Post-turkey post

Not only have I been procrastinating getting my actual work work done, but I have put off the Big Thanksgiving Recap post. This is due in part to the fact that I am TIRED and mostly, because I need a break from my break; this vacation seemed extra special stressful, for some reason.

SO, we got out of the house around 7 PM Tuesday night and the drive was fine; Elliot fell asleep within the first hour. I only had to stop to use the bathroom once, which was pretty good for a pregnant woman. I don’t think I slept any even though I was pretty tired. When we got into Orlando I think I ate a piece of pizza and we went to bed pretty much right after the brief welcome.

The great thing was that Wednesday was a totally free and complete day. We woke around 7:30-8 and got ready to go to Bob Evans, which was one of my only requirements of our trip. The food was yummy, let me tell you. And the rest of the day was just visiting, etc until my mom went with Ash and I down to Ikea, which was a 3 hour round trip, considering all the traffic. We didn’t find the bins we wanted for Elliot’s room – because Ikea doesn’t apparently make bins with locking lids – but I found a kitchen rug and a wall clock for my office. Ash and I should have gone out that night but we pretty much just hung out.

Thursday morning Ash ran and I helped with meal prep while we waited for my aunt and grandparents to arrive mid-day. About an hour or two before mealtime, Alyson’s boyfriend, Justin, showed up so we got to know him a bit. Once everyone was there, it got loud and hectic and my stomach started to really hurt, but I couldn’t tell you why. It could have had something to do with my Aunt worrying about EVERY TINY THING and constantly asking where Elliot was, as if any of us want something bad to happen. I think it was at that point I started to get VERY STRESSED. I didn’t really get to enjoy the wonderful meal because of the pain in my stomach. But for once, I also didn’t overeat!

Ash wanted to go shopping on Black Friday but we didn’t get out until around 11, which was actually better because all the crazy deal shoppers were gone. But I was in a pissy mood so our trip wasn’t that exciting. I managed to get out of the funk briefly and then I finally listened to Ash and we got out for the evening. We met up with my sister and Justin at Don Pablo’s, where Ash and I hadn’t eaten in a decade. It was really nice to sit down with the two of them. To be honest, I’m not sure I was ever going to see a day where I’d have a meal with my significant other and my sister and hers. After dinner, we parted ways and Ash and I saw Ninja Assassin, which was actually fairly awesome. I’m diggin’ on Rain, the actor who played the main role.

Maybe it’s just the abs I like. I’m not sure yet. ANYway, since Saturday was our last day, we laid low. My grandparents left around noon and I realized how hard it had been with them there, even though I cannot honestly pinpoint why. I think everyone breathed a little easier once they were on the road. We stuck around for dinner and then got the hell outta dodge, which was, again, stressing, because I was tired and didn’t feel like driving and I just wanted to go home to my own bed and forget about all the little annoyances having to do with family get-togethers.

I don’t want to sound like the whole time sucked; Elliot had a blast with all of our family and he loved hanging out with Justin. He was well-behaved and we also got some awesome pictures, so I just shouldn’t complain. But it just felt very overwhelming this time. I have an excuse; I can just blame this pregnancy. Sigh.

So yesterday was supposed to be a time to recoop and regather and just hang out. Except I: went grocery shopping, did laundry, made a big lunch, built a light box, got dressed and saw New Moon. So, no rest really. Unless you count the movie. And there was a slight reprieve in Jacob’s abs:

My weekend viewing was very, uh, ab intensive. And hey, I’m not complaining. But it really felt good to be back in my office this morning, spending time alone. I don’t know what it is about this time of year but there are times when I just want to crawl under a rock and tell everyone to leave me alone. I’m not all bah-humbug about Christmas, I swear! But sometimes all the crazy shopping and deadlines and end of year crap just eats me alive.

Perhaps I need another massage or to do more yoga; I need to find a way to de-stress. I really think it’s hitting me hard lately. I know the only person who can fix this is myself and maybe that’s the hard part. I hate to be such a downer in this time of holiday cheer but something is just not right with me after this trip. It’s down times like these that things seem to turn around at the drop of a hat – in an instant, etc. I just hope that turn comes sooner rather than later.

I hope everyone’s November is wrapping up nicely. See you in December.

Gobble Gobble

In the words of the Walgreens sign on Conroy Boulevard, coming home from IKEA:

“Happy Thangs Giving!”

(Thanks to a fellow DeviantArt peep for the artwork!)

