Wednesday, June 8, 2011

The Things We Do for Love

I had to confront one of my biggest fears today.

I signed my son up for swimming lessons this afternoon, and in the process, he saw the happy place that I have worked so hard to keep hidden.

The public pool.

Have I mentioned that we are currently living in the town I grew up in?  Well, we are.  And I didn't go to the public pool when I had the 16-year-old body to do it, and I certainly don't want to now.

But he does, and he stood at the fence with huge tears rolling down those big, brown eyes, and asked if we could please go swimming and could he wear his new Spiderman swimming suit?  I looked at all of the tan,  skinny cuties running around in bikinis who probably don't eat cheese fries as a food group, and I bought a pool pass.  My baby wants to swim, and he doesn't care that mommy has Irish skin and waddles these days.

I've got 3 things going for me here:

1.  I'm not on the prowl for a man, and my husband is aware that my legs are glowsticks and I'm somewhat large these days.  He's responsible for the latter.  So, seriously, who am I trying to impress?

2.  I bought a hot pink hat.  I can totally go to the public pool now that I have my hot pink hat.

3.  I think I can get away with keeping the large, flowy cover-up on the whole time.

So off to Target I went to buy some sunscreen, a maternity bathing suit and a pool floatie.  We are in business.  I can go to the public pool.  And, if I run into someone from high school, I'm gonna smile and toast to this season in life;  the season that took me out of the insecurities of high school, and put me into my big 'ol bathing suit with my 3-year-old that makes me forget that I cared in the first place.

Monday, June 6, 2011

My Job is Entertaining....

A few wedding observations thus far.....

-Don't hit on the wedding planner.  It's a waste of time; we're working.  And, in my case, married and 6 months pregnant.  But, yes, I'm oddly flattered...

-The most overlooked place to meet women is a wedding.  It is my observation that men group together and drink at weddings instead of dancing with the beautiful ladies that are in abundance.  Put the beer down, pop a breath mint and ask one to dance.

-If you cannot dance, then march in place.  I watched a guy march all evening on the dance floor.  That's it-  that's all the game he had.  He was surrounded by lovely ladies all night.  March on, brother.

-If you're married, dance with your wife. Chances are, she has on a new dress, new heels and quite possibly a spray tan. Show her off. It's also perfectly acceptable to cop a feel on the dance floor, too.

-Do not bring children to weddings.  If you have to, (or it's a family wedding), then watch them.  Keep them away from jumping on the cake, pulling down the lights, knocking over tables or wreaking havoc.  No one thinks the little pumpkin is adorable when they are out-of-control....especially the wedding planners. 

-If you are a lady, wear a slip if you're going to wear a dress.  Stained glass in a chapel is unforgiving, and it will shine a light on your business.  All of it.

-Go on Youtube and learn the line dances to "Cotton-Eyed Joe,"  "Copperhead Road," "Cupid Shuffle," The Cha-Cha,"  and, (if you're really ambitious), "Thriller."  The DJ always plays these songs, and they are a BLAST to dance to!

-It's not necessary to ask for "just a tiny piece of cake."  We know you'll be back for seconds, have a big's a wedding!

-If you wear Spanx with your dress, be careful about twirling on the dance floor.  The whole place will know you're wearing bright, white Spanx if you start spinning in a state of drunken happiness.

-If it is someone else's wedding, it is never an appropriate time to have a lengthy conversation about your wedding.  If you're not the bride, no one cares.  Really.

-Deodorant.  It's important.

I freaking love my job, I really do.

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

The Real Weight Watchers

I don't use my blog to rant.

Forgive me for breaking my own rule today.

When did it become okay to tell a pregnant woman personal opinions and observations about her weight?  Was this acceptable at some point in history? Is this one of those things that has gone to the wayside with a more politically correct society, yet some older folks still think it's okay to say any damn thing that comes to their mind when they see a pregnant woman?

In the past month, in no particular order, these comments have been directed towards me:

-Don't worry, you look good fat.
-You're more HUGE every day!
-You've really spread out with this pregnancy.
-Hey, FATSO!

