Thursday, April 30, 2009

Houseguests

To those of you who have been enjoying this recent string of daily blog posts, I apologize in advance that those might become interrupted.




Friday, we are having our first non-parent house guests! I'm so excited that this family is coming to visit!

And looking at this picture, and know what is coming in August, I just realized how very outnumbered Tabitha will always be!

Sara and Doug were supposed to take a much-deserved vacation to Myrtle Beach, but circumstances out of their control disrupted those plans, and so they're coming to our house instead. Now, in my opinion, we are a poor substitute for a South Carolina beach house, but they seem excited, so who am I to burst their bubble?

The weather isn't supposed to be all that cooperative, but we'll see. Apparently, there is a saying here in Tennessee that "if you don't like the weather, wait five minutes," so maybe we'll see more sun than the weatherman is predicting.

I can't tell you all how much this visit is going to mean to me. I mean, I know there will be complete chaos in my home for three days -- after all, there will be a three-, two-, and 2 one-year-olds running around -- but our friendship with Doug and Sara is one of those that, well, for at least Jim, Doug, and Sara, is 20+ years old. And I was welcomed into the "inner circle" with open arms. So I know that no matter what we decide to do or not do this weekend, we're going to just enjoy each other's company, and marvel at the fact that two little boys who met in grade school are now watching their growing sons and daughter form their own friendships.

Hopefully, Sara will bring a camera that has its USB cord on the trip, and we'll be able to get some great pictures of our weekend. If not, it may be just the push I need to pick out a new camera.

So, in the meantime, between stocking the fridge (do y'all think three gallons of milk will get us through the weekend?) and cleaning the bathrooms, I'll try to formulate a couple draft posts that'll keep y'all tied over until life returns to a slower pace next week and I can continue with the daily nonsense!

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Random Wednesday Confessions

There is NO healthy food in our house right now except grapes. On Tuesday, I ate a PopTart, a frozen pizza, and Cheetos.

I wish that our thieves had found the digital camera that was charging in Seth's bathroom the morning of our burglary. It was the one thing I would have been happy to replace (read: upgrade). Instead, they only took the very specific USB cord we need to get pictures off this camera, which explains why my posts have been picture-less this month. Sorry; I'm not sure when that'll be remedied.

I'm considering buying $30/yd. fabric for master bedroom window treatments. I know; insanity.

I have a name I think I really, really like for the Itty Bit, but I'm afraid to tell Jim, for fear he'll dislike it. Hmm...to find a diplomatic way to present it....

I'm very selfishly hoping that my closest girlfriend here in town will NOT be moving to Memphis is August....but, alas, I don't think I'll get my wish. And I'm just so disappointed in the timing of it all.

I'm already looking forward to decorating for the holidays. I know, more insanity. But the holidays were so disjointed for us in 2008, between the miscarriage, the packing, the move, the displacement, vacation. I can't wait to host Thanksgiving in my new home with my new son in attendance, and hand Seth's adorable stocking from our mantle.

I'm desperately trying to blog daily; I don't know if it's some weird internal goal, or if I'm enjoying seeing my traffic increase. I guess a little of both. And I'm finding that no matter what my motivation, as long as y'all don't mind reading whatever nonsense spills forth, that the daily writing is very cathartic for me. Yea for anything that keeps the blood pressure down!

I've got mixed feelings about the craziness that is our May calendar. Every weekend is booked, we are ridiculously busy with work, church, friends, home, each other. I mean, I know that that is just LIFE, but still, I know I'm going to blink and it's going to be June, and June means summer-for-real, and summer is when the baby comes, and holy cow, how is it already mid-August?!? (See how my brain works?)

And this final confession is for one person only, and I hope it makes her smile and doesn't offend her: I don't like banana bread. =) But my boys do, so all is well. Just giving fair warning.

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

A Diagnosis Accepted

It was a trifle buried in the open letter post last week, but at a visit to Dr. Morgan last Thursday, I was told that I was suffering from Post-traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD).