Mental Vacation

Ash has been on vacation in his mind for a few days now; it’s pretty obvious. Not that I don’t normally have to repeat myself but it’s been worse than usual. Last night, knowing he was taking today off, he fell asleep around 8:30 and woke around 3 AM. I already don’t sleep well so his early waking didn’t bother me all that much. When I was leaving at 7, he had crawled back into bed and was silently shutting down, preparing for our four days of freedom.

I would say I am jealous but I really can’t think about sleeping right now. I have to pack and run about five errands and make sure the car is all situated before we can even begin the roughly three hour forty minute trip.

We’re planning a few things during our trip. Mainly: eat at Bob Evans, shop at Ikea, and attempt to experience Black Friday. Ash has never done it and would like to, though I really have no desire to get up that early and risk being trampled. My mom and dad are going to take Elliot to the zoo though, while we’re out fighting the crowds. He’ll like that; we didn’t see an elephant at the Jacksonville zoo – which was disappointing considering that Jax is the largest city – so it’s amazing that little ol’ Sanford, Florida has one. I’m personally looking forward to meeting Justin, my sister’s boyfriend. He seems like a pretty good guy, though he’s a Cowboys fan so we’ll have to rag on him for THAT. “America’s Team” my ass. If sucking that bad is being “OUR” team, then we suck too. Poor, poor America!

Boy, THAT was a tangent.

So anyway, work got busy and I got sidetracked but I hope everyone has a great holiday. I’ll try to check in over the next few days. Don’t eat too much!



Almost there

Irrelevant of this post, I noticed I have had no comments in days and days. And here I thought I was putting extra effort in lately. Oh well. This time of year has everyone off-kilter, I suppose.

Anyway, I’m in the final stretch of the time before vacation. By this time tomorrow, I will be driving back to the house to finish packing and get the car ready for our trip.  I usually feel a certain amount of anxiety amd nervousness before the drive but I seem to be lacking this. At least, today I don’t feel it. I refuse to rush or be angry about cars on the road or circumstances. I want the drive to be happy and peaceful, so that when we get to my parents’ house, I am not in a bad grumpy mood. (Remind me, too, to have snacks in the car. I am not a happy camper when hungry and driving.)

In pregnancy news, I think I am really starting to show. It’s weird how that all begins because the baby is still in the uterus, lower than my belly. But the body begins to readjust its weight so that the stomach gets all hard and round, even though the baby itself hasn’t moved that much higher. I bought a different type of maternity jeans this weekend and they’re much more comfortable, except they tend to fall down just enough so that most of my shirts don’t hide that blue ever-telling pregnancy band. Sleeping is rough but not too bad. I went and got a prenatal massage on Saturday morning and that was relieving. In fact, that’s the most relaxed I have felt in a long time. It was also one of the best massages I have had, even though it was only 30 minutes. I wish I could afford one of those about every month until I gave birth. Because how awesome would that be??

When we get back from Thanksgiving, I will only have 4 days until the gender revaling ultrasound. Just like last time, I “feel” like it’s a boy but I don’t know 100% if that’s because I “want” a boy. And this time around, I have this extra idea that my body produces boys so that’s, naturally, what this kidlet is. Who knows? They say a mom can tell but I also second-guess myself a lot. BUT, I am having very similar food cravings and I am carrying pretty much the same way.

I guess it won’t matter either way, to be honest. Like everyone says, so long as it’s healthy.

So, this post isn’t a whole lot of substance btu I have been working on it, basically, all day long. Maybe one tomorrow before my big break.

A mile a minute

My brain is racing. It is bogged down, overloaded, with ideas and worries and little flashes of images from the future – both imminent and months away. I would list them but it’s too much, so many tiny things and humongous things and they’re just so heavy. And I wake up every night sometime between 4 and 5 and I think about all this stuff that has to be dealt with. And I worry and turn over and over and remind myself that it’ll all work out in some way… it always works out.

But then I wonder what happens if, for once, it doesn’t work out. And we somehow don’t have money for the second kid to go to daycare and I can’t find a better paying job and all this STUFF just reels inside me… it’s enough to make me want to jump out of my bed or out from behind my desk and just run screaming in any direction away from this life that is CRAZY. But that’s not the answer. I ran so much in my early twenties; I spent a lot of time convincing myself that if I ignored problems they’d just go away. I learned my lesson of course and only found larger amounts of debt – now gone, thankfully – and holes deeper than I knew how to dig my way out of. Guess we all have to learn these things on our own though.