Awesome.  But not really.

I present the only acceptable things to say to a woman that is already feeling insecure about her growing body:

-You look stunning!
-You need to eat, can I buy you some icecream?
-You are radiant- you glow!
-How lucky is this baby?!

I am confident that those comments will prevent a preggo from bursting into tears and having a meltdown upon looking in the mirror.

Thank you.  I am done.  I am off to reclaim some of my dignity and get over myself.

The end.

Tuesday, May 31, 2011

The Wedding Day Conspiracy

I went to a beautiful wedding this weekend.  Such a lovely bride, such a stunning dress....such a tiny waist. 

I started to think....what happened to my waist since my wedding day?  See the evidence below:

Tiny waist.  I can breathe and everything in that dress.  Slender arms, no hint of chin fat.  I didn't even have to say, "Let me know when you're about to take this picture so I can suck in!"

Something happened.  I can't explain it.  But, it's something dark and sinister.  Maybe it has to do with being happy in life.  Maybe it's getting older.  Maybe it's eating McDonald's when I'm pregnant instead of salad.

I saw this picture of myself today...and I wept:

2 chins.  Sausage arms.  Dolly Parton bust.  Big 'ol baby belly.   Sigh.

Better not tell this weekend's bride about this evil, unstoppable force.

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Mommyhood: Take 2

It's pure excitement to have a second baby. With my first, it was 50% excitement, 50% terror. This time around, though, I'm just not scared anymore. I don't plan on drowning in insecurities and 37 baby books that all say different things.

I've been pondering what I want to do differently this time around and, true to form, I made a Top-Ten list:

What I wish I would Have Done the First Time...

1. I will not live in fear that I don't know what's best for my baby. And I won't be afraid to tell a well-meaning relative/friend/stranger, "Thank you for your advice, but I'm her Momma."

2. I will not ruin my life and my daughter's life by trying to put her on a stringent schedule right away. I'm going to get to know her, enjoy the chaos and hold her as much as I can.

3. I won't debate my position on vaccines anymore. I've done the research, I've talked to doctors and we feel this is best for our babies.

4. I'm going to buy the most comfortable rocking chair known to man. Lord knows I'm going to be in it enough to make it worth the bucks. My best bud spent hundreds on hers, (I thought that was silly), but her back and hiney were much happier than mine, I'm sure.

5. I'm going to "wear" my baby this time. I wish I would have bought the sling with my first- he just loved being close to me all the time and carrying him everywhere was hard on my back.

6. I'm going to, (gulp!), stop eating dairy after the baby is born. My first-born would have had a MUCH happier belly if I had done that for him.

7. I will complain about not eating dairy and I will give you the evil eye if you eat ice cream in front of me.

8. I will have my Mom and Sis in the delivery room. Everything went wrong the first time, and I had never felt so alone. (Yes, my husband was there, but he stayed with our son when the nurse had to take him away.)

9. I will buy a nice, soft robe for my hospital stay. One that will keep all my chubby bits hidden when I have visitors.

10. I will ENJOY her...I will drink her in...I won't rush...I won't give myself a beating everytime I don't have my "to-do" list checked off...I will cherish this time.

The end.

Friday, May 20, 2011

It's a What??! Huh? How Did THAT happen?

I'll never be that Momma that can wait till the baby's born to find out if I have a son or daughter.  Nope, I feel that 5 months is long enough to wait.

So, off to the sonographer I went.  I thought it was a waste of time, really.  I knew I was having a boy as my pregnancies were identical, I have rock-solid mothering instincts, (insert: sarcasm), and I had already made a bet with my sister that it was a boy.  (My bets with my sister are brutal and humiliating).

Imagine our surprise when Leslie, while intently studying the picture on the screen, said, "It's a girl."

My mouth dropped open.  Me, who was to be the mother of a herd of boys, apparently had a daughter.  Um, how did that happen?  I know what to do with boys: buy play clothes and direct them to dirt.  I've watched my girlfriends with their daughters, and it just looks harder with slightly more, um, drama. 

But, oh my word, I'm so excited I can hardly stand it.