I was none too happy about this diagnosis, and honestly, I didn't agree. But I trust my doctor, and if she thought that treating PTSD would go further in alleviating my high blood pressure than even blood pressure medication, then I was willing to follow her instructions.

So, I filled my prescription, and so far, so good. I'm not appearing to have any of the more common side effects; and although I can't say I feel any better, I'm not putting too much weight on that since I didn't feel all that bad, emotionally speaking, to begin with.

But I read some more information today about the spectrum of PTSD, and I reluctantly have to admit, it fits.

Just today, I walked into Seth's bathroom, and had to catch my breath and steady my hand against the wall. I'd let him play with his bath toys -- 50 of these foam road and traffic pieces -- and they were strewn all over the bathroom floor. For a split second, my mind didn't register "toys," only "chaos."

Ugh.

It's the little things like that that creep into my everyday life that bring the awfulness of what happened three weeks ago back to the forefront of my mind. I know it will eventually fade; after all, it's only been three weeks. But, ugh. Let's just get on with this "getting over it" thing already.

Monday, April 27, 2009

Feeling left out of the fun

Disclaimer: I already lamented the following details to Jim, and he was supportive and suggestive of ways to remedy the situation(s). I just wanted to say that in advance so that he doesn't come out looking like the proverbial "bad guy" in this post. I don't want anyone to think badly of my fantastic husband!

Friday afternoon, I was supposed to be heading to Kroger to pick up hamburgers and all the fixings for dinner. Instead, I ended up hanging out on the sidewalk with some neighbor mommies, watching our little ones pick dandelions. It was a postcard-like moment, and I can tell you that, in the moment, I thought "I'm so glad I don't have to miss this."

Then, one of the neighbor daddies came over to ask me if Jim played cornhole. (You guys know what cornhole is, right?) He does. Actually, we both do. Anyway, apparently, a whole bunch of the families in our subdivision get together on the weekends to have bonfires and play cornhole. How fun, right?

Right. Fun, if you can actually, you know, enjoy the fire and play cornhole. Which you can't, if you are "entertaining" (read: chasing after, trying to bribe, keeping occupied) your toddler. Which is what I was doing Friday night.

Seth was being great. Really. He wasn't getting into anything, just getting in the way of the game. I think he knew it was past his bedtime, and he was relishing being awake and being outside (his favorite thing EVER). But after about 15 minutes of my apologizing to the beanbag-tossers as Seth stood in the middle of the gaming area yelling "go! go!" and throwing his arms up in the air, touchdown style, I knew he needed to go home. And, well, despite my mediocre parenting (ahem, *cough, cough* Sara and Kendra, you'll get that), I'm just not comfortable sending Seth home alone to put himself to bed. So, we both (both being Seth and I, not Jim and I) needed to leave the party.

And I was bummed.

It was, truly, the first time in the 16 months since Seth joined our family that I felt limited by my role as a mother. Jim and I were so proud of ourselves for incorporating Seth into our life, versus letting his addition dictate it. But this practice was a LOT easier when he was an infant. A toddler...well, it's just harder, if not, in certain instances, impossible to do.

So, I went home with Seth, bathed him, rocked him, prayed over him, and placed him in bed.

And then I sat in the living room and contemplated how far of a range our baby monitor had. Because I was really jealous that Jim got to stay and play while I had to come home and be domestic.

And there you have it.

Really. That's it.

The second half of this post is NOT about the grand revelation I had that night about my calling as a mom, or the graciousness I started to feel towards the dads who, you know, worked hard all week and just wanted to unwind with a cold drink and some friendly competition. Nope. No revelation. No grace. Just a little pity party for the mommy who wanted to just be a girl at a bonfire, too. Of course, it didn't help, at the time, that I knew Jim was also going to be gone for 6 hours on Sunday playing golf, while I was, you know, being domestic.

