Thursday, July 29, 2010

My so-called life.

The combination of having a one year old and being 28 weeks pregnant means I don’t get out much. With back pain and edema currently rocking my world, my life of late has been lived from the recliner. Which may sound lame, but is actually AWESOME. Here’s just one reason why.

The Bachelorette.

Yes, my favorite reality crap-fest is back for another installment. This time around, Bachelorette Ali has been looking for love all over the world, from Istanbul, Turkey, to Kirk’s Dad’s dead-animal-filled basement. I don’t know if Ali found love, but she sure found drama.

On the first episode, we meet a Bachelor named “Shooter,” who decides to explain to Ali just how he got that nickname. On national television. And yes, it’s exactly the reason you think it is. Surprisingly, Shooter doesn’t get the first impression rose, or any rose at all, for that matter.

Then we have the feuding between Craig M. and The Weatherman. Craig M. looks like a broke Bradley Cooper, and The Weatherman looks like a miniature Kerr Smith. Craig M. is a bully who talks big talk to the guys and likes to pick on the little Weatherman. The Weatherman is a whiny little guy who cries to Ali when Craig is mean to him, and he enjoys using weather metaphors WAY too much. Ali sends Craig home when he fails to form a coherent sentence during their one-on-one time. The next week she sends The Weatherman home because he is annoying as hell.


Definitely not Jack McFee.
Know what is even better than annoying? Krazy. As in Krazy Kasey. Kasey is there to guard and protect Ali’s heart. How do I know this? Because Kasey says it a thousand times. To Ali. To Chris Harrison. To the guys. To the television audience. To anyone who will listen. After a horrible one-on-one date that involves Kasey singing made up love songs in the style of an American Idol reject, Ali remains unconvinced. This is when Kasey realizes he has to step up his game if he wants to guard and protect Ali’s heart. So what does he decide to do? He gets a TATTOO. Of a SHIELD guarding and protecting a HEART. ALI’S HEART. Because if you haven’t yet noticed, he wants to GUARD AND PROTECT HER HEART. Kasey shows the other guys, who are all in shock. No one mentions that it is absolutely insane to get a tattoo for a girl that is dating like 12 other guys besides you on a reality show. Not to mention totally kreepy. Kasey is scared to show Ali his tattoo, but he finally whips it out (ha!) during a two-on-one date. A date on which, if Kasey doesn’t get the rose, he goes home right then and there. Did I mention this date was on a glacier in Iceland? Because it totally is. So Kasey shows Ali the tattoo, and she barely manages to not look completely horrified. Barely. Obviously, Ali gives the rose to the other guy on the date, and he and Ali fly away – LEAVING KASEY ALL ALONE ON A GLACIER IN THE MIDDLE OF ICELAND. TO DIE. Ok, not the death part. But believe me when I tell you it was totally awesome. Best. Dumping. Ever.


Kasey puts the K in StalKer.

The “other guy” on the glacier date was Justin, who was not krazy like Kasey, but he’s definitely in the running for “Douchebag of the Year.” Justin is a professional wrestler in Canada, going by the name “Rated-R.” On the first night, the guys voted Justin the one who was “not there for the right reasons” (meaning he was only there to further his career), but Ali decided to keep him around anyway. Bad move, Ali. Turns out, Justin was not only there for the wrong reasons, he had a girlfriend back home who agreed to let him go on the show so he could become famous (like all those other people who became world famous after going on The Bachelorette). But when Justin’s girlfriend Jessica learned about Justin’s OTHER girlfriend, Jessica decided to cal shenanigans on the whole thing, and informed the show’s producers of the whole mess. Complete with the sappy voice mails he left her while he was “falling in love” with Ali. But that’s not the best part. The best part is when Ali calls him out on it. Big, tough Justin does what any hardcore wrestling guy would do: he runs away. Runs outside, climbs through shrubbery and THROUGH A FOUNTAIN. While wearing an air cast, no less. He finally comes back to talk to Ali, and tries to deny doing anything wrong without actually calling his girlfriend a liar. Doesn’t go well.

Awesome.

