Monday, November 22, 2010

New Orleans, 60 Years of Marriage, and the Flu - All in One Fluid Post.

Part 1: New Orleans

Blake and I went to New Orleans last week for a CLE conference/mini-vacation.  For the first time in a long time, we experienced 0 delays and 0 cancelled flights.  We made all of our connections with plenty of time to spare and didn't lose a single piece of luggage.  But, mama came down with a sore throat that has put a little bit of a damper on things.  I really could have done with more sleep, less cough drops, and 8 fewer trips to Wal-Greens.  I also could have done with more hurricanes and have decided that Creole food is not really my thing.
Sickness, red beans and rice for every meal, and Bourbon-Street-sans-alcohol aside, I'm really glad that we had a chance to visit New Orleans.  It is a unique city with a rich history, beautiful architecture, and modern tragedy.  We took a bus tour that wound us through the French Quarter to the Garden District (where we drooled over the mansions of people like the Mannings (see below) and Sandra Bullock) to City Park and the Ninth Ward. 

I wasn't really sure what to expect of the Katrina-struck parts of the city, but what we saw was just as bad.  The population in some places is only at 30% of what it was pre-Katrina.  Re-building has definitely begun, but in some areas, the new average home price is almost double what it was pre-Katrina = some people can't afford to move back into their old neighborhoods.  Also, a lot of the businesses have yet to return, meaning that the people don't have easy access to things like a grocery store.  And, even if you can and do move back to the Ninth Ward, while the flood wall has been repaired and enhanced, it's still right there, holding back water that is much higher than your new roof. 

Still, the people seem pretty satisfied with what they have and are determined to continue the rebuilding of their ever-sinking city.  Makes me relish the comforts and relative safety from natural disasters of home.

Part 2: Marriage is Long-Term

Earlier this month, Blake's grandparents celebrated 60 years of marriage!  This amazing accomplishment of course warranted a gathering of family and friends.  Said gathering took place on Saturday and was really a nice time.  Even though I wasn't feeling so hot (see above and below) it put a smile on my face to see Blake's grandparents still together, helping one another, remembering old times, and basking in the glow of the love and admiration of their friends and family.  Blake's grandmother's wedding gown was on display and it has stood the test of time - still as beautiful and pristine as the day she wore it.   

As Blake and I get ready to start a family, I've been thinking more and more about how our commitment to one another and to our marriage is only just beginning.  We've always agreed that marriage is forever and we've been blessed by amazing role models of the type of commitment marriage takes.  My paternal grandparents have also been married for 60 years.  My maternal grandparents, I have no doubt, would still be married were my grandfather alive.  Blake's parents have been married for over 30 years.  My parents were married for nearly 30 years when my mom passed away and I have no doubt that they would also still be married otherwise.  I know that divorce is inevitable for some and that some marriages need to end, but I look at our family and know that for us, it will not be an option, no matter how tough it gets.  I wish for us and for all of our married friends the same kind of stick-to-it-iveness that Blake's grandparents have been demonstrating for 60 years.

Part 3: The Flu

Well, I don't know if it's actually the flu.  I got a flu/HINI shot a couple of months ago, so my un-sophisticated medical mind tells me that I therefore cannot have the flu or HINI... but, nevertheless, I am experiencing some serious flu-like symptoms.  Saturday night, I went to bed with the same congestion and sore throat I'd had all week in New Orleans.  I woke up Sunday feeling pretty much the same and just really tired.  I ate oatmeal for breakfast, some soup for lunch, and downed the fluids.  Somewhere between the cheese stick I ate while watching Sex in the City II and halftime of the Colts game, though, the cold morphed.  All of the fluids I'd been diligently consuming (and the cheese) no longer wanted to inhabit my body.  Result - what seems like hours retching over the toilet until I couldn't breathe or see.  Fun stuff.  Doctor says there's a nasty virus going around and that there's not much to do but wait it out.  Awesome.  So... I'm here in bed, at noon on Monday, waiting it out.  And boy do I look pretty.