But, guess what? Today, I'm over it. (At least until next weekend. ;) I'm kidding.)

But seriously, I'm over it. I woke up Saturday with some perspective. After all, I'm the one going to Florida for vacation while Jim gets to go to work. I'm the one who gets to stand out on the sidewalk in the middle of the day and get dandelion fuzz blown on me. I'm the one who gets to hear the first "please" after weeks of coaching. I'm the one who gets to hold one son on my chest while another kicks him from within my womb. (And although that one hurts me and confuses Seth, you have to admit, it's pretty darn cool!)

So I guess the mommy doesn't get the short end of the stick after all.

And truth be told, I'm not really all that great at cornhole anyways.

Sunday, April 26, 2009

Originally titled something other than this

Wow. I have already been so tickled, blessed, and humbled by your responses to my last post, asking y'all to come out of the woodwork. (If you haven't fessed up yet, do so, please!)

The "humbled" part comes from the comments about the honesty in my writing.

And honestly, I feel kind of badly, because I feel like I'm not always honest. I'm always truthful, but I'm certainly not always as transparent as I might like to be. This was very clear to me when my dear Kendra pointed out that I was much nicer than she would have been in my open letter to our burglars. See, what I published was cordial enough, but it's certainly not a complete representation of how I truly feel about the people who invaded our home. Believe me, the draft in my head that did not get published had plenty of #@!!*! in it. ;)

I don't use this blog as the receptacle for my deepest, darkest emotions and feelings. Maybe on occasion, but at least not on a regular basis. It just kind of goes against what I feel the purpose of our (my?) blog is and has always been. However, I also don't use any other place as the receptacle for my deepest, darkest emotions and feelings, either. Which means I have a lot of emotions and feelings that aren't getting put anywhere.

Which leads me to think that just maybe, given that you guys seem to like reading my "honest" posts, I can start just writing, and can let up on the "filtering" a bit. I'll admit, there have been a lot of posts that I haven't even written, let alone published, because they seemed too self-indulgent.

Could I be talking in circles ANY MORE than I am right now?!?!

I just realized that this post is already too long to continue, at least with the story I was going to use to illustrate my point about letting myself be even more honest. So, stay tuned Monday for my thoughts on gender roles, corn hole, and mommy identity. Yep, all in one post. I'm just that good. ;)

Saturday, April 25, 2009

Mixed feelings about anonymity

So.

Friday morning, as I was spending some time on the computer, I noticed that I had my very first not-so-nice anonymous comment on a WriterChic post. Apparently, in response to my open letter post, someone thought it necessary to suggest I "get a life." Duly noted. I'll get right on that. (For what it's worth, I deleted the comment. I don't need to look back in years to come and remember even one more negative thing.)

So, later in the weekend, I, again, noticed an anonymous comment. This one wasn't so blatantly venomous; it was merely, I'm assuming, another mommy, "introducing" herself, and suggesting I try to rock Seth before nap time to calm him.

In response to her, thanks for noticing Seth's chair. We love it, and can't wait to use it with our new son in August. Yes, we use the rocker daily with Seth, although not usually at nap time. We have been having perfect success with an afternoon routine that leads into Seth going down "unassisted" for his afternoon rest. However, if MY schedule has greatly disrupted his nap time routine, he tends to not sleep, but rather, play with his toes, sing to himself, and, unfortunately, chew on his crib rails. Hence my request to him in my "letter." Please rest assured that Seth gets a daily dose of both mommy and daddy loving in that rocker.

Now, that all said....

I have Sitemeter. I know how many people are reading, when they're reading, how they get here, how long they stay, and the locale from which they're logging in. (For example, my second to last visitor, per what I just checked, was from Oregon -- waves frantically to Kendra!!!!) So, I know you're out there. Please say hi, in "person." I'd love to get to know my readers -- you don't have to send a DNA sample or anything.... I'd just like to know who you are, and maybe why you're reading. I've made some of my BEST friends through the Internet and blogging. Maybe you, oh anonymous reader, are destined to be one of them...?

