Tuesday, November 26, 2013

He's here! {duh}

I'm tired and in the middle of laundry and packing to head to Cincinnati for Thanksgiving, so I'm going to cut right to the chase on this one...

Unlike this overdue post, Baby Boy Erdel was not quite overdue on October 9th when I went into labor the day before I was scheduled for a repeat C-section. I believe it was induced by my dentist appointment earlier that morning. The hygienist telling me that I have signs of gingivitis really ticked me off. Or by the bacon I ate with my lunch. It was really good. Either way, it was for real and I managed the contractions all afternoon and evening. After we tucked Audrey into bed at MiMi and Poppy's and had one last date night, the pressure turned into pain and at about 1:30 in the morning, after no sleep at all, I showered, got Blake out of bed and decided that it was time to get things checked out. So, off we went to the hospital, bags and pillow in tow. The doctor on call (the same one who delivered Blake 32 years ago) confirmed my worst fears - not much progress. Like, 1centimeter. Which may as well have been negative 3 to me. Blake and I pretty quickly decided that the C-section that was scheduled for just a few hours later at 8am sounded like an option that was better than a long labor that may or may not end in surgery anyways. My regular doctor came in at 6am and agreed that, given my past history (long, induced labor with failure to progress and adverse reactions to an epidural), a C-section was still a good option. While I wasn't thrilled about having surgery again (I really had hoped that maybe labor would work the way it was supposed to this time) I was super excited to meet Baby Boy. See? Super excited.
The best part about a C-section compared to other major surgeries is that the fear of the surgery is outweighed by the excitement. I mean, I was happy to lose feeling in most of my body and hear the clinking of surgical tools. I felt elated (and a little loopy) as they prepped me. I made small talk with the anesthesiologist and laughed with my nurse. Not all of the surgery or the aftermath was glorious (like, I was so cold in the recovery room that they had to take the baby away from me and cover me with heating blankets and other details I will spare you), but, I'm quickly forgetting those details. I will never forget the most important detail though...
Evan Joseph Erdel! Born at 8:15am. Weighed 8lbs, 7oz and measured 21 inches long! Perfectly healthy and super cute. I love him. I was afraid that I wouldn't or couldn't because it was hard to imagine that I could have the same feelings for another person that I already have for Audrey. I wasn't sure my heart was big enough. But I do and it is and life is so good. Even at 3am. No, especially at 3am, when he is all mine.

I did this side-by side to show how much my two babies look alike, not to set them up for a fight for my heart. It's a draw, every time.

So, this holiday season, we are so thankful for all of our blessings. Thank you for reading and may you be blessed, too.


Monday, October 7, 2013

Be amused

I'm trying to find the humor and happiness in each day, despite the fact that 99% of the time I am thinking about 8am Thursday morning... the day/time that baby boy will be surgically evicted if he doesn't make a move before then. And the other 1% of the time? "Man, I have to pee."
These classic family photos sure help induce a smile. Labor though? I wish.
Yes, those are my underwear.

Like father, like daughter.

Cousins at the pool!

Cool kids drink milk.

Toby is officially the best, most patient dog on the planet.

Friday, September 27, 2013

A Quick Letter to My Baby Girl

Dear Audrey,

Your life is about to change. Drastically. You are going to be a big sister! You are going to share your life, your home, our family, the good, the bad, the ugly with your new baby brother. You are going to have someone to play with, to fight with, to grow up with. Someone to teach and learn from. Someone to protect and to protect you. Someone to tease relentlessly and then defend to the death.

You are a wonderful little girl and daughter and you are going to be a super big sister. I just know it.

If you and your little brother have a relationship that is anything like the relationship that I had with my little brother growing up, things might be rough from time to time. He will embarrass you in front of your friends. He will tell stories about you that are both unfortunately true and fortunately not true. He will show you up by understanding fractions and decimal points long before you do. He will disrespect your dolls and ruin your big days. He will take your parents' attention when you need it most. He will frustrate you and make you cry. Many of these things will probably continue even into adulthood.

