Flying solo/15 weeks

So begins day two of solo parenting. It’s not SO bad. It’s just nice to have another set of hands and eyes. Toddler need them. In all actuality, I am looking forward to having some time to be still. And quiet. In fact, I may even get to watch a movie that I want to see. And I can play the XM station “Watercolors” all night long without Ash asking if I’m trying to seduce him with the romp music. Smooth jazz does not necessarily denote sex. He’s so weird. However, last night, I did none of this. After Elliot went to sleep and I cleaned up a bit, I talked to Ash and watched TV until I fell asleep. Kind of lame but you know, moms get tired!

Meanwhile, he’s all put up in an Embassy suites: king size bed and probably a 52 inch tv all to himself. Must be nice. I sometimes wish that my job had any requirement of travel. I crave some time to myself in a place away from it all. Surely, I’d miss it all the very next day but one night

Yesterday marked 15 weeks. I feel gigantic but people say I don’t appear to be showing. I just think they’re being polite. I look OK in the morning but by afternoon, my stomach looks and feels huge. I haven’t even been eating very much so I guess that’s just a side effect of pregnancy. Blah. When we get home this evening, there’s going to be a beef stew waiting for us and I hope it’s good. I have been craving it lately. If it were JUST a little cooler it would be perfect. But I was trying to simplify the last three days of this week by doing some easy meals.

I think that’s sort of the key to this time of year: simplify. I am going to try to stress less about making meals and getting all this stuff done. There are a lot of appointments coming up – for me, Elliot and the dogs – and I cannot concern myself with being uptight about it all. Not with the holidays and all that mess approaching. I will pick out Christmas gifts as they seem appropriate so that there will be no last minute rush. I will not worry about my mother’s controlling ways when we visit for Thanksgiving and I will ignore the concerns voiced by the other female elders of my family… because it only makes my head spin unnecessarily. I am also taking this pregnancy one day at a time. I feel like I’ve been pregnant forever already but there’s still a lot of time. I cannot hurry it up; this is out of my hands and I should take solace in that fact.

With that, I leave you. I have to make up my entire November calendar for class and thinking that far ahead is rough. Too rough.

Oh no! NaBloPoMo!

Loaf reminded me that November is fast approaching and ever year I do try to post one time each day. I am really reluctant to even attempt NaBloPoMo this year because there’s just so much other junk I have going on. Aside from the general motherly and wifely duties, household chores, my 40 hour a week job AND teaching a class, I have picked up some other writing stuff lately.

For one – and this is the minor thing – it’s my month to review Bat-books in a Livejournal community I belong to. This shouldn’t be too difficult but they have to be Bruce-Batman and not Dick-Batman, which is really all I am reading since Bruce is chillin’ in some cave in the past, patiently waiting for Tim to come save his ass.

The second thing is that I now write for A Comic Book blog. I have to post about two to three times a week and since I actually care about this, it’s something I’m putting time and effort into. I’ve done a couple reviews and a top ten list (that got a ton of hits; that makes me happy!) so I’m definitely glad to be doing some extra writing here.

This isn’t to say I can’t find some time to post a blog entry but what I really worry about is finding content. I know that their site gives you prompts and I may even use them this year. My life just isn’t as whirlwind exciting as it may have once seemed. Also? i don’t spaz out about things as much and I try not to complain either so there’s not some easy answer to filler posts. Sure, stuff has come up. Last week my sister went to the hospital because she was having immense pain.Turns out she had a bladder infection. She’s still having issues recovering but she’s ok now. Gave my parents quiet a scare though. Things come and go in our lives but they’re not always blog-worthy.

I guess National Blog Posting Month makes them blog-worthy. I don’t know. I DO know that I have some work to do and it’s high time I got started on that.

Potpourri

You know, like the Jeopardy category.

*******
The weekend entailed: my parents hanging out with Elliot, dinner at Bonefish with Ash, our anniversary stay at the McFarlin house, chocolate molten lava cake, jacuzzi tubs, 100 dollar Best Buy gift card for a new vacuum, Football, anger at the neighbours for feeding those damn cats, napping, and beautiful weather.

*******

Where the Wild Things Are did not disappoint me like I was afraid it would, having read everyone else’s opinion. Let’s say this: I spent the entire time trying to figure out which monster represented which kind of person in a society led by a king and then 3/4 of the way through, I realized it was more like family instead. And I bawled my eyes out in the end. If you have a son, then you get it.

