Thursday, February 25, 2010

A Party

I considered throwing a last minute party tonight.

A pity party.

But I didn't think anyone would come.

And I don't have anything to wear.

And truly, I don't want to wallow in my failings or the shortcomings of the world around me for too long.

But some nights, it is oh, so tempting.

After making it through my entire first pregnancy with a smooth, unmarked belly, I confidently entered the previous eight months with little fear as to the state of my skin. But 38 and a half weeks into this journey I discovered tonight that I have been marked forever as a mother.

I have stretch marks.

I have never in my life worn a bikini.

I didn't think it was ever an option until I started training last year for the triathlon. When I found out I was pregnant the second time, I told myself that after this baby that would be my goal... to wear a two-piece swimsuit sometime before I turned 30.

Side Note:
The stipulations on this
is that it has to be to a beach
that there is no chance
of running into anyone
that I will ever see again in my life,
so basically,
it means Andy needs to take me
some place for vacation.

Now, that dream will never be realized. I am too white (and too opposed to tanning) to even think about exposing my midriff if it is crisscrossed with permanent purple lines - telling the world that I went overboard with the cookies and "let myself go" as I grew my second baby.

To amplify the horror of discovering the permanent marks of my hugeness I have an adorable and hunky husband who has faithfully got himself out of bed and to the gym five mornings of the week and now is sauntering around the house with a physique like Hugh Jackman. I'm NOT EVEN JOKING.

Do you have any idea how intimidating it is to be married to a man who has a body like that? The pressure!!! I'm not sure I can take it.

When I try and explain this dis-ease with what my body has become, everyone says, "Oh, you're pregnant, don't worry!" But that is the problem. I'm not going to be pregnant forever (please, please, please let this be true!). Soon I won't have the excuse and I'll have to come to terms with what my body has become and own up to each soft spot, bumpy thigh and flabby arm.

Okay, you are probably thinking right now that I am extremely prideful and self-indulgent and more than a little pathetic. I know that about myself. I'm working on it.

In the past few weeks I have gone up and down through the days - either having revived confidence in my ability to take on TWO little guys instead of just one or being totally overwhelmed by the idea that in a few short days (hopefully less than that!) I will be once again be consumed with a newborn.

I felt like I was just getting the hang of life as a mom, and thriving in it, only to be sent back to the beginning. I have no idea what Joey's entrance into our lives is going bring. I pray it will be joy and sweet moments, but I also know that those will be tempered with long nights, heavy diaper bags, and extra laundry.

Truth be told, I'm scared.

A second truth be told: I am so ready to have Joey that everything feels traumatic. I'm hot all the time and none of my shirts cover my stomach. My back hurts and my feet hurt and I don't care at all that my hair is never fixed because really, what is the point right now.

So I know that stretch marks aren't the end of the world, and I know that Joey's arrival will be wonderful, and I know that my body and emotions are taxed to a point that sometimes just results in meltdowns. Founded or not.

This one is probably not founded, and I am aware of that.

But sometimes, a girls just needs to get a few things off her chest.

Please hear me say that.
I know I'm being silly and dramatic.
But doesn't it help sometimes
to just go overboard?!

Let it also be known that after discovering my scars I also had half a bath of water dumped on my by a feisty toddler, had broccoli thrown at me by said toddler, made dinner to have it hot when my honey got home from school, only to discover that I got my days mixed up and he was going to be an hour later than I thought and what was once a nice hot Welcome Home! Dinner will now be a stale, reheated, not so exciting dinner.


When all is said and done, I guess I did throw the party after all. Thanks for coming. Now to get down to the business of picking up the place. Parties make such a mess!

Saturday, February 20, 2010

Guilt Free Days

Some days I wake up and just know.

I know that it is a day for lounging and snuggling and ignoring the dishes.

There are things I do every day that are sort of my "job." I feed my family and keep the house in a reasonable state (I really try, but am not always successful). I make sure we have toilet paper and milk. Those things sound like job to me.

But there are other parts of my role as a housewife and mom that are just as essential that, on occasion, get forgotten or put off in favor of the to-do-list tasks. The reading to Jack, listening to his cute sayings, laughing really hard with my husband and letting my attitude and demeanor build an atmosphere of love, peace and celebration in my home.

So this morning, when I awkwardly pushed myself out of bed (I am not very graceful these days) I made a mental declaration that today the fun, the restful, the beautiful things of life get to win out over the usual activities that keep life running smoothly. If the dishes pile up in the sink, I'm okay with that. If Jack and I play really hard and his toys end up in every room, well, I'll just pick them up tomorrow. When Jack snuggles in to nap, I'll cozy up too with a book or a paintbrush, or just my pillow.

