Tuesday, November 30, 2010


The Thanksgiving post and pictures are soon to come but I have to get this off my chest first.

I'm a little sad.  Melancholy, actually.

I'm growing apart from a dear friend of mine - even that word, 'dear.'  There was a time that she was my best friend in the whole wide universe and we were going to grow old together and our children would be best friends and all that. Now she's 'dear?'  I'm kinda sad about that.

And of course, it's not like this has been an overnight thing.  The phone calls became fewer and far between, the chatty emails with the exclamation marks dwindling and when you live in separate states, that's really all you have.  Now, as my life is taking a hard left turn she is now in my rearview mirror through no fault of our own.  It's just life.

Her kids are entering the teen years, my first isn't even born yet.  I'm finding a more kindred spirit in my neighbor who's four houses down that had a baby a couple of weeks ago.  We've already talked about doing things together with our kids since they'll only be a few months apart.  I'm looking to her for tips and advice - not to my friend with the teenager.  And I feel kind of sad about that.

I know it's normal for people's lives to take different turns and people grow apart but somehow I thought it wouldn't happen to us.  Yet, I guess a part of me knew it would.

I was at party for her and saw it happen.  There were other people there, people I vaguely knew and these people were a much bigger part of her life than I could be since they lived in town, next door, around the corner.  These people shared a carpool with her because their kids went to the same school, women she worked out with at the gym, work people she'd known for years.  Yet, the one who got to me the most was a mutual acquaintance.  Well, to me she was an acquaintance - to my friend she'd become very close.  You know what, no - this new girl took my place.  But, it was more fitting.  They both had children around the same age, they both had similar marital situations, they even kind of looked alike.  She was friendly to me, but I definitely felt that it was me that got demoted.  Yet, my friend did her best to bridge the gap.  She was a great hostess and chatted with me and shared pleasantries, yet her big smiles and belly laughs over some inside joke were now shared with the new girl.  Well, new to me.

I sent an email to my friend today and I was shocked at how difficult it was to compose, how hard it was *not* to sound newsy and superficial.  Yet, it had been so long since we spoke there wasn't anything else to write other than How's your family?  How are your kids?  How's your job?  When you don't talk to someone for over a month, the little day to day things that are only relevant in that moment don't stand up in a "conversation."  Those things that you would send in a quick text or those 'you just had to be there' moments are lost.

It's not like she doesn't understand sleepless nights and changing diapers, but come on, when those things happened fourteen years ago, you move on.  Other things occupy your plate, like cheerleading and dating and getting ready to drive for pete's sake.  It's a different life, a different path and we've been drifting for a while now.  

I've been writing on this blog for almost three years now (!) and writing is my thing and it comes easily to me.  When I'm sitting at a keyboard I'm rarely at a loss, but composing that email caused my fingers to stall.  I didn't know what to put, where to start, what to say, how to begin to catch her up with everything that was going on with me.  I thought that once I was finally successfully pregnant, I'd be on the phone with her every five minutes.  I think I've talked to her about the baby once or twice.  I don't even know if she knows it's a girl.  At this point it feels awkward telling her since I've known for so long, so I take the easy way out and say nothing and yet another day passes and we don't communicate.  That's not like me, especially with her.  Yet, here I am.

I know this is life and on some level I knew this would happen sooner or later.  I also know that this other girl is a much better suited friend to her at this stage in all of our lives than I am.

I'm still just a little sad though.    

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

I get by with a little help from my friends - and my husband!

You guys!!!  I did it!  I cooked!  And it didn't suck!!!

But let's be real - it was not without mis-steps.  It's me we're talking about here.

Sunday afternoon I went to two grocery stores and spent $50,000 buying everything they had to stock my refrigerator and pantry.  I realize now that cooking is much easier when you have a bunch of stuff on hand and you're not trying to wrack your brain for a meal out of a bottle of apple juice and butter because that's all that's in the fridge.  

First, I went to the Mexican grocery store because they have the best produce in the area, with more variety than the farmer's market and much cheaper too!  I stocked up on everything I saw.  Then I went to the meat counter to get some chicken for the chicken enchiladas that I made for our neighbor who had a baby last week.  That's my staple dish - it was the one thing I was pretty good at making.  I say was because I can now add Jennifer's tuna casserole and Shunta's bean soup to my list!  (Go to the comments here for the recipes - they're really good!)  But like I said, only after a couple of mis-steps.

At the Mexican grocery store, I found the beans in a bag before I found the canned beans.  I got the bags because I didn't think there was a difference.  Oh there's a difference!  Like an overnight plus two hours difference!  First mis-step.

After going to the second grocery store to get the rest of my ingredients I came come and spent Sunday making the enchiladas and some banana bread for Liz and Jason.  They liked them both, so I gave myself a little pat on the back for that one!

But then the bubble deflated a little when Drew pointed out that bag beans aren't the same as canned beans and they would have to soak overnight.  No big - I put them in a pot of water, figuring they would be magically soft by Monday night and I would make the soup for dinner.  HA! 

Next mis-step - measuring.  I had no idea how canned beans measured up to bag beans and rather than try and figure it out I just dumped the whole bags in the pot.  Y'all - beans swell and you should probably measure instead of dump, that way you won't end up with 80 pounds of beans.
Leftover black, navy and pinto beans.
We're eating beans for the rest of our lives.