But, if you and your little brother have a relationship that is anything like the relationship that I have with my (not so) little brother, you and he will also go through things together that only siblings can share. And you will be glad that you have one another. He will respect you and look up to him and you will think he's really pretty neat deep down. Though I hope you never have to say goodbye to me or your dad at a young age, like my brother and I had to say goodbye to our mom, I am so glad that you will have someone to go through that experience with whenever it does happen because you will need someone who understands how you feel and why you feel like that. Only siblings can do that sometimes.

I know I'm going to love your baby brother, but I'm not sure otherwise how I'm going to feel about him. I guess I'll have to meet him first. But, I do know exactly how I feel about you. I love you to no end. You light up my life and make me want to be a better person. I am more proud to have you as my child at any given moment than I have ever been of all my other accomplishments combined. And, you are only a toddler! I know that you will continue to amaze me for years to come. If you are ever in doubt about just how much I love you, even when things are hard or your baby brother is distracting me from you, remember that I got to love you and only you for two whole years before I even knew your brother existed. You have an advantage :) We have a special relationship and I hope that never goes away, even as it changes.

I love you, my Audrey.


Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Still Standing

And still pregnant. But neither for very long! I'm scheduled for a repeat c-section on October 10th, so the days of this pregnancy are numbered. I figured I should get a quick post in before then, as lots of things have been happening in our little Erdel world!

Audrey is fantastic. She's the light of my world right now and I really have no idea how Baby Boy is ever going to compete with his big sister for an equal-sized peice of my heart. I'm told that it won't be a problem and that I'll love all of my children... I don't doubt it, it's just hard to imagine. Though she can be kind of terrible sometime, Audrey is mostly amazingly fun. She loves to cuddle, wants me to hold her and show her things and read to her. She loves to jump on the bed (at the same time as singing "no more monkeys jumping on the bed"), sleeps (all night long and) with her head touching the rails of her crib, likes to help clean and cook, prepares picnics for us and pretends to eat food. She asks for ice cream and mac & cheese for breakfast. She's learning and trying new things and now:

- Puts her own clothes on
- Counts to ten (though she regularly skips three)
- Sings a good portion of the ABCs
- Puts her head under water at the pool

She's just mostly a joy to be around and we are so blessed to have this happy, healthy little girl in our lives.

Baby Boy. Is still technically unnamed though we think we know what we will call him. Does that make sense? He's growing just fine and moving about regularly! I'm really excited to meet him. And really excited for this discomfort to to be over!

And, now, I'm tired. I should do some work.


Thursday, August 22, 2013

I Think I'm Hanging on Just Fine

This article, which has been popping up all over my Facebook news feed, really has me thinking. For all this thinking (most of which took place last night between the hours of 2 and 4am) I don't have much yet in the way of conclusions, bright ideas, or solutions. I'm kind of still inputting the questions and data and waiting to run the analysis, if you will. But, I feel like some kind of response is needed and on the tip of my tongue. Until I can spit it out in meaningful way - chew on these nuggets:

Audrey experiments with mommy's undergarments.

Audrey experiments with masks and bird calls.

Audrey experiments with a future in 4H.
Audrey experiments with gravity.

Mommy also experiments with undergarments and gravity.
Enjoy. More to come.


Sunday, July 28, 2013

It's all relative, but this is not hard.

Finding a person you want to start a family with is hard.
Deciding that the time is right to try to start a family is hard.
Planning your love life around trying to start a family is hard.
Waiting to see if you are or aren't + is hard.
[Finding our you are pregnant is amazing and terrifying at the same time.]
Waiting again to share the news with people you love is hard.
Wondering whether you are doing the right things for a healthy pregnancy is hard.
Questioning whether you are going to be a good mom is hard.
Being patient is hard.
Being a patient is hard.
Choosing names, nursery colors, carseats, bottles, binkies, mobiles, and all the stuff is [fun but] hard.
Not complaining about the hip pain, heartburn, or never-ending nausea is hard.
Trying to be a good mom/spouse/daughter/friend/sister/employee/co-worker while pregnant is hard.
Labor is hard.
Breastfeeding is hard.
Newborn poop in the middle of the night is [not hard but] hard.
Surviving on little to no sleep is hard.
Being the kind of mom you want to be is hard.