Itty Bitty Update: 4/25/09

How far along? 21 weeks

Total weight gain/loss: Lost a pound this week, so -1 lb for the pregnancy

Maternity clothes? Getting there. There is definitely a bump starting to form.

Stretch marks? Nope.

Sleep: Eh, some.

Best moment this week: Finally getting some medicine for the fever blisters that showed up Monday.

Movement: Oh, my, yes.

Food cravings: Not so much. I even treated myself to a Baby Ruth tonight, and didn't really enjoy it. Boo.

Gender: I'm assuming that it is still a boy. ;)

Labor Signs: No, but have been having Braxton-Hicks.

Belly button in or out? In.

What I miss: Being able to shave my legs in the shower. The small space (we have a separate shower and garden tub) combined with the growing belly makes it a little difficult.

What I am looking forward to: Working on our name list. All we know so far is that his name is NOT Sawyer.

Weekly Wisdom: n/a

Milestones: Going to my first non-scheduled "emergency" ob appt. (rolls eyes) All is well, and hopefully, I will be on my regular schedule from here on out.

Thursday, April 23, 2009

An open letter to (some of) my peeps

In no particular order...

Dear Seth,

I'm sorry that I accused you of running of with and/or hiding my key ring. I'm also sorry that I've allowed your lunch and/or nap schedule to get out of whack in the last week. My bad. However, you need to get more than 20 minutes of sleep during the day, and therefore, please stop biting chunks out of your crib railing and go to sleep already.

Love,
Mommy

****

Dear Jim,

I'm sorry you are having to put up with someone who hogs the bed, needs help to the bathroom, cries over nothing, and leaves her key ring out in the yard next to the garbage car overnight. In a thunderstorm.

I love you,
Your I-hope-this-is-all-just-a-phase-we-can-blame-on-me-being-pregnant wife

****

Dear Southwest Airlines,

While I'm none too thrilled that you upped your prices $45 bucks in a matter of hours, I still very much appreciate your reasonable fares that will allow me and my son to jet away to a sunnier, Nonna-and-Grandpa filled place where I can work on my tan and not have to cook for 6 days.

Your new bestie,
Can't wait to get away MSG

****

Dear desperate, thoughtless, and just plain indecent people who burglarized our home,

Ya know, it's bad enough that you put a hole in the back of my house, invaded my space, messed up my perfectly organized closet, stole a butt-load of my stuff, and pretty much just disrupted my life, but seriously? I'm holding you solely responsible for the ginormous fever blisters that are spreading all over my face, for the sky-high blood pressures that I've been having, and the diagnosis of post traumatic stress disorder that I was handed this morning.

I think you're mean and I don't like you at all,
Disgruntled and sick MSG

****

Dear neighbor mowing your grass,

Shh. It's naptime. Do that later.

Thanks,
three doors down

Saturday, April 18, 2009

Itty Bitty update 4/18/09

How far along? 20 weeks even

Total weight gain/loss: Gained back the four lbs lost, so I'm +/- 0 lbs for the pregnancy.

Maternity clothes? Getting there. There is definitely a bump starting to form.

Stretch marks? Nope, but I've started lathering on the body butter, just in case.

Sleep: Eh, some. I've napped quite a bit this week. I think Seth is going through a growth spurt, so he's napping more, and I've joined him a couple days.

Best moment this week: Seeing our little baby on the ultrasound on Wednesday.

Movement: Oh, my, yes. More and more, and definitive. We have another kicker!

Food cravings: Still sugar, any form.

Gender: Gut was WRONG! We will welcome another son in August.

Labor Signs: None.

Belly Button in or out? In.

What I miss: Eating more than three bites before feeling full.

What I am looking forward to: Working on our name list.

Weekly Wisdom: n/a

Milestones: Hitting the magic "half-way" point of 20 weeks, and finding out the baby's gender.

