Thursday, January 28, 2010

storms will race in but you'll be safe in my arms

Tuesday was the beginning of my weekly doctor appointments through the end of my pregnancy. I have two doctors monitoring me and the baby, my OB who will actually deliver Baby C and my perinatologist who has been monitoring my blood pressure and the baby's growth more specifically than my OB has. Welcome to my high risk pregnancy world... It hasn't been all awful though, outside of the first few appointments at the perinatologist office where they told me repeatedly that I could die or the baby could die or we could both die. That kind of talk doesn't mix well with a newly pregnant mama but that's a book to be written later.

My weekly visits to the perinatologist will consist of a non-stress test and a quick ultrasound. I get a monitor strapped to my belly and I sit in a big comfy recliner and press a little button every time I feel the baby move. There's a print out of the baby's heart rate and little tics for the movements I record and although they weren't very specific, I understand they're looking for a correlation and a certain number of movements. The ultrasound is to check the level of amniotic fluid, to see that the baby is practicing breathing motions, and then to see some movement from the baby as well. I think the whole thing is supposed to take an hour. Ki and I were there for almost three on Tuesday.

Baby C definitely already has a personality. I know there's a whole argument over nature versus nurture and I do think there are ways to nurture a personality, but after my experiences with my nieces and nephew, I think babies are definitely born with building blocks of a personality. I didn't know before I was pregnant that I would catch a glimpse of that personality before the baby was even born though!

Part of my baby's personality is the unwillingness to share information that is specifically being sought freely. The ultrasound tech tried at three different appointments to get a clear picture of Baby C's face and finally just printed out the two that are partially blocked by arms and hands because it was obvious it wasn't going to happen any other way. They are looking to measure specific things and my baby never fully cooperates right away. The baby won't move over the way they need to get a clear picture of what's going on. S/he is very wiggly but not always in the most cooperative way for these appointments. I see some of myself in this because I am willing to share information but I really prefer it to be on my own terms. I don't always have to be in complete control of things but I won't necessarily share EVERYTHING with EVERYONE. I used to get so mad at my mom because I'd tell her things and she'd tell my aunt and grandmother before I was ready for them to know. I think I'm going to have to watch that with this kid.

So they found a spot where the baby's heart beat could be picked up well and strapped me in and gave me the clicker. After awhile though, the baby actually flipped over and became super active. I clicked away, but the heart rate wasn't being recorded because the baby had moved so drastically. We had to stay extra long to try to find a spot where the heart rate would be picked up AND get the baby to wiggle some more. I think they only kind of got what they needed but were satisfied that the baby is obviously very active. Then during the ultrasound, the amniotic fluid level was great and the baby was making strong breathing motions. All that the ultrasound tech needed was a nice big wiggle to be able to say she saw it happen.

My husband's default mode is pretty laid back. He gets worked up about stuff and moves quickly in specific situations but default is easy going. I often wake him up and help him get going and I know there are times when I shrug his shoulders or kiss him several times that he is actually awake even though he hasn't opened his eyes yet. Apparently this is also how our child is.

The ultrasound tech used the doppler (the wand thing) to jostle my belly pretty thoroughly. Then she paused to see the baby move. S/he did not at all. So she picked a different spot and did the same jostling thing. All three of us watched the baby get shaken around a bit and so it was kind of especially funny that time when after she paused, the baby really didn't react. I wanted to laugh so hard but I was afraid the tech was going to get annoyed with me so I stifled it. She did it a third time with the same result. Nothing. There was a slight foot wiggle but that was about it. She continued to scan and the baby's heart was beating just fine and the breathing motions were still happening so I wasn't alarmed at all. Just severely amused. Finally and suddenly, the arms and legs all moved around at the same time and the ultrasound tech sighed with relief and clicked off the machine.

I'm just so excited to get to hold this little one in my arms and kiss those cheeks and see if I'm right about it not phasing him or her even a tiny bit. I hope that he or she will run to my arms when someone is jostling them around but I kind of think this kid will be able to handle it just fine at a pretty early age. I could be completely wrong but I'm just as eager to find that out.

Officially 8 weeks to go!

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

humpday happiness

Happy things this week!

...getting to see what I think are pieces of our kid's personality already. with my sister and youngest niece.
...being in the homestretch of my pregnancy! iPhone.
...working on the baby's room. OB making fun of my maternity pants.
...listening to cds I haven't listened to in YEARS.
...golden delicious apples.
...okay, actually apples in general.
...chips and salsa.
...back rubs from my hubby.
...making random Mary Kay sales.
...having gained only seven pounds through my pregnancy so far.
...ceiling fans.
...watching Teen Mom, my and actually now Ki's latest television addiction. for my husband.
...Sweetart conversation hearts!
...ultrasounds. :)
...crazy baby kicks. in general. showers.
...long meandering walks through the grocery store where I may or may not purchase much but definitely enjoy walking around pushing the cart.

Monday, January 25, 2010

and when i'm left at home, i'm all alone, but i'd rather be alone with you

I have to say that thinking about what I want to write about and then racking my brain for a song lyric to go with it as a title is immensely enjoyable. I kind of doubt anyone notices this little touch or knows all the songs I'm referencing but it makes me happy nonetheless. This particular one is "Alone" by Lisa Loeb, from all the way back in roughly 1995.