But even harder than all of those things combined?

Being so blessed to be facing or have successfully faced each of these hard things while you watch others struggling unimaginably somewhere along the way. Especially when you know how rewarding it is and how much everyone [well, not everyone, but everyone I'm thinking about] deserves to experience this life-altering miracle of parenthood.

For each of my friends who are lost, hoping, praying, grieving, or just squeaking by somewhere along this journey - you are in my thoughts and prayers.

What you are going through is hard.

My life, my family, my choices, this pregnancy [heartburn included], right now - this is not hard.
I am so blessed.
May you be blessed, too.
You will be blessed.

Monday, June 24, 2013

How a couple of strangers brought me to tears

Last Thursday, Blake and I decided at the last minute to eat dinner with Audrey at our old standby Binkley's. We snagged a table outside on the covered patio and hoped that Audrey running around in our little corner, shrieking and touching everything, wasn't annoying the nice looking older couple seated nearby. B and I had a lot to talk about and Audrey was in a pretty cooperative mood, so the evening was off to a good start. She colored and sat on our laps while we waited to order. We played with her and she was laughing about everything. We were happy to be together, outside, with no dishes to do and a fun-filled weekend just a day a way.

Then. Audrey, who now insists on "I try" for everything from putting on her own shoes and changing her diaper to driving the car (!) and drinking out of a full water glass, spilled said water glass, sending water and ice all over the table. No big deal. We didn't panic or get mad. Just said "uh oh!" and gratefully accepted the napkin that the gentleman-half of the nearby couple immediately offered - it was like, he heard the glass hit the table and his arm instantly shot behind his head with the napkin in it, he didn't even turn around. I caught the woman-half of the couple's eyes and said "thank you!" with a smile. She responded "we've been there." We wiped up the table, placed our order, and moved on with our conversation and coloring. The couple finished their wine and disappeared. Our waitress stopped by our table a minute later and asked us "did you know that couple sitting there?" pointing to the couple's table. We said that no, we didn't, why?

"They just paid your bill."

What? Are you kidding? Why? I was stunned and overwhelmed by the graciousness of it, the kindness, the thought, the generosity, the randomness. I started crying as the waitress simply explained that they had asked for our bill and then paid it. That was it. We hadn't even gotten our food yet. And, we couldn't thank them. Shoot, I didn't even take a good enough look at them to pick them out of a crowd.

I've heard of this kind of thing happening before. And, even though I don't know that Blake and I are especially deserving of such kindness (I mean, they had already done enough by just tolerating us and our 2 year old and sharing a napkin when we needed it) or in need of such generosity (we  have plenty of money to pay for our own meals out), that's kind of what made it even more touching. These people didn't care who we were, whether we were good people, or whether we are responsible with our resources. They just saw us and gave. Sure, they might have seen themselves in us, or their own children and grandchildren in us. Maybe they had just received a windfall and decided to share it. Maybe they thought we were having a bad evening (though we weren't) and needed some cheer or that we were clearly working hard to be good parents (which we were) and needed some support. Maybe it just made them feel good. I don't know.
What I do know though is that it made us feel good. Really good. It warmed our souls and reminded us that the world is a good place and that we are lucky to be raising our little girl in this community.

I think my friend Meggie would call this random act of tear-inducing kindness a sussy and you can be sure that we will be paying it forward again and again.


Monday, June 10, 2013

A few thoughts on privacy.

I'm sure that I'm missing some critical points in the privacy debate that this 29-year-old-punk-now- hiding-out-in-Hong-Kong-of-all-places-Edward-Snowden started last week when he "leaked" information about the NSA's collection and potential use of Americans' cell phone records to a newspaper... for example: con law was pretty much my worst subject in law school, I have no idea what kind of information someone could actually get from phone "meta data", I hadn't heard of the NSA until last week, I couldn't really explain to you the difference between probable cause and any other legal standard, and I don't know what the Pfizer Court is. But, my admitted ignorance aside, here's what I think...