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Per the request of many...



And for what it's worth, the final poll results came in at 51% boy, 49% girl. The last vote tipped the scale. ;)

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

To hold you over....

Don't ask me what we were doing. I think I was telling Linda "hang on a sec," and Seth was shaking his finger at the big scary bunny.

It was a cold, miserable Easter egg hunt last Saturday, and Seth only came away with one egg (the three-year-olds in his age group were vicious!), but it was the thought that counted, and I'm glad we went.

And I know you're all really just checking in to find out the results of our big ultrasound. ;)

We do know; yes, we will share. But we are telling the parents first, and we have two more phone calls to make. Sit tight. =)

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Brotherly Love and The Break-In Recap

Just so you know, if the title misled you, that this isn't going to be a post about how glad I am that Seth is going to be somebody's big brother (though I am glad about that).


This is my brother Adam, playing with Seth at Christmas.





We aren't super close, as far as siblings go. Circumstances out of our control kind of dictated that as we grew up. But now that we are both adults, we are finding our way in this brother/sister relationship.

I learned that when he heard about our recent break-in, he immediately said some not-too-repeatable words, followed by something to the effect of "she puts too much info on her blog and/or Facebook!" and "she needs to stop talking to people on the Internet!"

Now, while my first reaction was, "whatever, dude -- you're pretty generous with your Facebook status, too," the more I thought about it, I think his reaction was purely brotherly protectiveness. And it was sweet.

So, Adam, for what it's worth, I am being a little more cautious with how informative my blog posts and Facebook updates are, but also, for the record, I went back through my published content the week before the break-in, and am fairly confident that it wasn't anything I said that led to the violation of our privacy.

Now, that said, I promised y'all that I would fill you in on what exactly happened last weekend, so, without giving too much away, here is how last Friday and the days following played out.

Yes, Jim and I were planning to drive to Ohio that afternoon. This wasn't something that was on the calendar for weeks -- even days. In fact, we were waiting on some tax paperwork that would determine whether or not we were even going to leave. This didn't arrive until Tuesday, so our trip home wasn't even in the works until Wednesday. (That is important to know, if you're keeping track of details. Like my grandpa is, who suggested to me that maybe we'd told too many people we were planning to be out of town. This wasn't the case.)

Anywhoodle....

Jim and I arrived home at the exact same time that afternoon. This is no small miracle. He was coming from work; I was coming home from MOPS. Had he not been home at the exact time as I, things may have turned out differently, as far as how we discovered the crime and even Seth's safety.

You see, I was supposed to have some medical tests -- mostly a blood draw and urinalysis -- for our insurance, and the home nurse was waiting at our home when we arrived. Had I been alone, I most likely would have unbuckled Seth from his car seat, and sent him into the house by himself while I hurried to tell the nurse that we needed to get on with things (I seriously had to pee!). As it were, Jim pulled into the garage first, and noticed that the door that enters into our kitchen was ajar. In addition, some things in the garage looked "off" -- to the point that Jim knew it wouldn't have been me that had been in them.

Jim walked up the three steps to our kitchen, and immediately told me to stay out and to leave Seth in his car seat -- that the back door had been "busted out." Naively, I thought, "oh, somebody threw a rock or something at the door." Jim called the police, and we were instructed to stay out of the home until they arrived. Um, yea, not gonna happen. Did I mention that I really, really had to pee? I told Jim I wouldn't touch anything, that I'd just slip into our half-bath, do my thing, and get back in the driveway.

In the two steps it took to get into our bathroom, I saw the destruction that was our kitchen. Our sliding glass patio doors were shattered -- shattered -- into more pieces than I could imagine. Glass had sprayed into our dining room and living room, all over Seth's highchair, into my plants. The HUGE rock that had been thrown through the doors lay in the midst of all the glass, firmly indented into my kitchen floor. Seth's diaper bag had been emptied out onto the counters, and I think it was that sight that made me quickly realize how bad this was all going to be.

