Saturday, October 30, 2010

Depression, S.A.D., PPD, oh my!

I really have no right to complain. Sometimes I sit here and get myself down about all the stress I'm under when I'm going through a pregnancy that's been really blessed and healthy so far. Even the things I complain about aren't really worth complaining about--I'm just a big whiner. I was talking to Graham last night, and even though things didn't exactly go according to our plan (which was really my plan, if we're being honest), I think things ended up going the way they were supposed to go.

"I may not have gone where I intended to go, but I think I have ended up where I needed to be."

-Douglas Adams
I found that quote while working on lesson plans a few weeks ago, and it really stuck with me. I've been trying to keep that in perspective as the last few weeks of gestation come to a close. I find myself dealing with my Type-A personality more than ever. I've been working on two manuals for the people who will be taking on my various job duties and leaving exceptionally specific instructions for them, all the with hope they will be followed to the letter. And the rational part of me knows that things happen and things change. Lord knows that with all the development work I do around here and how fast things tend to move that I'll return from maternity leave and find everything has changed. And, with a substitute teacher in the room, things are gonna come up. The kids will test her. Things will break down and things will be crazy, and life will go on. I'll have to resist the urge to pick up the phone and inquire about how things are going because I know that if I get involved, my "leave" will end up being a work-from-home situation--and I sure as hell don't want that. I think the change of seasons is having a slight affect on all this, too. Combined with my pregnancy hormones, I've been slightly less chipper lately and increasingly more sarcastic as the days go by. I really need to focus on finding things to be happy about during the work day because when I don't, I find that my work days and work weeks seem twice as long as they usually do.
And then, there's Graham.
Poor Graham. It's been about a year since I've been normal. All the stress we went through with just trying to buy the damn house sent me into a twisty spiral that put me on antidepressants, and then my doctor kept me on them to get me through the winter because my S.A.D. keeps me in the hap-hap-happiest of moods all season, ::pause for eyeroll:: and then at the end of April I found out I was expecting a baby. I went off the antidepressants (but probably shouldn't have) and dealt with crazy mood swings and depression episodes all summer and well into the fall. Combine that with all the stress I've been under at work and the pregnancy hormones from hell, and I've just been a peach to live with! And naturally I'm giving birth right in the middle of the holiday season! I usually enjoy the holidays and I can deal with the stress, but it's the mess I tend to end up in right after Christmas and New Year's. I hate winter--seriously, I hate it--and I despite pretty much every minute of it. I hate the snow and the slush and the cold--My God! The cold!--and I generally don't deal with it well. I had suspected I was dealing with S.A.D. (seasonal affective disorder) for a few years, but it hit me really hard after we came back from Liz's wedding in Hawaii. I had spent 10 days in paradise with 85 degree highs and 75 degree lows and loved every moment of it. Then we came home to 18 inches of snow and a high temperature of -4. That winter I was pretty much useless and because the spring was so cool I didn't really "wake up" until May.
Again, poor Graham. I had maybe 4 months of "normal" me before I got crazy. I can't wait to be normal again, I really can't. We've already discussed me S.A.D. with my doctor and OB (Aside: Seriously? S.A.D.? Could there be a worse acronym for any sort of depression? As if I already didn't feel like Eeyore, I now have to walk around saying, "Hey guys, guess what? I am S.A.D.") as well as the high probability I'll have to deal with post-partum depression. That should be a fun little adventure. S.A.D. + PPD? It might just be easier to get my forehead tattooed with, "Seriously, don't even speak to me. I will CUT you." Sends the right message, doncha think?

He's been wonderful, though. I think I'd have ended up in a really bad place were it not for him. He gets me up when I need to get up and he lets me cry when I need to cry. He watches me like a hawk which is great--it's also kind of annoying when I'd much rather be left the hell alone--but ultimately it's a good thing.

I could be speaking prematurely here, but I think not going to work this winter will help me. Part of what I really struggle with is the pressure to be "on" in the middle of January. I have a really hard time dealing with frustrating people and situations in addition to snow and ice and cold and 4 hours of sunlight a day. Even though I'll still need to be "on" for Baby G here, I can be on from the comfort of my own home. We'll be able to take naps when we need them, and I can do it while wearing comfies instead of real clothes. I think Baby G is going to be a huge help for me this winter as long as we can get my other issues under control.

