Friday, December 31, 2010

Happy Birthday Hubs!

Today is Drew's birthday!  So far it's been a pretty good day for the Hubs.  We went to breakfast this morning and as a birthday present to himself, he hired some guys to mow the lawn and clean the gutters.  Seriously, this was a great present and he was super excited not to have to pick up dog poop from the backyard!  Additionally, he got to go to the gym which is major as he hasn't been in ages and that's been something he's been dying to get back into.  I know it's been hard for him between traveling and us having one car but he's been a champ and hasn't complained - too much.  Today.  So for the upcoming year, the Birthday Fairy may just wave her magic checkbook wand and get him a gym membership.  But in the meantime,  a birthday video for you!


Happy Birthday Baby!
Drew's birthday 2010 from Desiree on Vimeo.

I got him a Twist n Sparkle - Drew loves fizzy water but I refuse to buy sugary sodas and I give him the serious side-eye when he buys his Diet Cokes from the gas station.  Recently, I've conceded a little and we've purchased the flavored waters but they're kind of expensive so this little guy is the perfect compromise.  You put the CO2 cartridge and twist and it carbonates whatever you've got in there for an instant fizzy drink.  It works with alcohol as well as plain water and it didn't cost an arm and a leg!  I was so proud of myself when I found it because he'd been wanting a fizzy-water maker for the longest.  


Oh, and the jumping up and down:  Drew has a history of being underwhelmed by gifts.  It's not that he's ungrateful, it's just that he's not an overly emotional guy - except when he's mad, go figure.  I was so proud of my gift and I told him he better jump up an down when he opened it because half the fun of giving gifts is seeing the recipient's reaction when they open it.  He was not going to deny me!  And he very enthusiastically complied - but not before he guessed what the other gift was, but one out of two isn't bad.  We've got a while to perfect the gift-opening!

Thursday, December 30, 2010

It's nursery time!

I should know better than to be cautious when writing.  You guys have been with me this far and I know you won't just up and leave off of one post.  I was nervous to write the last post because I was afraid of getting blasted for not being anything but grateful for all things pregnancy.  But the encouragement and love (special squeezy hugs to Carolyn!) reassure me that it's all still good.  You guys are the greatest!  I feel like I say that so much - can I say I love you yet?  Is it too soon?  


So I turn to you again, this time for the super extra fun stuff:  the nursery!!


We have gotten nothing more than the crib for the nursery because Drew and I agreed that we would wait to go gung-ho on the baby stuff until after the first of the year.  Plus, I felt that getting stuff would jinx things but it's crunch-time.  It seems like the first of the year was so far away and all of a sudden it's this Saturday!!!  It's here and I've officially started counting down.


I want everything in place and ready to go by April 1st.  I will be 38 weeks and Agent S will make her sweeping, grand, diva, kick-ass entrance anytime between the 1st and the 15th.  For measuring-time sake, that's what I'm going with.  I pray to Jesus she doesn't come earlier and I'm near positive my doctor won't let me go past my due date, so April 1st is the nursery decor deadline.  From January 1, that's only 12 weekends or as my co-worker Jana likes to put it, only 6 more paydays.  (Post coming on post-baby working plans.  We're all chewing our fingernails over here!)


Actually, I'm looking at 10 weekends because one weekend will be gone with my baby shower in Kansas and one gone for our party here in Dallas.  Did I mention we only have a crib?  No mattress even?  I know I'm in denial because I'm not freaked out at all by any of this.  So would you be a doll and help a sista out?


This will be our nursery, formerly known as the guest bedroom (we're keeping the wall color.)
   From the doorway
The desk used to live here
Now it's where the crib lives
If I get my way, a nursing chair will live here
This nursing chair, dressed with a pretty pillow and throw
This cube will serve as an ottoman for the nursing chair
unless it turns out to be too high, then I'll have to think of something else.
The dresser wall is where the mural will be

I apologize for the pictures but I'm at work and using the only pictures I have but hopefully you get the idea of the layout of the room.  Presently, the dresser is the only thing that's on that far wall and I have visions of painting a giant mural on the whole wall.  I have inspiration photos but have zero idea where any of them came from since they were found in a mad Google clicking 'save image as...' frenzy.  So if you see your picture or the picture of someone you know, just tell me and I'll credit it.  I mean no harm - I just couldn't be bothered with being organized.  My bad.  

So, here's the plan:  I love words - words of all kinds and my jump-off point is this rug.
image courtesy Ballard Designs - see, I credit when I know where it comes from!