The remaining four guys get hometown dates, which means Ali meets the family. Which is great, unless you are Kirk and you have a slightly creepy dad. You know it’s going to be awesome when Kirk’s dad says, “Ali, do you want to see my basement?” No, he doesn’t make her into a lampshade. But he does like to stuff dead animals. And hang them on the walls. All over the damn place. Oh, and we have some frozen dead animals here in the freezer, next to the pudding pops. Not at all weird. Now I have to confess, that as the daughter of a hunter, we would occasionally have some weird meats in the freezer along with the frozen corn and bomb pops (squirrel, anyone?), but it wasn’t the whole dead animal, fur and all. What if they come back to life and seek revenge? But I digress. Kirk’s family is really a pretty nice group, but Kirk still gets the boot, leaving Roberto, Chris, and Frank.

Sorry, Kirk. Perhaps Dad has a stuffed moose you can cuddle with.

Frank. Stupid effing Frank. Frank paints a picture of himself as this romantic, adventurous guy who left his cushy hedge fund job to live in Paris for awhile and pursue his dream of becoming a screenwriter. Frank is actually an aging hipster who now works as a “retail manager” and lives in his parents’ basement. He wears hipster glasses and his granmother’s cardigans (ironically, of course) and I pretty much hate his guts. Frank is the definition of “trying too hard.” Frank lays in bed at night and dreams of being Rob Gordon from High Fidelity. Well, you sir, are no Rob Gordon. You aren’t even Dick or Barry. And I hate you.

Die.

Ali, however, is really into Frank. He goes on the first one-on-one date with Ali and they smooch under the Hollywood sign. They go on another one-on-one in Turkey and he buys her a carpet? I don’t know why. Ali loves Frank, loves his family on the hometown date, and can’t wait to see Frank and do him in the Fantasy Suite in Tahiti.

But wait! Hipster Frank isn’t content to just fall in love. There must be ANGST! Frank is apparently still having feelings for his ex Nicole. He must go to Chicago RIGHT NOW to see if they still have something. He visits Nicole and realizes that while Ali is hot, he needs the guarantee of someone local because he is damn sick of living with mom and dad. So he professes his twue wuv to Nicole. But his work is not done. He must now fly to Tahiti to burst Ali’s Fantasy Suite bubble. I can’t really blame Frank at this point; Ali has already had her other two overnight sex dates, and who wants sloppy thirds.

Ali is heartbroken when she hears the news and there is all kinds of ugly crying and such, and Frank leaves, full of ANGST at having to break Ali’s heart. Ali gets her crap together and lets her remaining two men, Chris and Roberto, know that she is there FOR THEM. Because this show is all about finding love, and not about creating famewhores. Right, Bob Guiney? Right, Melissa Rycroft?

So who will Ali choose? Well, we have Roberto, who has the hotness trifecta:


• Latin
• Dimples
• BASEBALL PLAYER

And then we have Chris, who is adorable, ripped, and seems pretty down-to-earth, despite the fact that his mom died about a year ago. A storyline that the producers have beaten. In. to. The. Ground.



For once, I really like both of the final two, and think Ali has a tough decision on her hands. Not that this show is in any way real, but you know, suspension of disbelief and all that. Rumor has it that Ali doesn’t up with either guy, though. All I know is that I will be watching the finale on Monday, ready for some more ABC created drama! And I will probably be reading the Television Without Pity message boards several times daily to overanalyze Ali’s outfit choices, and then checking out Reality Steve for new spoilers. Not that I am into this show or anything.

I have problems.

Saturday, July 24, 2010

Preggo eggo update.

I have seen lots of other expectant mom bloggers use this format, so I thought I would do the same to let everyone know how things are going.

How Far Along: 26 Weeks! Two weeks away from the third trimester.

How Big is the Baby: According to Babycenter.com, the baby weighs about a pound and two thirds, and is fourteen inches long, which is comparable to the length of an English hothouse cucumber. That means absolutely nothing to me.

Total Weight Gain: Kind of tough to say. I have gained back the weight I lost in the first trimester, so I am back to the weight I was when I got pregnant. So I have either gained fifteen pounds or haven't gained anything. I hate math.

Maternity Clothes: They are the only thing I can wear outside of big t-shirts. I have one pair of regular jeans I can still squeeze in to, but I don't think that is going to last for long.

Stretch Marks: Ugh. Yes, of course. Despite a psychotic lotion regiment, I got a lot of stretch marks when I was pregnant with the Peanut. They have reappeared in all of their red, rippling glory. Sexy.

Sleep: Pretty good. Occasionally I will wake up with bad heartburn, but most of the time I am still sleeping well. I expect this to change in a few weeks; I was up from 3:30 to 6:30 am every morning towards the end of my last pregnancy.