I choose to blog about aspects of my life that are far more important and personal than the fact that I texted my dad last night about Father's Day. Things like miscarriages, my marriage, grief, my mom, my friendships. And I'm not the only one.

I voluntarily email my friends pictures of my pregnant body in a swimsuit. And I've seen half a dozen similar, even more incriminating photos on Facebook over the last week alone.

I let my little brother stay in the hospital room when I got fitted for my first nursing bra and didn't hide from my dad or my father-in-law when I nursed Audrey. All with no hesitation whatsoever. None. I didn't even blush.

In short, so many of us put ourselves out there on a regular basis, I'm not sure how we can really claim that we have an expectation of privacy over much these days. I know there is a line and sure, there are things I'd be unhappy about the government doing, but collecting my phone records? Not one of them at this point.

In short, our national security (and the safety of my family, friends and neighborhood) is more important to me than whether the government knows or cares where I was when I made a phone call to my hair salon to set up an appointment to have my grey touched up, called my OB not sure whether I was leaking amniotic fluid or had just peed my pants (turns out it was the latter, thank goodness), or dialed the plumbing company about the disgusting sewage problem in my basement.

If you don't have anything to hide, who cares if someone is looking?

Counter arguments welcome,

Friday, May 31, 2013

Dear Blake:

Hard to believe that we have been married for five years today.
We were engaged for two and together for almost six before that.
Seems like an eternity and a millisecond, both at the same time.
There have been
(Break) ups and downs
And for each one of those, there has been a perfect counter of






New life
and above all else

Happy Anniversary, Blaker

Your Kato

Friday, May 24, 2013

A Vacation Recap You Don't Want to Ignore

I hate reading other peoples' vacation-related blog posts. Usually because I am reading about them over a luke-warm Lean Cuisine, at my desk, in the office, with stacks of paper and books all around me and a very thick pane of glass (and a 25-story fall) between me and the great outdoors. So, with that, I am very conscious of the fact that you too, my friends and followers, might similarly not want to read about my latest vacation. That's fine. I understand. You can stop soon. But not before you read about the best and most exciting part of our vacation.

Before I get to that though, I want to at least mention the good parts that happened before the best and most exciting part of our vacation. It all started with a smooth flight to Dallas for me, Blaker, and little A. Why Dallas? Because, that's where my cousin Leslie was getting married. We stayed at a fantastic resort - the Gaylord Texan - with my dad, his wife Mary Anne, my brother, and a handful of other family members from my mom's side of the family. We enjoyed all things Texas - namely swimming, hot dogs, sleeping in the same room with Audrey, fishes, swimming trains, local diners, swimming and several trips to Target. My cousin's wedding was beautiful. I rocked a $25 Target maternity dress. I drank champagne. Oops? Proof of some but not all these things:

Part two of our Dallas extravaganza involved trips to the Dallas World Aquarium:

And the Dallas Zoo:

Both were good but Audrey especially loved the pizza at the Aquarium. And imitating the penguins.

The next leg of our vacation meant heading back to Indianapolis to celebrate Audrey's 2nd Birthday! I can't believe it's been two years.

We also took some time in Indianapolis to do laundry, clean our house (we had a few rooms painted while we were away), and see the OB to take a look in on Baby #2. So happy to report that the little one is looking healthy and measuring right on track (now 19+ weeks) and that I'm finally over the nausea that plagued the first few months of this pregnancy.

This is how great I look at 20 weeks this time around:

Compare to 19 weeks with Audrey:

Wowsas. Swears there's only one in there!

And for the final hurrah? Blake and I traveled sans Audrey to Chicago. We lucked out on raffle tickets to see The Book of Mormon. Our seats were literally in the front row - the actors were sweating on me and I could have plucked a string on the viola in the pit if I wanted to. It was, in a word, hysterical. In another word, it was evil. But, in a hysterical way. Go see it if you ever get a chance. My favorite part? One of the lead actors was the presto magic nerdy roommate in Pitch Perfect. He was great. And extra sweaty.