*******

Have you seen that ATT commercial where this guy is running around all frantic trying to get various things and it turns out to be for Mariah Carey? Yeah, that’s our friend, Dan. He made a ton of money on that commercial. Also, he was in Law Abiding Citizen with Gerard Butler but all his parts were cut at the last minute. Bummer!

*******

Elliot has entered a new phase where he’s decided to be afraid of random things. Cases in point: a helicopter flew over our house and he ran inside. In the tub, he flipped out because there was a piece of grass (presumably from when Ash rinsed off after his run) floating amidst the toys and bubbles and he kept shouting, “Ew, bug!” and he wouldn’t sit back down. I’ve never known Elliot to freak out about flying things or bugs and now he’s terrified. Kids are so weird.

*******

I went into Best Buy around 5 PM yesterday to merely look at vacuums. I took one down to see how heavy 11 pounds felt and an associate approached me. I asked which one gets bought most often and he directed me towards a Eureka for 130 bucks. I wasn’t trying to play on his sympathies but I told him I had 100 dollars to spend and I needed something that would work well for dog hair. He said he could get that one discounted and looked in his computer. Sure enough, he marked it down to 105. Twelve dollars out of pocket and I am the proud new owner of this: Eureka!

*******

Later this week I get to do the infamous solo parenting gig. Haven’t had to in a while due to the recession. The government really cut back on sending their employees to events so Ash hasn’t had to attend the four or five yearly conferences. But he’s got to go to Tampa later this week. It isn’t ever so bad; it’s just the dropping off AND picking up, the grocery shopping immediately after all that and then food, bedtime, and then I’ll just pass out from lack of anything better to do and sheer pregnancy exhaustion. Though this second trimester has given me more energy, I know that mentally, I will feel worn. I should probably plan ahead the meals Elliot and I will eat as to avoid that post-work Publix trip. God knows that’s the worst time to shop because every single other person on this side of town will also be there, frantic for a dinner option. Sigh.

That is all for now.  I have a to-do list long as my arm and I have yet to cross anything off. Better get started!

Give credit where credit is due

For a very long time, I held myself very high in comparison to Ash. I mean this only in terms of household chores, mind you. I do most everything. As do most moms/wives/. I read an article in the newest Fit Pregnancy/Parents/Parenting magazine (whichever one it was; we’re inundated even though I don’t even want those things anymore) that said something like – if I remember right – 30% of mothers say that their husbands are doing about 20% of the chores while they do the rest. The part that struck me as the most true is the “mental to-do list” that moms keep track of, whereas most fathers don’t realize that the diapers are running low or we need more raisins, etc.

But I want to take a second to list a few things Ash has done recently that deserve a shout out. For one, he’s been really good about writing general food things on our grocery list. I pounded a nail into the wall right by the back door and hung a small notepad and this was all it took for him to remind us when we need peanut butter, bananas, or other foods he typically eats.

Secondly, since I do the laundry, it tends to end up on our guest bed in a state of unfoldedness for a while and then I get to it but I tend not to put it away. The other day, I noticed that he’d taken all of his clothes and put them into the armoir. He should have taken them all, yes, but this is a big step!

Thirdly, he asked me to pick up Elliot yesterday – which is rare unless he’s getting a hair cut or, like then, having to do some extra work project. He managed to finish up and get home about 10 minutes before us and I came home to see him washing the dishes. Mind you, these were dishes from meals he did not eat. Because one of his unwritten all the time jobs is dishes after a meal that I make for us. So again, another big point for him noticing something and actually taking initiative.

I am pretty sure he doesn’t read my blog but in case he ever did, II think it’d be nice of me to acknowledge these things. We all want credit and approval for the things we do, even if we ever say it. So, thanks babe. I appreciate it!

Too much junk in the trunk

I am normally a very tidy person. I keep my surfaces generally clutter free (not all the time but I am timely in cleaning up) and I pride myself on a junk free car. Except when I was getting out in the work parking lot this morning and I realized how much crap is in my car right now. Here’s a semi-complete list of the contents:

  • Islands of Adventure large umbrella
  • Box of CDs I intended to sell but CD Warehouse went out of business
  • Yoga mat
  • Two pairs of kid socks and one tennis shoe
  • One pair of kid flip flops
  • Two jackets: mine and Elliot’s
  • A Diego Tricycle
  • Various granola and snack bars
  • Straw wrappers from Starbucks
  • Napkins/used Kleenex
  • Three sippy cups half filled with water
  • An athletic bag containing yellow flag football flags
  • One pair of cleats covered in caked on red clay
  • One plastic dinosaur
  • One makeshift teddy bear from a church, given to us in the ER
  • Paperwork from the dermatologist appointment back on the 11th

As you can see, the contents of my car could easily serve to make a very interesting Freshman comp writing assignment. How do these items define the person (or family) who owns this car?  There’s also a lot of detail driven writing that could come from this. It’s almost sad that I think in writing assignments.