I strategized all day Monday and I was really looking forward to making the soup for dinner.  Mondays are long days for me since I get up so early to teach, and by the time I get home I'm starving. I studied the recipe again and again, determined to make this work and getting hungrier by the minute.  It sure is a good thing it's a quick recipe!  

Imagine my disappointment when I got home and Drew had the pot of beans on the stove, cooking them with over an hour and a half remaining!  What the what!!  Apparently beans in a bag have to soak and then cook for two hours before they're soft!!  Inconceivable!  I could not wait another two hours before dinner!  What was I going to do?

Enter Jennifer's tuna casserole!!  I turned to my trusty recipes from my friends and her tuna casserole was only 20 minutes so I got to it!
My kind of recipe - dump it all in one dish and go!

Now, I didn't follow the recipe to the letter because it called for 12 ounces of peas and the bag of frozen peas I got was 16 ounces.  Again, I wasn't going to bother with measuring (probably why cooking doesn't always go so well for me) and saving four ounces of peas, so I just dumped the whole bag in the dish.  If I don't have exactly the amount the recipe calls for, but what I do have is close, it goes in the pot!  It doesn't make sense to me - when am I ever going to need exactly four ounces of frozen peas?  As a rookie, I know I really shouldn't improvise but some days I'm OCD about cooking, others I'm haphazard.  Which is probably why cooking doesn't go so well for me.

Anyway,  it also called for garlic powder, which we didn't have so I just used garlic pieces.  Minced garlic?  I don't know what it's called, we have a jar of it in the fridge and I used it.  How much?  No clue - a couple of teaspoons?  Heaping?  The Pioneer Woman I'm not.  I also felt like it needed something red so I added some tomatoes.  Drew made a salad for himself Sunday night and didn't use the whole tomato so I chopped up about half of it into bite-sized pieces and it in the dish it went!  Also, Drew ate one of the cans of tuna for his lunch on Monday so I was only able to put two cans in there but it still worked.

But other than that, I followed the recipe just as it was written.

Sprinkled with breadcrumbs.
I probably should have left it in longer to brown them but I was ready
to chew my own arm off at that point so we went with it.

We had a salad with our meals and let me tell you, the tuna casserole didn't suck!  In fact, it was yummy!  I think I should have used a smaller pan or a bigger can of cream of celery soup so it was a little juicier but it worked!  For my first dish in this journey of making friends with the kitchen, this was not bad at all.  Thanks for the recipe Jennifer!  I made a home-cooked meal for me, my husband and my baby!  I know most of y'all call that a regular Monday night, but for me this is major because I'm coming from dinners of mac n cheese and a glass of water.  This is big business!

After dinner, the beans were done so I went ahead and made those too and we'll have that for dinner tonight!  Two meals in one night - I'm on a roll!

Sort of.

I copied and pasted all the comments from my post into one long Word document and the bean soup recipe ended up on two pages.  Which is why this happened.
What happens when you're on a tuna casserole high 
and you think you're Martha Stewart.

The recipe said brown the ground turkey and onion and season the meat while it's cooking.  I assumed that meant the taco seasoning so I dumped it over the meat and then turned the page where it said to mix the taco seasoning with water and pour that over the drained meat!  I was already confused because I didn't think you had to drain ground turkey and I was all unsure about  when to do that but then I couldn't drain it because I'd lose my taco seasoning and I was all "I hate cooking!  I hate it so much!  I mess everything up, just forget it!  Mac n cheeeeeeese!"  Okay, well I didn't call out for the mac n cheese but I did throw a mini-tantrum.  Luckily, Drew was right there encouraging me, telling me I didn't mess it up and he just poured a little of the bean broth into the meat mixture and I stirred everything up, trying to coat all the meat with the taco seasoning.
 Bean soup before the turkey-taco mix
After the turkey-taco mix and a little more bean broth to make it soupy

What you don't see very well is this pot is huge!  This is a lot of bean soup y'all!  But guess what! Drew had it for lunch today and he called me at work and said to be sure to keep this recipe on hand because it was so good!  So I'm counting this as a win!  I even got some cornbread mix to have with the soup and it's the perfect fall recipe, all warm and spicy and stick to your ribs-y.

I'm so thankful my first attempts were easy and turned out well.  I'm so insecure and intimidated by cooking that if they hadn't I would have come back and been like, sorry y'all, it didn't work and I'm never cooking again for the rest of my life and my kid is living on fish sticks and mac n cheese forever.  

But I don't have to!  Thanks to my friends and my hubby who very intelligently didn't hover yet was there when he was needed, I'm a leeeetle less intimidated and a leeeetle more willing to branch out and try some more stuff.

Like next month - once all the bean soup and tuna casserole is gone.

Friday, November 19, 2010

C'mon get happy

Today is a good day y'all!  It's Friday, it's payday, the weather is decent and I'm feeling good!  As soon as I finish writing this, I'm compiling my grocery list because I'm going to go shopping to make some of the easy and tasty recipes that you have so graciously provided me and then I'm going to eat them all!!  This morning I got out of bed and went straight to the kitchen for a bowl of cereal.  THEN I got to work and helped myself to the breakfast we have every Friday.  I loooove me some grapes!  And sausage!