Movement: Yep! I love it. Baby is usually moving when I am still. Another night owl, at least in utero.

Food Cravings: Anything ice cream related.

What I Miss: Flip flops. The edema in my ankles is keeping me from wearing them.

What I’m Looking Forward To: Having the baby! Obvious, I know, but I want to meet the little Pumpkin

Milestones: Almost to the third trimester, and I can say with all confidence after viewing our last ultrasound that it's a ... BOY!

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Shampoo, rinse, repeat.

Oh my poor blog.

So neglected. So ignored.

I've missed you.

My last (long ago) blog post was about trying to figure out what to do in regards to my job. If you recall, my heart's desire is to be able to be at home with my kids. However, I also enjoy doing things like living indoors and eating food. Right now, that's still not an option, but things are improving on the job front.

June had me traveling all over the midwest for work. Every week, I was driving or flying somewhere else to give presentations. The presentations were proving to be successful, so they continued with no end in sight. I finally decided I couldn't take it anymore.

I knew I had to talk to my boss about the situation, but I didn't want to just go in to him and complain, so the Hubs and I talked for a long time and brainstormed possible solutions. I scheduled a time to meet with my boss, and went in with A Plan.

I opened by sharing how much I love my job, and how passionate I am about our organization. I thanked my boss for his flexibility and the opportunities he has provided for me over the years. I then explained the toll that extended travel was taking on my family, and on myself physically. I then suggested that I train another staff member to do what I am doing with the presentations, and in return I would pick up some of that staff member's duties in the office. I recommended one person in particular, but told him I would be happy to train anyone he thought fit for the task. Then I held my breath.

Thankfully, he thought this was a great idea! I will go with my co-worker on a trip next week to see how she does, and then I am officially a non-traveler. It's not quite staying at home, but I am thrilled about the change.

I am sad to say that during the past month I basically abandoned my blog, and the blog world in general. Between the travel, being pregnant, taking care of the Peanut, and trying to spend time with the Hubs, I just couldn't do it. I contemplated just leaving this blog behind - I was afraid it had been too long. But I couldn't do it. If nothing else, it helps me connect to some really awesome people that I wouldn't know otherwise. I will be trying my hardest to post at least once a week, but have mercy on me if it's not quite that frequent. And since I am swelling up like a blimp, expect lots of pregnancy updates.

Speaking of, we found out the gender of our little Pumpkin...anyone have any guesses?

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Crossroads: not the Britney Spears movie

FYI - I may have seen that Britney Spears movie...in the theater. It's possible.

Remember that business trip I had? The one that nearly wiped me out? Well, it went so well that they sent me on another one. And they want to do more. So all of the sudden my minimal travel position has become a 50% travel position. Not cool.

I'm at a weird point right now with work. I love what I do, but I don't love what my position has become. My employer has made it clear that this is now what my job entails, and I can take it or leave it. I feel like I have no other choice but to take it, but I really want to leave it.

I am quietly exploring my options for working from home in a way that would be minimally financially damaging to my family. I hate the guilt trip I get from work when I have to stay home with a sick child or go to a doctor appointment. I don't like feeling bad for putting my family first. However, right now our financial situation won't allow for me to be a full time wife and mother without another source of income. I am hoping I can find that middle ground.

It's so funny how our priorities change. In my early 20s, I was completely career-obsessed. I am still driven by work; I love knowing I have done well at my job. But as I cuddle my son (who is currently feverish and covered in a horrible rash), I realize that it's ok to put the laptop down sometimes. There are things more important and more fulfilling than work. I just hope I can find a middle ground between the two.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Loose ends.

Yeah, I know. It's been awhile. I haven't necessarily been terribly busy...just terribly tired. The last week of April I went on a business trip that kicked my butt. Too far, too much hassle, too long away from my family. We're also in the process of buying a minivan (sigh), which has been far more stressful than it needs to be.

The Peanut is rapidly approaching his first birthday, and he's doing great. I think sometimes in my attempt not to be a scary mommy-blogger, I forget to tell everyone how awesome my son is. He's pretty darn awesome. He's all over the place now, learning new words every day and just generally being adorable.

We got to see The Pumpkin on an ultrasound last week, and everything looks great! The tech thinks she was able to see the gender, but we will know for sure at our next ultrasound in a few weeks. I am starting to show a little bit, but thanks to all that wonderful morning sickness, I actually weigh less now than I did before I got pregnant.