Ever since I saw Kristin and Centsational Girl's glossy stencils, I knew I had to have them
Image courtesy Centsational Girl
Image courtesy KFD Design

Put the two together and you have glossy words on the wall instead of a stencil!  Sort of like this:

Or this.  If either of these are your pictures, just let me know.

I plan to use this poem and cover the wall from top to bottom in even writing, more like the rug and not the nursery picture.  I have never done this and thank God the previous owners left the extra paint for the walls so I can just paint over it if it turns out to be an epic fail.  But I'm going to try because I love the idea and I think it'll be so cool if it turns out.  I plan to use the paint from this project because I think the pearly-ness will be a pretty contrast against the wall without being too jarring.  I didn't want to use high-gloss of the same color because I didn't think the words would show up as well and I already have the paint.

The problem is, that's it.  That's as far as I've gotten.  The next decision is what to do about the windows because the color scheme will get its cues from whatever I do with curtains or cornices or whatever.  I hope you can tell from the pictures but there are two windows opposite the mural wall and one window at the head of the bed - which is staying.  We were going to move it out but we only have two real bedrooms and until we get a pull-out loveseat for the sitting room, our guests need a place to sleep.  Furthermore, the nursery is further away from our bedroom than I would prefer and I'd really like the baby to get used to sleeping in her crib as quickly as possible - our bedroom is crowded enough as it is!  I'd rather be in her room than her be in ours.  Now, if she ends up in our room so be it, but this is the plan.

Drew would like the shutters to stay and with all of them closed, the room is quite dark so I'm okay with that.  I'm just thinking I may want to take the blinds off the door leading to my former sewing room, which is now Drew's office.  I'd like to replace it with something softer - some patterned sheers maybe?  They're just cheap-o skinny Venetian blinds.  I even have some leftovers from my curtain project and I might be able to whip up something on my sewing machine that I haven't touched since that one time.

Actually, if the shutters are staying, our only option is curtains because you can't close the top shutters if there's a cornice - right?  Plus, I need some fabric to soften the room.  Okay, so curtains it is.  But what kind?  What color?  What pattern?  Should there be a pattern?  I don't want pink but I don't want bland and boring either.  And I want a rug - but I can't look at rugs until I figure out what the curtains are going to look like.  Ditto on the crib skirt and mattress sheet.  And the throw and lumbar pillow for the nursing chair.  Don't even get me started on what the bedding for the big bed should look like!  It all hinges on the curtains!

And of course the fabric store I want to check out is closed on Saturday, but that's fine because this weekend is mural painting weekend.  BabyCenter specifically says to finish all home improvement projects that involve getting up on a ladder like, yesterday.  My center of gravity is not shot yet but I'm not trying to tempt fate.  But I'm encouraged because I've already seen some fabrics I like on their website and I can't wait to see what they have in real life.

And then there's the layout of the furniture.  Is it good?  Should things move?  Should the bed be on the wall with the windows?  The dresser and crib change places?  I just don't know!

So, do you have thoughts?  Tips?  Websites I should look at?  I know about Ohdeedoh and Project Nursery but now I'm on the hunt for nurseries with beds in them and this is the only one I've found so far and that's not going to work for me.
Maybe this is your cup of tea, but personally 
I'm kind of choking on the sweetness.  
Although we have a chandelier that's very similar to this one.

I know all I really need is a good carseat, some diapers and a crib mattress (my cousin gave us a huge box of baby clothes when we were in Kansas), but it would mean a lot to me to have her room all put together by April 1st.

And it starts with the curtains.

You know what's super fun? Sleeping

Not that I would know anything about that.  With increasing frequency, I am unable to sleep.  I'm talking wake-up-at-one-am-and-NEVER-get-back-to-sleep.  I'm a stomach sleeper and thanks to the belly that has majorly popped out that is no longer an option.  And while I love my husband, side-sleeping isn't fun because on one side I face him and facing him while he mouth-breathes is not fun, youknowwhatI'msayin?  Turning over to the other side isn't much of an option either because somehow he works his way across the king-size bed and I end up with approximately two inches of space before I fall from our extra-high bed.


And then my doggie.  My precious, GIANT, 80-pound doggie, who thinks she's the size of a chihuahua.  Well you're not, Maya-face.  You're a frickin beast and I've just about had it with you s-t-r-e-t-c-h-i-n-g out across the king size bed and then dreaming about whatever the hell she dreams about and kicking me in the back because I've turned away from Drew's yuck-mouth.


Never mind that turning from side-to-side requires me to wake all the way up, strategize my moves, execute a four-point turn to get to the other side, rearrange my pillows only to have the dog wake up, sigh and change position - laying directly on my feet and legs.  Have you ever tried to get an 80-pound animal off your legs while said animal is sound asleep?  I kick her and I'm sure to her it feels like a tiny little butterfly has just flitted by in her dreams to say hello.  