We then had a fantastic Saturday at a Cubs game (W!) and exploring with our friends Kelly and Eric. Sunday, the presto magic ended but we happily returned to our big two year old!

Okay, so that's it. Not such a bad vacation recap post, was it? Thanks for sticking it out.

Boy, oh boy, what a nice life I have!


Monday, April 29, 2013

A Weekend in the Life of

Weekends come in two types around here. The ones where Blake has to work. And the ones where he doesn't. I'm sure I do not need to elaborate on which I prefer. Or why. But I will anyways.

The ones where Blake has to work start earlier.
The ones where he doesn't start later.

The ones where Blake has to work start with Audrey crying and whining for over an hour.
The ones where he doesn't start with us all snuggling and laughing in bed together and then enjoying breakfast and playtime in our pjs.

The ones where Blake has to work find me chasing Toby under the bed with a rogue sock, or toy, or crayon, or hundred dollar bill.
The ones where Blake doesn't find me standing by while the man does all the chasing.

The ones where Blake has to work involve me going to the grocery store with Audrey in tow, sometimes twice.
The ones where he doesn't involve either a family outing or a solo trip, either occurring in half the time of the alternative.

The ones where Blake has to work involve me wracking my brain to come up with activities to keep Audrey busy and happy.
The ones where he doesn't involve seemingly effortless and endless things to do.

The ones where Blake has to work involve me taking Audrey and Toby solo for a 2.5 mile walk around the Indianapolis Motor Speedway and Audrey crying for 2.4 miles of the walk.
The ones where Blake doesn't do not involve questionable activities like taking Audrey and Toby solo for a 2.5 mile walk around the Indianapolis Motor Speedway and Audrey crying for 2.4 miles of the walk.

The ones where Blake has to work involve me trying to find time to do the laundry, fold clothes, put clothes away, making food for everyone, cleaning the kitchen, all while exhausted and exasperated.
The ones where he doesn't involve me being able to do all of those things without the frustration.

The ones where Blake has to work leave me counting the minutes and seconds until he comes home and wishing that Monday would hurry up already.
The ones where he doesn't leave me happy and looking forward to the next weekend we spend together.

The ones where Blake has to work simply mean that I know, on a small scale, what it must feel like to (1) be a stay-at-home mom or (2) a single parent.
The ones where Blake doesn't remind me why we are in this family endeavor together.

This past weekend, like all weekends of any variety with a two-year old (TWO IN JUST TWO WEEKS!!!!), involved fun and frustration, laughter and tears, peace and chaos. Blake worked, so the frustration, tears and chaos were a bit elevated. But, like always, we survived. I love my little bug so much and even when I am just waiting for her daddy to get home so that I can pee in peace or eat my own snack without little fingers poking into it, her smile lights up my life. Shoot, sometimes even her frown lights up my life. And when Audrey's not pulling her weight in lighting up my life? Toby takes over.

Not exactly doing it for me at Mutt Strut... loved all the woof woofs, but had a hard time appreciating that we could only walk one way on the track.

This one though? The most perfect angel dog of all angel dogs in town. Rocked the Mutt Strut. Not that it's a competition, but he won.

Love them both.

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Quick Thoughts on Boston

I have mixed emotions about yesterday's bombings at the Boston Marathon. I feel relief that the few people I know who happened to be in Boston, for the marathon, are all safe and sound. I feel angry that this happened. I feel sadness for the families who have lost loved ones and for those who will live with the scars and injuries of the day forever. I feel helpless. I feel scared. I feel annoyed.

The number one question people were asking on the radio this morning was: "Was the scene chaotic?" It's like, they were trying to get witnesses who were calling in to add to the drama and admit that there was pandemonium, to say that somehow, because there was chaos, terror was achieved, that the Marathon planners weren't prepared, that the city of Boston is full of hot-headed people who can't "STAY CALM" in an emergency. I had to turn the radio off.