My mommy sent me a care package yesterday too.  I love my little mommy and hopefully my daughter will one day say that about me!
I love my new t-shirt!  Thanks Mom!
I don't know where I'm looking and I hadn't put on makeup yet
but that's okay because today is a good day!

This was yesterday at work - still no cankles!!!
Those tights were agony though - I got many a protesting kick yesterday
at being so constricted.  Maternity tights and compression hose here I come!
18w6d - weird face and all

I still have no idea what kind of fruit is inside me and I don't care - all I care about is I'm approaching the halfway mark.  I didn't think I'd end up being the chick who takes pictures of her belly but what are you gonna do.  Besides, I'm doing this because I've chosen to throw caution to the wind.  This blog is about my life and in this moment I'm pregnant and I've decided to get happy about it.  A couple months from now could be a very different story and more than ever I understand right now is a gift - that's why they call it the present.  Oh yeah, I took it there.  I'll be here all week - tip your waitress.

But seriously, the shadow of loss is a constant and you can choose to walk in the shadow and live in fear or acknowledge it and inhale and exhale and be thankful for where you are and for how far you've come.  It's a scary choice and I'm afraid sometimes and I've been praying more frequently than ever.  I've told God that He's let me get further than I've ever gotten (like He doesn't know), that I will go down in flames if this ends badly (like He doesn't know), and I've asked all extra sweet and nice to please let me get to the finish line with a real-live take home baby.

And that's where I've left it.  I've never been that great at the whole 'giving it up to God' thing and really, what human being is?  We all want a hand in things, we all want to know that there's something we can do to affect the final outcome in our favor and I'm no exception.  I want assurances, promises and guarantees that regarding pregnancy and loss, my emotional pain is over.  But that's not the deal - there's not a lot on this Earth we can control and pregnancy/infertility/loss will bring that fact front and center every single day.  My soul broke wide open with the miscarriages but today I'm standing, today I'm breathing and for that I'm thankful.  More than that, I'm making the choice to be happy.

We bought a crib yesterday - it's our first baby purchase and I was more than a little nervous to hit 'finalize your order.'  But I have a choice - get happy or live in fear.  It's not an easy choice, but it is simple.  

So I'm getting happy.

And then!  Rixa Freeze talked about me on her blog today!  How cool is that!  I know she's a real, normal person who puts her pants on one leg at a time just like me but it still makes me giddy and blush.  I doubt we'll ever meet which is probably a good thing because I'd totally embarrass myself and talk too much and too fast and probably freak her out.  So it's much better this way.  I just can't help but feel like I got a celebrity autograph.

In her comments, there were some that remarked, 'Sure, your Dr says now that she'll turn off the Pitocin but she's lying and also, more likely than not you're going past 40 weeks so you should wrap your brain around a scheduled induction because I've never seen it any other way.'  Of course I paraphrase - incidentally what is it about the word 'anonymous' that gives us such big balls?  In the old days, people like that would be called yella-bellied cowards.  Oh well, at least it wasn't in my house.

But I will respond - I may be happy but I'm still me - C'mon now.

I've prayed and I've given this up to God - if I have to get induced, I get induced.  It's not what I prefer and I will exhaustively bargain to get my way, but if that's how it goes down, so be it.  I've made the choice to trust my doctor.  If she ends up dicking me over, that will be very unfortunate indeed and everyone will know how pissed off I'll be about that.  But I will not treat her in a paranoid manner because it's disrespectful.  I would get hella pissed off if I said I was going to do something and I wasn't taken at my word when I've given no reason for suspicion.  My doctor has given me no reason not to trust her and keep in mind it's also in her best interest to have patients who like her.  You can only piss off so many people before it comes back to bite you in the ass and she's not immune just because she's a doctor.  So, although her interest is not as vested as mine, this *is* her career too.  I'm arming myself with information, I'm asking questions and I won't take anything lying down.  I will get big if necessary.

Look me in my face and say I won't.

The things my doctor has said make sense to me.  I understand the preference of Pitocin over pills/suppositories - mostly.  As with everything, there is always more you can learn but roughly, pills get metabolized however fast your body does it and there's no turning back.  Same with suppositories  They can take it out, but they can't stop what's already been started and if my body ends up reacting super strongly with just one dose and it sends me into nasty labor there's not a lot they can do about it - from what I understand.    

Yet, the bigger point is this is a giant game of what-if.  I sure do appreciate opinions that I will go past 40 weeks because it's my first kid but anyone who knows anything, even anecdotal, about birth knows that each one is unique, even the 'textbook' births.  To even say that most likely I'll go past 40 weeks is naive at best, kinda dumb at worst.  That's not something you can know and even if I do go past, that's not something you can predict.  That's why birth is an awesome, wondrous, amazing, humbling, empowering experience.    

I've never had a kid - no one knows how *I*, Bunifa Latifa Halifah Sharifa Jackson, will birth my child. (And please Jesus, tell me you got the joke.  That's not my name.  You guys know me by now, right?)  

So let's all take a deep Hypnobreath and ride this wave!  No one knows how this is going to play out and you can choose to be terrified or exhilarated by that.