I used the bathroom, and joined Jim in the driveway, saying over and over, "they took his diaper bag." It just conveyed my incredulity at how desensitized the thief must have been as he ransacked our home.

In the time it took for the police officers to arrive, I had sent Seth over to a neighbors home. I wish I could say that I used this half-hour to calm myself down, but as we began to realize all that was missing from the garage (since it was all we could see at the time), my stress level only rose.

We gave our initial statements to the officers, and the detective arrived to do the first walk-through. As he came back out the front door, we could tell from the look on his face that things were not good. I asked him if the house itself was destroyed -- you know how you see TV depict break-ins with knife-slashed couch cushions and broken furniture? -- and he said we were a 6 on a 10-scale. Great.

I'll spare you the details of Jim's and my walk-through. Let's just say that by the time we made it to the second floor, I was a mess. The sense of disbelief quickly turned to shock and then anger and then swung back to pure violation. I just sat in Seth's nursery and bawled. The detective came in to inform me that first responders had been called to check me out, due to the pregnancy, so I was instructed to sit quietly in the living room and wait for the EMTs.

So I did. But it didn't do any good. The damage, so to speak, was done, and my blood pressure was firmly planted in the 160/110 range. After several spaced out readings, and a call to Dr. Morgan, I was faced with the reality of my first ambulance ride.

I only have two words for that. No, wait. Four: not fun; tin can.

I know this post is getting long....I'll try to wrap it up.

Jim called me while I was in the ambulance to make other more permanent arrangements for Seth, since we didn't know how the rest of the day would unfold. In case you are wondering, yes, you can take cell phone calls while strapped to an ambulance gurney if you are not critical and smile sweetly at your EMT. (Or maybe you don't need the sacharine smile, but I figured it couldn't hurt.) So, Seth was shipped off to our friend Jen's home (THANK YOU a million times over to Jen and Jonathan for stepping up), and Jim was left to deal with the ridiculous amount of phone calls -- home center to order a replacement door, work to ask coworkers to come board up the huge hole in the back of our house, insurance people of all types, credit card companies, banks, finance institutions, tenants, parents...ugh. As bad as my trip to Labor and Delivery was, I definitely think Jim got the worse end of the deal.

My actual experience at the hospital was good. Admin was easy; the food doesn't quite compare to Toledo Hospital; but the nurses were great, and hey, at least no one tried to kill me with their incompetence. ;) Itty Bitty was doing well, so after several long hours of monitoring, I was released from the hospital.

I guess this post turned a little more into how the break-in affected my health than the actual break-in. Oh well.

As far as what was stolen, well, pretty much imagine what you think would be stolen from someone's house, and there you have it. Flat screen, DVD players, laptops, GPS, webcam, tools, MY BREAST PUMP!!! (and yes, I'm really unhappy about that!), heirloom silver, miscelaneous valuables, and the golden egg -- our entire safe, full of all the things you are supposed to keep in a locked, fireproof safe. Ugh.

So far, the police have been, ahem, well, awful; the insurance people have been surprisingly good to work with (imagine that?); and we're learning which of our neighbors we like and can trust and which ones we might not be inviting over for dinner anytime soon.

There was another attempted burglary in our subdivision on Thursday; that family was home. (Nice, I know. Welcome to suburbia). There are some leads; there are some suspects. How things pan out from here are very much out of our hands.

We are thankful that we are all safe. We realize that our stuff is just that. We know we now need to frequently back up our photos and videos. (sniffle. If you happen to have pitures of Jim and I, or of Seth, please feel free to send them to us so that we can begin rebuilding our photo library.)

And that's pretty much that. There is more that I may choose to ramble about in the coming weeks -- how my miscarriages have prepared me for the emotions that have surfaced in the wake of this break-in; how gender truly affects how people react to certain situations; Facebook etiquete in times of crisis; channeling cynicism and anger. But for now...I'm just going to say goodnight and watch Jim play guitar hero.