After the movie Reality Bites came out, "Stay" was all over the place even though Lisa Loeb hadn't officially released an album of her own yet. I didn't see the movie right away but I definitely had the soundtrack and when Nine Tails was released, I snatched it up and listened to it until I had every word memorized. The song "Alone" was always my favorite because I imagined I would meet a guy who would scour the sky for me so the stars would shine bright. I did, and I married him.

While we were finishing up the madness of getting out of the apartment, I stumbled across a small pile of cds that I hadn't realized were missing. I have a really bad habit of sticking cds in cases that they don't belong to. This drives my treasure custodian husband crazy and I am wary of taking his cds unless I know I will bring it right back inside when I come home. In any case, there was a mix cd I had made in 2005 because once upon a time people used to think I had good taste in music and someone requested a sampling of some of my favorite songs. Seeing the title didn't jog my memory as to what was included, but popping it in my truck's stereo was like greeting old friends.

I love how music speaks to my soul. When I hear a song, I'm transported back to the first time I heard it or the memory of who introduced me to that band or what was going on in my life when I was obsessively listening to that album. It makes my heart happy. There are a lot of things that make me smile even on the worst day but the three things that make my very heart happy are my husband, my baby, and a capital G good song. We'll go over the criteria for a capital G good song another day my friends.

This weekend, through various conversations, I realized that Ki and I are the strongest we've ever been and it's just such a nice solid feeling to love someone, be in love, and be loved back that I felt like it was worth mentioning. I don't think we're the traditional cutsey couple, but I also think what we have works very well. We do nice things for each other and treat each other with kindness and I just don't get tired of him.

If we have a girl, Ki will need to take her out on dates so the bar for how she expects to be treated is set high. If we have a boy, I need to do the same thing so he knows how women should be treated. And in either case, we need to make sure to continue to treat each other kindly and do nice things for each other and take our kid along so they grow up seeing how it's done. I like that although we are nervous about becoming parents and what the first few months especially are going to look like that we can plan to be intentional about so many things with our little one.

This is going to be great.

Friday, January 22, 2010

seven quick takes

Seven Quick Takes Friday!

1. Being pregnant is the hardest thing I have ever done in my life. It is physically and emotionally demanding and you don't get to just lay someplace and only be pregnant. You have the rest of life to take care of and also, the end of pregnancy is the beginning of motherhood. To say it's been a daunting experience seems to almost make light of it. With all of that said though, getting to see the extra clear ultrasound pictures of my baby's face yesterday wiped away months of exhaustion and frustration. So far I'd say, even with knowing all of the madness that comes with it, I'd definitely have another kid.

2. I really enjoy cooking. It doesn't make a big difference at this point if it's a tried and true recipe or if it's something brand new to me, I just like doing it. I made biscuits and gravy before my husband went to work today and it was immensely satisfying to me to do it all from scratch. I am thinking about making a big list of things I want to try to learn how to make and having at it.

3. Braxton Hicks contractions suck. And painless? No. It's like having a charlie horse in my belly. Even more awesome is that they tend to start late at night as I'm desperately wanting to go to sleep. The only good thing is that from the ultrasound I just had, Braxton Hicks contractions are not going to do anything besides be a pain to me.

4. It's back in the 70s in good ol' San Antonio. I was hoping winter would last a little longer. Days like today where I get hit hard by the amount of cedar in the air and it's warmer than I think it should be in January, I want to start making a list of places for us to move to. But then I remember that Ki's family is here, a nice chunk of mine is here, and we're having a baby. So San Antonio it is, for the foreseeable future. But if anyone has any suggestions on combating cedar fever, don't be shy!

5. Hot baths with Epsom salt cannot be spoken of highly enough. There's something magical that happens that makes it so your muscles relax a little more than they would with the hot water alone. There's no fun fizzing or nice smells but since that's probably not the whole point anyway, I guess it's okay.

6. Joel McHale was on Conan this week talking about his kid's strange sense of humor. He said his five year old said he could count really high so he asked him how high he could count to. The five year old said "I could count until you're dead." I laughed so hard I had tears streaming down my face. Little kids saying things like that with no malicious intent is hysterical to me.

7. I need stuff to read! Please tell me about your favorite books and bloggers.

Thursday, January 21, 2010

there's beauty in the breakdown

This week I've been thinking about privacy and the Internet and pictures and my family. I don't know entirely how to handle it. I want to write and share things and don't mind if strangers read this here blog and I'd love to get comments on every entry I post. I think the problem is with the very small handful of people that I've crossed paths with one way or another that I would not like to be involved in any way whatsoever in my life having access to details about how things are going. It's selfish and kind of dumb, but I can't help it. I don't think it's entirely ridiculous for the person who called me the most abusive person they ever met and proclaimed they wanted nothing to do with me or my husband to NOT have access to our happiness in any way. I can let go of the conversation and the situation and chalk it up to ridiculousness that is beyond my control, but I don't want my baby exposed to it.

Does that sound retarded? It might. Sometimes I can't tell unless someone points it out for me.