I'm choosing exhilaration - I'm finally entering a space where I'm able to smile and get excited about actually getting to have a baby and be a mother and that's pretty damn cool.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

I'm no Deva

Next week Drew and I are having an anniversary remix as our true anniversary on Oct. 10th was less than celebratory.  That's the thing about marriage - society would have you believe that if you're not doing it just so, you're doing it wrong.  Actually, that's why our anniversary sucked - we both bought into the idea that our marriage and this pregnancy had to be done a certain way and we weren't doing it right.  Thus, we felt bad about it and being completely human, blamed the other person for it.  That led to hurt feelings all around and our anniversary found us sleeping in separate beds.  That, my friends, is life.  

Life is also getting to have an anniversary remix.  We were going to just chalk this year, reasoning that we could only go up from here but who says we have to wait that long?  No one, that's who!  This is our marriage and we can do this any way we choose and I choose an anniversary remix.  The stars lined up and Drew had a free night thanks to his hotel points that he had to use before the middle of December.  We were going to to take a day trip but with only one night free it didn't make a lot of sense to even try to go somewhere as close as Austin, so we decided to stay in town.  We're going back to the hotel where we spent our wedding night and we're taking a cab to the AA center to watch the Stars play St. Louis. We got great seats and it's going to be a wonderful night - because I said so.

In honor of our upcoming anniversary remix, I wanted to get my hurr did.  It had been over a year since my last haircut and it was long overdue.  Curly hair hides a multitude of sins and I wasn't hurting for a haircut, but it was approaching my waist and all my layers had pretty much grown out.  I like layers because they give my curls some interest and movement and I wanted to look good for our remix night.

On my lunch break last week, I stopped into the hair salon across the street from work.  I was looking for an appointment this week but they only had one that night.  After grilling them about the stylist who knew curly hair the best, they pointed to Martin.  He was just finishing on a client with the prettiest curly hair I'd seen and I was sold.  They also carried the Devacare line and Martin knew how to do the Deva cut - dry, cutting curl families instead of blunt cuts.  I was impressed with him and the salon and I came in later that night.

The Deva line is all natural, sulfate-free and it smells divine!  After my hair was carefully washed with the No-Poo and scrunch dried with paper towels, Martin broke apart all my little curl families (it was a curl divorce) to detangle my hair, and then put them back together once the tangles were gone (it was a curl reunion.)  He said that the Deva cut would be good for me but my hair needed more moisture to encourage my curl families before he did that, so he did more of a traditional cut.  Then he used the gel on my hair and made lots of ringlets and corkscrews and I really liked it!
Very ringlet-y, but I was happy with Martin's work!
Corkscrews and ringlets
Ringlet closeup
Some Bo-Peep-ness happening.
If you get too enthusiastic making ringlets, that's what my hair does
Random pretty curl.
That's what happens if you only twirl twice as opposed to making 
full-out ringlets.
Wrapping it up for the night, a la Curly Nikki.
I was doing four twists but I needed one more for better definition at the front.
Crossing my fingers it looks good in the morning!
The next morning - the twists haven't been shaken out
Not too shabby!
My hair, not my yellow skin - no more pics in this bathroom!

Shot of my layers - they blend better than the picture
would lead you to believe.  They're not that choppy.

I had my hair washed last Wednesday at the salon, I washed it myself on Saturday with an apple cider vinegar clarifying rinse to remove buildup because Martin said that may be why my hair tangles rather easily.   Just be sure to dilute it - I just took the bottle in the shower with me and dumped some on my head.  Don't do that or you'll choke from the fumes.  I used the One Condition which smells ah-MAZE-ing, left it in and then I styled it using the Curly Girl method with the gel.  Unfortunately, gel and I are not friends.  My hair has never done well with gel and Deva AnGel is no exception.  Now, this could be because I left the conditioner in or the apple cider vinegar rinse, or the gel - I'm not sure.  My hair felt like straw to the touch, it tangled if you just looked at it (which I don't think is just because it's dry) and I ended up having to wash it out and go with my usual Tightly Curly method on Monday night and once again, my hair is looking good!  That way is just more suited to my curl type and it lasts longer.

Well, maybe I am a little bit of a Deva.  I got the trial pack of the No-Poo, One Condition, Set It Free and AnGel and the gel is the only thing I didn't like.  I'm definitely going to compare the ingredients with my drugstore brands because even though the Deva products smell like Heaven in a bottle, they are not cheap!  I may splurge for the Set It Free because it really does work on the hairline frizzies but the full-size bottles of conditioner aren't that big and I'd go through them faster than my wallet would like.

At any rate, I have a great haircut thanks to Martin and now I'm all set for our anniversary remix next week! 

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

On notice

I feel so much better about life today!  We went to the doctor this morning and I was ready.  The night before I went over my questions with Drew and we even practiced what I would say if I had to break up with my doctor.  He reassured me that it was going to be okay but I wasn't sure and I went in prepared for battle.

I'm happy to report that I needed none of it!  My doctor was open, receptive and listened to everything I said, validating my concerns and clarifying her thoughts on how it's going down when Agent S makes her grand entrance.

Essentially, as long as this little girl behaves herself and does everything she's supposed to, I can go as natural as I want.  That was music to my ears!  I told her that I was fully aware that the baby is running the show but as long as she cooperates, I have preferences.  I think that's key - understanding that your desires are simply preferences and the baby will ultimately decide how they will be born.  If she decides to stay sideways or feet first, that's her prerogative (it just corrected that word and said there's an 'r' after the 'p' - I've never seen it that way) and we'll all just do as she says.  However, if things go well I'm so happy to know that my doctor is on board with the kind of birth I'd like to have.