Oh, who am I kidding. I'm taking an Ambien and going to bed! ;)

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Itty Bitty Update: 4/12/09

How far along? 19 weeks, 1 days

Total weight gain/loss: Don't have a clue; we have never owned a scale. I'll know after my appt. Wednesday.

Maternity clothes? Only one outfit this week, and again, not out of necessity, but due to the cuteness factor.

Stretch marks? Nope.

Sleep: Only with the help of Ambien, several times a week, per Dr. Morgan's orders.

Best moment this week: hmm....

Movement: Daily, fairly consistent, still mostly felt in the lower left quadrant.

Food cravings: Sugar, any form.

Gender: Gut still says girl. Only 3 days til we know.

Labor Signs: None.

Belly Button in or out? In.

What I miss: Sleeping on my stomach comfortably. It's still possible, but not the most conducive to rest.

What I am looking forward to: Our ultrasound on Wednesday, and being able to start really thinking about names.

Weekly Wisdom: n/a

Milestones: Since my c-section will be between 38 and 39 weeks, I am officially half-way done with this pregnancy!

PS - Happy Easter, y'all!

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Itty Bitty Update - 4/7/09

How far along? 18 weeks, 4 days

Total weight gain/loss: Don't have a clue; we have never owned a scale. I'll know after my appt. next Wednesday.

Maternity clothes? Some tops. I feel like my rib cage is expanding. Even my bras feel too tight across the back. Boo.

Stretch marks? Nope.

Sleep: Only with the help of Ambien, several times a week, per Dr. Morgan's orders.

Best moment this week: Cute Pottery Barn Kinds bedding is on major clearance. If Itty Bitty is a girl, I've got my eye on a couple things.

Movement: Like Seth, Ityt Bitty is most active at night, and I've mostly felt movement in the lower left quadrant.

Food cravings: Today, it was a Burger King Whopper. Oh, it was sooooo good. Yesterday, after a tempting commercial, it was a Dairy Queen truffle Blizzard, but I haven't given in to that one yet.

Gender: Gut still says girl. Only 7 days til we know.

Labor Signs: None. When I was being monitored at the hospital on Friday (more on that later), I wasn't having any contractions and the fetal movement was perfect. Heart rate was in the high 150s.

Belly Button in or out? In, but it's starting to flatten out a bit.

What I miss: My laptop. Oh, wait, this is baby-related. Um, well, I'm almost to the point where belly sleeping isn't possible. That will be a sad day.

What I am looking forward to: Out ultrasound on the 15th.

Weekly Wisdom: back up photos of children and life in general weekly onto a flash drive or other photo storage website.

Milestones: First visit to Labor & Delivery.

Monday, April 6, 2009

You can steal stuff, but you can't steal love

As many of you know, we experienced a major break-in at our home on Friday morning. As the fog clears, I'll write a post about how we're doing, but I just wanted to share this picture that my dad snapped at WalMart on Sunday.

Who says you can't buy love? It's in the spaghetti aisle. ;)

Thursday, April 2, 2009

MOPS chat -- a stream of consciousness dress rehearsal

Bear with me, people.


On Monday, I received a phone call from my MOPS director. (In case you don't know, MOPS stands for Mothers Of PreSchoolers. It's a national organization that provides moms a chance to fellowship while their children are being cared for by great volunteer "moppets." We meet the first and third Friday of each month, and for me, for the most part, this has been a FANTASTIC outlet.)


Anyway, I got this phone call from Leigh Ann, and she let me know that our scheduled speaker for this Friday would be unable to attend, and would I be willing to share my testimony. I (maybe a little too quickly) said, "of course, but....my testimony isn't all that dramatic." She understood my hesitation, but said, "that's okay; you can admit that, and then just share a little bit about who you are, where you're at, and what God is teaching you."

Okay, I thought, sounds easy enough.