I also recently celebrated the first of many 29th birthdays. It's always an event when our crew goes out to dinner. Aside from Hubs, Peanut, and myself, you have the Bestie, OtherBestie, their husbands, and their kids (four total). Craziness. Thankfully we had an awesome server who earned every penny of the very generous tip we left him. We love you, Tim!

So what have you guys been up to?

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Trail mix.

Like most people my age who attended pubic school, I logged many hours in the computer lab as a kid, playing games like Carmen SanDiego and Oregon Trail on the Apple IIGS. Oregon Trail was always my favorite, mainly because I liked to plug in my friend's names and see how many of them lived until the end. Today I will be recreating this experience, using some blog friends.

Let's travel the trail, shall we?


I decide to be a Banker from Boston, because I like alliteration. And I'm all about the Benjamins, baby.
In my wagon, we have:
Myself, Sadako of Dibbly Fresh, Nikki of Are You There Youth? It's Me, Nikki, Hutch from Be Awesome Instead, and Amber from Nostomanic. Let's buy some supplies and get moving!


And now we face one of life's greatest decisions: caulk or ford?


Let's caulk.


Success!
But soon after, our first illness:


We'd better rest.

We reach a gravesite. Let's look around.



Tragic. But not as tragic as this:



Why?!?!

We must press on, wagon train.

Uh oh, here we go again. Perhaps Nikki will have a heartier constitution than Sadako.



So far so good. And check it out! We scored some sweet loot!



But our good luck doesn't last. Jerk.



Nikki! Come on now, pull yourself together. We don't have time for your digestive infections.



For real, Nikki?



And the health issues continue.



Now Amber has wandered off.



I hired an Indian guide to help us across the Snake River. Let's see how that worked out:

I want my two sets of clothing back.

Food is getting low, perhaps I should hunt.



I can only kill bison because they are slow and I have poor hand-eye coordination.

We're almost there! We'd better take the toll road. We've had enough tragedy for one trip.




We made it! And despite all the death, we got a high score.

Friday, April 16, 2010

Dear Second Baby.

Dear Second Baby,

You aren't even here yet, and I already feel like you're getting the short end of the stick. Life is so busy sometimes that I don't often stop and think about the fact that you will be here in about six months. I haven't spent a lot of time dreaming about what you will look like or what gender you are. I feel really bad about that.

Things were a lot different when I was pregnant with your brother. Everything was new. I wasn't nearly as sick. I didn't already have a baby to chase. I spent a lot of time just being pregnant, talking to him and enjoying all of the new sensations. That just hasn't happened this time. It hasn't been possible. I feel terrible, because none of this is your fault. I worry that I won't have enough time for both of you once you're here, too. How the heck do I make that work? I really don't know. I guess we will all have to figure it out together.

I want you to know that even though this pregnancy is different, your dad and I still love you more than we could ever express. It may not always seem like it, but we are excited that you are coming and we can't wait to meet you. I can't wait to start feeling you move around. I can't wait to find out if we'll be buying pink or recycling blue. So don't ever doubt how I feel about you. You're my little pumpkin and you always will be.

Love,

Mommy

Saturday, April 10, 2010

Bloggin' roll high school.

Lately I have been putting a lot (too much?) of thought into what high school would have been like if I went to school with my favorite bloggers. My high school experience wasn't overly traumatic, but it wasn't totally awesome either. I didn't get picked on, but being a member of the Drama Club didn't exactly get me on the cool list either. I was dorky, flat-chested, and took a lot of AP classes, but I was also comfortable with who I was and didn't really care what my classmates thought of me. Truthfully, high school is actually kind of a blur to me now, possibly because of all the alcohol I drank in college.

Please keep in mind I graduated in 1999, so I have no idea what high school is like today. This is all coming to via my 90s-influenced filter.

At my lunch table: I think my main crew would have consisted of Nikki, Sadako, Amber, Alison, and Shannon. Why? Though I don't write a YA book or nostalgia blog like they do, I know from reading them that they are kindred spirits. Meaning they're book nerds, like me. And I mean that with all the love in the world! Plus, Amber would have to be my friend because she is the only other person I have ever met who has heard of the show Fifteen.

In my AP classes: You'd find Tiffani, Cecilia, and Ashley. These girls are just smart, yo. Hopefully they would let me work with them on group projects.