Of course it was chaos, you idiot djs. Bombs went off in the middle of what was otherwise a glorious day. People were killed and injured out of nowhere.What else would you have people do? Sit in their seats and not run away? Pick up their belongings and children and just walk home or to their hotels? Hail a cab? Use their indoor voices rather than calling out about the people nearby with serious, horrific injuries? Yeah, that type of response wouldn't be concerning at all. Chaos is what we should expect. Chaos is a human response to tragedy. It doesn't mean that people weren't prepared, or that people weren't helpful. It just means they were human. I'm not going to listen to the radio again until they stop asking the nonsense questions and giving whoever did this credit and start focusing on the helpers and the heroes and the victims.

If you've ever run a long race, you know the feeling of euphoria that fills your body as you approach the finish line. If you've ever watched someone you care about finish a long race, you know the feelings of pride and respect that you feel for them as they finish. Long races tear down the body but build up the spirit. The people who were in Boston yesterday - racers and spectators alike - understand that. They and the city of Boston will recover. We all will. Hopefully we will hold on to the feelings of euphoria and pride and want to race again. Hopefully we will all want to move forward together and continue to make our world a safer, more peaceful place. I know that I will, because that feeling you get from being a part of a moving crowd of people all sharing the same goal - whether it be finishing a race or world peace or something else - is powerful.

And. The people who are responsible will pay. May they never drink chocolate milk again.

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

4 1 96 13+ 11 153 129

Most of you who read and/or follow my blog are also either (1) my close family and friends or (2) my facebook friends. Thus, you already know the biggest news that there is to know about the Erdel family right now:

We are expanding again!

And we couldn't be happier. Well, I could be happier. If I didn't gag all day long, I would be happier. If I could sleep through the night, I would be happier. But, other than that, we really couldn't be happier. And, the end to those things is in sight. The magical second trimester is right around the corner. And I loved that part of my first pregnancy. And, I plan to love it again this time . And now, your questions answered, by the numbers:

4. How many months we tried before getting pregnant. Long in the grand scheme of things? No. Long compared to how long it takes many women to get pregnant? No. Do I feel lucky? Yes. But, when you are trying, 14 days between events seems like an eternity and, even though you know it's normal, you start to worry that something is wrong. My prayers and compassion go out to all of those I know who are still trying. Your babies will come when the time is right!

1. How many miscarriages (we think) we had this time. But, unlike last time, it was so early that it really didn't register. Sad? Yes. Very sad? No. Thank you for not asking the details. We are lucky. And again, prayers out to those who are still waiting.

96. How many days pregnant I am. Or for those of you who can't do that kind of math, 13 weeks and a few days.

11. My due date. In October. Probably the day this one will be born as I'm leaning towards a scheduled c-Section this time around. No pitocin, ever again. No labor and then a section, ever again. And the term "VBAC" makes me think of a Dyson. Doesn't exactly evoke smooth-birth-experience feelings. Plus, the 11th is a Friday. A weekend at the hospital sounds awesome.

153. The baby's heart rate at our ob check-up today.

129. How much I weighed at today's appointment. That's with my clothes and shoes on. By my estimate and home weigh-ins, I can safely gain 21 more lbs. Sweet.

The other most frequently asked question (either aloud or in your head): Are you going to find out if it's a boy or a girl? Are you going to trick us again? We don't know. Seriously. We don't. Have until May 16th to decide.

So, with that, thanks for your good wishes and prayers for a continued smooth pregnancy!


Tuesday, March 26, 2013

We Aren't Here to Judge

I'll keep this as brief as possible. But it's complicated.

I'm a practicing Catholic. I attended Catholic schools for the first 12 years of my education. I pray. I go to mass. I had Audrey baptized. I try to be a good person. I try to follow the church's teachings. I at one time thought, and at one time even said out loud, something like "I don't care if same-sex couples have the same rights as married people - insurance and stuff like that - but the word 'marriage' should be for a man and a woman." I thought, really thought, that this kind of thinking let me both fit in with my more liberal friends and not be excommunicated or face an eternity in hell. It also let me say, in another breath, "we aren't here to judge." Today, I only still believe one of these statements.

