Thursday, July 31, 2008

This is what SIL gets for being overzealous

Over a month ago, my younger sister-in-law called to ask if we had registered anywhere yet. At that point in time, I was at least two months from my first shower, and at least a month from the first shower invitations being sent out, so, no we hadn’t registered yet. She figured since I’m usually “so on top of stuff” that it would have been taken care of already. And she might have been right, if the thought of registering hadn’t caused panic attacks and I weren’t still trying to pretend this whole thing isn’t happen (which I’m still doing, by the way; it’s not working so well). Even though she wasn’t very happy that the registry wasn’t done, she said she needed to know when we finally got around to it because she already knew what she wanted to buy for my shower, she knew it was something we would register for, and she wanted to make sure she got to buy it before someone else did. Fair enough. I told her she would be the first to know when the registry was completed.

Fast forward a month or so. I kept my word and e-mailed her pretty much as soon as we got home from Babies ‘R’ Us. A few days ago, B gets a phone call from SIL, who’s pretty upset at us. Apparently she wanted to buy us a diaper bag. We didn’t register for a diaper bag because I like this one sold by LL Bean (obviously not something you can buy at BRU), and, despite my urging, B didn’t want a man bag. For some reason, he only wants us to have one diaper bag…I don’t think he quite gets that the “one diaper bag” is going to be something I like, since I figure there’s at least a 95% chance I’ll be the one carrying it at any given time, and, chances are, what I like isn’t going to be the boring black or navy he likes.

I just had to laugh when B told me that. That’s what she gets for being overzealous and assuming things about our registry. I guess I could point her in the direction of the LL Bean bag I like, but then my present from her wouldn’t be a surprise. I prefer surprise presents. Also, my mom came over last night with an LL Bean catalog and told me to pick out my diaper bag. We're getting it in tarragon. I refused to ask for black or navy. Refused. Even though B was standing next to me giving me puppy dog eyes. I told him he can register for a black and/or navy diaper bag for him if he really wants one, but I want something fun. Plus, my mom's the one ordering it, so I'm pretty sure LL Bean would "accidentally" send the tarragon one no matter what. But I digress...In SIL’s case, a surprise present could be a very, very bad thing. Though, now that the diaper bag is out, I can almost guarantee you she’s getting me a camouflage onesie (probably would have gotten that anyway) and possibly the awful camouflage blanket B registered for behind my back. She has a slight camo obsession…I don’t get it. I guess I’ll just have to wait and see what she ends up with. This could get interesting.

Monday, July 28, 2008

Bar exam flashbacks

One year ago right now, I was sitting in a janky hotel room regretting my Quizno's dinner, trying to figure out how to cram more legal minutia into my already uber-fatigued and over-stuffed brain, and just generally freaking the fuck out. Why? Because one year ago tomorrow was the day I started taking the bar exam. And you know what? I am SOOOOOOOO glad that's an experience I will never, ever, EVER have to go through again. It was awful. I have never felt more drained, more exhausted, or more stoopid than I did at the end of day three.

The bar exam is hyped up to be this major, terrifying event, and it is. It consumes your life for 2.5 straight months after law school graduation (well, it should, anyway). It costs a ton of money (including classes, fees, and accommodations, but not lost wages, I sank about $3,000 into the bar). It carries the risk of grave public humiliation at least in this state, you can type in your law school into the results website and everyone who passes pops up...when the statistics released by the Supreme Court tell you 10 first-time takers from your school failed, it's not all that difficult to figure out who those 10 are). And worst of all, if you fail, you have to take it again or move on to a new career. The whole experience was brutal.

But now, a year later, I can say that I took the test and survived. I also passed on my first try, which is more impressive than just surviving the test. And now, I'm a hot-shot lawyer (or not so much...), and the terror of the bar is far behind me. I'm feeling serious pangs of empathy for all the poor saps who are panicking in their janky hotel rooms tonight, though. Good luck tomorrow to all the bar takers!

Sunday, July 27, 2008

Self-discovery through blogging

I’ve learned a bunch of stuff about myself since I started this blog. In honor of my six month anniversary, I thought I’d run through some of the things blogging has shown me.