We have a daughter!  I get to buy pink and frilly outfits!  We can have tea parties and play dress-up!  I can put gigantic bows in her hair!  She won't get married and leave me! 

So very many things to be thrilled about.  I've already delegated sewing projects to my Mom and Mother-in-Law.  This little princess shall be greeted in style: frills, ruffles, glitter and  a nursery with fru-fru in every corner.

Cause I'm the mommy of a daugther now.  It's how we roll.

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Shame and McDonald's

I've kind of fallen off the wagon.

Almost a year ago, I swore off any meat that was cheap and easy.  I changed our grocery budget to accommodate healthy, organic meat and dairy.  I ate fish when we went out, and I only ate vegetarian when I had to eat fast food.

You would think that I would be even more dilligent now that I am pregnant.  (Yeah, me, too!!)

That is not the case.

I just ate 2 meals at McDonald's.  I could not function until I had a cheeseburger, nuggets and fries.  I am gross.  I wouldn't let Cale have any...but yet I subjected my growing baby to this grease-fest.  And then I had a Twix bar and a Nestle Crunch Bar.

I am hungry all the time.  Like.... I. Can't.  Get.  Enough.  Food.  In.  My.  Belly.

I didn't have this problem with my first pregnancy.  I don't know what to do.  Don't tell me to stop, or I will cry and tell you not to judge me.  I will tell you that I'll go on Weight Watchers in October.  I will tell you that I deserve this since I puked my guts out the first 4 months.

But don't take away my nuggets.  I couldn't take it.

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Ode to Mummy

My Mom and I have a strange relationship.  I did not realize this until my boyfriend, now husband, told me once, "I can't believe how you and your Mom talk to each other.  I mean, you say ANYTHING!"  He was mortified; I thought it was normal.

We had a fairly typical mother/daughter relationship during my childhood.  She was the queen bee, she could control my behavior with "the eye", she never tolerated disrespect, she was the first one I ran to when I was hurting, she preached that all boys had cooties, she was more concerned about being my mother than being my friend, she monitored my make-up, she intervened when I tried to stuff my bra with cotton know....the usual mom stuff.

The big switch happened, however, once I was an adult.  She became much more fun.  We'd go dancing, shopping, road tripping and churching...and never once did I get "the eye."  She went from parent to friend, and I've never had such a blast.

When I became a mommy, I needed her like never before.  I couldn't function unless she was in the next room.  I couldn't even give my baby a bath without going into a panic. I fell apart, and she put me back together and became my biggest cheerleader. 

Now, as I'm settling into motherhood and she is living in the fun and freedom of  grannyhood, I have to laugh at the irony of the latest transition.  I told her today to watch her mouth.  I take her with me to the grocery store because I think she eats out too much.  I stay at home with my kiddo while she traipses off to Florida, Hawaii and Europe.  Total role reversal.

The one thing that has stayed constant is that we still say anything to each other.  While I was looking at a ring in the jewelry department today, she very seriously informed the saleslady that I needed to buy a ring because I was pregnant and no one would marry me.

Not so typical, but one hell of an amazing Mom.

Thursday, April 14, 2011

On God and Jello

The most important part of our weekly grocery trip is when my son gets to choose his Jello color.  It is a very important decision, my dear readers.  He wakes up talking about it, "Mommy, today I'm gonna get BLUE Jello!  Or maybe YEWWWOW!"

We discuss this vital choice on the car trip there, carefully weighing cherry Jello against orange Jello.  When we finally get to the beautiful Jello display, I allow him to stand up in the cart so he can make a fully informed decision.  He'll choose, and then change his mind.  He'll put his hand up to his chin in deep comtemplation.  He'll freak out a litte, "RED!  NO-WAIT PURPLE!  NO STRAWBERRY!"  and he'll do this until I tell him he has one more minute to decide.  He'll scrunch up his face in great concentration, and make his choice.