I'm really blessed, like I said. Christ, I have the most wonderful person in the world for a spouse, a home that we're working on owning, a steady job, an adorable cat, a family that loves me and can't freaking wait for our baby, and I'm pregnant. It seems so illogical for me to be so down sometimes when I've got so much going for me. I wish I could figure it out, but that's why I've got some damn good medical professionals to help me out. My doctors are fabulous, and I feel so much better after I leave their offices.

So. That's that.

Friday, October 29, 2010

Five Things Friday

Five Things You Never Wanted To Know About Me

  1. I have two scars just below my bottom lip from sliding headfirst into a toolbox when I was a kid.
  2. Once someone loses my trust, it's gone for good.
  3. I seriously hate the Tampa Bay (Devil) Rays. Something about seeing the logo and the team just makes me start snarling and makes my fingers twitch.
  4. I don't really care what people think about me. I wasted a lot of time caring and trying to impress people and it was just that--a huge waste of time. If you don't like me for who I am, I don't want you liking me for something I'm not. Don't like what I have to say? ::shrug::
  5. I don't consider myself "smart". If you asked, I'd say I'm of average intelligence. However, I'm smarter than a lot of people give me credit for. This has worked to my advantage a number of times within the last year--particularly at work!

If I went into labor today,

I'd be seriously screwed. I feel so far behind at work. I really wish one of my coworkers would find the time in her "busy, busy schedule" to sit down with me and go over this manual they had me type up for her. I'd feel a little better, if nothing else.


Oh well. Add that to the List of Things That Are Not My Problem. You don't "have time" to meet with me? No skin off my back. I'm not the one who will be clueless when it comes to doing my job for 12 weeks.

Karma sucks, don't it? :-)

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Nesting, Ahoy!

Well folks, I think it's safe to say I've officially entered the nesting phase of pregnancy. Oh, joy! Just what Graham needs! I've gone from being a crazy, hormonal mess who sleeps a lot to a crazy, hormonal mess with a mission. What mission? I'm calling it Operation Clean Up The Crap, or OCUP for short. Greeeeeeat!

I've been so tired lately. I get home from work and I'm ready for a 6 hour nap. After our shower on Saturday I was really tired. Sunday I went to bed obnoxiously early. On Monday, the day we entered Week 34, something inside just clicked. Or snapped. Call it what you wish. Allow me to explain:

Our kitchen's been a bit of a sty lately and it had been bugging me but I was usually too tired or distracted to do anything about it. I wanted to fix it, but I've been exhausted. Growing a human is tough work, people! I'm barely done with #1 and I have to seriously question the sanity of those of you who do this two or three or four times. I can't imagine being this tired with another small person to take care of. Ya'll is crazy!

Anyway, back at the ranch...Monday night was a different story: that kitchen had to get clean and straightened and it had to be done NOW. So, we did a quick rearrangement of the "pantry" and microwave cart, shifted the table outwards, and a frenzied spree of organizing and inventorying what was in the pantry and BAM! I felt better about the kitchen and was able to sit down without my fingers twitching. After that, I dealt with a huge pile of junk mail I'd let build for a week or so and I made about 13 trips from the living room to the recycling bin as I found things to toss out. Jane was following me back and forth--probably hoping I'd feed her--and I think I wore that kitty out because she didn't decide to headbutt me until 6:15 a.m. on Tuesday--a new kitty record!

In new developments, last night I tackled the thank yous for the baby shower. I would have finished completely had we not run out of thank yous--and I swear I'd purchased enough, but we got some gifts we weren't expecting, so that depleted our thank you note stash temporarily. Tonight I'll address and stamp the thank yous and waddle them to the mailbox to get them out of my hair.

My nesting instinct has either triggered the same instinct in Graham, or perhaps he's scared I'll bite him or something; he's definitely kicked it into high gear, too. On Monday he finished the second coat of paint in the dining room--finally!--and made plans to rip out the carpet later this week so we can clean out the nursery for the electrician this weekend and painting next week. I came home yesterday and he'd already started ripping out the carpet in the dining room. A-freaking-men. Adios, ugly blue shag. We hardly knew ye, but we knew we hardly liked ye.

Tonight I'll finally be able to put my china cabinet back together and I won't have to haul my cookies back and forth to the basement to get baking sheets and other things I use often for cooking (but don't really have space for in the kitchen). Once the dining room is "put back together" (meaning: the china cabinet is back in its rightful spot and the closet is full; we don't have anything else to put in the dining room) we/Graham will move stuff in the nursery down to the dining room so we can paint, and then we'll haul it all back up so we can put it all together. Yahoo! This time next week, the nursery will be painted! I'll be well on my way to decorating and making it as close to perfect as it can possibly be. Hallelujah. Amen.