So, what’s a place where you have a collection of stuff, what is it, and how would I interpret you just by those things? Do tell!

Stop the world, I’d like to get off please

I hate using the term “whirlwind” but it pretty much sums up what things have been like since about Thursday. Which, mind you, was our fourth anniversary. We didn’t do anything special because we’re doing the B&B thing on Saturday but let me tell you, we didn’t spend it doing anything at all enjoyable.

For one, that day at work seemed hectic. Got home from work and made dinner and Ash was just about to get ready for his flag football game when it happened. Elliot was chasing after Iggy and they went into the kitchen from the living room. (Sidenote, he was wearing socks; we have vinyl flooring.) We heard the cry so Ash got up to check. I hear him say something like, “hey buddy, you ok?” And then he said something like, “Elliot, what happened??” in a slightly more amped up tone. He carried him into the living room where I saw that the boy was doing the noiseless cry. Which, if you know anything about children is Very Bad. And then? Elliot passed out. Went limp in Ash’s arms, eyes closed. Though it seemed like a million years went by, I believe he was only out for maybe three seconds. I can still hear the way my voice sounded when I shrieked his name, scared to death when his body looked lifeless, if only for the slightest moment.

Our immediate reaction was to go straight to the ER. I grabbed wallets and sandals and keys and we got in, Ash holding Elliot in the backseat. And then, he came around and started acting ok. Not normal, but not crying and then he pointed out a slide on a playground. So we thought maybe he was ok. Turn around, go back home and I made a call to the pediatrician. The on-call nurse got right back to us and said because he lost consciousness he should be seen. Sigh. SO we did end up going to the emergency room. Check in time was 7:08 PM. Luckily, there were not many people in the waiting room. It’s not the waiting that bothers me; it’s the sick, swine flu carrying no-insurance having people lounging around in there that get to me. But since he’s only two, he was seen quickly.

The kid was acting totally fine about an hour in: running around and laughing and slightly delirious because it was past his bedtime. They gave him a CT and we waited some more. Back in the room, a woman kept coming in and using this phone. But she was just a patient and although she asked the first time if it was OK, I had an immense problem with her he chatting it up with someone and then saying, “Yeah, there’s just someone else in here” in that exasperated tone. WTF lady? Wtf?

Elliot’s CT came back normal – of course – but after talking to the doctor, I realized that he was right on the cusp of an injury that could have been awful. And I cannot imagine trying to sleep that night if we hadn’t gone. All I would think about is whether or not something was bleeding in his brain. I think we did the right thing by going in. Even though we were only in the ER a total of two and a half hours, it is something I don’t ever want to do again. And we’re lucky Elliot didn’t do something worse. We assume he hit his head; the sickening part is that neither of us actually saw it. Oh, and no more socks without tread.

*****

After all that, things just sort of spiraled in those tiny ways life tends to do. I got a hole in my only pair of jeans and it spread quickly, rendering them useless. I cannot afford new jeans right now. If I were like you and I had credit cards, then yes, I could go buy some. Buy we’re stubborn like that and refuse to rake up the credit.

I reassessed my finances and I am tight this week. It’s not a huge deal because I can eat at home and cut back on little things like Starbucks. But Elliot only has one jacket and it’s cold. And we still haven’t bought his Halloween costume.  And there’s still the jeans, though I found the pair I retired when I got too big with Elliot. They fit but when I sit I have to ubutton AND unzip them. When I stand, I can zip and use a hair band threaded through the loop. I wish I hadn’t bought contacts this paycheck but I thought I needed them. Turns out I still had one pair of each in there. I should have looked.

I also lost one of Elliot’s hats and a teddy bear in the course of our weekend outings. I HATE knowing I was that remiss in paying attention. It weighs upon my brain.

*****

Not everything has been bad. I got my Halloween decorations all set up and Elliot was cute and cuddly all weekend. The weather on Saturday was nice enough to open all the windows. The weather yesterday was too cold but we bundled up under “binkies” (as Elliot says) in the house and watched football. A friend came over from Jacksonville to watch the games too. I’m winning in Fantasy Football. Ash ran 12 miles on Sunday and bested his time. I took a long walk with the dogs.  My parents are coming on Friday. I shouldn’t always complain so much but it was really stressful there for a couple of days and I just felt like shutting down and shutting out the world. Though you know, once things get really down, they always swing back up. It’s all cyclical.

