Friday, July 15, 2011

Dear Cupcake: Thanks for the Cankles

Dear Cupcake,

I am often flooded with moments of pure adoration of you even though you haven't made your official appearance in the world just yet. Even when you have your little bum up under my rib cage, and I can feel you boxing my bladder, I am in awe of the fact that you're inside of me. A growing person. Woah!

I do have one bone to pick with you, though. That bone is cankles. Never before in my life have I known what it felt like to have my calf merge seamlessly with my ankles until now. I look at my swollen piggies every night, and I have to remind myself that all of this fluid retention is going to go aways once you get here. I try to remind myself of what my feet used to look like. Thin. Veiny. Small. I have gone up a shoe size to accommodate the swollen features of my new appendages. Sad news.

So, amidst all the wonder and joy and kicking and fluttering and awesome that is you, I have found myself looking down in total shock as my ankles have earned themselves fat wrinkles by the end of each day. Cankles are one of the few things I would give back. I'd give them back before I gave back 6-weeks of 24 hour a day nausea. Now that's saying something.


Thursday, June 16, 2011

The Odds Are Not in His Favor

Maybe that title is a cheesy reference to The Hunger Games. Would you judge me if it was? What if I told you I was going through withdrawls after reading all three books in six days? I bet you'd still judge me.

Your judgment is neither here nor there today. Today, we're going to take a brief moment (and post) to chuckle to ourselves that the Cupcake seems to have daddy sensing skills in the womb. When Shannon is around, she is quiet as a mouse. As soon as he's lost interest in staring at my belly or waiting for her to kick him in the hand, she does some new, spastic, Lady Gaga-inspired dance move that makes my whole stomach jump.

I feel like she may be taunting him. If she is, she is clearly already taking after her mother who has a rotten streak a mile long. And who enjoys terrifying her husband at every possible opportunity by hiding in random places throughout the house, quietly waiting for him to pass by.

She makes me laugh already.

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Building a Registry

For a really long time, something like, say, six months, I thought that building a baby registry was going to be simple. We'd go in, scan our items and be out the door in a snap. I fantasized about how easy it was going to be to the point that when the scan gun was finally in my hand last night, I had truly convinced myself that I would be back out of store numero uno in less than an hour.

How wrong could one gal be?

Two hours after our arrival at Target, we were still stumbling aroun the aisles looking at the overwhelming number of items and wondering to ourselves if it was possible to be so utterly confused about what seemed such a simple task. I mean, how hard can it be to pick out bedding? What exactly is so compicated about identifying and selecting swaddling blankets? Is there really a science to picking out the onsies that you want?

The answer to all of those questions quickly became apparent. It is difficult. It is challenging. To be honest, I have never felt quite so overwhelmed in my whole life. And why? Because what if I forget something important and remember something useless? The pressure was (is) fairly high. If I didn't know better, I would have thought that I was trapped in some sort of high-stake, life-or-death battle. As it was, I left the store with a copy of our partial registry in hand and a feeling of certainty that I forgot something huge.

I mean, I'm well aware that I didn't register for a breast pump or a bottle system, but I also know that I need to attend a breastfeeding class before I can make an educated decision. Hence while I'll be checking out the schedule for said classes and registering for one today. Even things as straightforward as breastfeeding become terror-inducing when I'm given the right combination of time and pregnancy hormones. And, trust me, right now I have the perfect combination of both.

Sunday, May 29, 2011

Dear Cupcake: Zombie Dreams

Dear Cupcake,

Even though we've begun writing in your baby book, I want to take a little bit of time each week to write about something that isn't necessarily baby book worthy. There are so many stories I want to remember to share with you when you get here, but I know that the "baby brain" I've developed during my pregnancy is going to make it difficult to share everything with you. Sometimes, I can barely remember the food I ate for lunch, let alone the date, time, and location of the first time you karate-chopped my bladder. So these will be my love-letters to you while you're still baking in my belly. I promise not to be too inappropriate (we almost bought the Inappropriate Parents Baby Book for you the other day), and I'll try to keep the sappiness to a minimum. After all, you're going to be surrounded by sappiness when you finally get here in September.