1. I really, really suck at being pregnant.

Some women take really well to having their bodies invaded by a parasite (ok, a baby). I am NOT one of those women. At all. I feel like I’m deficient in some way because I don’t like getting fat, being physically assaulted from the inside, and talking about things like bedding and diapers. I feel even worse about myself because I know that I have had it sooooooooo easy. Women who have absolutely shitty pregnancies and still rave about how amazing the process is baffle me. Hell, women who have great pregnancies and rave about how amazing the process is baffle me.

2. I whine a lot.

Self-explanatory, no?

3. I don’t think I really like my writing style.

I also don’t know how my writing has garnered so much praise from teachers, professors, and employers over the years. It may be close to technically perfect (I have a slight grammar fetish…feel free to laugh now), but it’s stylistically lacking. I’m not sure what I would do to make it better. I’ve been working hard over the past year or so to cut back on my use of the passive voice, which I’ve been told is a big issue I have. I edit for this much more in my professional writing than I do here, which I’m sure you’ve noticed. Actually, you probably haven’t, since most of you probably aren’t grammatical freaks like I am. Maybe a lack of editing is the problem with my blog writing. I don’t do much, if any.

4. My life is pretty asinine.

I suppose you’ll have that with most people’s lives, though. That’s why not all life blogs are popular or interesting. It seems like the key to popularity is making the asinine entertaining, or going through some kind of interesting personal tragedy. I feel like I don’t really succeed on either front. But that’s cool with me. I don’t need to be a blogging superstar. I just like have some place to get stuff out (this is basically my high-tech, no-handwriting-required diary).

5. Despite my resolve to have a positive outlook, I don’t do very well at staying positive.

I guess I’ll attribute that to my pessimistic personality. I also knew this prior to starting my blog. It’s something I’ll always have to work on.

6. I have an international readership (hey, Canada is international!), but only a handful of people I know in real life ever comment on my posts.

Ok, this isn’t really something I learned about myself, but I thought I’d throw it out there. So let's step it up, people. :-)

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Presents make me smile

Even on days when I'm totally bumming, getting presents can turn my day around. Even when the presents are baby stuff. Last night, my mom came over to bring us a box of goodies my aunt in Orlando mailed to her. On top of the wedding album my aunt made for us (which only took her 1.75 years), she gave us a whole crapload of baby stuff. Baby Bargains; a name book (my aunt said her favorite boy name is Kaloosh and her favorite girl name is Pua...I don't think we'll be using those...); a lullaby CD; a onesie from my undergrad alma mater that we gave her when my cousin was born seven years ago (it has this super cute baby bobcat on it, minus the spoon); a cute little homemade card from my seven-year-old cousin; a Target gift card so I can go buy me some clothes (actually, it'll probably go toward diapers); a couple of books for the baby; a couple of really cute outfits (you'd get pictures if we had a working digital camera at the moment); a super soft, super adorable blanket that's soft on top and silky on the bottom; this book that both B and my mom (who snooped through the whole package as soon as she opened it and long before I knew it even existed) say is really cute; and, finally, and probably best, a baby blanket my great-grandma (who died when I was six or seven) crocheted for my aunt before she died.

My aunt got three blankets from Grandma Cook. She used one with my cousin, and just sent one to me and one to my little brother (whose potentially-his-but-maybe-not-babymomma-is-his-ex-and-living-with-someone-else-right-now baby is due a couple weeks before Lump...and is taking first grandchild status away from Lump...nope, not bitter about that at all...but that's a post for another day). She wrote the sweetest card to go with it, too. I got all teary-eyed when I got to that part of the package. It's green, white, and yellow (not the prettiest thing in the world, but a lot of Grandma Cook's creations tended to have...interesting...color schemes), soft, obviously old, and perfect. It means so much to me to have something from her.

I love presents. This just made my day yesterday.