Another thing that's gotta get done this week? Getting the carseat installed in the backseat of the car. ACK. That's gonna be weird. "Okay, gotta change lanes. Lemme just check my rearview mirror and....HOLY CRAP! WHO PUT A CARSEAT BACK THERE?!"

Ah, life with a crazy pregnant chick. It's never dull! Next thing you know I'll have built an addition onto the garage or something ridiculous. I'm a little scared to see where this journey takes me.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Weekly Update: 34 Weeks

How far along? 34 weeks, 3 days.

How big is baby? 4 lbs, 15 oz. on Monday morning, so probably tipping the scales at a whopping 5 lbs. today. 17-18 inches long, give or take.

Total Weight Gain/Loss: Too much. 25-30, if I had to guess based on my pre-preg weight and my weight at the doc's last week. Enough to be depressing.

Next Appointment: Next week.

Maternity Clothes: Obviously, but I miss my pre-pregnancy clothes. They had buttons and zippers.

Sleep: Eh. Kiddo likes to knock me out around 8:30-9:00, but then I'm waking up between 3 and 4 to go to the bathroom, and again at 5, and again at 6. And please don't tell me this is "preparing me for life with a newborn". That's crap I am not in the mood to hear these days.

Best Moment This Week: Getting to see baby on Monday morning. We didn't get to see her face because she's facing head down and she's pretty far gone already. She's past the point of no return, so the next time I see her face, she'll probably be in my arms. Can I get a "WHOA!" please?

Annoyance of the Week: Seriously. If I keep getting tickled, I will bite your hand off. Don't fuck with me on this one. You've been warned.

Movement: Decreased movement, but her active periods are still active. I just can't feel as much these days because her spacious loft apartment has suddenly gotten a little too small.

Planning/Preparation: Electric work is pretty much completed, so once that's done we can get the nursery painted and her crib assembled. It won't be anywhere close to finished, but it'll be a damn good start. This week I've been washing baby clothes and sorting them, and making a list of things we'll need to get before she gets here--ideally, before she gets here. Somedays, I think she's made up her mind to be fashionably early to the party.

Belly Button In/Out: It's "mostly" out. The bottom is still stubborn and staying put inside--thank you, God! Graham says that I'm "almost done" and that when I'm completely popped, baby is coming no matter what. Apparently my belly button is an indicator like the thermometers on a Thanksgiving turkey.

Gender: I hope she likes pink....

What I Miss: Something that resembles a good night's sleep.

What I'm Looking Forward To: Seeing the nursery completed before she's born. Please God, please God....

Contractions: Nothing major to report. B-H are really starting to be uncomfortable because Baby is so low in my uterus. When one of those hits and she's in the wrong position--YOWZA! I need to shift STAT because they usually trigger some round-ligament pain. Combine that with the middle of the night leg cramps, and I'm basically a big ole whiner from the hips on down.

Milestones?: Knowing that if she were born today--knock on a hell of a lot of wood--that she'd basically be okay as long as she didn't have any other health problems. I'd need some steroid shots to help her lung development, but unless there were other problems, she'd be fine. That definitely helps calm my nerves and keeps me settled. She might need a brief stay in the NICU, but nothing she can't handle.

Monday, October 25, 2010

Quick Baby-fied Update

1. Baby shower was Saturday. I had fun, Graham had fun, and it looked like everyone had a decent time. Got some kickass onesies that I will be posting pictures of soon(ish).

2. My sisters kick all kinds of ass. The end.

3. Growth scan and ultrasound this morning because Baby is measuring a little small (and so am I). Baby is head down (Woo! Stay that way!) and we got some pictures of some feet because her head is basically inside my pelvis. Baby girl wants OUT.

4. Basically, we need to prepare for a November baby instead of a December baby. That's fine with me--they we don't need to deal with everyone saying crap like, "Aw, too bad she's not a St. Nick's baby!" (I don't care) and "Aw, she IS a St. Nick's baby! Name her Nicole!" (No) and "Oh man, a Pearl Harbor baby, that sucks" (by the time she's old enough to realize that, she probably won't even care) and my personal favorite, "You should wait to have her until your anniversary! Then you can have one big party!" (Heeeeeell no. If I'm still pregnant by our anniversary, watch out. You will definitely not want to be anywhere near Ms. CrankyPants over here.)