I love my life. I love that I have the liberty to enjoy each day, the luxury of putting chores off. I love my home and my family.


While I sit typing this, the sun is shining, Jack is balanced on what is left of my lap and I am sipping homemade iced chai.

In a few minutes I'll hit "publish post" and then I'll pull up videos of babies sneezing on YouTube (Jack's favorite thing to watch). After that, we'll see. The possibilities of the day are endless.

If you haven't decided what you should do with your day yet, declare it a day to just ENJOY, guilt free. I bet you won't regret it!

Friday, February 12, 2010

A New Experience

Today I had my very first facial.

I have always thought it sounded so luxurious to have someone take care of your skin for an hour, and I confess that my complexion is something that I often wish was more... hmm... perfect. So for Christmas Andy got me a gift certificate and today I redeemed it.

Side note:
I've been getting myself
all dolled up for
I realize that my due date is still
three weeks off,
but it would be a shame to be caught off guard
and go into labor with shaggy hair
or chipped toenail polish.
Actually, that wouldn't be a shame at all
since it would mean Joey was coming
and as I've already said, I'm eagerly waiting
that day...
All that to say, I've had a pampering
couple of weekends: haircut, pedicure,
new hair color and now
a facial!

The experience was slightly different than I anticipated.

It was odd.

But what may have been odd was not that the actual facial was different from my expectations, it was that it was so close to something I think I may have seen in a movie, that it felt totally staged. Like I was part of a comedy show or like there was a surprising plot twist awaiting me as I left the spa.

For starters, the woman who greeted me had a very heavy accent. I couldn't place it, but do you remember the heavy-set woman from The Fifth Element that was supposed to accompany Bruce Willis on his adventure to save the world? She sounded like that.

Actually, I don't think that woman had any lines in the movie, but she sounded exactly like you would think the Major would sound.

At least she sounded like that until she started poking at my face.

Then she started to sound like a gypsy fortune teller.

After getting me comfortably situated on the warmed table and wrapping my hair in a terry cloth turban, all the lights went out. I closed my eyes and I prepared to relax as Marie (the name of my esthetician) began massaging my face. She gently began in circular motions and I thought, "Oh! This is nice."

Then all of a sudden Marie switched into her gypsy voice. My eyes were closed, so I couldn't see her face, but the lights were all off, so I can't imagine how much of my skin she could see. I also couldn't tell if she was talking to herself or to me. Her voice was so soft and low.

"Hmmm... yesssss..." *Imagine a trance-like voice please*
"I feel the bumps." *Flattering, no?*
"I feel the blackheads." *Gah! You can feel blackheads?!*


After those mystic-voiced comments the next few minutes proceeded in silence. She took off my make-up and kept smoothing my skin so gently. I started to relax again. She placed warm cotton pads over my eyes and then...


With no warning, the brightest light I have ever had pointed at my face was flipped on and felt like it was mere inches from my forehead.

Marie switched from mystic voice back to Major Fifth Element and said, "Are you ready to begin the extraction?"

"Uh, yep." *I hope that is the right answer!*

It is exactly what you think it is. She started to prod my face and attend to all those bothersome bumps and blackheads. I knew I had a few. But my goodness! People! I lost count.

I probably lost count because I was distracted by the return of the are-you-talking-to-me-or-to-yourself voice that kept making me think of crystal balls and hoop earrings.

"Oh, yes."
"There is more there." Push, pinch. "Ah, yes."

Each mumble was so satisfied. Like it was a true delight to see the little dirt particles make their way out of my dermis. At one point, after a particularly pleased grunt, she pealed the cotton from my eye and held up a mirror so that I could admire her handiwork. Oh dear.

We are teetering on the edge of way too much information, so I will spare you continued details of what apparently came from my face.

After many other pinches and minutes more of her muttering to herself, the lights went back out and she slathered a series of unknown products over my face.

After she had cleaned me up, she several times reminded me that "the redness" would be gone by tomorrow. She mentioned it so many times that I was a little frightened to look in the mirror. I anticipated a lobster-red face and disheveled hair... but instead, I was pleased to discover, that I mostly just looked like I do every morning before putting on my make up.

She advised a clay masque twice a week to maintain her hard work, and I obediently purchased it.

The experience may have been different than I had imagined (or exactly like I imagined - it is hard to tell which) but whatever it was, it has sure made me smile.

Merry Christmas to me!

And come on baby Joey, I'm all fresh faced and newly coiffed, so you can make your appearance ANY TIME!

And really, has anyone had a facial before? Was that normal?

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Care to make a wager?