Forget any covers.  When an 80-pound animal and a 200-pound husband is hogging all of them, you know who gets the corner?  The pregnant one.  How is that fair?  How is that right?  And even though I get hot flashes, they're just flashes.  I need to be able to take the covers off and then put them back on when it's passed.  And OMG, the GD mother-effin hot flashes.  I'm baking one second, fine and happy the next.  Please tell me somebody is researching the shit out of menopause, so by the time I get there hot flashes will no longer exist.


I try all the things my mom told me when I was little:  Lie very still with your eyes closed and you'll be asleep in no time; count sheep; think of something boring (okay my mom never said that to me but I'm desperate!)


I don't want to take sleeping pills because I hate the drugged-out feeling that I get with them.  Besides, I don't know what's safe in pregnancy and I just really don't want to take any pills.


I just want my dog and my husband to realize that I Am Pregnant And I Need My Mother-Effin SLEEP!


Gah, I feel so much better now that I've gotten that off my chest!


It's so odd being in this place.  I know that I'm feeling everything that a normal regular pregnant person is feeling, there is nothing new or unique about my ailments.  Even Rixa Freeze is having trouble sleeping.  I am not special or unique and I'm doing something that kabillions of women have done before me.  It's humbling and comforting - this is a worn and familiar path and all I have to do is follow in the footsteps.


And yet, with every POW! kick I still get scared if that'll be the last one.  With one breath I wish they weren't so hard and with the next I pray that God didn't hear me, even encouraging her to kick harder to let me know she's still in there.  Even as I mumble and groan when she kicks me all night long, when she's quiet in the daytime I can't help but wonder if last night was it.  I don't suppose that will ever go away.


The other day I was getting ready for work, exasperated because I'd gotten no sleep when I got some whopper kicks.  I swear the kid is speed-bagging me.  I stopped, bent over and Drew was all is she kicking you?  I looked up and snapped "Yes Drew, she's kicking me.  Because I'm pregnant.  I'm always pregnant.  I'm never not pregnant.  Not when I sleep, not when I drive, not when I sit, she's always kicking me because I'm always pregnant."


For a moment I had an out of body experience.  Part of me was scared God heard me and I wanted to take back all my complaining.  The other part of me felt, well, like a regular pregnant person and honestly the words just kind of came out.


I remember the ultrasound with no beating heart, I remember bleeding like a stuck pig - way too clearly.  But this is me too.  Right now, there is a little girl inside me that is having the time of her life treating my guts like her own personal boxing gym and while I'm so very thankful for that, it doesn't change the fact that it doesn't feel good.


Some days I feel like I should bear it all with a smile - the no sleep, clothes not fitting, getting punched from the inside, the hot flashes, all of it.  Because there are so many women who would give everything to be in my spot.  It just kind of reminds me of the whole 'starving children in Ethiopia' guilt trip you got for not eating your veggies.  And I'm not quite sure how to reconcile that.


But I guess I have a few more months to figure it out, right?

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Mothering ain't no joke!

I'm going to have to start stalking the mommy blogs to start getting tips because while I'm embracing the fact that I'm pregnant, as I inch closer to the finish line and allow myself to think about actually getting to take a baby home, I am super way extra unsure of what you're supposed to do with them after that.  Feel free to school me.


Christmas Eve was wonderful.  My mother and I have a tradition of going to see The Nutcracker at Christmastime whenever I'm in town and I was so happy to get to do that with her again this year.  It was so heartwarming to get to share that time with just her.  We both felt my belly as the baby kicked and I completely teared up at the thought that maybe my daughter might grow up to be a ballerina and her grandma and grandpa might come to see her.  I had visions of my dad waiting backstage for her with roses and getting to witness them together.  There I go, tearing up again!
Maybe she'll get to be the queen, dancing right in front!

After the ballet, we went to my cousin's house for dinner and I got to see old movies of my grandma and grandpa and it was so cool!  My memories of my grandparents are very dim and I found myself wanting to reach out and touch the screen.  I'd never seen either of them so vibrant and young-looking and it was definitely the highlight of the evening.  Then we went to Mass and Drew did not burst into flames upon entering the church as he feared and I whispered stories to him about being a little girl in that church and not being tall enough to see over the pews.  I remember when I was younger (like 23-24), going to Mass at Christmas was an event because I'd get to see my old classmates who lived out of town and we'd always hang out after church to catch up.  This year, I didn't see anyone I recognized but it was nice to be there and I still know all the words - trying to be ex-Catholic is like trying to be ex-Asian.  It's in you, whether you acknowledge it or not.