I probably won't get to go past 40 weeks but as long as the baby's growing and my fluid levels are good, she'll leave her in there as long as it's safe.  Can't argue with that!  She supports intermittent fetal monitoring so I don't have to stay strapped to the bed!  Score!  She also supports moving during labor and I'm not going to bother with asking permission to eat and drink.  From what I've read you don't feel like wolfing down a Quarter Pounder in the middle of a contraction and if I want water I'll have water!  That whole argument about aspirating your vomit under anesthesia is so out-dated it's laughable anyway.

She does not do routine episiotomies and will only cut them if they're absolutely necessary - again, only if the baby doesn't behave.  She said episiotomies are a game-time call but tries to avoid them if at all possible.

I talked to her about the actual induction and she said that she only uses Pitocin because she can turn it off when needed.  She doesn't do pills or vaginal suppositories because there's no way to control them and once it's in, it's in and you can't regulate how your body will or won't react to them, whereas you can control a Pitocin drip.  I understand that rationale and she reassured me that she'll start small and turn it off if I respond well.  

However, I have officially put this little chick on notice.  She has strict instructions to leave the umbilical cord alone - no trying it on as a necklace, no practicing your sailor's knots, just leave it alone.  She is free to flip and turn all day long as it's reassuring to me, so that behavior is encouraged.  But at the end, she is to turn head-down, chin to chest and open up that cervix!  Drew and I will take care of the *ahem* natural induction methods so that I can avoid having Pitocin altogether and we're all just going to make this happen!  UPDATE:  Also, no pooping until you're on the outside and be sure to face the back.  Poor kid, but we all have jobs in life and it's better to learn that early. 

We're a team in this - I will keep supplying Agent S with her Heparin ammo so she can stay alive and in turn, all she has to is follow orders and make it to the safe zone my arms and her team leaders mommy and daddy will take care of the rest.

Hands in, Agent S on three....
1 2 3 - AGENT S!!

Monday, November 15, 2010

My head hurts

Thank you so much for the recipe ideas!  I'm totally going to make recipes of everything you've suggested and I'll definitely post on my progress.  You guys are the greatest!!

So, whenever I'm not here writing or reading and commenting on your blogs, I'm researching.  Pregnancy, birth, carseats, strollers, diapers, what to buy, what not to buy, when to buy it, what you have to have or your kid will be dumb, the stuff only dumb people buy and everything in between.  My head is swimming, my eyes are sore and I need a nap.  Drew and I have decided to start buying stuff after the first of the year so I'm reading up now so the purchasing process is less painful but the research is overwhelming!

The only thing that's fun is looking at nurseries and getting nursery ideas.  I have a folder where I'm saving all the cute pictures I come across but even that causes cuteness-overload at times.  I know I don't want anything pink and I don't want a theme - no classic Pooh, Disney princess or even zoo animals.  I know it's my kid's room but I have to be in there too and I want it to blend with the rest of the house while still being a baby girl's room.  Thankfully, I have some ideas - and if y'all would help me and please tell Drew that airbrushed murals do not belong in our nursery that would so great.  I'm trying to be open-minded but I keep sneaking glances at Drew to see if a cholo has somehow invaded his body.
airbrushed mural
My husband 
One of these things is not like the other, one of these things just doesn't belong...

As for the pregnancy bit, I'm almost to the halfway mark - I'm 18 weeks and change and I still have ankles!  I'm so nervous that I'm going to blow up for the second half and I'm terrified of cankles!  There is a very popular blogger that chronicled every. single. thing. about getting ready for a baby, then she got pregnant and now she's a bona-fide mommy blogger.  She got cankles while pregnant and for some reason was obsessed with them, taking pictures of them and posting them on her blog!  With no warnings or anything - just one day, you'd click and bleccchhhhh!  Cankles!  

And now that I've named my fear to the universe I will get cankles tomorrow.  I will not post pictures but you will hear my cry to the heavens.  Every day, I'm drinking enough water to float a battleship in an effort to keep the cankles at bay.  Which of course means I have to pee fifty thousand times a day but I'll do it - I'll do just about anything not to get cankles.  I'm super concious of my posture at all times, being sure to keep my feet flat on the floor and not crossing my legs which might encourage swelling and if there's anything else I can do, puh-leeze tell me!

The Hypnobabies studying is going well and a lot of the wording is very similar to what I use in final meditation in my yoga classes.  Drew and I were listening to the first CD and shortly into it I exclaimed "Hey this is yoga!"  Drew immediately shushed me and said that I was breaking his concentration.  After the obligatory poking fun of the lady's earnest hypno-voice, we settled down and it's actually very handy.  I'm looking forward to the rest of the program.

But here's the super funny thing:  the Hypnobabies hypnotizes the dog and it makes her pee!  At first we thought it was a coincidence, but three times now the dog has piddled on the floor when I'm playing my CDs!  And she's completely housebroken!  Each time, Maya has laid on the floor wherever I'm playing the CDs, giving an occasional big sigh, and when she finally gets up there's a small puddle o' pee on the floor!  So now, I have to listen to it with earphones on or when Drew takes her for a walk because I'm getting tired of cleaning up after her.  There is no warning about this on the packaging and I wonder if anyone else has experienced this or if it's just my highly suggestible dog.