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Body image issues: They're not just for teens anymore

I’ve never really had a good body image. At least not in real-time. For example, when I was in high school, I thought I was a fat lard ass (I wasn’t). Now, when I look back on pictures from my junior and senior years, I can’t help but wonder what the hell I was thinking back then. I looked hot! I was in the best shape of my life, I had a cute figure, and I was skinny. I was probably about four sizes smaller than my pre-pregnancy size. Over the past seven or eight years, I’ve put on some pounds (some of them, admittedly, were needed – I was too skinny for my own good back then – but most of them were excess), gained some curves, and overall taken on a more “adult” shape. I confess I was not a fan of my body even six or seven months ago – mostly for the reasons of huge thighs, too much extra poundage, a paunchy tummy, and an ass that sticks out too far (on a side note, I can’t do anything about my ass because it’s caused by a spine that curves in too far…but that doesn’t stop it from bothering me) – but that was nothing compared to the disdain I feel toward my body now.

I truly dislike what pregnancy has done to my “figure”. I absolutely hate looking at myself, and avoid mirrors at all costs, especially full-length ones, or any of them when I’m not clothed. I hate my gut, which isn’t even that big yet (and really didn’t even appear until 21 or 22 weeks). I hate that my boobs, though pleasantly full, are already getting kinda saggy. I also hate that my thighs look like they’ve gotten even bigger (despite the fact that I haven’t really gained much weight), and that I have awful cankles and elephant feet. Add in the additional acne and the extra body hair, and you have one gross looking mother-to-be. The sad thing is, I know it’s only going to get much worse in the upcoming months.

Objectively, I know I don’t look that bad, and I’m actually in the cute pregnant stage. My belly isn’t super huge yet, but I definitely look pregnant. No one else really notices the bigger thighs, cankles, extra zits or surplus body hair. And B loves me pregnant. He finds me super sexy right now. Weirdo. None of that matters, though. I can’t convince my subjective mind that I don’t look that bad, and *gasp* I might even look cute. All I see when I look in the mirror is an ugly fattypants.

I admire women like my friend Stacey (who just had her baby tonight!) who seem to embrace their pregnant bodies. As an example, she’s been brave enough to chronicle her weight gain in her blog. Granted, she started out as a stick, and weighed (significantly) less at 36 weeks than I did before I got pregnant, but I find it admirable that she’s done that. I’m embarrassed by the weight I started at, and there’s no way in hell anyone (other than me or my OB) is going to find out what the scale says at 36 weeks, or any other weeks, for that matter. I don’t mind sharing how much I’ve gained (seven-ish pounds so far), but the actual number will remain secret.

I keep trying to embrace my pregnant self, but it’s just not working. I suppose I’ll just keep hating on my body for the next few months. Once this baby gets done ravaging my body, I know I’ll look back on me as I look now (and as I looked before I got pregnant) and think I looked fantastic compared to the end result. That’s really not much comfort.

A glut of posts

Here’s a question: when you have lots of ideas for posts in one day, what do you do? Do you post them all at once? Type them up, then save them for an off day? Pick one to actually write about, and hope you remember the others at another time?

I haven’t quite decided how to handle this yet. Usually, I pick one topic, and hope the others stay 1). relevant to my life, and 2). lodged in my brain until the next time I need a topic. Today, however, I decided to type up everything in my head while I was at work (you know, because it’s not like I had work to do, or anything). So now, once I do some copying and pasting, I’m going to have a whole slew of posts stored up. I don’t know if I’ll post some or all of them yet today, or if I’ll save them for future use. I guess we’ll all just have to wait and see.

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Query of the day

How do you make yourself thankful for something you really don't want at all? (I'm not talking a bad birthday present or something, either, where a semi-sincere "Oh, I love it!" will suffice). This is something I'm really struggling with right now, and any tips, advice, or suggestions you might have would be appreciated.

Monday, July 21, 2008

My father-in-law rocked my (compression) socks off tonight

Actually, he's the reason I'm still wearing the compression socks tonight. You see, our new house doesn't have central air. Generally, no big deal. Our old house didn't have it either. However, our old house had a window unit built into the wall upstairs, so our one little window unit only had to keep the living room temperate. The system worked pretty well, and I didn't feel like I was going to die from overheating.

In the new house, however, there's no built in window unit, and buying a new air conditioner is not at the top of our money spending priority list right now (we have to start buying things like diapers and car seats soon...). So, we put our window unit in our bedroom. This way we can at least sleep comfortably in this wonderful Ohio-in-July weather. It's been good for sleeping, but awful for doing anything else.