On Saturday, I’m getting a prenatal massage with a gift card my mother gave me last Christmas. I am hoping it will relieve some of this tension. Then it’s on to next week and family and vacation time and good food… I just keep telling myself I’ll make it. I will make it.

My shitty morning OR how I made a complete ass of myself

When I awoke this morning, there was something awry with my system. To be polite, let’s just call it “intestinal distress” and suffice to say I didn’t want to venture far from a bathroom. I left about 5 minutes late to get Elliot to daycare and all was fine but immediately after, I went back to the house to Google a certain medicine’s safety during pregnancy. Once deemed OK, I ingested, drank some water and laid down for about 10 minutes before getting on to work.

The drive in was seemingly long and trafficky, leaving me annoyed. I hadn’t eaten yet so I decided to go to Starbucks and get some oatmeal. I figured that would be good for an upset stomach; it’s pretty basic. The S-Bucks I go to is off a busy road and tends to back up in the drive-thru, but there are about 8 parking spaces to the right of the drive-thru line with a through lane to get to them and around the building. Our light was green and the car turning left into the parking lot in front of me indicated she was going to park, because she was in that through lane, to the right of the backed up cars. And then she didn’t. And I was out in the ROAD. I honked. She didn’t move. I got increasingly more amped up as cars started to come AT ME from the light that had been red. I got so fucking angry that I walked out to her window and told her to move because she was blocking the place where we drive THROUGH, not park. And she seemed at a complete and total loss. As if what I told her made absolutely no sense.

Well, I was incensed by this time and once she moved her big ass SUV up a bit, I just decided to drive away – in the other direction because she was still blocking the way to the parking spaces – and I left, without food and feeling very crazed. I cried in the car because there had been a cop in the parking lot and I just knew he was going to come after me for reckless behaviour. I got to work, still panicky, and went into the Circle K for a shitty-ass biscuit that did little for my appetite.

SO, of course the day I have the worst stuff go wrong is the day that the bulk of freshmen can register and if I had been here on time, I would have opened more classes. But since I got in at 9, I had a ton of phone messages and emails, all crying because there are no seats for them. STRESS.

I know that the “right” thing to do is move forward and recover, stick it out, go to class, and do my work. But all I can think about it going home after I teach. And climbing under the covers and hiding. I am really pissed off at myself for getting that angry this morning. The words “road rage” echo in the back of my mind and I am just downright disappointed in me. And I know that I probably will give in and leave by 1:30. I may even go to the grocery store, because we’re out of so much and I won’t have time tonight because of yoga. It’s pathetic how I let all this come crashing down. I thought I was stronger.

I guess not. Not really.

Trick or I’m Thankful for Ho ho ho

It sounds silly but I wish there was more to Thanksgiving. Like, songs or something. Yesterday they began playing Christmas music on the radio (someone texted me this; I have XM, who is also playing it) and I was commenting today that every year, we start on Christmas earlier and earlier. When I went to get some last minute – like October 23rd or so – Halloween stuff, half of Target’s Christmas displays were up and operational.

I don’t want to say that we now gloss over Thanksgiving because we’re “less thankful” or a country full of materialistic assholes but one could surmise this from the small amount of time spent on the November holiday. Personally, I love the progression from Summer into Fall, to Halloween and then Thanksgiving before the whole holiday insanity and the inevitable letdown come January. For me anyway, I feel terribly depressed when it’s all over and done with. But the build-up is so great.

Thanksgiving in our family was always something we did big and spent time on. I always got this cozy homey feeling in November; one of harvesting and gathering and getting ready for a big feast with family that you love. My mom and I always set up this paper village:

And that always put me in the mood. Most years, we visited my dad’s family in Alabama but sometimes we spent it in South Florida with my maternal grandparents. The meals were vastly different but the company was no less warm and inviting.

I get excited thinking about the food every year. I don’t want to say that it’s an excuse to stuff myself but in some ways, we all like to say so. My mom’s meals now – since we no longer have my paternal grandparents and my mom’s parents aren’t able to cook anymore – are a mixture of the Southern and the Yankee meals of my youth. She still makes the yams with the little marshmallows and sometimes turnips. We find the frozen cream corn like Mema made but we forgo chicken and dumplings because they are labor intensive and never taste the same as Mema’s anyway. The dressing – or stuffing – doesn’t have giblets in it but it’s not plain ol’ Yankee cornbread stuff either.

