  I am tuckered out... I've been up and at 'em since 8:30 a.m. just to have an hour lunch with friends.  Holy shit.

2:50 p.m. - More boob time. Poor kid is STARVING.

3:30 p.m. - Speaking of starving... what's for dinner?   I start to think about what we have in the house that I could make for the two of us tonight.  Settle on turkey burgers - all I have to do is get a couple of crusty buns (hehe) from the market. 

4:05 p.m. - back from the market that is literally 1/8 mile from my house.  Yes, it took me over half an hour to get the car seat into the car, drive there, get car seat out, do an iota of shopping, car seat back in, drive home, and car seat into the house. 

5:00 p.m. - Deenner.  Is Serrrrved.  (Said like Mrs. Doubtfire)

6:00 p.m. - Deenner.  Is Serrrrved.  Except this time it's of the dairy variety, and for a party of one.  I am the maitre'd, hostess, and server.  And clean-up, as well.

7:00 p.m. - Chillax upstairs in the man-cave (yes, we're that stereotypical couple that lamely calls their room with the nice tv/surround sound/etc. the "man cave" - I hate those people on House Hunters who are like "well this will be my man cave!" and then later the girl says "the closet is kinda small... where will my shoes go?! har-har-har")

7:45 p.m. - Put Claire to bed, dink around on the internet for a while while Nick watches sports.  We're both exhausted.

9:45 p.m. - We go to bed.  

10:00 p.m. - Just as I've fallen asleep, Claire wakes up for dinner # 2.  We snuggle for an extra few minutes.  Perfect ending to a not-so-perfect-but-I-wouldn't-change-it day.

And, that's a wrap.  Holy shit, that was exhausting just to write out, and even more exhausting to live through.  But - honestly - I can't complain.  I wouldn't have it any other way.

Sunday, March 14, 2010

no time for actual posts... just pictures. seeing your husband with his daughter... words don't do it justice.

Saturday, March 13, 2010

I still can't believe that today was my due date yet we already have a 5-day old daughter. The thought of having her "early" never even crossed my mind. She really is quite lovely, though, and she came at the perfect time. Life is good.

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

ready to go home now!

Thursday, March 4, 2010

39 week appt... still pregnant! here is a bodily-fluid overshare: i have never ever peed into a cup without drenching my hand! you are welcome, dear reader. well, we set an induction date for my 41st week, which means i will now will my body into labor because um NO THANKS on those induction methods. first up: mexican dinner with my beau. ta ta for now...

Sunday, February 28, 2010

oh my gosh, all of this sitting around watching olympics is soooo tiring. can a dude get some zzz's on a sunday, please?

Saturday, February 27, 2010

38 weeks pregnant... with both a baby and two boxes of girl scout samoa cookies. perfect timing, girl scouts of america!

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Things I Did Not Do Tonight

1.) Watch Lost.
2.) Refrain from eating a bowl of ice cream, despite 4 lb. weight gain since my last Dr. appt. 2 weeks ago
3.) Walk my dog. (POOR GUY)
4.) Have an anxiety attack about the creeper who exposed himself to the neighbor kids. (That was last night (the anxiety attack)) (And OMG. Am beyond distraught over this news. Those poor kids. I'd like to personally castrate the man. And I truly won't be able to sleep soundly for a good few weeks, I'm guessing.) (P.S. I do not live in a shady area whatsoever, so this really took the wind out of me... esp. being prego.)
5.) Fart. That was the dog. I swear!

So, it turns out... the best way for me to get some "decorate my house" motivation is to have a crap-ton of people over! Since I live in the middle of the state, and my family is on the east side, Nick's on the east, it was decided that my house would be as good a place as any to have a bebe shower.

Once that was decided... well, let's just say that my white walls are no longer white. We FINALLY got rid of hideous gold/brass light fixtures that just tortured my soul endlessly for almost 2 years, and hung up some stuff/scored some cheap duds at Home Goods. Nothing fancy, but better than nothing! Last weekend was one of those weekends where we were non-stop working on the house. Once it was all said and done with, I finally "got it" - why people work on their house. Quite rewarding, I must say!

Kinda side-bar story: my co-worker's house was ruined in a fire. He just bolted from work early last week, popped his head in our Manager's office and said "gotta run, my house is on fire!" He's a fairly young guy, early-to-mid-30s, maybe? He has 2 young boys, about 3 and 7. The older boy was devastated that his bike was ruined. We all pitched in a bought them a shiny new Schwinn. When my co-worker brought in his boys on Friday so we could "surprise" them with the bikes (the 7 yr old totes spotted the bike in one of those offices that has half-glass door) - it was the most heartwarming thing I've witnessed in a long time. The 7 yr old kept talking about how his new bike "has a kickstand!!!!!!" It truly is the little things, right?
(How was that a side-bar story? you might ask. Well, I heard that my co-worker has spent a lot of time on his house, had put in a lot of elbow grease, blood-sweat-and-tears sort of thing. And after this weekend, I couldn't help to think of how devastating it would be to not only lose your house, but to lose all of that time/effort/etc. you had put into it. Okay, I've digressed far enough...)

Where to next?

Uh, taxes. Taxes. Oh taxes. Nick and I typically claim zero exemptions. Not for any particular reason, but mostly because we're not super stellar at saving money, so if we claimed the amount of exemptions that would make us break-even at the end of the year, then that extra money (extra meaning the difference from claiming zero) would just go towards an extra dinner out per week, or a new x-box game, or a trip to Target. While some people are OK with this, and prefer this ("I get my money, what is mine, each paycheck, instead of giving an interest-free loan to the government!") - I like getting this extra money in the spring. It kind of feels like bonus money. Like, "Here, get a new fridge!" Or, "buy yourself some new windows so you don't spend $410 to heat your house in the winter!") (BTW: "HEAT" used very liberally... as I don't consider spending $410 to "heat" my house to 65 degrees quite worth it...)

Anyhow... so when I got all of our W2's gathered in a nice, neat stack, I went to town with TurboTax.

Except, um, TurboTax? Please tell me that decimal place should be one place to the right. Because $250????? EFF ME. I was expecting no less than $2500. Holy hell, we spent $11k on mortgage interest alone last year!

After taking a closer look at our W2's, I think that maybe Nick's work wasn't taking out as much tax as they should have. He claimed 0 exemptions the whole year, but they took about 50% less taxes in 2009 than in 2008. I don't claim to understand who/what/where/when/why of taxes. But it turns out that Nick got "what he was supposed to get" in his paycheck all year long.

At least we don't have to pay! But - ugh. In a few weeks here, I'm going to be out of work for 12 weeks. That $250 refund won't go so far... and I was planning on using our tax return to soften the blow of me not working for 12 weeks. (Getting partial pay for 6 weeks, granted, but zero pay for six weeks.)

At the end of the day, though, what really matter? I have a BOMB ASS husband, a perfect dog, and I will soon have a daughter! A real, live daughter! WHOA WTF. I am pretty sure I will read back on this post and say "who gives a shit" about taxes and such nonsense.

After seeing that cute kid get geeked about a kickstand... really helped me put things in perspective.