Tomorrow is my come-to-Jesus with my OB.  I'm really nervous and I hope she doesn't take the hard line with me.  I talked with my MFM and I got another opinion from a midwife and they've both said that with my clotting factors it's not really safe to go past 40 weeks, which is pretty much what I've found through my own research.  The $60,000 question is when is she thinking of inducing me?  Is that date set in stone?  Is there some test that she can do to see if me and the baby are doing okay with the pregnancy so that I don't have to be induced?  And if I have to be induced, can we exhaust all natural methods before going straight to Pitocin, do not pass go, do not collect $200?

I'll be asking her about her labor philosophy as well - under what circumstances does she cut episiotomies, how she feels about continuous fetal monitoring, eating and drinking during the birthing time, (Hypnobabies does not use the word 'labor' - dangit, I just said it again.  I'm a bad Hypnostudent.  I need to do more Hypnostudying.), and anything else I can think of between now and tomorrow morning.  I know she's doula-friendly, she's receptive to birth plans and she has had several patients who are yoga instructors so I think she's open.  I just don't want to come off militant and combative yet I want to make sure my desires are heard and honored to the best of her ability.  I just have to remember that this is still a business, I'm still a consumer and it's not wrong to speak up for what you want.  

Additionally, I need some new reading material - I'm getting kind of full of baby stuff.  What are y'all reading these days?  What's your favorite blog?  Besides yours and mine of course.  I found one the other day that made me stop in my tracks.  I was so taken in by the first post that I couldn't stop reading.  That doesn't happen often and maybe you'd like it too - Mr. Sponsorpants is a virtual AA sponsor but his words ring true even if you're not in recovery because you can substitute any problem for the alcoholism and it still resonates.  It's been a while since I found a blog that grabbed me like that and I thought I'd share.

Your turn - whatcha readin'?  I'm swimming in baby stuff and I'd love to come up for some grown-up air.    

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Whatcha eatin'?

Okay you guys, I need your help - it's major.  Kesha came over last night and we hung out and eventually I had to make myself something to eat.  So, let me break it down for those that don't know.

Drew loves to cook and he's very very good at it.  He can go into a grocery store, pick random stuff off the shelves and make a gourmet meal with it.  It's his creative outlet and I loooove being the recipient of all that creativity.  Me?  I'm lost if it has more than three steps and doesn't come in a box.  When I was single I lived on Pasta Roni and mac n cheese.  Sometimes I would get super fancy and throw in a can of tuna!
I have a love-hate relationship with food.  I love to eat, hate the prep.  The cutting, the chopping, the measuring, the boiling, the broiling and then the waiting!  I just want to eat and get on with my life, whyyyyyyy does it have to be so hard?  And because I have no patience and I get easily defeated I usually mess up the easiest recipes.  Now, at 34, I have a horrible mental block against cooking and I get an serious attitude whenever I have to cook.  

I tried to overcome it - I even braved a ridiculous thunderstorm and a throng of chubby white women to get The Pioneer Woman's cookbook!  She's got some great recipes and I successfully made her mashed potatoes but I tried three times to make her bacon-wrapped meatloaf and every time the middle came out pink and cold - even after cooking for an extra hour!  I hate cooking.

Last week I had to go to the grocery store because there was zero food in the house when we got back home from Philly, but I was lost.  Drew and I usually go grocery shopping together and he gets the fresh produce and the exotic ingredients while I dump in my five boxes of Kraft's finest and my 10/$10 boxes of Pasta Roni.

However, with Agent S on board, Pasta Roni and mac n cheese don't cut it anymore.  What's that?  Why Agent S?  Well, remember when we were going to call the baby Sonoma back when I was supposed to get pregnant on vacation, but then thought I didn't when in fact I actually did?  The first trimester was, shall we say, a little rough and Drew and I weren't necessarily focused on fetus names for those first few months.  Between fear of losing it, fighting and all the other nonsense I think we actually acknowledged the baby once, maybe twice.

Thankfully, nothing bad lasts forever and Drew and I are friends again and the baby is kicking!  Right now I'm the only one who can feel it but I do feel it and it's awesome.  Drew and I were chatting about fetus names and I told him Sonoma didn't resonate with me anymore and we needed another name so he came up with Agent S - because she's a baby spy.  A baby trained assassin, if you will.  Kicking ass and taking names.  And then I was all Oooh yeah!  She's fighting my clotting factors so she can stay ALIVE!  I love it!  Yes, I'm already forcing my dreams onto my child.  I will accept my mother-of-the-year award by mail or in person.

My daughter's gonna be a bad-ass

But back to food!  I was near tears by myself in the grocery store because I didn't have the first clue about what to buy!  So I called Kesha and she talked me off the ledge and I made several purchases that worked for me.  Specifically, those meals in a bag.  You know those things?  You heat up the pan, dump in the whole bag and ten minutes later you're eating!  Right up my alley.