Here is what you can make bets on:
  • Joey's Arrival Date
  • Weight & Height
  • Jack's Reaction to the New Guy
  • Who cries the most: Andy, me or Jack
Information you might like to know to make your decisions:

Joey's due official due date is March 7. I am trying to send him strong mommy-voice commands to come earlier since I am SO BORED of being pregnant. I would much rather be uncomfortable and not sleeping because I'm snuggling a newborn rather than having to pee and because I am carrying an extra 30 pound belly bulb.

Jack came two days before his due date. Lizzie had just finished a reflexology class and I asked her to rub the pressure points that are supposed to induce labor. I don't know what you think about pressure points, but that night labor started... you best believe that I will employ her skills again when I am truly at my wits end.

Jack was 7lbs 12oz and 19 inches when he was born.

When Jack was born I didn't cry (until they told us we had to stay at the hospital for an extra few hours) but Andy did. You know the cute, teary eyes. No messy sobbing for this family.

And to make your conclusions about Jack's reaction, I should show you how Jack reacted to his baby doll:

A side note:
A question really,
does anyone know why
my pictures are suddenly
coming out so grainy?
I have a simple point and shoot
that has served me well,
but my last attempts to capture
sweet moments have resulted in
these fuzzy images.

There are no prizes available, but if you are the winner, you will know and I will know and you can live with pride knowing that you are a really good guesser! Yay!

So, place your bets!

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Stage an Intervention

I have already confessed that I get kind of wrapped up in the Biggest Loser. But today I had a realization.

The Biggest Loser is a gateway show for me.

As I launched into my adult life I set out with a sort of... hmm... distaste... disregard... distain... of television. I lived in three different apartments before Andy and I got married and never once did it cross my mind to sign up for cable service.

I think it started when I was still living at home and I realized that I didn't like the show Friends. To be more accurate, I realized that I DID like Friends, or at least found it entertaining, and I wished that I didn't. Something clicked in my brain that I was laughing at situations and comments that if I were to participate in, in my real life, would be appalling to me. I realized that I was finding depictions of sin and dismissal of God, entertaining.

So, I try to keep the television off as much as possible.

At least, until the Biggest Loser came along.

But that was just the beginning.


... I have a LINE UP.

People! I have a show each night that I look forward to!


Biggest Loser.
American Idol. American Idol? Me? Watching American Idol? I never thought I would see the day!
Throwdown with Bobby Flay (I'm okay with this one. It is a food show. Food shows are totally allowed!)

And now, the cherry on top, is that I know what made last night's Rose Ceremony on The Bachelor "the most exciting one yet."


I don't know what to say for myself. The facts don't lie, and neither does my DVR.

I may not need an intervention yet, but if you come to my house and find US or People lying around, please, PLEASE do something to save me from myself.

Monday, February 8, 2010

I'm back, but I'm rambling

Well, we are now down to the last month of pregnancy.


The beautiful thing is that as the due date gets closer, rather than become more nervous and more concerned with the details of bringing home baby number two, I find myself eager to meet Joey and confident in my family's ability to grow to four with grace and joy.

Not only is my confidence in our family growing, but in the last weeks I have been so amazed by the show of support and affection from my dear, dear friends. I have been well celebrated, affirmed, encouraged and gifted with more than I ever, ever imagined.

I'm out of the habit of blogging, though I have started a post in my head about every other day. Unfortunately, none of those brain-posts translated to reality. The stories are lost and my witticisms never had a chance to be enjoyed.

Poor witticisms.

Even now, I can tell that I can't quite put together a whole story the way I'd like to, but that could be because Andy insists on watching the Bachelor, which is the show that I hate the very most in the world.

It is hard to compose a clever and well-ordered presentation of real life with syrupy and cliche sentiments being exchanged between one man and four women in the background.

I'm so sorry if you really happen to enjoy the Bachelor, but seriously, I CAN NOT STAND IT! Gag me gag me gag me. Gross. Ughhh... It is torture to even have to hear snippets of the conversations from such a show. And the thought of that guy kissing all those girls and professing love to four women at once makes my skin crawl.

So, while I may not be able to concentrate on building an engaging story line in text, I am happy to have a way to turn my back on such a horrible show. Even if the ramblings from the tv box still haunt me...

Hmm... it may not be enough to simply turn my back on the show. I may have to resort to more significant sources of distraction. Good thing I have a box of hair dye in the bathroom and a stack of thank you cards to entertain myself with.

If those two things fail, I will continue my online perusal of double strollers. An undertaking that has absorbed WAY too many hours of my life. I'm lost in the world of tandems, side-by-sides, sit & stands... can anyone out there answer all of my stroller questions?


I'm going crazy!

But that could just be the creepy-crawlies that Bachelor-man is giving me.