Mom makes her own turkey recipe but it’s juicy and tender. I make the mashed potatoes so they’re creamy and buttery and not like cement, which my Grammy is famous for. I like that our family get-togethers now are a conglomeration of the old days and wat we’ve become now. We have a new generation of family to show this to and new traditions to build upon. If you couldn’t tell, I am really looking forward to next week. It’s like it can’t come soon enough. Though I don’t look forward to the drive down or the craziness of everyone sleeping in one house and dogs who don’t like each other… it’s still going to completely rock!

I don’t normally watch TV shows…

This post was going to begin with one confession and then I googled something related and now I have another one. Sigh.

On Friday, when I had finished book four of Charlaine Harris’s Sookie Stackhouse vampire series, I decided that I would download (on iTunes) episode one of the first season of True Blood. Admittedly I did this at work, because Friday afternoons are SLOW. I’m talking whistles and tumbleweeds. So I watched and I was hooked. Granted, they change a few things around and mess with a couple characters but I was still sold, hook, line and sinker. And then? I downloaded episode two. But that’s where I cut it off because I convinced Ash – finally – to let me put it on the Netflix queue.

It’s not like it’s some masterpiece of HBO shows or anything but it’s kind of cool to see how someone takes book characters and translates them to screen. Anna Paquin would be one of my very last choices for Sookie but it seems to work. The guy who plays Bill is a lot more… plain that I had envisioned him and yet, I still like him. And there’s something about the way he says “Sookie”… like he’s about to lay her down and do sweet sweet thangs to her at any second.

And that’s my second confession. I googled “The Way Bill Compton Says Sookie” and there’s a Facebook group for that. And, sadly, I joined it. With a chuckle. An out loud chuckle.

These books aren’t great but they’re endelssly entertaining and now I am full on ready to finish watching the TV Series. As if I needed another distraction from the multitude of other things I should be accomplishing… Oh well.


I REALLY want the Samsung Impression.

I am eligible for an upgrade from ATT on Thursday and I am hoping with all my might that this one will be a reasonable price. They’re doing all kinds of deals for non-upgrade customers with messaging plans but when you’re eligible for the upgrade, you always get some kind of deal. The thing is this: I don’t want to get a data plan. I just want a newer phone to make calls and text as usual. The way I’m going to get around having to pay to use the net on a portable device is this:

I could use a new ipod anyway and this’ll access the net wherever there’s wifi. This is also reasonably priced ($188), making it a great Christmas present. Now, who’ll get this for me? ;)

Over the hump

I wake with a horrific aching pain in my right thigh, because I’m not used to sleeping on my side all night and besides that, I’m pregnant, so nothing is ever comfortable. It’s too early, I think, glancing at the alarm clock which reads 6:23, but it’s actually 6:08 because Ash likes to have it 15 minutes ahead of schedule. I also know that it’s cold outside so getting up is not desirable in any way. I remind myself that by noon, it’ll be a balmy 75 and sunny so there’s that…

I remember the weekend and try to use it to think happy thoughts. Friday was Date Night and we dropped Elliot back off to his preschool around 6. The other kids participating – maybe 4 or 5 of them – were making hand turkeys. I knew he’d be just fine. Ash and I ventured to Osaka and when we finished and realized we had 3 hours to do whatever we wanted, we were actually at a loss. So we decided to stroll around the mall. Ash got an ice cream cone and I had a latte and we just sort of meandered into stores and idly checked out potential Christmas gifts. It was just so… relaxing and stress-free.

I don’t really remember Saturday except that I felt behind and unlike myself most of the day. I can’t even remember what we did. Oh yes! I went to my friend’s baby shower and that was basically it. We did some grocery shopping and TV watching. Which led into Sunday which was more TV watching – of the football variety – and little else. I started a list though. That’s a very good step in the right direction. I have been kind of lackadaisical lately about getting anything at all actually accomplished so the list, it shall help.

However, I did finally buy a journal to record this pregnancy. It’s true what they say about the second kid: they really get the shaft. It’s harder to be as devoted to this one, to be as in awe about certain stages and happenings. Possibly once we find out the gender there will be a nee-found sense of interest because there will be more of an attachment. At least for me, I like knowing if it’s little boy Smith or girl Smith.

But there’s still 17 days until I know that. And more imminently, there’s only 9 days until we leave for our Thanksgiving vacation. I am already starting to think ahead to packing and situating the car just so and, more importantly, to the food. And THAT entry is soon to come.