Now......Christmas day???  Christmas DAY???  Ooooh Jesus.

Well, it was actually Christmas night because Christmas morning with the family was so great.  We took pictures, exclaimed over gifts and hung out in our pjs until well after noon - just as it should be.  
My dad played a joke on us and served us chicken feet for breakfast.
This was after I was done being grossed out.
My brother's reaction was priceless!
But then we had our real breakfast - this was one of
my dad's better jokes.  Usually we can see him coming, but he got us this time!
My little mommy did such a great job decorating the tree!

Ok, but THEN!  The rest of the family came over for Christmas dinner.  My cousin's best friend is an honorary member of the family and she joined us with her three kids that night.  She is the sweetest, kindest person ever and she's super polite and nice and I really like her.  So I have no idea how this sweet kind nice girl gave birth to a demon baby.

I say the following with all the sympathy and respect but be warned, I will reference the demon baby again.

There were ten adults and five kids in the house and it was cozy to say the least.  My parent's house is not small but there are lots of small-ish rooms so with conversation and kids and food and music and tv and toys happening all at once, it was festive.

I knew trouble was afoot when her youngest walked in the door crying.  She said he'd been asleep and was upset at being woken up.  We all clucked with sympathy and offered him toys and a sippy cup with juice to soothe him.  For the first few minutes, it was fine.  He was fussy and in his terrible twos - he gets a pass.

He was definitely a Stage-5 clinger and he just kept on crying.  If his mother wasn't holding him, he was crying.  And it wasn't the cry where you're mad at being woken up, nor was it the 'I'm hungry' or 'I'm hurt' or even 'I'm tired.'  It was the worst cry.  It was the 'There is nothing anyone will be able to do for me because I'm just cranky and I will not be soothed and I'm going to do the whiny, gets on your last mother-effin nerve cry because I can.'

The kid cried.  And cried.  And cried.  And cried.  And cried.  And cried.  And ohmyfuckinggodshutthatdemonbabyUP.  We all tried.  My cousin tried to soothe him - IIIIIII wwwwwaaaant my maaaaaaahhhhhmmmmmeeeeee.'  I tried - I picked him up and took him to the mirror, which usually works for me.  Who is that baby?  What's his name?  Why is he crying?  Do you know why he's crying?  Oh that poor baby is crying so much.  How can we help him?  Instead of looking at the mirror he buried his face in my shoulder - IIIII  w-w-w-w-aaaa-aaaa-nnnntt my maaaa-aaaa-aaaahmmmeeeeee.  My mom tried and she's usually stellar with kids and has toys galore at her house.  He took a toy but never stopped crying, crying so hard he was making himself cough and get all red in the face and all stuttery.

We brought him back to his mom and she tried to take him to another room and just sit with him on the sofa but no dice.  It's like he was glad to be with her but still so sad about the time that he wasn't with her before so he had to cry about that.  So he cried.  And cried.  And cried.

We turned on Caillou for him and for a heavenly blessed second, he stopped crying.  But baby Jesus in his manger, the second the show ended he started up again!  (Starting the show again did nothing.  Putting on a new episode did nothing.  Caillou was a temporary fix.)  He was louder than before!  Y'all, we'd already passed the hour mark and were working on hour number two!  And it was just the whiny cry, the grating, you-know-nothing's-wrong cry and we were all nearing the breaking point.  We couldn't say anything because really, what is there to say?  Plus, she's so nice and sweet and she was getting embarrassed that she couldn't do or give him something to soothe him and we didn't want to make her feel worse.  But holy effing hell, he started doing the demon cry, the one where your vocal cords rattle!  At the top of his lungs!  And there was nowhere to hide!  He had progressed to throwing tantrums, collapsing on the floor and screaming bloody murder if his mother dared put him down so she could eat.  At the two-hour mark (good God kid, take a breath or something!) she finally rounded up her two other kids and left, her own face red with embarrassment.  I felt so bad for her and for her other kids who were perfectly behaved and even took their turns trying to soothe their baby brother.  But that kid was having none of it - he screamed non-stop and honestly, it set the rest of us on edge.

I don't know what I would have done differently, if there even is anything you can do differently.  I was annoyed, my head was pounding but most of all, I was scared.  I know that my child will morph into a demon baby at the most inconvenient time and I too will have to make my hasty exit, red-faced and helpless.  But my goodness!

For real y'all, can that sort of thing be dealt with?  At all?  I mean, you can't really ignore them even though we tried that too.  But you cannot ignore demon screaming, I don't care who you are.  And what do you do?  Leave the house?  Take the kid outside and sit with them in the car until they calm down?  What if they don't?  And what of your other kids?  