My favorite blogger is Heather Armstrong of I recently noticed that she never talks about her in-laws although she has mentioned that she lives near them. I read her blog regularly for a few years before I noticed that, so it's not conspicuous at all. I imagine it comes from a place of respect and not in an effort to not include them. When I think about writing in a long term kind of way, that's the approach I want to take. Crazy stories and funny pictures and good times shared without infringing on my entire life or the lives of those I hold dear in my life.

I'm still figuring out how to do that.

But with that said, I just can't contain my giddiness today about having got to watch my baby on a monitor with my husband by my side. Baby C was actually pretty calm for most of the ultrasound. Just at the beginning when the tech was trying to take measurements of the head, s/he was moving right along with the doppler (wand) which made the ultrasound tech laugh. I love this kid! But when she tried to get a really good clear picture of the face for us, Baby C refused to move arms and hands out of the way. This baby is completely adorable though. There are some very chubby cheeks already which I think is safe to say comes straight from Mama. I'm 90% sure the baby has Ki's nose. At one point, the tech was showing us the profile and Ki changed facial expressions and for a split second I was looking at the exact same profile in my husband and up on the monitor. The doctor said she saw my profile in the baby and I just don't know! Those cheeks may be my only claim to being in the room when Baby C was conceived.

I just want to look at the print outs from the ultrasound and show people and talk about the baby. I am supremely boring because of this. I can relate any conversation topic back to the baby or me being pregnant or almost being a mama or baby supplies. I can't help it. I'm one of the pod people. At least my husband doesn't mind. Too much at least.

I will figure all of this out about how much is too much to share and what kinds of pictures I'm willing to post for anyone and everyone to see. There's a lot of beauty in being able to let go and jump in but sometimes it's hard. I do believe I may be the fiercest Mama Bear you ever did see when it comes to my kids. And my husband too actually. Is that such a bad thing?

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

humpday happiness!

Some random stuff making me happy these days...

...spending gobs of time with my husband doing nothing in particular.
...being out of the apartment. nails are growing at super speed and strength.
...back rubs. iPhone.
...ultrasound appointments!
...knowing a sort of back way to get from the house to the area of the city where Ki and I do a lot of stuff.
...reading blogs.
...looking at teeny tiny baby clothes. youngest niece giving licks as kisses.
...bagels with cream cheese.
...finding old mix cds and being transported in time (in my head). baths with Espom salt.
...texting, especially with my cousin and sister these days. awesome sisters-in-law
...trying to cook something I never cooked before and getting good reviews.
...Conan O'Brien's monologues this week.
...using a DVR
...lazy afternoons spent curled up watching a movie.
...sparkling water. I CAN'T GET ENOUGH OF IT.
...compliments about my writings on this here blog.
...old pictures.
...feeling like the Melissa I once was. wedding ring. super wiggly baby providing late night entertainment as we watch my belly move.
...The Office.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

mmmm, delicious

Pot O Pinto Beans

1 pound of pinto beans, rinsed and sorted
1 yellow onion
1 cube of pork fat
1 jalapeno
1 clove of garlic peeled and cut into small pieces

First, soak the beans overnight. Just put them in a pot and cover with water and let them sit for at least 12 hours. Then rinse them off a couple of times. This will help them to not cause as much gas when you eat them. You can do a quick soak (directions will be on the back of the bag) if you don't have time. But beans just take a long time to make and the soaking overnight is worth it.

Put the beans in a large pot and cover with water. Bring to a boil and let boil for about five minutes. Turn down the heat to just under medium so it's not a rapid boil anymore but they are simmering.

Since you add all the other stuff about 30 minutes after they start simmering, this is the perfect time to start chopping. Peel and cut a yellow onion into whatever size pieces you want. I like them slightly bigger than if you were to just chop an onion. Peel and cut a garlic clove. The more fat you include in the beans, the greasier they will get. I trim a bit off to still have some fat and flavor but not much grease. Cut the pork fat into several pieces. Rinse the jalapeno off. Add everything to the simmering pot of beans and tilt a lid so it's halfway covering the pot.

Check the pot every 30 minutes or so to make sure there is liquid covering everything. If not, add some so you can avoid burning the beans.

Let it simmer for at least three hours. More really won't hurt though.

Turn off the heat, dish up, and enjoy!

This is a great side dish and also makes a good meal on its own with some corn bread or tortillas.

Friday, January 15, 2010

seven quick takes

1. The earthquake in Haiti is some crazy shit. It really is, even though I try not to cuss too much on here. But a 7.0 earthquake is ginourmous and ESPECIALLY in a place not accustomed to earthquakes. It has been amazing to see the outpouring of money and desire to help from Americans, and especially those in my age group. It makes me feel a little better about humanity.

2. Have you ever heard of "hot dog sauce?" Yesterday I stopped by my husband's store and asked if he wanted anything at the grocery store because I was planning on picking up a very few items. He said he would love it if we could have hot dogs for dinner and if I could get him hot dog sauce, that would be even more amazing. I have never heard of such a thing... But sure enough, it was right next to the canned chili and there were three brands to choose from. As best as I can figure, it's like less chunky chili. You probably wouldn't want to eat a bowl of it, but it's perfect for topping a hot dog with. If you like that kind of thing that is. On a side note, I was crazy hungry so I had also made macaroni and cheese. Ki thanked me for making dinner and I just laughed and said it was like the best baby-sitter dinner ever. Next week I'll make something more elaborate or at least more grown up for us to eat.