I had a revelation as I watched him pour over this decision:  Is this what my life decisions look like to God?  You know, the choices I agonize over on a daily basis?  Does God chuckle when I lose sleep over those decisions that seem so HUGE to me, but that actually won't, you know, make the world stop spinning?  That maybe I take myself a little too seriously sometimes and all it is is a stinkin' Jello decision?  I kind of think I've been schooled by my 3-year-old yet again.

And I further proved it to myself as I stressed about our house:  Do we drop the price?  Do we lease it?  Will I live with my Dad forever??  As I went a little nuts, I felt a chuckle in my heart and heard, "Blue Jello or Purple Jello?"

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

My Fairytale

It's my husband's birthday on Sunday and I want to blog about him in lieu of my annual naughty birthday card.  (He buys the most beautiful, sentimental cards for me and I can't seem to stay away from the cards that shock him.  I figure it's okay because I'm having his second baby and all.)

I'm pretty sure I fell in love with this man the first time I saw him in boots and a cowboy hat.  Of course, it might have been when he watched me wolf down an entire burger and fries at I-Hop and it didn't phase him.  There was also the time he wrote out a Psalm in calligraphy for me when he found out I played the guitar, (he thought the 3 chords I knew were sexy.)  Actually, it was probably when he told me that he was not interested in being my friend- he was interested in being my man, and I needed to knock off the games.  Yep, that was probably it.  We've been butting heads and making out ever since.

It's not always a fairytale.  With 2 first-borns trying to navigate marriage, there are clashes. Marriage isn't really easy for us; we work at it. We take our unhappy hinies to marriage counseling when nothing else is working. And we sit, side-by-side, and work harder. We eat our pride. We say "I'm sorry."  Our fairytale probably looks different, but I see it everywhere:

I see it when he fathers our son...I see it when he talks to my growing belly and tells him/her about the many Daddy adventures they will have together...I see it when he makes Hamburger Helper for all of us when I can't muster the energy to get off the couch...I see it when he tells me I'm a great Mommy when I feel like I suck...I see it when he gets more angry than I do when a client or vendor is rude to me....I see it when he thanks me for doing household chores...I see it when he lets me sleep in on Saturday morning and then brings me donuts and coffee...I see it when he prays over our family...I see it when he writes me love letters and leaves them for me to find at work... And I think I actually swooned the day  he cleaned up my puke bucket after a rough night of "morning" sickness.   I mean, that's a lot of love, my friends.

At the end of the day, everyday, he comes home to me.  Night after night, I'm in his arms.  He tells my make-upless- death breath- sleeping in an old t-shirt- self every morning that I'm beautiful. Then, he goes off to work so thatI can live out my dream of stay-at-home mommying.  He also comes home early when said dream feels like a nightmare and I need alone time and a tub of icecream.

That's the stuff real fairytales are made of, I think.  And I am thankful.

Happy birthday, my love.

Monday, April 11, 2011

PregoFit: Week One (I am Sore)

As I downed my second bowl of Lucky Charms last week, I had a revelation that I needed to take better care of myself and my little cupcake, (what I am calling the baby.)  I went from only being able to hold down baked potatoes and crackers in my first trimester to the blessed 4th month where I ate everything in sight.

I could use a little balance.

So, I ordered PregoFit, a total body work-out for each month of pregnancy, and did my very first workout since my 7th week.  I'm not gonna lie, I'm soft and jiggly right now and it was painful.  However, after trying out several wimpy pregnancy work-outs with my first pregnancy, (sitting on a chair, breathing and stretching didn't really do anything...), I was pleasantly surprised to get my butt kicked by Kristin.  She's not afraid to actually, you know, WORK OUT while pregnant.  She modifies each work-out to the specific month you're in while inflicting a little pain and smiling the whole time.

I was not able to smile the whole time, though.

I did, however, feel I was getting a great work-out.  My muscles are sore and I'm excited to find an exercise program that will keep me strong during my pregnancy and after.

Look out, Gisele Bundchen, I just might put you to shame....

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

My Everest

Ever see the "Friends" episode where Joey tries to eat an entire Thanksgiving turkey by himself?  He looks at the bird, sighs and proclaims, "YOU ARE MY EVEREST!" 

Potty training is MY Everest.