Editor of the newspaper: Michelle, my favorite activist! And Kim would edit the literary magazine.

Fashion icon: Tracy, for sure. Hopefully she would give me a "She's All That" style makeover. I didn't dress that bad in high school; I just looked like a refugee from a GAP explosion. My color palate ranged from khaki to navy blue, with the occasional pastel if I was feeling dangerous.

Too cool to hang out with me: LeMeh. She is totally bad ass. Also, probably Kiran, because she is so cute and talented. I like to think they would take pity on a nerd like me and let me tag along every now and then.

Boy Magnet: Steph, for sure. This girl gets all the dates!

Who would be at your Bloggin' Roll High School?

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Just say not in my apartment.

I don't smoke pot.

It's just not for me. Not to mention getting high is really isn't a recommended recreational activity for pregnant women. But either way, I don't get down with the ganja.

Do I care if others smoke pot? Not really. I mean, I have personal opinions about recreational drug use, but honestly? What you do in your home is your business, not mine.

However, what you do in the lobby of my apartment building? Totally my business.

I was at home yesterday, sitting in my recliner and enjoying reruns of Project Runway. All of the sudden, I smelled something funny. It smelled like something was burning. I walked around our apartment to make sure nothing was on fire. Everything was normal. So far, so good.

I sat back down, and realized it kind of smelled like someone was smoking a cigarette out in our common area. Since it is prominently posted that this is a no smoking area, I was ready to go out and raise some hell.

I opened the door and...WHAM. Someone had been smoking, alright. The hallways reeked of marijuana. I could have gotten a free high just by checking my mail. This was the smell that was gradually seeping into my apartment.

Ok, this is the part where I get totally square and uncool, so bear with me. This is the lobby I walk through every day with my INFANT SON. Not to mention the unborn child relying on me for its oxygen. In just a few minutes, my husband would be coming home with my baby and passing through this very lobby, and my son was going to have to breathe this air. And I don't like it when people eff with my kid(s). So I called both our property manager and the police non-emergency line. Yes, I know. I am that crazy lady.

Both our property manager and the police officer I talked to were extremely nice. We assessed the residents of my building: two single elderly people and my family. The officer suspects that someone came over and decided our lobby was a nice, secluded place to get high. She said the smell was so strong and so concentrated in that area that she doubts it came from one of the apartments. I'm glad it's probably not one of my neighbors, but upset that someone picked my building to be their personal smoke out area.

Little do they know they messed with the wrong mama bear. Try it again and see what happens!

Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Things No One Tells You About Being Pregnant - Transvaginal What?

If you haven't noticed, my TMI Thursday posts have a common theme: pregnancy. There are two reasons for this:

  1. I'm knocked up.
  2. Pregnancy is full embarrassing TMI moments, so I have lots of material
Be sure you visit LiLu, who originated TMI Thursday. She also happens to be a hilarious and very talented writer.

Let me set the scene for you. I am finishing up at one of my early prenatal appointments. The doctor says, "Ok, I am going to bring you back in two weeks, and we will do your first ultrasound."

Awesome! First ultrasound! I can't wait.

Two weeks later, I arrive at the OBGYN's office for the big ultrasound. The nurse leads me to the ultrasound room and tells me to undress from the waist down.

Undress? I'm just having an ultrasound, right? I ask the nurse this very question.

"Oh yes, you're having a transvaginal ultrasound. The doctor will insert this into your vagina and you'll get to see your little baby."

"This" was a rather phallic looking wand attached to the machine. I started to freak out. I wasn't freaked out by the procedure itself, it was just...

When a girl knows she is going to have to show her goodies to the doctor, whether pregnant or not, she does certain things to prepare. There is maintenance that has to be done in that general region to make sure everything is looking presentable. I hadn't done any of those things. And hadn't for awhile. Things were not looking their best in that zone. In my naivete, I thought it would be like the ultrasounds I had seen on television, where they just rub a thingie on your tummy and hello, baby! And now my doctor was not only going to be looking at my unkempt private area, but poking at it with a magic wand. Awesome.

The doctor comes in, and we get down to business. He starts by putting A CONDOM on the ultrasound wand. Am I going to be having intercourse with this thing? Not cool.

The good thing about this situation is that all embarrassment was forgotten when I saw a little flicker on the screen and realized it was my baby's heartbeat. Holy crap! We were really having a baby!

And now I know better the second time around.
 
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