Here's where Father-in-Law comes in. He's in the heating and air conditioning business, so B asked him if he might have a spare window unit hanging around somewhere that we could borrow for a month or two. FIL called me this afternoon looking for B (don't know why...I still had two hours of work left and B was at home), and he told me he'd found an air conditioner for us! I was so excited! He said he'd bring it over and help B put it in tonight. Woohoo!

Well, it turns out that FIL didn't "find" an air conditioner. He went out and bought one. A nice, big one. We priced these things this weekend, so I know how much he spent, and I feel a bit guilty about accepting it. But, in the past two or so hours, it has cooled the entire downstairs of our house, which is nice, and it's definitely going to make the super-humid 90 degree days ahead much more bearable. I guess we'll just have to graciously accept Grandpa's first gift to Lump - a mommy who isn't going to keel over from heatstroke.

Sunday, July 20, 2008

A terrifying thought

Surprisingly, this one has nothing to do with the baby. What is it, you ask? My husband is single-handedly organizing our new house. I love him, but his style of organization and mine are not at all the same. And I, being the more uptight, anal-retentive of us, need my spaces organized (at least mostly) my way.

You may be thinking, "Well, Mrs. Crazypants, if it's such a big deal to you, why aren't you helping?" That is an excellent question. Allow me to explain. We've been in some stage of the process of moving since Tuesday. We got mostly moved yesterday, and today has been an unpacking day. After we got the kitchen put together this morning, I started in on the bedroom (mostly just because my feet are engorged almost to the point of exploding, and I figured spending some time in the only air conditioned room in the house wouldn't be a bad idea). That got interrupted by an unexpected mid-unpacking romp, and afterward, I was kinda sleepy, so I convinced B that I needed a nap. B, being the good husband that he is, told me to sleep while he went back to working on whatever it was he was doing downstairs.

I felt weird when I woke up, but I went back to work anyway. After about half an hour, I started having some Braxton-Hicks contractions. By "some", I mean six in 40 or so minutes. I don't know why, but I said something to B, and now I've been banished to bed. He thinks I've been pushing myself too hard this weekend (and I think my mother and mother-in-law agree with him). I say I barely did anything for this move, and I feel like a major slacker. Hell, I skipped out yesterday afternoon to go to a friend's baby shower! Apparently he still thinks I've been doing too much.

So, here I am. In bed, on my left side, drinking water (side note: it is really difficult to effectively type a long blog post with just my right hand. The laptop needs to be in a certain position for the internet to work, and I can't really get the computer where it needs to be while lying on my left side. This has been fun). Now, in addition to feeling useless, I'm feeling scared about the results of B's unpacking. I'm sure it'll be fine...I'm just not looking forward to having to rearrange the whole house tomorrow.

Sunday, July 13, 2008

Ow!

This post might wander into TMI land. Just so you know.

Tonight, I was packing up the baby stuff we've acquired so far in anticipation of our move next weekend. As I was doing so, I came across the electric breast pump my sister-in-law was given and wasn't able to use. After hearing horror stories from other mothers, I've kinda been wondering and worrying about the whole breastfeeding thing. So I figured trying out the breast pump would be the best way to maybe get a bit of a feel for what breastfeeding might be like.

Um, OW! My poor nipples didn't know what hit them. I had it set on the lowest settings, and it still felt like someone was very rudely and rhythmically pinching and pulling on the girls. I'd had enough after about two minutes. And my boobs are still unhappy with me.

Coupling the, uh, uncomfortable sensation of pumping with the fact that I'm going to have to do this eight to 12 times a day for half an hour or so at a time makes me really not want to mess with breastfeeding. Formula is so much less painful. Luckily for Lump, I'm a cheap ass, so I don't really want to pay for formula, either. Maybe I could hire a wet nurse...

Oh, yeah. Registering went ok, I guess. I think we should be all set up. Assuming, of course, that my friends and family really love me and buy me tons of stuff for my showers. :-)

Registering today...

I'm dreading this. A lot. I don't know what the hell babies need. I have the lists from friends, books, and Babies 'R' Us, but they really aren't helping. I've spent hours reading Baby Bargains and reviews on the BRU website, carefully researching brands and prices, and trying to take control of this process. It hasn't worked - I'm still having minor panic attacks whenever I think about it. But it has produced three pages of notebook paper covered in items and brands that we need to find while we're at the store today.