My heart went out to her but my hands were too busy covering my ears.  And I'm so scared of the day when that's going to be me.

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

My first mom outing

My emotions have been all over the place lately - not that I'm surprised.  We went to Kansas for Christmas and got back to Dallas Sunday night.  Leaving my family and walking in to my too-quiet house was more than I could bear and I just sat in the living room and cried.  I miss my family so much already.  Then this morning I was mad at Drew for daring to breathe, but as of right now I'm happy again because the baby shower is coming together!  We have the date, the place and time and even the decorations and activities are taking shape!  


I find myself hoping and praying that I get to go through with all of this - please Jesus.


But I'm getting so far ahead of myself and I have stories to tell!


Even though I have partially sworn off Facebook, I do find myself checking it occasionally.  And I have to admit, it does have its usefulness.  As long as you don't get sucked in to the drama, it is a good spot to find old friends, stay in touch with current friends and family and had I not checked in, I would have missed out on a great afternoon.  Facebook is not entirely the Devil.  There, I said it.


Just before we went home for Christmas, I saw that my friend Brandi was going to get together with another friend of ours that I hadn't seen since I lived in LA.  We'd all gone to high school together, we were all on Drill Team together but I lost touch with Khaliah when I moved back to Dallas.  It really was a shame because she is an amazing person and I've always admired her.  


So when I saw on Facebook that Brandi and Khaliah were planning to get together in KC, I promptly called Brandi and invited myself.  Brandi is so awesome that she didn't miss a beat in saying of course!  Call when you get in!  


We arrived in KC and I hit the ground running.  My cousin and I had an appointment with the lady making the cake for the baby shower first thing Thursday morning and then we were going to lunch with Brandi and Khaliah at........wait for it........


Chuck E. Cheese.


When Brandi suggested it, my first thought was why in the world would you want to go there?!?!  I keep forgetting that she has an almost 2-year old, as does Khaliah and going to a kid-friendly place is always the best call.  My first thought was someplace chic and hip and 'ladies-who-lunch' - Chuck E Cheese was nowhere on my radar.  Then again, I'm not a mom yet so my brain has yet to be rewired.  It's just that lunch with girlfriends has always included a bottle of wine somewhere in there, not a giant mechanical rat.  However, this is the world I'm entering.


The crazy thing is, I didn't mind!  My cousin has a 3 year-old and when her eyes lit up at the mention of Chuck E Cheese, that sealed the deal for me.  So after the cake tasting, it was off to eat pizza and play some games!


The last time I stepped foot in a CEC was almost ten years ago when I took my younger cousins when I lived in LA.  Before that, it was for my own birthday party - I think I was six.  Not too much had changed - there were still games, lights and kids running around, but instead of being annoyed I found myself looking around in wonder.  I looked at the moms, mentally putting myself in their place; I looked at the kids, at their faces and smiles - deliriously happy over riding the rides and playing the games and daydreaming about my own daughter laughing or being scared of the giant Chuck E Cheese.


Brandi and Khaliah arrived shortly after we did and I observed them in action.  The three of them were so smooth and efficient with their children and I wondered if I too would be able to encourage my child to eat one more bite of her pizza or hot dog before we go play games.  If my daughter would be as well-behaved as their daughters were.  And yes, if my kid would be as cute as theirs.
Graduation, 1994 (!)
Brandi is due with her second baby in May and
I made it!  Six months!  Third trimester here I come!
Drill team camp, 1993
The Seniors at camp - I'm so thankful Brandi shared these pictures with me!
What a difference time makes!
Since my baby isn't here yet, I hijacked my cousin's youngest 
so we could match.
The cutest baby cousins in the world!
We're still waiting for the little ones' hair to come in - 
our babies don't come with hair, so it's a slow process.
Why Facebook is not the Devil - because you can
steal the most adorable pictures in the world!
Bragging on my family - aren't they gorgeous!!

We chatted and reminisced amidst chasing after kids, changing diapers, getting them to eat and cheering when they made it down the kiddie slide and it was pretty awesome.  It was my first playdate, and while I didn't have a baby of my own to chase after, I'd still call it a success.  It was surreal, but in the best way possible.  I wasn't sure if I totally belonged there, but then I'd get a thump in my belly as if to say yes you do!  Soon enough, *I'm* going to slide down those slides and you're going to cheer for me!

Of course, I fully intend to return to my liquid lunches and stiletto heels as soon as possible - I may begin to embrace this new life but I see no reason to leave behind everything from the past!