I tried last summer when all of my mommy friends, (who ALL have girls), successfully potty trained their princesses in , like, an hour.  After cleaning poo off the carpet for the 5th day in a row, I declared that he could wear diapers for the rest of his life for all I cared.  And I put the training pants away and waited until I saw some "signs of readiness."

Dude, here's the big secret:  a boy will never show a sign of readiness because having to go to the bathroom interrupts his playing time and it's easier if he can just doodie in the diaper and keep on playing.  And, when it is convenient for him, mommy can clean him up.

I've been duped by a 3-year-old.

Mr. Diaper Lover insists that he needs diapers, no matter how many pairs of cool underwear I buy for him, (Buzz Lightyear, pirates, trains.....)  We told him that the diapers are going in the trash this weekend.  He cried.  He yelled.  He wanted to put in an emergency call to Granny.  Too bad for him that we are ALL tired of changing nasty diapers.

Saturday is D-Day for him.  My husband and I are devoting the entire day to the "Progressive Potty Training Method."  Basically, all we do for a day or two is potty train and reinforce it.   I have all of the necessary items.  I am determined to be positive and pleasant.  I am ready and motivated.

Please pray that I do not lose my christianity on Saturday.


Wednesday, March 30, 2011

On Men and Meat

What is it with men and steak?  All I did was buy a few steaks on sale.  I asked Team Estrogen, (mom and sis), for advice and they voted that my steaks were fine for grilling.

Tonight, when I innocently asked my Dad to grill them while I finished the baked potatoes, there was a long silence and I think I actually heard his heart break when he looked at my shameful steak selection.

Apparently, they were sandwich steaks.  And puny enough to cook in 5 minutes.  And too unmanly to eat.

I asked him to grill them anyway; I was positive that they would taste fabulous with the right seasoning.  Naturally, the first thing my husband said when he walked through the door was, "these steaks....these steaks are so thin!  Why did you buy these?!"  And then I think he wondered why he married me.  And then he tore his clothes and sat in ashes.

And bless Dad's heart, he went into daddy-mode.  He came upstairs with 4 articles about steak from his personal food library.  Then he read them to me.  And then he showed me a diagram of a cow and where each cut of meat comes from.  To top off my education, we are apparently going to the local butcher for a final lesson.

Because no daughter of his will ever bring home a $3 steak if he has anything to say about it.

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Green Acres

So, I've been living in the country for 3 months, (with foxes, bobcats, rats in the tractor, mice in the field, snakes in the pond and the random aroma of cow poo.)

We moved in with my Dad at Green Acres when my husband got a job that required him to start in 2 days in Oklahoma City. I stayed behind for a month to get the house ready to sell, drank a lot of wine after full days of single parenting and began to grieve the loss of our amazing community in Tulsa. Although I was thrilled to be with my family again, losing my kick ass group of mommy friends was bumming me hard.

So I did the rational thing with our brand new health insurance and got pregnant. You know, cause I had some free time and all.

After Christmas, Cale and I left Tulsa and then managed to stay sick for about 2 months solid. Not awesome, but wedding season was over so we were able to recoop while watching cable and crying together about missing our "old house."   You never saw a more pathetic pair.

Just like that, winter is over and now it's spring. My first trimester is complete and I am working hard to gain back the 17 pounds I lost. Cale has adjusted and decided he loves the country, (and needs a dog.) I get to see my husband doing something he loves.  My son has his Grandad...and there have been many manly adventures. And the miracle that I didn't think would happen a second time for me did, indeed, happen. I'm going to have another baby.

Happy Spring.

Monday, March 28, 2011

A Boy's First Groupie

There's a reason some boys never move on from being a "rock star." Think about it: the teen female audience is the most fiercly loyal and enthusiastic you will ever get. And most boy bands, (I'm looking at you New Kids on the Block, Hanson and Backstreet Boys...and I am still trying to get tickets for the Dallas concert), are unable to move on after such devotion. Bless their hearts. It's sad, really. Wait a minute....maybe it starts before the screaming girls. With a much more loyal and crazed female.

And yet another star has been born.....