Last night it was a TGI Friday's meal in a bag and I was nearly defeated because things were in separate pouches and I had to add the pouches one at a time!  Cook the chicken for a little bit, add the veggies and pasta then cook for a little bit, then add the sauce and sprinkle with the bacon at the end.  Kesha's my witness - I nearly lost it.  I was getting all agitated, mumbling that this adding things one at a time is too much for me and I just want to eat and this is ridiculous and I don't have time to mess with this nonsense and I'm not buying this one again.  I felt like Bon Qui Qui with the cookies and cream milkshake.  What's that?  Who's Bon Qui Qui?  Oh no!  We have to fix that right now!   I tried to embed the video but it wouldn't let me - rude.

Besides, that bag had almost 1000 mg of sodium per serving and there were two servings in one bag!  I can't keep that up!  Plus, I have to learn how to feed my kid good food and Drew shouldn't have to eat that stuff on the two nights that he's home.  Even though he loves to cook, I really should make him something every once in a while.

Which is where you come in!  I need advice!  I need to get past this mental block against cooking so I can cook tasty healthy things for Agent S and The Man.  Do y'all have favorite websites with easy recipes that I can start trying?  Drew got me a book with 101 things you can do with mac n cheese but I'm a purist - the mac is perfect just as it is.  It shouldn't be messed with.  At most you should serve it with a side of fish sticks or chicken fingers and I sound like a three year old boy right now.

Please tell me I'm not hopeless - please tell me that people who hate cooking can still cook.  I just need to start easy so I don't get demoralized.  I need to build my cooking confidence.  Please tell me there's a way to make a meal that doesn't have a lot of steps, that doesn't take a lot of time, that's healthy and tasty and won't trap me in the kitchen for six hours.  Oh, and not chicken - at least not right now.  Chicken does nothing for me right now.

I got a complicated order!

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Monster, thy name is Facebook

Thank you all so much for your kind comments regarding my little announcement!  You are all so great and I'm smiling non-stop!  And a super-cool thank you goes out to those who commented for the first time - it's like meeting new friends!  Even the anonymous ones - I'm counting you too!  Thanks you guys!

And guess what!  I think I'm feeling some movement!  I first felt it on Saturday.  I was coming home from yoga and I felt a bubble pop in my low abdomen - just one.  I dismissed it, thinking my body was acting funny from class.  But I felt it again a few minutes later in the exact same spot, the exact same sensation - one small bubble popping, an internal *bloop!*  I thought, no way, the doctor told me just the day before that it would be a month before I could feel anything.  But a few minutes later, I felt it again!  Every day since then, I've felt it in the same general area, same sensation and that's gotta be what it is, which is so freakin cool!  It's nowhere near consistent so I'm not bothering with kick-counts or anything like that, but when it does happen I get a little smile on my face.

Also, Drew and I had a wonderful weekend.  I have come to believe/know/be convinced that I hold the keys to the crazy.  You know that fridge magnet If Mama ain't happy, ain't nobody happy?  Totally true in our house.  I believe that we're doing well because I am in the second trimester now and I've leveled out - somewhat.  Drew and I really only fight when I lose my cool and rarely the other way around.  However, MY cool?  The yoga-cool?  When that's gone, it's World War III - some of y'all know exactly what I'm talking about and those who've read my blog for a while have a darn good idea.  It's not pretty when I'm not happy.

But this weekend, I was happy so we were all happy.  Not once did we fight and I even caught some funny 'family' moments Sunday night!
We were watching tv and Maya was unhappy that no one
was paying attention to her.  So she fixed that.
This giant beast has an eye infection and every morning and
night I have to fight her to put the cream in her eyes.
She's wise to me now and runs when she sees the tube - it's been super fun.
She doesn't dare get this forward with me.  
It's like she knows who she can rough-house with and it ain't Mama!

I've also started my Hypnobabies studying.  It's quite a lot of material and between that and the books that I'm reading, I'm learning more about childbirth, US maternity care, bureaucracy and I know all kinds of medical terms now!  This stuff is so fascinating and what I like best is that I'm getting a good view from both sides of the fence.  I reject fear-mongering outright.  I have no use for the granola side saying that all doctors, hospitals and interventions are the devil, just as I toss aside the medical-hospital types who claim that you're just a moron if you don't take advantage of every medical advancement available to you.  The middle ground isn't easy to find but it's there.  Bottom line, most babies live, no matter if you're at home or a hospital.  But just the same, some babies die - no matter what you do or where you are, home or hospital.  It's that societal/cultural thing that absolutely refuses to accept that and we run to technology, thinking that the more machines we use, the more medicine we take, the more doctors we see, we can guarantee a positive (read:  live baby) outcome and that's just not the case.  But that's a whole other touchy subject so I'll leave that where it is. 
Doing my part to get educated - these are just the books!
This doesn't count aaaaalll the internet searches I'm doing when
I'm supposed to be working - this is serious business y'all!

Which kind of brings me to the title of this post.  I read this article last Friday and wasn't going to say anything about it even though it's been swirling around my mind ever since.  This right here was the reason I got off of Facebook but then my cousin sucked me back in, and right now I log on once every couple of weeks at best, usually to look at pictures of my cousin's babies.  The last time I updated my status it was an all-call for some apple juice.  I haven't even announced my pregnancy, mostly because everyone I care about already knows and even though I cut my friend list, I still have 'friends' on there that don't necessarily need to know.  Yet, my blog link is on my page so it's not like it's a secret.  Frankly, I consider that a sign that announcing my pregnancy on Facebook is not necessary and I may do like one of my high school girlfriends and one day just add a picture of me and the baby to my photo album and leave it at that. 