Besides, I know I have a ways to go before I'm fully inducted into the Mommy Club because I couldn't handle The Scream Heard Round The World - wait till I tell you about that one! 

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Brain dump

I tried to post yesterday, I really did.  But it's getting harder for me to function on Mondays because I'm still teaching my 6am yoga class.  Getting up at 4:50 in the morning is starting to become difficult, especially when I have a small person inside of me thumping me at 3 in the morning going *thump* Peanut butter please! *thumpthump* Peanut butter! *thump* I SAID, get up. and get me. some Peanut. Butter!! *thumpthump*  


It's all I can do to function at work on Mondays.  I will stop teaching in April, which is only 14 more classes.  The pregnancy app on my phone says I have 115 days left, and that's if I go to my due date which is probably not going to happen (although I'm going to get as close as possible.)  We've begun planning baby showers, we've got plans for baby shopping after the first of the year which is less than two weeks away.  My head is starting to spin and all I can think about is that I haven't finished talking about our trip to Key West and I have to respond to my emails.  Seriously - you know how the big stuff overwhelms you and you start to fixate on the little stuff that doesn't matter that much at all?  Yeah, that's me.


Consider this the brain dump - I apologize in advance if I go a little stream-of-conciousness on you.


While in Key West, we visited the Ernest Hemingway house.  Before going in, we stopped at the cafe next door called The Six-Toed Cat.  Drew and I were very confused but we blew it off, figuring it was just a kitschy, Key West kind of name.  Not so!  Apparently, Ernest Hemingway had a thing for six-toed cats and his estate now breeds them.  There are anywhere from 35-40 cats on his property at all times, many of them polydactyl.





I couldn't get much closer because the guide (right, in the house shoes with socks)
was very protective of the cats.

Speaking of the guide, he was very, um, colorful?  Verbose?  Kitschy?  I don't know why that word is stuck in my head.  Anyway, he was entertaining and I enjoyed the tour.  He knew a lot about Hemingway's life and I felt a little pang of sympathy that so many members of his family were touched by depression and suicide.  The poor man really was a tortured artist.  

Hemingway's writing studio - my favorite part of the tour.
I would love to have a space, separate from everyone and everything, 
to just create.  How cool would that be!

After the Hemingway house, we made the short walk to the southernmost point and took the obligatory tourist photo.
Much bigger than I thought it would be
One of these days, I'll take cool pictures like this on purpose.
For now, I'll settle for happy accidents.
Apparently, chickens are the adopted bird of Key West.
Like cows in India, it's illegal to harm roosters or chickens and 
they just roam freely around the island.
If you eat chicken in Key West, it's been brought in from somewhere else.

The trip was great but more importantly, my brain feels a little lighter.  AND it's a great segue to my next part!

So, I read The Bloggess every day and I love her writing.  I love her sense of humor and anyone who can make a living writing is pretty much my hero so I kind of look up to her too.  Guess what?  A couple of weeks ago they adopted a six-toed cat.  I was all how crazy is that?  Ernest Hemingway liked six-toed cats too and I was just at his house!  I didn't know six-toed cats existed before Key West and now they're everywhere!  Random I know, and you're probably nowhere near as impressed as I am with that coincidence but I'm dumping my brain right now.

But then, she did something really important.  Last Wednesday, as a thank you to her readers she offered 20 $30 Amazon giftcards to the first 20 commenters who were going to be short on Christmas or who weren't going to be able to get their children presents and would have to tell them the truth about Santa.  Naturally, the first 20 were gone instantly but the coolest thing happened.  The 21st person asked for help and the 22nd person said they would take care of the 21st person.  Then more people stepped up, offering to help out.  And more and more.

By yesterday evening, over $22,000 in cash had been donated to people in need, in the form of giftcards, deposits into Paypal accounts, and people even donated dolls and doll clothes and one 9th grader was gifted an iPad to give to her mother.  And I got to be a part of it!  I commented, offering to donate and Saturday morning I got my person's email address.  I bought an Amazon giftcard and emailed it, and I've never felt better.  I got to be a part of a movement y'all! Well, Drew and I both did because we have a joint checking account - WE were part of a movement!  

Read the post, read the comments, cry your eyes out and get warm and fuzzy that a regular person did this and regular people responded and know that that's a straight-up Christmas miracle.

We leave tomorrow to go to my parent's house for Christmas and I'm so excited!  We didn't get a tree or anything this year because we're saving it all for next year, and plus I'm too tired to put in the decorating effort - you saw how I went to work last week.  I'm doing good to shower.