Today, I'd like to tell you about the insanely vivid dreams that I have been having while I've been pregnant. I don't want to scare you, so I'll leave out the terrifying bits of last night's dream, but suffice to say that I am tired of dreaming about the zombie apocalypse. It seems as if zombies are my go-to nightmare fodder, and I have been remembering everything about those dreams when I wake up from them. I've been told it's because my sleep cycle has changed so dramatically while you've been here, and I am fairly certain the science behind that is true. What I am not certain about is why zombies have become the most dream-worthy topic of my subconscious in the last few months.

Last night's dream involved zombies wielding staple guns (which is obviously not possible since their deceased flesh could not create enough force to actually deploy a staple), a Christian day camp, President Obama, Paris Hilton, and a fireplace poker. It also included Arnold Schwarzenegger sexually harassing women in a one-seater bathroom. Does any of that make sense? Absolutely not. I still woke up in a terror, looking around the bedroom for any sign of the zombie that had been pursuing me in my sleep. Thankfully, nothing was there to startle me. It was a really great piece of serendipity that your daddy came home from work right about the same time because I wasn't having a very easy time falling back to sleep.

And what happened when I fell back asleep? Another bizarre dream that was a combination of the Harry Potter & the Deathly Hallows Part 1 flush yourself into the Ministry of Magic scene with the polar bear from Lost and the maze-like sequences from Doom. Did I mention that through all of this I was unable to do anything but crawl? Yeah. It was unfortunate to say the least. My crawling skills are sub par after a solid 30 years of walking on two feet.

So, there you have it, Cupcake, your presence in my belly has been creating some of the most ridiculous dreams of my life. But unlike all of the baby books and websites that say I'll be dreaming of things associated with past boyfriends or unfinished business or failing as a parent, I'm dreaming of ways that I'm going to have to save you from zombies. Of all the things in the world, Cupcake, zombies.

Your daddy did make a valid point, though. He reminded me that the reason I'm probably so apt to be terrified of zombies (even though they are the stars of my favorite horror/suspense films and some of my favorite comic books) is because they are the creature from our imaginations that are most likely to actually become real. So possible, even, that the CDC even released its own version of the Zombie Survival Guide a few weeks ago. When the CDC gets involved, poking fun or not, you know something's up.

The good news amongst all of this? I'm still sleeping pretty well. And I love my naps. It seems like every time I wake up, you wake up, too. Last night, after I walked around the kitchen and fell back into bed with sleep still in the corners of my eyes, you were there kicking a few tap tap taps on my left side. Reminding me, I'd like to think, that's it's all just a dream. It was comforting to know you were still there, safe and sound and snuggly in my belly. You're the best feeling in the world to fall asleep to, even if I know that zombies are on the side of my closed eyelids.


Saturday, May 28, 2011

A Long Time Coming

A long time ago, in a living room not so far away, I promised a redesign. It may have taken me a while, but that redesign I was talking about is finally here. It's not a minute too soon either. Although, I do feel inclined to say that there were serious reasons for the delay.

The most serious delay came due to the fact that I spent a solid six weeks enduring the joys of round-the-clock morning sickness. It was all I could do to force myself to eat a bowl of cereal (the only thing I could keep down, oddly enough), let alone focus my short attention span on anything resembling a redesign.  

Procrastination: 0
Morning Sickness: 1

After the morning sickness decided to go it's merry way (around week 12 of my pregnancy), Shannon and I began the hunt to find a new apartment/house to rent. Frankly, the idea of living in a one-bedroom, shotgun-style home (even with a bonus room) with a newborn was not the most appealing. I had it in my head that we could find a nice place for a bit of an increase in rent. Suffice to say, the rental market is currently flooded with folks who have lost their homes due to foreclosure, and those individuals who haven't lost their property are looking to make a quick buck by renting just about anything they deem habitable. I find a lot of what other people deem habitable inhabitable. Therefore, after much searching and viewing and attempting to make a square peg fit into a round hole, we gave up our search for a new place. Instead of going the "easy" route and relocating, we've decided to flex our DIY muscles and attempt to make this house work for at least another 18 - 24 months. We figure, the Cupcake won't be big enough to get into any real trouble in the first two years, and we can definitely make this house work with a bit of ingenuity and determination.