Tuesday, November 16, 2010

This Chick is Hilarious

I am not funny.   
I get the punchline wrong on just about every joke.
I can't remember movie quotes.
My timing is horrible. 
Even when I think of something funny to say, I laugh so uncontrollably before getting it out that the end result is anticlimactic and involves a lot of eye-rolling from the listener. 

Bottom line - I stick to serious conversation about things upon which I can speak profoundly and leave the hilarity to others who are blessed with a real funny bone.

Despite my own ability to tell a good joke, I think a lot of other people are funny.  Like this blogger: 

She's also super talented at things like home decor. Check out this nursery she came up with for her baby! 

Totally weren't expecting to hear that this amazing nursery was created by above-pictured Hooters girl, were you?

I've spent the last few evenings reading her blog.  And laughing, a lot.  I hope you enjoy it as much as I do, and I totally understand if you have to abandon my blog for hers.  But I hope you won't. 

Even unfunny people deserve to be loved by cyber-blog-friends, right? 


Thursday, November 11, 2010

This is Me NOT Worrying

I'm a worrier.  I get paid, in part, to worry and anticipate the worst.  I also worry on my own time about dumb things like getting the laundry done and dust-bunnies under my bed.  I worry about people liking me, smelling good, and whether my hair looks okay.  I also worry about not-so-dumb things like bad stuff happening to people I love. I hate voicemails that just say, "hey, I've got something to tell you... call me."  Between the moment I listen to the message and the minute you tell me that you found the perfect pair of boots to wear with your new jeans, I wonder, with a lump in my throat: "cancer?" "who died?" "fire burned down childhood home with family in it?" "wedding called off?" The list of absurd conclusions my mind jumps to goes on and on. 

Anyways, if you've been pregnant or currently are pregnant, you might get where I'm going with this.  For the first weeks of pregnancy, all you have is a stick with a pink line (or two) on it.  Then you might have a horribly blurry ultrasound of a little bean with no distinguishable body parts.  Then maybe, after a couple more weeks, you hear a heartbeat and the doctor doesn't tell you anything is wrong.  But he also doesn't tell you that your child is going to be perfect, or healthy, or even that they're going to make it at all.  Meanwhile, you feel sick all day long, pee every 40 minutes, and cry when your loving husband hugs too tight (you scream - "ouch, my boobs kill").  Yet, there is no bump, no movement, no outward sign that anything is different.  If you're a worrier like me, you wonder constantly "is everything okay? is there really a baby in there?"  With every cramp or twinge you wonder "am I having a miscarriage? is this normal?"

Well, I constantly worry about these and many other things related to our baby and my health.  I know I'm pregnant and that so far, Sprout is just fine.  I heard the heartbeat on Monday - rocking away at 150 beats/minute.  I gained one pound.  My pants are tight.  I feel nauseous and have backne for the first time ever (both of which are an odd comfort to a worrier in this situation).  I can feel my uterus a few inches below my belly button (and it feels weird).  So, really, all is well.  Yet, I still worry. I will continue to worry for the next 5.5 months, and then probably until the day I die, about this child.  But, other than this blog post, you're probaby not going to know it.  Because if I've learned anything in my 29 years of being a professional worrier, its how to hide it. This is me not worrying.


Sunday, November 7, 2010

Fruit Salad

My sister-in-law, Rachel, refers to her unborn baby girl as Twinkie.  She is 20 weeks or so pregnant and I've just learned that Twinkie is actually the size of a cantaloupe. Minus the slimy icky seed part, I'm sure.
Our little one, who I think I'll start referring to as Sprout, is currently the size of a lemon, but is covered in fine hair and is capable of blinking, sucking its thumb, and urinating.  Sweet!
Meanwhile, my uterus, doing its duty to provide a safe and healthy home to the little lemonhead, is the size of a grapefruit. 
Fascinating, right?  Especially since you'd think that you would be able to look at me and tell that there was a grapefruit in there somewhere.  But no, I don't think anyone, even Blake, can really tell a difference. 