Add to all of this that I HATE registering (and B doesn't enjoy it much, either), and it could be a super fun day. If you never hear from me again, assume that my head exploded in the middle of BRU. Or that B finally got fed up with me and put me out of everyone's misery. He already thinks I've gone completely crazy with all of this, so anything is possible at this point.

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Another appointment

And things still seem to be going well. I haven't gained any weight since last month, I'm measuring where I should be, and the heartbeat was good (and said girl this time). I'm all set up for next month's appointment and my GD test. I'm nervous about the GD thing. Beside the facts that I hate getting my blood drawn and I've heard horror stories about the orange crap they make you drink, if I end up with GD, I just might starve to death. Between my picky eating habits and the low/no-sodium diet I'm on at the moment, the only things I'm really eating are fruit, sugar, chicken, some veggies, and Cheerios. GD would take out everything except the chicken and veggies. I can't live on chicken and carrots for three months. I would kill someone. Seriously.

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Thanksgiving in July

I've been kinda cranky, bitchy, and all-around unpleasant lately. So, in an attempt to change my karma, I'm going to do a post about the things I'm thankful for. (For the record, I don't really believe this crap works, but I'm willing to try anything to turn things around, so I'm giving it a shot).
Here they are, in no particular order.

1. B - He's a saint and a half for putting up with me. I think he only does it because he knows I'm carrying his demon spawn, and he feels responsible, but I still like it. He's also so freaking cute when it comes to the baby. He loves to rub and kiss my belly, and he seems to think pregnant Emily is one of the sexiest things in the world. Besides all that, he's a hard worker and would do anything for his family.

2. My mom - She's the best at keeping me sane and putting things in perspective. We've gotten really close since I went to college, and I'm so thankful for that. She's also super excited about the baby and keeps doing nice things for me (like buying me an inordinately large amount of Cheerios or randomly buying me up a shirt).

3. My friends - I really have some of the best. They're smart, funny, and honest. They pick me up when I'm down, share all my joys, and cheer even minor accomplishments. I still can't believe that I've only known some of these women for a couple of years. It feels like I've known them forever, and I'm grateful I was able to develop such close relationships in such a short period of time.

4. Compression socks - They're truly miracle workers. They're a bit hot and uncomfortable, but they have reduced my feet from elephant-sized to mostly-normal-sized. And, in some good news for both me and the person who found my blog by googling "compression socks flip flops", they also come in toeless, so I can still wear my beloved flip flops on the weekend. It looks a little dorky (more so with bottoms that are shorter than full-length pants), but totally worth it.

5. Massages and pedicures - I love getting pampered, and these are my two favorite indulgences. They're both heavenly. I love how pretty my toes look immediately after a pedicure, and how relaxed and pain-free I feel after a massage. I need to indulge in these more frequently.

6. Sleep - It's one of my favorite things ever. I feel like I'm not getting enough of it now, and I'm definitely going to miss it when it's gone in a few months. Until then, though, I'll be indulging in it as often as possible, including naps and early bedtimes.

7. My job - As much as I hate my job some (ok most) times, I'm extremely lucky to have the position and the paycheck I do, and I know that. I've got a pretty sweet position, good salary, and good benefits, which is more than a lot of people can say right now.

8. My cat - She's a bit snobbish sometimes, but when she deigns to cuddle with me, she's the sweetest, snuggliest thing in the entire world. Sitting around petting her makes all right with the world again.

9. A (physically) easy pregnancy - I've been fortunate with this pregnancy. It's been super easy. Well, physically, anyway. That's a good thing. With all the mental and emotional crap I've gone through, I don't think I could have also handled puking my guts out and blowing up to 300 pounds on top of it. I think this is the Big Guy's way of looking out for me. I probably would have had a complete psychotic break by this point if things had gone differently. Semi-sane Emily = good thing.

10. Burt's Bees original chapstick - Best. Chapstick. Ever. I am a chapstick addict, and this is the best I've found. I love the pepperminty tingle. My mom and B both know of my addiction and both bought me a ton of them for Christmas last year. So many that I'm pretty sure I'll have enough to last me AT LEAST until this Christmas. Best present of the year, by far.