3. My baby shower is coming up! I'm super excited and I think the invitations are adorable. I'm really looking forward to hearing from people who get them in the mail because I think they are fantastic. I'm keeping one for myself for posterity's sake. I'm registered at Babies R Us and Target, but I don't want people to think I want that specific stuff. The nursery is loosely Winnie the Pooh (not classic, the other one) and we don't have anything except two big bags of random clothes. Better deals can probably be found than getting stuff at Babies R Us especially so if you feel like getting us a gift, don't feel tied to that registry. Also, if you want to come and didn't get an actual invitation, just let me know! The more the merrier!

4. Isn't the whole late night talk show host thing on NBC CRAZY?! I really do like Conan better and have for years and I don't think this whole thing has been very fair to him. I wonder what the end result is going to be and what kind of backlash (if any) NBC will face. I know that I for one won't watch The Tonight Show if Leno gets to swoop back in. I hope this isn't the end of Conan because I really do enjoy him quite a bit. Here's hoping!

5. I know I have a great husband because today we spent the entire day together doing a bunch of really boring stuff and I had a genuinely good time. I'm a lucky girl to get to hang out with my hubby and enjoy it regardless of what activity we're actually doing. He does a great job of taking care of me even as we're part of a team trying to accomplish things. I just love him.

6. I've spent part of the week catching up on journaling about events that have taken place in basically the last month. Sometimes a bunch of stuff will happen and I'll feel so overwhelmed that I can't even write about it which ends up being a double whammy because writing helps me work things out in my head so much. I'm almost done with the catching things up part and I already feel lighter. I think I'll be up to the present by the end of the weekend and then I'm going to make it a point to write every day for a couple of weeks. Blogging almost every day and then journaling for myself is helping me get into a much better mindset. It's been a good 15 years of journaling and I still have to remind myself to do it when things get rough because that is when it is absolutely the most helpful.

7. I think I could drink a decaf venti non-fat no whip cinnamon dolce latte every day. I don't know what it is but it hits the spot EVERY TIME. Sweet but not too much so, good milky calcium, warm, and doesn't keep me up at night. I heart Starbucks. Too bad I don't have money to actively heart Starbucks.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

humpday happiness

Various things making me happy this week, in no particular order...

...a relatively cheap visit to Samurai last night for Ki's work Christmas party!
...our baby LOVING Japanese food.
...the way Conan has been handling the whole late night talk show debacle. robe.
...warming up my husband's cold feet on my legs.
...more good baby check appointments.
...sourdough bread toast with butter and a little jelly.
...still having Target gift cards to use even if it's not for big appliances anymore.
...making our bedroom feel more like OUR BEDROOM.
...back rubs from my husband.
...ultrasound appointment next week!
...considering baby names which I don't think will really stop until the baby actually makes an appearance so we probably won't divulge the full list any time soon.
...Facebook comments.
...I'm still wearing my wedding ring because my hands haven't swollen TOO much yet.
...sparkling water. kicks, regardless of how intense.
...central heat. still being wintery even if it has warmed up a bit.
...super strength fingernails that grow lightening fast. husband in general--he's such a delight to me. showers.
...almost not being sick anymore.
...hearing Baby C's strong heart beat.
...not running out of gas even when it seemed an impossible task to be able to keep driving to find a gas station.
...setting up the baby's room.
...Benadryl and Tylenol.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

reposting for posterity's sake

Excerpted from NYT
because I am impressed with how Conan O'Brien is handling all of this. He's always been my favorite late night host and I've enjoyed seeing his success grow.

Mr. O’Brien’s comments came two days after NBC formally outlined a plan to move “The Jay Leno Show” to 11:35 p.m. in March, elbowing Mr. O’Brien’s “Tonight Show” back half an hour. Mr. Leno seems supportive of the plan. In his statement, Mr. O’Brien rejects it outright. The statement reads:

People of Earth:

In the last few days, I’ve been getting a lot of sympathy calls, and I want to start by making it clear that no one should waste a second feeling sorry for me. For 17 years, I’ve been getting paid to do what I love most and, in a world with real problems, I’ve been absurdly lucky. That said, I’ve been suddenly put in a very public predicament and my bosses are demanding an immediate decision.

Six years ago, I signed a contract with NBC to take over “The Tonight Show” in June of 2009. Like a lot of us, I grew up watching Johnny Carson every night and the chance to one day sit in that chair has meant everything to me. I worked long and hard to get that opportunity, passed up far more lucrative offers, and since 2004, I have spent literally hundreds of hours thinking of ways to extend the franchise long into the future. It was my mistaken belief that, like my predecessor, I would have the benefit of some time and, just as important, some degree of ratings support from the prime-time schedule. Building a lasting audience at 11:30 is impossible without both.

But sadly, we were never given that chance. After only seven months, with my “Tonight Show” in its infancy, NBC has decided to react to their terrible difficulties in prime time by making a change in their long-established late night schedule.