And yet, here I sit, 12 hours before I'm supposed to share my heart, and....

I dunno.

I was going to get all clever and go for alliteration:

I'm pregnant.

I'm a "people person."

I'm a perfectionist.

And then I thought, Oh, that is soooo cheesy. Not gonna happen.

But, as I've lain in bed every night this week, despite the powers of Ambien and Tylenol PM, this is all I kept coming back to.

Those things make up a LOT of who Monica is. Well, not so much the "pregnant" part, though that's currently true. But I've come to realize that just as being a perfectionist, people person has shaped me up to this point in my life, I can tell that this will also be integral to who I am as a parent, not just in how I parent my children, but in how I survive the journey that is parenthood. And let's be honest...a lot of times, being a mommy feels like nothing more than survival mode.

Because I'm a people person, I think that wanting to spend time with, and invest in, and mold and nurture my children will come naturally (for the most part!). But because I'm a perfectionist, I know I will struggle with letting them be "just kids," with letting them grow into the people that they are going to be -- especially if they go about it in a way that is different than mine.

And I know, that because I'm a people person, I will always reach out to those around me who are walking this same mommy road. Let's face it, even it you're not a self-proclaimed extrovert, almost everything is easier/better when you have a partner or companion to help ease the load.

But again....even in this, my perfectionism creeps in. Not so much in a "my way is the only right way" way, but in an "I don't know how to do it any other way than this way, and what if it doesn't work, and I end up in more of a pickle than I'm already in" neurotic tailspin kind of way. Lol! But that's one of the things that I love about MOPS. We can all come together from different walks of life, in different stages of mommy-hood, and learn from each other and lean on eachother.

And I guess, the one alliterative I left off my earlier list is the most important of all -- the one that will balance out all the rest.

I'm a possibility.

You know that old Sunday School song "I Am A Promise"?

I am a promise, I am a possibility.
I am a promise, with a capital "P."
I am a great big bundle of potentiality.
And I am learning to hear God's voice,
And I am trying to make the right choice.
I'm a promise to be anything God wants me to be.

I know I'll teach this song to Seth, wanting him to know the truth of these words. But how great that they apply to us moms, too! In the long run, it doesn't really matter that I'm a people-loving, Type-A perfectionist. Because even when those traits fail me, I'm going to have the opportunity to get up the next morning, and try it all over again.

I feel like Noah...

You might know the song; if so, sing along with me:

The rains came down, and the floods came up.
The rains came down, and the floods came up.
The rains came down, and the floods came up.
And the tornado sirens went off AGAIN!

What's that you say? That's not how it goes? Well, today, around here, that's our version.

It was a gorgeous morning, but every station was warning that the storms would arrive around 3:00 pm. And sure enough, when I went to turn on my daily happy time (ie The Ellen Show), all it was, literally, was doom and gloom. Severe weather. Flash flooding. Tornadic activity.

As I type, it is 5:43, and it hasn't let up. (And yes, I'm blogging mere feet from our "safe place" (downstairs closet doesn't really compare to our beautiful finished basement in T-town, but what can you do?), so relax.)

We've already had two tornadoes touch down -- one just miles from Jim's office (where his only complaint so far is that it's raining inside) and one just miles from our home.

Since I have no doubt that we will be safe, I can only wonder if I'm going to miss the series finale of ER. I know, it's not that big of a deal in the grand scheme of things, but it is kind of historic. I mean, it's ER. My entire teenage years and young adulthood, this has been the hallmark of Thursday night TV. Seinfeld, Friends, The Office. These will come and go. But ER? Not always great, but always there.

I suppose the safety of the metro Nashville is a good enough excuse if the weather forces our local NBC affiliate to push aside the 3-hour finale. But after a BUSY day of errand-running, testimony-writing (for MOPS), and suitcase-packing (home to OH tomorrow!), all this girl wants is a big bowl of pasta with a side of garlic bread and Drs. Doug Ross and John Carter. ;)
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