Procrastination: 0
Stress-Inducing House Hunt: 1

Once the decision to stay was made, you would think that life would decide to cooperate and quit being so testy. Alas, my personal life may have fallen into order, but my professional life kicked it into high gear. April is the equivalent of the Armageddon in my field, and I spent the vast majority of the month stuck in a sad, sad cycle of work, home, eat, sleep, work. It was non-stop until April 27, by which point, would you have noticed if I had update the design? No. You'd probably already moved onto bigger and better blogs. I wouldn't have/don't blame you.

Procrastination: 0
Month from Hell: 1

Now, here we are, 26 weeks into pregnancy numero uno, and I just now got around to updating the old blog and giving her a facelift. Most of this month has been spent spending money at Lowes and figuring out how to turn bookshelves into walls. While it may sound thrilling, it's been exhausting. We love what's happening in the house - things are really starting to pull together in ways that I never really thought possible - but we're also trying desperately to get the vast majority of our cleaning, painting, organizing, and rearranging done before 1) the disgusting heat of Missouri summer decides to descend upon us with her oppressive nastiness and 2) I become so big and unlimber that I'm unable to be of any assistance whatsoever. At the moment, aside from not really lifting anything too heavy, I'm still able to assist in getting things together. A few more weeks, though, and I'm afraid the belly, the swelling, and the slow seep of third trimester tiredness may get the better of me.

Home Renovation: 1

I'm going to go ahead and give myself at least one point in the procrastination department. I have had a few evenings while the hubs has been at work in which I could have focused on the redesign. Instead, I watched Season 2 of True Blood. I have to be honest and chalk that up to good, old-fashioned procrastination. So, at the end of the day, the Redesign Scoreboard looks a bit like this.

Final Scoreboard
Procrastination: 1
Serious Reasons: 4

With that being said, though, I've managed to find the time and the will to put the whole idea of a redesign into motion, and I'm pretty pleased with the current outcome. I'm sure, now that I have a handle on banner pixel sizes and all that goodness, that we may redesign once again when the Cupcake arrives in September. You know, between the sleepless nights, breastfeeding, and other assorted business that we'll be doing in the Casa de P. For the time being, I'm satisfied just have something a bit crisper (and pink) to call my own.

Be warned, though. This means that you're going to start reading a lot about baking and babies. And baking babies. Though not in an oven. You know, baking them in untero.

Thursday, March 24, 2011


In the magazine world, it's a death sentence. In the world of blogging, it happens all the time.

I'm going to be taking some time this weekend to spice things up around ye old blog. A new banner perhaps. Color and font tweaks. Some content organization. The blog equivalent of painting the walls and hanging some new artwork.

It'll be much along the lines of what I'll be doing once we find a new house/apartment to rent. Thankfully, this will require less cleanup.

Friday, February 25, 2011

Scary Movies Aren't My Thing, But I Watch Them Anyway

Paranormal Activity 2
I need to learn my lesson and stop watching horror movies. I say this over and over to myself after every scary movie I watch, and I still manage to watch another. It's as if the mere fact that I mention that I won't watch another one increases my likelihood to do so.

Case in point? I watched Paranormal Activity 2 twice in the last week.

The first time, I was with my students. My college-aged students. It was part of a conference experience. It was also an intiation right of passage for one of our newbies. We called it the "BIBO" initiation. Blood in. Blood out. But we're not a gang, I promise. We did cause the newbie in question to almost wet his pants, though. There may have been some hiding and jumping out at an appropriate scary moment.

I am still laughing to this day. Priceless.

The second time I watched, it was with the hubs. We had been talking about how we wanted to see it - primarily because we weren't too thrilled with the first - and I felt I'd betrayed our pact by seeing it on my own. Thus, we watched it a second time last night.

Can I tell you something? It was a bad idea. A really bad idea. I had nightmares all night. I kept waking up expecting to see someone standing over my bed staring and rocking. Bad news.

So why would I put myself through it? The nervousness. The paranoia. The inexplicable feeling of being eight-years-old and afraid of the dark. I have no idea.

But I know that in a few weeks Shannon will say something about how he wants to see such and such scary movie, and I'll ultimately say "sure" without a second thought.

I think I have a problem.