5. Ultrasound was fine. FINE. (Fine, Mom! You hear me? No, you don't hear me because you've already left the computer and have run toward the phone....) We're all good. She's just about 5 lbs. and her head is measuring in the 48th percentile, so not too shabby. Her heartbeat is fine, the placenta is still attached firmly, and there's nothing showing up anywhere that gives me cause for concern. She's resting on my cervix pretty much all the time--not comfortable--so we need to be realistic and prepare for a potential Thanksgiving or earlier delivery. As long as I'm 36-37 weeks, I don't see a problem with that, except that I'm 34 weeks today. If I have a baby in 2-3 weeks, holy shit....wait, Grandma reads this. I, I meant holy shit. Definitely.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Weekly Update: 33 Weeks

How far along? 33 weeks, 3 days.

How big is baby? Closer to 17 inches, if not longer, and 4 lbs, 5 oz. according to last night's ultrasound.

Total Weight Gain/Loss: Up 20, roughly. I'm not sure anymore. Enough. Enough is enough, I say!

Next Appointment: Later this week.

Maternity Clothes: I don't know why I'm trying to wear maternity pants anymore. Yoga pants are so much more comfortable.

Sleep: Last night was rough, but generally I'm waking up a few times a night for one reason for another. I guess third trimester really does prepare you for parenthood, eh?

Best Moment This Week: Finding out my placenta did NOT abrupt like the on-call doctor thought. WoO!

Annoyance of the Week: General sameness. This soreness on the left side of my abdomen really freaking sucks because there is literally no position that is comfortable for me for longer than 90 seconds.

Movement: Definitely. She likes attention.

Planning/Preparation: Electrician coming on Saturday so we can get some things looked at and some light switches installed upstairs.

Belly Button In/Out: Definitely out. It's gross to look at.

Gender: "Definitely still a girl" according to the u/s tech last night. That's still a good thing, because otherwise my son would be wearing a lot of dresses.

What I Miss: My favorite fall sweaters.

What I'm Looking Forward To: Eating a full meal again. Someday I will reclaim my digestive tract!

Contractions: Braxton-Hicks are pretty much happening all the time now. Depending on the time and place, they can stir up some round ligament pain. I'm trying not to be a crankypants about it, but when crossing your legs sends shooting paints up your thigh and into your stomach it's really hard not to be a big ole whiner.

Milestones?: First freak-out trip to Labor & Delivery! I'd had some general soreness on my left side for about a week, but I was ignoring it because I thought I did something stupid or twisted funny. I'd take Tylenol and I'd be fine. I was sore on Monday, but fine until Wednesday or so, then sore again, then fine...nothing I was concerned about. All day yesterday I was sore. It hurt to take a breath or switch positions, and it was pretty obvious I was in pain by the end of the day. I called the doctor's office and they sent me to L&D to get checked out. I went in and they hooked me up to some fetal monitors and all that--the second time we've gotten to hang out in L&D like that. Baby looked "great" on the monitor, but I still had these really intense waves of pain shooting through my side from right below my ribcage to roughly my belly button. They did a pelvic exam with a speculum that must have been from the dark ages--I'm no weenie when it comes to those exams and this was by far the worst one I've ever had. According to the on-call doctor, my cervix was "remarkably soft" and I was spotting a little bit (though I am fairly certain the spotting is the result of the Speculum of Doom). I wasn't dilated at all, nor was I contracting, but my cervix has started to efface. Um, yay? I've got a good 4 weeks to go before this kid is ready to come out!
They did some blood work and ran an "abruption panel" to see what was going on. I had an ultrasound and everything looks really great, so we can't quite figure out what was causing all that pain. I haven't been allowed to do anything remotely exhausting or physically engaging for months, and I don't carry or lift heavy boxes at work. I don't remember doing anything that would have caused a muscle spasm or pulled muscle though it definitely feels like I pulled a muscle. Basically, the cramping and pain is the result of me spending so much time on my feet and being under a lot of stress at work. Oh goodie. I need to stay off my feet more at work and at home. It's going to be hard, but it needs to be done. If I'm already starting to efface, it means Hannah-roo could come earlier than expected. I'm not afraid of a 37 week baby, but I'd like her to stay inside until it's safe for her to come out.


Jumping in a big pile of leaves? Heaven.

Pumpkin leaf bags? Awesome.

I really do love Autumn.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

....And so it begins.

The title of this particular post is actually a slight misnomer. We've gotten a number of gifts and donations over the last few months, but getting this in the mail a few weeks ago really left me gobsmacked.