Last Thursday, NBC executives told me they intended to move the “Tonight Show” to 12:05 to accommodate the “Jay Leno Show” at 11:35. For 60 years, the “Tonight Show” has aired immediately following the late local news. I sincerely believe that delaying the “Tonight Show” into the next day to accommodate another comedy program will seriously damage what I consider to be the greatest franchise in the history of broadcasting. The “Tonight Show” at 12:05 simply isn’t the “Tonight Show.” Also, if I accept this move I will be knocking the “Late Night” show, which I inherited from David Letterman and passed on to Jimmy Fallon, out of its long-held time slot. That would hurt the other NBC franchise that I love, and it would be unfair to Jimmy.

So it has come to this: I cannot express in words how much I enjoy hosting this program and what an enormous personal disappointment it is for me to consider losing it. My staff and I have worked unbelievably hard, and we are very proud of our contribution to the legacy of “The Tonight Show.” But I cannot participate in what I honestly believe is its destruction. Some people will make the argument that with DVRs and the Internet, a time slot doesn’t matter. But with the “Tonight Show,” I believe nothing could matter more.

There has been speculation about my going to another network but, to set the record straight, I currently have no other offer and honestly have no idea what happens next. My hope is that NBC and I can resolve this quickly so that my staff, crew, and I can do a show we can be proud of, for a company that values our work.

Have a great day and, for the record, I am truly sorry about my hair; it’s always been that way.



After 16 years of making a name with his distinctive brand of intellectually silly comedy on the “Late Night” show on NBC, Mr. O’Brien replaced Mr. Leno as the host of “The Tonight Show” a mere seven months ago. He is just the fifth man to lead “Tonight,” after Steve Allen, Jack Paar, Johnny Carson and Mr. Leno.

just eat it

Something that Ki and I absolutely love to do is go out to eat at I guess what you would call ethnic food restaurants. I can never get enough Japanese food but we also really enjoy Indian, Greek, Chinese, Mexican (does that count as ethnic in San Antonio?), and Thai. We're also pretty willing to try new things. There are foods we don't like as much as others, but there are an awful lot of "weird" things that we really enjoy.

One of the things we are most looking forward to as parents is introducing our children to a wide variety of foods. Neither of us has the most healthy background and we are working on changing our outlook on food so we can teach our kids without having to be blatant about it. Our goal is to eat delicious food that is also good for you. Another aspect of our desire is for our kids to grow up eating all kinds of cuisines without thinking it's weird or exotic. It's just food.

My parents made me and my sister try all kinds of crazy weird to us foods as kids and I have to say that I'm a better person for it. Part of it was out of absolute necessity because we lived in foreign countries and it wasn't always easy to predict what was going to be on the menu or even what the dish would actually turn out to be once ordered. Part of it was because my parents wanted us to experience new things. We weren't allowed to say things we weird, only different. And we had to try a little bit of everything so we could know if we liked it. If we didn't like it, it wasn't a big deal but it had to take an honest effort first.

Tonight was Ki's work Christmas party. The end of October through the first part of January is the busiest time of year for his store so Christmas parties are usually a little late but that's kind of awesome. It takes a little stress off the season! Tonight we got to eat at a really fantastic restaurant and most of it was covered by the store.

I've noticed that there are certain foods the baby likes and dislikes. It's a mother's intuition not a scientific process and it'll be a few years before I can really substantiate any of this but I'm standing by my thinking that I know when the baby likes something or doesn't like it. Like when I lay on my left side like you're "supposed" to, the baby kicks all crazy hard until I move. The baby does not like shrimp (which is a shame because I definitely do) and is only kind of tolerant of beef. The baby loves cranberry juice, oranges, raw squash, baby carrots, and chicken flautas. And tonight, we can put calamari at the tippy top of the list.

I was eating and enjoying my spicy calamari salad and noticed the baby was wiggling quite a bit. I just happened to switch to eating some white rice and talking and laughing for a few minutes and then back to my salad. The baby went crazy. I waited a few minutes before my next bite and the same thing! I told Ki and he didn't believe me, which I don't blame him for, so I put his hand on my belly where all the movement was happening and took another bite. Sure enough, Baby C went crazy!

As I get closer and closer to my due date, I get a little more nervous about certain things like whether we're going to have the right gear right away or if I'm going to collapse under sleep deprivation. But I get a little more excited about this baby being a toddler and then older and watching Ki with him or her. And tonight I am especially excited about how much fun we're going to have trying all kinds of foods for the first time again through our child.

I cannot tell you how much I love my little family already even though I have yet to really get to meet one third of us.

Sunday, January 10, 2010

i have unanswered prayers

Yesterday I spent a good chunk of time at the apartment trying to get things boxed up so we can just be done already. We moved in with my parents three weeks ago I think and everything at the apartment should have been done already, but it's not. There's a tiny bit more to come to the house and then about one load of stuff to go to storage. I'm sick of it all and frustrated that it takes me so long to get anything real accomplished because I'm seven months pregnant and it is taking a toll on my body.