But then today, Stirrup Queen wrote a post that totally hit the nail on the head and I just want to second it and encourage you to read it.  A Little Pregnant posted a fictional FB feed outlining what FB looks like to infertiles (and for conversation, that includes everyone who's ever had trouble trying to conceive, not just those who know for a fact that they can't ever get pregnant) which is what got me going in the first place, as I saw this elsewhere before Stirrup Queen's post today.

Specifically, what riled me up was the isolation that infertiles feel - that the whole world is pregnant but them.  And God knows, I know that feeling intimately.  But you know what?  Spin this whole topic and you can talk about isolation from every standpoint - the single girl, the girl who's married but her husband sucks, the unemployed girl, the girl who works but at a job that sucks, the girl who's broke, the girl who has no friends, the girl with a secret, the girl who has kids that misbehave all the time - all of us get punched in the gut at one time or another and it's rarely on purpose.

You know when I get wistful?  When I hear/read about a woman whose husband is home every night.  I sleep alone four to five nights a week every week.  Yet a military wife will throat-punch me because she hasn't seen her husband in four or five months AND she doesn't even know if he's alive.  I get wistful when I hear about couples who rarely fight or who resolve their fights within minutes.  When things were super bad with me and Drew I admit, I could only take certain blogs in tiny doses because their marriages seemed so perfect.  But, I should be happy I'm married at all, right?  I should try not having a date for two years, right?  Is that the answer?

I get wistful when I see small, well-behaved dogs - no lie.  I love my dog but you guys know - that dog ruined my sanctuary and that was very hard to accept.  There is dog hair on every inch of my house and I hate it - and then there's the occasional dog-ish smell.  I could sweep and vacuum every day and the improvement can be measured in seconds because with one good doggy-shake, there is hair everywhere all over again.  These days I pick my battles - I pretend I don't see the hair, I Febreze all the time and I clean once a week or right before we have company.  And she's not small and cuddly - she's a fracking beast (see above) and I fight her for space in the bed, on the sofa and just about everywhere else all the time.  So many days I fervently wish for a little dog with good manners, yet someone else surely would come along and slap me for daring to whine about something so trivial.  

I get wistful when I hear about people making wedding plans because there was so. much. drama! surrounding the time I got married that we never had that.  YET, one year later here I am, just as married as anyone else but I'd be lying if I said I wasn't wistful that I picked out my dress alone and then cried in the car after.  But then here comes the single girl telling me to shut up, at least I'm married!

And oooh Jesus!  Don't let me say anything about being pregnant!  But I will anyway - I get wistful when I hear about uneventful pregnancies and I get downright jealous of that pregnancy innocence.  That shit is painful!  But I sure as HELL better shut my mouth because I have a live baby in me right now.   

That's why Facebook sucks.  The medium is too big, the net is too wide and people are allowing themselves to get their feelings hurt far too easily.  Since when did we all become living, breathing, gaping wounds, unable to withstand the slightest breeze?  Since when have we become so wrapped up in our own pain that we're unable to simply see things for what they are?      Since when do we take frickin status updates so freaking personally??  Since when do we un-friend someone (don't even get me started on the ridiculousness of that particular term) just because their life has an element we wish we had for our own?

Don't get me wrong, I was firmly in the everyone-is-pregnant-but-me camp but I'd like to think I wasn't hateful of other people's good fortune.  And come on you guys, it's FACEBOOK - not real life!  These people are not out to twist the knife in your heart!  For that matter, no one on the Internet is out to get you and you alone!  There is no bullseye on any of our backs - I swear!  

When I was in college, I accidentally found myself in a philosophy class.  Before I dropped it with a quickness, we talked about pain and the philosophical definition of pain.  After long, brain-draining, circular discussions we arrived at the conclusion that pain is what YOU say it is and it hurts however much YOU say it hurts.  

There is no measuring stick for pain and we are all justified in feeling hurt, whatever the reason.  What's trivial and bearable to you can cause someone else's world to implode.  But that doesn't mean we're not entitled to hurt!  However, walking on eggshells is not the answer - it's no way to live and frankly, it's not possible. 

I wonder if we can just be mindful?  Can we just acknowledge that we all carry burdens and our burdens are heavy and painful TO US?  Can we simply focus on carrying our burdens with grace instead of getting all butt-hurt because you perceive someone else's burden to be less important than yours so they shouldn't be crying so much?  Or have we become too narcissistic, convinced that we're alone in this and no one else has or ever will feel the pain we feel?

The burdens I bear are heavy and painful to me and while I will not post them as status updates on my Facebook page, I have and will continue to write about them here.  My writing is the way I learn to bear them with grace and it's how I gain perspective.  I never seek to rub anything in anyone's face and while I apologize if I've ever done that, I also gently ask that any offended party remember that I'm just a nameless, faceless person on this planet and I have way too much on my own plate to intentionally try and mess up your world.   

Yeah, Stirrup Queen wrote about Facebook and infertility and she did it far more eloquently than I did, but you can exchange infertility for your burden of choice and it's the same story.  

For all of us.


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