Here's how I came to it.

Nine or so years ago, I was a recent college graduate. I lived in St. Louis with a roommate. I taught 7th grade language arts at an inner city public school. My new friends were from California and New York and everywhere in between. I missed Blake, who was in medical school in Indiana. I missed my old friends. I missed my parents. My downstairs neighbor's apartment was broken into. Twice. When I was at home upstairs. My students stole my candy. And my phone. I spent a Sunday afternoon in the hospital after an acute case of "food poisoning". I was miserable. And not just when I was in the hospital. I felt lost and I didn't love myself like I used to.

Enter, a door-to-door salesperson. Basically selling credit cards. And raising money for the Human Rights Campaign. I was feeling generous that day. I didn't know what the HRC did. Or what kind of human rights we were talking about. But I gave some money. And, since I needed a credit card in my own name and unattached to my parents, I signed up. I received a shiny new VISA with a serious credit limit. I could have bought a new car on credit alone. And, it had this symbol.

I liked it. I also got a bumper sticker with the same symbol. I liked it, too. I slapped it on my car. I had no idea what I was doing. Or supporting. Or why. None at all. That's what sad, lonely, lost 22 year olds do. They just do stuff without thinking about it. Granted, there are worse things I could have done (ahem, did do - see "food poisoning" above) than stick an equality-themed bumper sticker on my car without knowing fully what it stood for. I guessed it meant "equality" and I liked that idea. It fit with my explanation for how I, as a Catholic, could easily remain friends with and support people who were on birth control, had pre-marital sex, got divorced. "We aren't here to judge," I would tell myself. Plus, I really could never believe that God would ask us to isolate, condemn, or hate people for any reason at all. But even with these kinds of thoughts about my faith and what my church expected of me, I thought that gay people and same-sex couples were different and deserved to be treated differently. That's what my church told me. And I didn't know anyone who could convince me otherwise.

But, time happened. Friends' marriages happened. Friends' divorces happened. And my own marriage happened. I love my husband. I love the family we have created. I love being married. It is the most rewarding commitment I've ever made. And I plan to stick with it for my entire life. But it is hard. Really hard sometimes. And, over the last five years, my thinking on marriage, and same-sex marriage specifically, have changed.

Any two people who are in love, committed to one another, and willing to give marriage a real shot deserve it. They deserve the title. They deserve the ceremony. They deserve the government's support. They deserve our support.

So, long story short, I support marriage equality. I still have some ways to go in terms of figuring out how this effects my Catholicism. Or maybe the church has some ways to go. I don't know. But, I'm not here to judge. We are not here to judge.

Sunday, February 10, 2013

How having a sick child makes you really appreciate your job...

Even though the flu is out in full force this year and kids seem to be oozing snot everywhere I go, Audrey has been healthy enough to go to daycare since Christmas. She's had the sniffles and some loose poop, a minor temp one afternoon, and mega drool that I think is related to some new teeth. But, she's not been sent home from school and I just about made my hours in January. Coincidence. Absolutely not. Sick children are tough. They require full attention and pretty much no one can give it to them but mom and/or dad. Usually just mom.

But, tonight, Audrey is not healthy enough to go to school tomorrow. She's had really gross, watery poop (AKA diarrhea) all weekend and threw up last night. I know, for a fact know, that she will be sent home from school tomorrow before noon with that poop. And, the teachers will be pissed at us for sending her in the first place. Especially since they've been starring her daily report card for loose poops for a week. Especially since they sent home a little "reminder" about when kids can't come to school just last Thursday... and loose poop is reason number 1.

So, we're going to keep her home. And we're not even calling in reinforcements (MiMoo) to help. Blake can take the morning shift, I'll come home at 11 and get her fed and down for a nap, and then B will be home to take over again. I'll maybe get a few hours of real work in. I'll do some necessary stuff. I'll show my face to my co-workers. I will appreciate the couple of hours of quiet I can have at the office. And, even more than that, I'll be extra extra thankful that I have the type of education that qualifies me for the type of professional career that takes place in a work environment where I am treated like a responsible adult and I can generally come and go as I please without risking my job. And, they might even ask if my kid is okay.