So at one point when I need (ANOTHER) break, I picked up an old journal and started skimming through it. I have a love hate relationship with journaling. I absolutely love it sometimes. I think it's inherently valuable for me to sit with blank paper and a pen and write and get thoughts out of my head on to paper. It helps me be able to concentrate on the actual tasks at hand much better because I either see how plausible it is to take care of or I get all the stupid worries circling my brain out on paper in front of me. I like having a record of things that have happened and I like to read them later and see how I handled the twists and turns of that time or what I was struggling with that is now easy peasy and everything in between. But I absolutely hate the thought of someone else reading them.

Most of my journals are the type that I would be embarrassed if someone I knew were to stumble across them and read from cover to cover. I have been relatively boy crazy since I was a teenager and a lot of my journals are heavy on analysis of what was really meant when a particular boy said something or did something. Embarrassing. My parents and I didn't get along super well while I was in high school especially (as is the case for a lot of people, I imagine) so several of those little notebooks I filled up included some not nice descriptions of what I thought of them. Embarrassing. And actually no longer existent.

There is one entire journal in particular though that I don't ever want anyone to read. That's the one I happened to pick up yesterday afternoon and read essentially from cover to cover. It is uncensored and honest about a bunch of situations that all happened to occur within roughly the same year and I was able to push out of my mind because I wrote all about it in a safe place. I set it aside yesterday and went back to packing and just thought about whether or not I should even keep it anymore. There are far too many good and memorable things recorded on those pages to destroy it just because I don't want anyone else to ever read it.

It's that kind of writing that inspires me to keep doing it. While I don't hope to face those kinds of circumstances ever again, I am proud of myself for making it through and being okay and for having a record of it. I don't necessarily want to have another journal that I am intensely afraid of anyone ever reading, but I do want another journal that is filled from cover to cover with absolute honesty.

This pregnancy has not been like other pregnancies I've heard about. In the beginning it was the diagnosis of high risk that threw me especially since it was coupled with so many doctor appointments and check off points. When I was first just dealing with the start of an unexpected (but very happily accepted) pregnancy that was also high risk, I searched for a book to read by someone who had been through the same thing. I have my fill of medical jargon and understand what is going on but I was hoping there was a narrative style book out there that I could read and not feel so alone. I still haven't found exactly what I was looking for. I decided to write out my story after I have the baby and see if it can help someone.

I think about writing a book that is as honest as my journals have been about everything I've faced during this pregnancy as a way to reach out and touch someone else who has done something similar or to encourage someone that they can face difficulties in their pregnancy because I did and I didn't know what the hell I was doing. It gets scary fast though because as comfortable as I am writing to an anonymous audience, the thought of my mom or grandmother or one of my aunts that I don't talk to much reading all of that about me makes my stomach ache.

There's so much we keep from each other. It's not just me and not just because I'm pregnant right now. I think we all have a small collection of people we are completely honest with at all times and then there's everyone else who we dish out carefully selected snippets of information to. I'm not condemning that because I don't think it's necessarily appropriate for me to answer the question "How is your day going?" with "It'd be so much better if I could just have a really good poo session." even if that is the absolute truth. At the same time though, my sister has three kids, several of my friends have kids, and no one EVER mentioned to me that constipation could be such a huge part of pregnancy. Maybe I could have used that information at the beginning and maybe it doesn't make that much of a difference.

The title comes from the first line of the song "Your Hands" by JJ Heller and it's practically my anthem right now. A lot of people have identified with it as being an encouragement because someone close to them died. I first heard it as I was nervously driving to my first WIC appointment to see if I would be able to enroll and I just sobbed. The song made me feel as though there was someone else out there who had faced a rough situation and didn't have any answers or practical advice but could say she wasn't actually alone while she was facing things and that was the biggest thing I needed.

The idea of being able to write out my experiences as a high risk mama to be with high blood pressure, probable depression, a new husband, and no money gives me the courage to plod along with more confidence. Maybe I can write it all down, edit it, and offer it to someone else who needs to know she isn't alone.

I still don't want anyone to ever read that particular journal.

Friday, January 8, 2010

seven quick takes instead of friday fives

I've been reading some new blogs and several ladies do seven quick takes on Fridays. I like it so I'm totally stealing the idea. I'd give credit but I have no idea who started it... But I think it's a nice way to end the week.

1. I was going to write a blog and use the title "Oh, the weather outside is frightful" because I suppose it kind of is. It's 28 degrees and roughly the time of day that is the hottest here in San Antonio. I love it! I wish this was normal for this time of year but I'll settle for a couple of weeks of it. Yesterday though, I had this conversation with my husband as we hurried into the doctor's office:

"It is effing cold!"
"I know! It makes me have to pee but that's okay since I have to pee in a cup as soon as I get inside."
"It just makes me want to walk faster."
"So I guess we won't be moving to Colorado someday?"
"You can. I'll visit you. In the summer."

2. My youngest niece is almost seven months old. She is currently going through separation anxiety and really prefers to be in my sister's arms but will reluctantly settle for having her in her line of vision. So as much as I want to scoop her up and cover her with kisses, I have to hold back so she doesn't get to upset. Yesterday, despite all of this, I made her laugh harder than my mom has ever seen her laugh. My sister and I helped her "tickle" me and for whatever reason, Baby Niece thought it was HYSTERICAL. The harder she laughed, the harder I would, and then she'd laugh even harder. It was awesome. I love being an aunt.