11. Dessert - It doesn't matter what kind, I pretty much like them all. I love sugar. It's my favorite food group. Cheesecake, creme brulee, ice cream, and yellow cake with white frosting top the list, in case you were wondering.

12. Movies - Going to them, renting them, watching old favorites on VHS, rotting my brain with inane Lifetime movies on a rainy Sunday, I like it all. Movies are such a great way to kill a couple of hours.

13. Reading - I've always been a bookworm. Books make me happy. I really fell out of the habit during law school (when you're reading the equivalent of at least two novels a week in case law, the "pleasure" really disappears from "pleasure reading"), but I'm trying to get back into it. I miss devouring a book or more a week.

14. My unexpected fertility - I'm still kinda on the fence about whether to be thankful for this, but it can't hurt to put it out there, right? Due to numerous "female" issues I've had for years, I always figured I would have a really hard time getting pregnant. Turns out that wasn't the case. At all. Maybe it was because of B's "Michael Phelps sperm" (he came up with that one all on his own...clever, isn't he?), or maybe it was because God has something up his sleeve for me and this kid, no matter what I think. Whatever the reason, I got knocked up waaaaaaaay sooner than either of us ever thought possible. I'm truly thankful that we didn't have to go through the struggles of infertility, despite my ambivalence about actually being pregnant right now.

Ok, I know there are more, but this is getting long, so I'll stop for now. I'm truly fortunate that I have so much in my life to be thankful for. Take that, karma!

Monday, July 7, 2008

This Sunday routine is getting old

For the past several weeks, I have been completely incapable of falling asleep on Sunday nights. It's rough. And it makes for a crappy start to my week because I'm exhausted first thing Monday morning. Last night is a perfect example of my recent problems. I went to bed at 10:30, got back up at 11:45, went back to bed at 1:00, and laid there until sometime close to 3:00 when I finally fell asleep. B's alarm went off at 5:15, and I wasn't really able to fall back asleep before my alarm went off at 6:00.

I feel like it's way too early in my pregnancy for me to be having these sleep issues. I'm not huge and uncomfortable yet (hell, I'm still barely showing!), and I get up twice or so a night to pee, but that's no big deal, and I can generally fall right back asleep afterward. This needs to stop because I can't keep sleeping for 12-ish hours on every weekend night, and then taking a two or so hour nap on weekend days. I just want to stop being tired. It sucks. Probably should have thought of that before I got myself knocked up, huh?

Friday, July 4, 2008

That was a close one

Last night, as I sat on the couch idly scratching my stomach, I came across an odd patch of skin. I immediately panic, thinking it's my first pregnancy-induced stretch mark. I made B examine it to see if it was a bug bite, zit, stretch mark, or something else. He couldn't tell. This was not an acceptable answer. So, I set off on my own explorations.

After finally figuring out how to get a look at the underside of my belly, I saw the offending spot. It certainly looked stretch mark-y. Not good. Not good at all. Just as I was about to go into full-blown breakdown mode, it came to me: it was a scar! Not a new stretch mark, but a scar I've had for seven years. I had almost completely forgotten it was even there. Talk about relief.

Crisis avoided. I'm still, thankfully, stretch mark free, at least for the moment. *Knock on wood* Hopefully it stays that way for the next 18 weeks.

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

An open letter to maternity clothing retailers

Dear Maternity Clothing Retailers,

Why don't you sell pants? I have searched online extensively, and, as far as I can tell, everyone seems to sell approximately two pairs of long pants, generally not in stock in a size I could squeeze my fat ass in to and/or in the astronomical price range. I understand that it's summer, and as a pregnant woman, you expect me to be huge, hot, and miserable because it's summer. I may be miserable, but I'm neither huge nor hot. And some of us still have to wear pants - full-length, hide your ankles pants - to work. Other than the fact that my office temperature is consistently kept somewhere in the subarctic range, I don't really want to wear skirts or capris that are going to show the world my compression socks. So, please, do all pregnant women a favor and stock some damn pants in the summer. Please?

Cheers,

Emily