Even though the baby will only be um, what, eight months old?  something like that? I've already told Drew that I want to go all out.  I want lights on the house, a Christmas tree on every surface, and we're sending out Christmas cards.  All the ones we've received are displayed prominently on our mantle and it's kind of exciting to think that our Christmas card will be on someone else's mantle next year!  So we're conserving our energy this year - that's what I'm telling myself.

I feel so much better now!  Thanks for that!

Friday, December 17, 2010

If you could see me now

I hatehatehate that I left my camera at home today because you have GOT to see how I look!  Say it with me now:  HOT. DAMN. MESS.  Wait, my boss just left for the day, let me see what I can do with my phone.  I'm sure Jana will help me!
No makeup, ratty ass hair, jeans too long.
And I'm the first thing people see when they come to our office.
Whatchu know about some compression hose?
I'm making do with the Walgreen's brand until
my fancy ones come in.
Yeah, I could probably stand up straight and arrange myself 
all pretty and strike a pose but it's way more fun this way.

I'm kind of glad my mom doesn't regularly read my blog because she would be all Desiree!  I can't believe you, girl!  At least put on some blush!  And stand up straight, my goodness!  You look like a Ubangie!  I never knew what a Ubangie was but that's her favorite catch-all word.

But this was the best I could do.  I didn't twist my hair after I washed it so it's kind of stringy looking.  And I taught yoga last night so it's kind of fuzzy.  And I chose to sleep instead of put makeup on this morning.  And now I'm questioning whether or not I should have taken and posted those pictures, but I have integrity and I will not take this down just because I don't look like Miss America.
.........

But I WILL dig up an old picture to soothe myself - that's not against the rules.  And now I'm mad again because the site won't let me copy the picture.  All right, I'll just find another one.
Talk about a throwback!
I think I was 26 or 27 and I had braces so my sexy pout was a little jacked.

Okay, I feel better now.  I was there once, I will get there again.  I've only gained 13 pounds so far, and while everyone says you blow up like a beached whale in your last trimester, I'm confident that whatever weight I gain I will be able to lose it in a healthy manner.  Besides, Agent S has strict instructions, along with all of her other instructions:  Whatever you bring, you are to take with you when you leave.  All the water weight, the saddlebags, the extra blood - take it with you when you leave, chick!  I sure as hell don't need it!  She just kicked me.  I'm taking that to mean Okay Mom!  Will do!

Thankfully, with the exception of the belly, my body is still recognizable - I mean, if you don't count the giant black National Geographic Africa nipples - where in the Hell did those come from?  I often stand naked in front of the mirror and just look at myself.  My body is changing and preparing and it's happening on a daily basis!  I'm amazed at what my body is doing and I'm proud.  And yeah, it sounds really crunchy and granola and hippie but I'm so proud to be a woman.  I'm so proud to have the strength to have gone through loss and heartache and pain to have the honor of standing here now, being allowed to participate in this experience.  It's pretty damn cool.  Okay, enough of that.

*coming down from female empowerment land*

Side note:  Our office supply guy stopped in yesterday to give us our thanks-for-your-business Christmas candy.  I asked him what they were doing for Christmas and he said it was his twin boys' first Christmas.  I was all awww and then we chatted more and then I said I was pregnant and then he was all awww.  I asked if twins ran in his family and he said no, they did IVF.  Four tries.  And I know looks mean nothing, but this guy is gorgeous.  Fit, tan, great personality, loves his wife - he talks about her all the time.  He's the type of guy you look at and just know that he's got it all.  But I saw the flicker of pain in his eyes when he talked about the testing and failures but then came the joy when he talked about his boys.  Then I ended up telling him about me and our troubles and we totally bonded over our struggles to become parents.  It was a bittersweet moment and it just reminded me that we all have our struggles, we all have our burdens and we're all just trying to bear them with grace.  And sometimes we get a reprieve from the pain and we get to turn our faces to the sun and for that I'm so very thankful.

Now, as thankful as I am I do have a bit of a pressing problem:  My clothes don't fit!  I've never had this much trouble dressing myself and as impressed with my changing body as I am, I highly doubt that anyone else cares to behold my womanly girth in all its naked glory.  

However, I'm not too surprised.  My shoes and clothes are not very accommodating - I have lots of shoes, and I think 80% of them are  3- and 4-inch heels, which means I can't wear 80% of my shoes.  The majority of my closet is fitted, tailored, hugs-the-curves type stuff because flowy stuff always got on my nerves.  I'm not really a ruffles and lace kind of girl and I don't understand the point of extra fabric.  I prefer pencil skirts over full ones, fitted shirts over poet blouses, and anything 'slim cut.'  Unfortunately, this means I can no longer wear about 90% of my closet.  The result of that is the above picture.  Not the bikini one.  Higher up.  The hot mess one.  