3. Last night I quasi-kicked Ki out of bed. I was horribly uncomfortable and sleepy and frustrated that the sleepiness wasn't turning into actual sleep and he mentioned wanting to get up and watch tv for a few more hours and I heavily encouraged it. I fell asleep pretty quickly after he went into another room. After awhile I woke up and reached for him and he wasn't there and it made me sad. I'm not really getting enough sleep in one shot anymore but I need a better solution than not being in bed with my husband. I guess my niece isn't the only one with separation anxiety.

4. Ki plays poker once a week. He also watches it on tv and has read a few books about techniques and tips and whatnot. My parents have also been into Texas Hold 'Em for awhile and I just always played with the munchkins instead of joining in at the table. But lately I've gotten interested in it and I've also gotten a lot better. What if I could be amazing? I suggested to Ki that we play head to head so he could practice and he really liked that idea. So we'll see it goes, and maybe at the next fish fry or crawfish boil I can play with the boys again.

5. My oldest niece is six today. She will forever be the person who turned me into the adult who says "You know, I remember when you were this small and the first time I held you and it feels like it was just a couple of days ago." I was thinking about this today and that it might be kind of fun to assign titles to more people like that. My baby will forever be the person who turned me into the adult who wears her heart outside her body. My husband will forever be the person who turned me into the adult who really truly loves someone more than myself.

6. My little baby is feeling pretty huge these days. No kicks in the ribs (yet?) but I'm feeling some definite movement on a pretty long diagonal across my abdomen on both ends at the same time. I am feeling a lot better about pregnancy, becoming a mom, and how the baby is doing these days and I'm really grateful for that. But I still want the baby to stay inside for a little bit longer. I'm hoping for a nice chunky little newborn who is healthy and ready to have cheeks and feet nibbled on.

7. I really would like to start reading like crazy again. I need suggestions. I'm open to anything! Email me or comment with some titles or just an author you like. I used to say I wasn't big into science fiction, but if it was well written I'd be game! So no limits, suggest away. :)

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

humpday happiness

Happy happy things!

...late night West Wing marathons that my husband is interested in too!
...filling up the DVR. We will never be able to go back to a VCR
...cinnamon dolce lattes. Mmmm...
...wearing eye liner after a long hiatus.
...getting almost everything unpacked and put away. husband's wild curly hair. He needs a haircut but I kinda like it long-ish when he doesn't put it in a pony tail.
...egg salad. kicks.
...cold cold cold weather.
...dress socks.
...text messages.
...thinking of possible baby names.
...benadryl dinner for my parents--they get really excited about it.
...Mary Kay appointments. hair is getting longer!

Monday, January 4, 2010


What song lyric do you use for a list of 25 things about yourself? Anyway, here you go:

1. The purchase I have made so far that makes me feel most like a mother-to-be is a robe.
2. I have never felt more comfortable in my own skin than I have while pregnant.
3. My truck is always a mess inside. Always.
4. Ki and I have matching wedding bands and it makes me smile, four months later.
5. Plumb is my all time favorite artist.
6. I do not have all of Plumb's cds.
7. Target is my favorite store to shop at because I can wander around and amuse myself for quite some time and also actually afford to buy something.
8. Anthropologie is still my favorite store to wander around without being able to afford a damn thing inside.
9. My husband cusses more than anyone I know.
10. You may or may not know that about him because he is fairly good at censoring himself.
11. I am so excited to see whether or not I'm right that my youngest niece is going to be an absolute firecracker when she grows up even though I also think she'll be a very small woman.
12. I love to make phone calls to chat with good friends while driving.
13. I have no idea what I want to be when I grow up.
14. I have no idea what "when I grow up" looks like.
15. Being pregnant has shown me it is possible to have abs that are sore inside and out.
16. The baby's room theme is Winnie the Pooh. Not classic, the other one.
17. Apparently I recently started snoring.
18. It makes me really happy that Ki is so comfortable hanging out with my parents.
19. Personal investment bias aside, Mary Kay face wash and lotion is hands down the best thing I've found to keep my complexion unridiculous.
20. My favorite thing about wearing contacts is getting to wear sunglasses.
21. I like it kind of cold at night because I thoroughly enjoy snuggling into bed.
22. I wish I could go to more concerts.
23. The Baby-Sitter's Club is getting revamped and re-released and I have mixed feelings about that.
24. I have high hopes that the sudden influx of Muppets commercials means they are coming back in a big way. A new movie, a new Muppets Show, or even a new Fraggle Rock would be AWESOME.
25. I read blogs every day and am always interested in finding new really good ones.

i can't get you out of my head

I got an email this weekend that I'm sad to say is still affecting me today. I will not get into specifics or even who it was from and I honest to goodness wouldn't even be able to tell you why it was sent to me anyway. But I will say that it made me sad and very angry at the same time. It's made me think about a lot of things and I'm hoping that tomorrow will be the day that I can just move on and not give it another thought.