So, while I often complain about work, how it keeps me from Audrey, and all things related thereto, thank you God for this job at this moment. I know that others are not so lucky for so many reasons. Because in this job, I get to take care of my sick baby when no one else can, and I get to close my office door for a moment of poop-free silence. Both in the same day.


PS Thank you, too, to Blake. Of course.

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Online Shopping v. Eating Too Much Cheese: Solving All the Worlds Problems

I'm recovering from a cold. And by recovering, I mean, still feel sicky and exhausted. Much to the dismay of my co-workers, I've been going to work every day this week. But only halfheartedly and with maybe only a third of the energy and mental capacity I normally have.I have added 110% more hand sanitizer and Lysol spray to my work environment, though, so that's good. Even though a day of sleeping would probably really do a body good, I just can't stay home. I have too much going on at the office and the majority of it simply can't be done from my couch. And, I could feel worse. I don't have the flu. Or viral meningitis. I could feel worse. I know I could.

So, I've been going to work sick. Smack my wrist now. And I've been terrible about my eating this week. And exercise? That has not happened. At all. And this is hard for me because I made a New Year's promise to my body that I would eat more good foods and fewer bad foods. I also promised my body that I would exercise at least three days a week. And, up until this week, when the cold from hell hit, I WAS ROCKING MY PROMISES. I was getting to the gym before work. I was eating more fruits and vegetables and smaller portions. I skipped cookies at firm lunches and replaced soda and juice (and beer) with water and milk. I lost almost all of the extra baby weight I was carrying around. I was only a few days away from the 30 days it takes to really establish new habits. So, as sick as I feel, I'm really just pissed. I hate this cold. Not just for how it's making my head feel like it's wearing a cement baseball hat and the looks of disdain it is drawing from my co-workers, but for what it's done to the 20+ days of hard work I had put in turning healthier choices into a healthier life. I know it's not literary irony, but it is definitely Alanis territory.

So anyways, since I've been sick and not exercising, and eating terribly, I'm specifically craving cheese. And cookies. And bread. And vegetables sound gross when you're sick. So, no veggies. Tonight? I ate a decent dinner. But then I curled up on the couch and tried to figure out how I could get my hands on ice cream with Blake out for the evening and a sleeping baby. Since neither leaving the baby home alone nor waking her up were options... I started in on the cheese. And with each bite, I understood a little bit more how people can really get obese when they eat their feelings. Feelings are a bottomless pit. Especially when your feelings are anger and a headache. Especially for cheese. I needed something to get my mind off of the damn cheese. And the prospect of ordering carry-out ice cream. Enter - online shopping. And, suddenly, after spending just a few dollars (and a Christmas gift card) later in a great online sale for some staple items I've been needing to replace, I feel awesome. No buyer's remorse, because I can send it all back if it doesn't work. And, I've been wanting to order Real Simple magazine for months. So I did that too. $2 for an entire year. Sweet. And, though I can't get to the gym tomorrow, I'm making a smoothie for breakfast. And I will go to the gym on Friday.

Cold. You're out.Healthy habits? And the fresh new cardigan I've been coveting? You're in.

Sunday, January 27, 2013

20 Month-Olds are AWESOME

My kid is awesome. She's always been pretty great. But now, at 20 months, she's just flat-out awesome. She talks. She walks. She laughs. She dances. She eats. She tells me when she has a dirty diaper, when she wants to take a nap, when she wants to take a bath, read a book, put her shoes on, blow bubbles, color, you name it. She can just about say it. We communicate. We cuddle. We play. She is awesome. This is awesome. Parenting is awesome. I'm in awe of just how awesome it is.

All this awesomeness though? It's wearing me out. I'm sick and I'm tired. And I'm too busy absorbing awesomeness to blog about any of it :)