But I can tell a difference.  The jeans that use to require a belt to stay on are now uncomfortable.  My "casual" work pants have been relegated to the plastic bins I reserve for clothes that I won't wear again for at least six months.  The bins have also swallowed my bathing suits, several skirts, my assortment of Spanx tights, all of my fitted work tops, and a handful of out-grown undergarments.  Replacing those items are a new pair of maternity jeans, a belly-band (I had my doubts, but, man,what a genius invention!), a maternity work dress I can't wait to wear, and cardigans galore.  I also have a new found love and appreciation for elastic waistbands. 

I'll post some kind of bump photos as soon as there's something worth taking a picture of.  In the meantime, enjoy the fruit salad. 

Next week, an orange!


Thursday, November 4, 2010

THE Question

In no particular order, the most commonly asked questions I've encountered over the last month or so (and the current answers) include: 

Q:  How far along are you?
A:  Thirteen weeks and 5 days.

Q:  How have you been feeling?
A:  At this moment, kind of like I need to throw up, and I have this odd metallic taste in my mouth.

Q:  Any strange food cravings?
A:  No, but a whole lot of aversions.  Vegetables, apples, and garlic are not my friends this week.

Q:  Do you have room in your house for a nursery?
A:  Yes.  Well, kind of.  A guest room/nursery. We'll make it work.

Q:  Are your parents excited?
A:  Very.  Blake's parents will become grandparents twice within six weeks - Blake's brother (Brad), and his wife (Rachel), are also expecting - so they are over the moon.  My dad is happy for us, too, but said "I'm not old enough to be a grandfather."  Dad, yes you are, but you are not old.

And the, hands-down, winner of the award for the MOST ASKED QUESTION AWARD...

Q:  Are you going to find out?
A:  Ahhhh! I don't know.

I get why everyone asks this question.  Even though all of our parents had us 25+ years ago not knowing whether we would be Jack or Jane until we were born, people nowadays seem obsessed with knowing everything and planning for it.  They want to know whether they can refer to the baby as "he" or "she" rather than "it" or "THE baby".  Better yet, they want to know whether they can buy the baby that cute tutu or the hilarious "I'm a boob guy" onsie they sell at baby boutiques.  Going one step further, they want you to name the baby months before you've met him or or her and put it on the wall in cute wooden letters or to monogram every single gift they give you with baby's initials.  I really do get it. 

But, I'm not sure I'm buying it.  I truly am on the fence about this one.  I've been so confident and sure of every other decision we've made up to this point about starting our family and the pregnancy - I knew that I wanted to stop birth control and I just did it; I knew that I wanted to give up my caffeine addiction and I just did it; I knew that prenatal testing for Downs and the detectable genetic problems was not for us and we just didn't do it... the list goes on. 

Even though I'm a major planner who typically abhors surprises of any kind, good or bad, this is one surprise that I think I could look forward to.  I have this image in my head of having the baby and Blake running out to the waiting room to announce for the first time "IT'S A GIRL!" or "IT'S A BOY!!!!!" (note the extra exclamation points...).  Just seems like a cute moment worth waiting for!

Unlike me, Blake is sure that he wants to find out.  Like, he is 100% sure he wants to find out.  He's even gone as far as to promise that if I he finds out, he won't tell me or anyone else.  It would be his own personal secret.  I have a feeling though that I'd be able to tell, from how he acted, whether the baby is a boy or a girl.  To a girl, he would coo and be gentle.  To a boy, he'd try to talk about sports in a manly voice... I know he'd try, but just don't think he'd be able to hide it!

So, despite being 100% sure that I feel like I'm going to throw up right now and being 100% sure that the crib we bought will fit in the soon-to-be guest room/nursery (even if nothing else does...), I remain on the fence about this gender thing.  Maybe I'll decide at some point during the next two months (how long we'll have to wait for the next ultrasound).  Maybe I'll make it a game-time decision.  Maybe Blake will find out and I'll figure it out from the smile (girl) or super-smile (boy) on his face.  Maybe we'll both find out and not tell anyone.  Maybe you too will know as much as we do way before the baby is born.  In the meantime, keep asking your questions - most of the answers - including this one, seem to change daily.