I think the biggest change in myself over the past decade is that I've let go of my burning NEED to explain myself to everyone. I've realized that there are definitely times when I have to simply walk away and let the other person think whatever they are going to think because I will not be able to convince them otherwise. It tears at me sometimes, but it really is better sometimes to answer with silence. There have been two people in the last four years specifically that I've had to just walk away from and let them burn themselves out. I don't know why it took me so many years to realize that sometimes all I was doing was adding more fuel to the fire by trying to explain myself.

This email made me think about my point of view as a daughter to my parents and what it's going to be like to be someone's mom. I've been a little startled already to realize how fiercely protective I already am of my child and I haven't gotten to hold him or her or hear the words "I love you" or anything like that. It seems as though motherhood probably toughens you up in some ways and makes you softer than ever in others. I can see how some things will change inside me that first moment I hold my baby and I am looking forward to finding out the other changes that will happen. But one thing I know right now, today, is that I may be the fiercest mama bear you ever see.

Ki and I talk often about what kind of person we hope to raise our child to be. I want a healthy, happy, productive member of society who never forgets that other people should always treated with respect simply because they are also human. I hope we have a child who feels like they can always come to us, even if it's not a pleasant situation, because they know they will find love and support. I hope that Baby C grows up to be an adult who makes decisions based on actual informed opinion and is always willing to hear someone out even if their politics are different or anything in that realm. I'm hoping for a heart that is tough enough to withstand going through life without too many bruises and scars but soft enough to let people and places inside in a meaningful way.

I am sometimes taken aback by how much I love this kid already. When I think of some of the people I know and the way they handle relationships with people, it makes me realize how incredibly lucky I am to have the amazing husband I have and that we've already made decisions for our child out of love. I can't help but think that no matter how many mistakes we make about schedule making and setting rules that our love will be the biggest thing that comes through. I hope so. I would be absolutely heartbroken to know my child could treat anyone the way I was treated recently.

Saturday, January 2, 2010

you're the color of the colored part of the wizard of oz movie

Tonight I was talking to my good friend T and she mentioned how important it is to keep romance alive in your marriage. A little bit after that my battery died and because I was nowhere near a charger but still had stuff to do before going home, I thought about that in my self-imposed silence. I think that my definition of romance has pretty much stayed the same, but the ways in which I will accept it being expressed has changed drastically over the years.

When I was a teenager, I longed for a boyfriend at Valentine's Day because I wanted to candy and stuffed animals. Now I think it's romantic when my husband makes the bed in the morning. It's a much broader spectrum of things and actions that I consider to be romantic. The crux of the issue for me is thoughtfulness. Sometimes you can express someone is on your mind by buying them something and sometimes you can meet a practical need to express that same feeling. It depends on the situation and the person, but both work for me.

I completely adore my husband. It's not so much that I think he's perfect as it is that I just love him with my whole being and appreciate that we are better together than we are on our own. We make a great team and I'm glad I get to go through life with him. Lately especially I have found a great sense of comfort in just being in the same spot with him. It's not that I absolutely can't handle life without having my husband at my side, it's that it's so much easier when he's physically present. My core relaxes.

It's strange in some ways because I was raised to be a strong capable woman who stands on her own two feet at all times. I was given all the tools to make this possible and it wasn't presented as a ridiculous expectation but rather an easier way to go through life. I've fought many battles mostly on my own and never really had a problem living alone. But now that I'm married? I'm so grateful to have someone to curl up with at the end of the day. Especially someone who knows when I need a back rub without me having to ask and either sees how he can take some of the burden of my day as his own or asks how to.

Just a few weeks after we got married, he went with me to a doctor's appointment. I had some problems with the office at the last appointment and the office manager asked to speak with us before my actual appointment. During the conversation, a lot of things were solved or made better and it's been a good experience in that office since then. I will always remember that little conversation though because Ki said "Look, you can't treat my wife this way." That's when I started to realize what I think is the very best part about being married: partnership. I'm on a team now and sometimes I take care of him and sometimes he takes care of me and we're always taking care of each other. I'm a very lucky woman.

Friday, January 1, 2010

five things i'd like to have happen this upcoming year

I imported my old blog to this here site and I think I'm going to continue some of the stuff I started a few years ago. Friday Five is a list of five things that may or may not have explanation attached to them. Without further ado, today's Friday Five!

1. A healthy baby born sometime in March. I have a feeling I will be induced because of high blood pressure or the baby's size or maybe both. I would just feel a little better if we made it at least to the month of the original due date! And boy or girl, I just want a healthy little one.

2. Ki and I getting to go away together for at least 2-3 days. No particular destination in mind, and the baby can come, but we need a little change of scenery vacation.

3. I would like to be wearing Ki's clothes by December. I desperately need to lose weight and get in shape and I think this pregnancy being diagnosed as high risk from the get go is finally the kick in the ass I needed to be balls to the wall about my efforts. I'm going to do Weight Watchers and post regularly about my efforts and results starting in May.

4. Ki needs a job that brings in more money and allows him to pursue his dreams. Neither of us has any idea what this looks like but I still think it's worth pursuing and can happen sooner rather than later.

5. I will have a rough draft of a book about being a high risk mama, depression during pregnancy, and random stuff no one talks about in regards to pregnancy. I have no idea how to shop it around or anything like that, but writing it will be beneficial to me and therefore worth at least trying and seeing what happens.