What is Blue frustrated about?

That was the episode we watched this morning and it’s fitting; I am indeed frustrated/peeved/annoyed by most of what is gong on lately. I can blame it on pregnancy hormones but in general, things just seem to keep piling up.

For one, Ash is sick. Which prompted me to finally go get my flu shot, except it’s not that easy and it costs 25 bucks. So I have to wait. For another, our usual Halloween plans seem to be falling through. We normally go to a friend’s house with all of the friends in this group, plus their kids, dress up and trick or treat. But not this year. And I don’t have a back up plan; plus our neighbourhood really sucks for getting candy/anyone decorating for Halloween. Which makes me sad, since it’s my favorite holiday. On the other hand, this is kind of good because I don’t think Ash and I will dress up, which saves money.

And there are the little things: my dad being reluctant to come up here for Christmas, because he gets annoyed by my dogs. We’re going there for Thanksgiving and since Ash’s side of the family bailed on us, it’d be nice if my family could do a trade-off. For now, the plans are up in the air; which I hate.

Also, there’s the whole CAT issue. I know I might offend some people here but my concern is real and true, valid. So, pregnant women can apparently contract this disease from cats, Toxoplasmosis. It can make your child retarded or even die in the womb. (With something so deadly, why the fuck would anyone want to own a cat? But that’s just me. I apologize to cat owners.) From what I have read, you’re supposed to avoid changing your cat’s litter box. Well, I obviously don’t have a cat. BUT, my fat, slovenly neighbours feed the strays, who shit in my yard and my dogs get into it. Yesterday, I forgot about this problem and cleaned them up. I used paper towels and didn’t touch it, since I wouldn’t want to do that anyway. But then Ash reminded me about the cat shit issue. So I am slightly worried about that. If my kid comes out fucked up, I won’t be able to forget that it’s because of the people who live next door – who let their house go to shit and feed feral cats – who are to blame. In a way. So yeah, back of my mind, stewing.

But I guess I should stop bitching because I won in both Fantasy Football leagues this week, I am actively working on some fiction, I have a decent amount of money in my bank account, my parents are coming up to watch the Boy so Ash and I can take a short vacation, and things could be a hell of a lot worse. It’s so easy to get carried away with the bad stuff and just wallow. And sleep it off. And eat away the pain. In the end, you still have to deal with it all. And then it’s all dealt with and you can move on.

I’m ready to deal and move on.

Quiet reflection

Last night, I went to a Gentle Yoga class, because I cannot seem to find any prenatal ones that aren’t already full. So I get there and I like the room (this matters, you know) and they had ample blankets and bolsters, etc; things you could really use during a pregnant yoga session. But I tell you – and it didn’t really bother me – I was the youngest person there by maybe 20, even 30 years. In a lot of ways, the session was really good. We did some stretches that  helped a lot with the soreness I have been having and we relaxed, which was what I ultimately hoped for. The thing I liked the most was Yoga mudra:

Yoga Mudra

Imagine, though, that the guy is holding a tie (scarf, etc.)  wrapped around both hands, arms held shoulder width apart. It was an interesting pose, one I had no trouble doing. The instructor said it was the ultimate pose of surrender, which I thought was interesting. I’m not much into the bondage scene but I saw some definite connections between this yoga pose and that. That was actually sort of thrilling, in a weird way.

Though it did relax me, I don’t think it was enough. When I did prenatal yoga with Elliot, it was still a workout in which I sweat and felt worked afterward. I am seeking something more along those lines; it was missing the element of connecting to your baby, which I thought was cheesy the first go-round but find that I enjoyed immensely. I am going to seek out something more focused and see if I can’t work that into my weekly routine. It was super nice to get out of the house between 5:30 and 7, the prime Elliot care time. I came home to see that Ash had made mac and cheese and green beans and they were sitting at the table, eating together. This is a gigantic step for Ash because a.) he hates eating dinner at the table and b.) he doesn’t like dirty kid hands. But he handled it very well. You know, like an adult. Like a father.

Maybe I should have started on all this yoga stuff earlier but to be honest, I was waiting to make sure that the kid was really in there and that I wasn’t going to miscarry again. Not that I am in the clear but at 12 weeks your risk decreases  exponentially. And I am glad for it. I don’t need anything else to worry about.