I'm strugglin y'all.  

I've been studying All Things G&D for maternity fashion advice because I'm super clueless and I'm really trying not to spend a ton of money on maternity clothes.  I'd like to get regular clothes in larger sizes as opposed to full out maternity wear so I can get some wear out of it once Agent S is on the outside.  So in order to avoid more incidences like today, I'm biting the bullet and going shopping tomorrow to get some respectable clothing.  

Because this shit is ridiculous.  I seriously can't believe I left the house like this today.  And then took pictures and wrote about it and put it up on the web for everyone to see.

That's a mess. 

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Rent the runway - take 2

I've got some energy today!  Not much, but it's more than yesterday so it counts.  Even though I had to order my compression hose today and even though a lady in my office told me I really look pregnant today - not in the nice way - at least I've got some pep in my fingers for some storytelling.  And it's thanks to you once again!  You guys are my juice, my mojo and every time you leave me such beautiful thoughtful comments I just want to give you big squishy rib-crushing hugs.  But I'm totally calling you out GG!  How are you going to leave me the most awesome comment ever in the world and then not even have an email address so I can respond with the internet equivalent of a squishy hug!  Come on now!  I mean, unless you want to remain anonymous in which case that's totally fine by me.  I just want you to know how awesome you are, that's all.


Okay, SO!   Rent the Runway - it was a bust the last time.  The dresses were way too small and I ended up having to 'rent' a dress from Macy's at the last minute.  However, they were very prompt in issuing my refund and gave me 10% off my next order and apologized profusely, so I didn't hold a grudge.  If someone apologizes well, accept it and move the hell on.  Holding grudges makes you ugly.


And that's what I did.  With all forgiven, I went back to Rent the Runway to pick a dress for my office Christmas party that was last Saturday.  I had my eye on a particular dress and I learned from my past mistakes.  This time I chatted with their stylist and told her that I was pregnant and wanted to make sure that the dress I had my eye on was indeed 'bump friendly.' They've since changed their website and you can no longer copy pictures (I was going to give them credit!) and they no longer have a 'bump friendly' section.  You have to type 'bump friendly' into the search bar and it gives you their picks, some of which I'm positive a non-pregnant person chose.  But, they had the dress I wanted in my new, bigger size so I crossed my fingers and hoped for the best.


Once again, it arrived right on time and when I got home from work Friday night, I did a trial run.
There was a lot of fabric and it looked like a giant skirt.
I was surprised to find that this wasn't connected.
It didn't say that on the site and I didn't even think to ask - 
'so, does the dress require assembly?' 
I think the Christmas socks are what makes the outfit.
Okay fine, I'll ditch the socks and try it with my shoes.
While doing my best Dracula impression.
There might have been some Zorro impressions 
going on as well.  Hands down, this was the most FUN dress I've ever worn!
I'm just sayin
Okay, that's what it looked like for real. 
It was a little longer than the website would have you to believe,
but I was okay with that.

I wanted to do a smooth pompadour/ponytail type-thing, but I had cleaned the house from top to bottom all day Saturday and had no energy for hair so I did a messy ponytail, piled on the mostly pink makeup, threw on some hoop earrings and called it good.  I don't like messy updos of any kind, but I gave myself a pregnant pass.
My awesome co-worker Jana.  The room was super dark
and my camera super sucks.  Sorry bout that.
They had a photo booth complete with cheesy accessories.
I should have kept my Christmas socks - with the hat AND the socks
I would have been so money!!
Attempt #1 at a picture of us
#2
Come ON babe, DAMN!
Finally!

Drew was a total trooper - he'd just gotten home a couple of hours before and didn't really want to go.  He went straight to Vegas from Key West and hadn't been home for two weeks!  Poor thing, but he rallied and put on a pink shirt for me so we could look like we were going to prom.  I'd told everyone about him and I loved showing him off!  It was a lot of fun to see everyone out of their work clothes and having a good time and the hotel was so beautiful!  The food was good, the music was just cheesy enough and it was all very office-party appropriate.  We had a really great time and I had just enough energy to be social, although both of us slept super late the next day and my back and feet were KILLING me from my shoes!  I hobbled around most of the next day but it was totally worth it - I got tons of compliments on my dress AND my husband so it was a total success.

I don't have any more fancy events to go to while pregnant so I won't get to try RTR out again but maybe when I'm skinny again I'll try some of their regular dresses.  It really is a pretty sweet deal - as long as you ask tons of questions before renting!
  "Baby, take one more picture."
"Ugh, can't we just leave."
"Come ON, it's for my BLOG!"

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