So we’ll see how it all goes. Meanwhile, Ash and I celebrate our anniversary on the 15th. I just booked a room here: The McFarlin House. It’s out in Quincy and we’ve stayed there before. The last time was in November of 2007 for a little getaway. This time should be a little nicer for me since back then, I was still breastfeeding Elliot so in order to not be uncomfortable, I had to pump milk before bed and once in the middle of the night. I’m also planning on doing something traditional for Ash on the actual day of our  anniversary (we’re doing the overnight thing a week later when my mom can come babysit). The traditional 4th anniversary gift is fruit. I’m going to try to be creative with that.

If you have any creative fruit ideas, let me know! ‘Til the next blog post…

Babies make good blog fodder

It’s true. I have proof:

Kidlet2 -3

There it is: the kidlet at 12 weeks. It looks so… huge to me. I guess when Elliot had his first picture taken, he was only 10 weeks. It makes a big difference apparently. The bean is growing right on schedule and my supposed due date is right about 4/21, which will make it the end of the semester, thankfully. However, I have a habit of producing children that like to show up early. Let’s hope for one that’s on time, ok?

My friend is also pregnant and her due date is about 2 weeks before mine. I never had any pregnant friends before and now it’s kind of cool to have one whose kid will be roughly mine’s age. It’s pretty cool because she and her husband have known Ash and I for a long long time. Maybe since about 1999, so we go way back and I think we’ll be around a while in the future. It’s a neat idea knowing our kids could be friends.

It’s good to know that tomorrow officially begins the second trimester; I also hope that means this constant headache will subside. The nausea laid low last week but seems to have come back a little yesterday and today. Crackers, ginger ale, rest. And soon, maybe I’ll get some of my energy back. How wonderful it will be.

Besides that, I really want to: decorate for Halloween, buy pumpkins, go to Fresh Market to get their hot apple cider, and buy Fall clothes for both myself and Elliot. Also? It would be great if last week’s cool weather came back.  At least it stopped raining.

Time for a snack break. I’m out.

A little of this, some of that

I want to tell you about a new place I tried last week when my pregnancy cravings for meats! and cheeses! skyrocketed to unfathomable proportions.

Metro Deli – I have always wanted to try this place but a.) it’s hard to get parking downtown and b.) they always seem to have a line out the door. Thursday, by some stroke of luck, both of these factors swung in my favor and I picked up the Tallahassee Sub from their extensive menu. OMG it was like manna from Heaven. Meat and cheese and warm bubbly bread and mayonnaise and just… I could eat it again right now. In fact, I had a dream last night that I also went there for dinner. They even recognized me. Ha ha. It’s just that good, people.

I am fairly broke this week and with a doctor’s appointment tomorrow (co-pay: $25) and a dermatologist appointment for Elliot on Thursday (a specialist so I am assuming co-pay: $25) I cannot afford to eat out for lunch at all. And I have a problem convincing myself to make a sandwich and eat healthy granola snacks all day when I could be having the mother of all sandwiches from Metro Deli. Especially difficult when pregnant woman cravings take over all reasonable thought.

Also, the pregnancy hormones are to blame for my breakdown over a snack yesterday. Yes, a snack. Elliot was beginning to melt down around 4 PM and Ash states, very matter-of-factly: ” I think he just needs a snack.” I was on the couch, trying to rid myself of a headache so I had my eyes closed with my arm draped over them. Five minutes after Ash’s statement, Elliot was still moaning and whining and no snacks had been procured. And this was my breaking point. I sat up and roared, “So get him a goddamn snack!” I then ran to my room and slammed the door. It was so restful to lay down under the fan and just relax for a second. I think I may have only been there about 15 minutes before Ash came in and meekly said he’d given the Boy a snack and then asked when dinner might be ready. Although I should have come back with something dreadfully snarky like, “whenever you make it”, I got up and made dinner like the good little domesticated wife that I am.

Sigh.I guess in the end, it’s sometimes better/easier to just be agreeable than cause waves.

And though this is random, I was just thinking that I find myself feeling guilty when I describe something as “so convenient.” As if this world we’ve created where things are easily at our fingertips is not right somehow. Somehow I think I should have to struggle a little more for the rewards I may reap. It sounds weird but I just feel like a big slacker lazy ass for wanting things to be easier.

Like this pregnancy. Or work. Or parenting. But it isn’t always so I ought to take the bad with the good.

Tomorrow I have my first ultrasound. Results to follow!