My cousin-in-law, Tracy, can't make it to the baby shower. I knew people wouldn't be able to make it, but I never actually thought that some of them might send gifts instead. I wasn't expecting it because really, I don't think about it. I'm definitely humbled and shocked when someone sends a gift to me--for any reason--and getting this in the mail was a huge attitude booster for the day and generally just made me happy.

After my friend Lisa had her son, I became totally enamored by her plastic booster seat. I thought that it was pretty much one of the greatest inventions since....ever?! I've always been pretty aware of what restaurants have high chairs and which don't, and I always made a mental note of which restaurants have high chairs that look like they could collapse or give someone malaria or some strange thyroid syndrome. When we registered a few months ago, I made sure I popped this baby on the registry so we can keep it in the car for when we eat out or visit friends. I was SO excited to get this in the mail a few weeks ago, and it was even better when I saw the little book she sent with it. I love to read and can't wait to read to the baby, so getting little books like this makes me excited--I can't wait to hunker down with her in January and read this!

When we opened the box, after we ooohed and aaahed, we stopped and looked at each other. Graham looked back at the booster seat and said, "Well that just made it a lot more real!" You said it, buster! It's crazy how much more real it's becoming each day. Wow. I tell you!

Thanks Tracy! You're tops, you.

Monday, October 18, 2010

A sort-of update

So I figured it was high time for an "update", but no pictures this time. We have tons of photos from the last few weeks, I just need to upload them.

The last few weeks have been super hectic for us, and the previous two weekends have been fun, but soooo busy. Over Columbus Day we went camping with Graham's parents and siblings. We all drove down or up to Starved Rock State Park for some good ole camping fun. I can now say with 100% certainty that it's possible to camp an entire weekend during your 7th/8th month of pregnancy and not escape to a hotel room. That being said, it's not necessarily advised! By Sunday, my hips were extremely hurty, and by Monday morning it definitely took me a few "oomphs!" to get out of "bed". My middle of the night bathroom trips and inability to stay asleep for more than 4 hours at a time made for a pretty sleepy and cranky Angie by the end of the trip. Third trimester camping: who knew?! All in all, I'm glad we went. It was a great weekend and we had some amazing weather for it. The fall colors got brighter and better each day we were gone, so every morning we got to wake up to some really great yellows, golds, oranges, and reds.

Not sure if I'll attempt another pregnant camping trip--definitely not first or third trimester, that's for sure--but I've done it, goshdarnit! ::slams fist on table:: Next year is a whole different ball game. I don't "do" nature, and with a lot of prayer and luck I'll hopefully have diaper changes and sleeping babies figured out. Still, I'm not sure if camper-style camping will work well when you combine me with an infant. I'm thinking "hotel style" camping. It still counts if you roast your marshmallows in the lobby fireplace, right?

Thank you Jesus--we don't have to make that decision for at least another 9 months.

This past weekend we drove down to Action Jacksonville for a visit to IC and to hang with my super cool sibs-in-law. Brian & Robyn were great enough to let us stay in their home (Thanks for giving up your man cave, Brian!) and we had fun wandering around IC for Graham's 5th year college reunion. I got a pretty decent sunburn despite the SPF 10000000000000% I slathered on, but it looks worse than it feels. I didn't see the whole homecoming football game because we were in the sun for the first half and I was feeling pretty gross and overwhelmed. I tried to watch from inside but none of the player's moms wanted to give up their seats for the fat pregnant chick, so I did some wandering around the epic sports palace IC built a few years ago and lots of chatting with friends via text messages.

After the game we hung around at IC long enough for Graham to get his reunion photo taken, and then we drove over to "my" side of town to visit with Father Tom, the priest who married us. Father Tom is probably my favorite priest in the whole world. He's FABULOUS. Father Tom is one of those priests who lives and breathes his job; he IS a priest. Sometimes I'll look at priests and I'm able to imagine them working as accountants or college professors--being a priest sometimes feels like an extension of who they are. But Father Tom? This man could never be anything other than a priest. He's just....great. Honestly, had it not been for him I probably would have walked out on the Catholic church a long time ago. I love me some Jesus and it doesn't necessarily matter to me where I find him or what church I attend to worship, but Father Tom kept me connected to the Catholic church and to my roots--and for that, my mom is extremely grateful! Har dee har har...

Anyway, when we were in college (at least, when I was in college; Graham may have graduated by then) Father Tom was moved from his position as an associate in Jacksonville to a pastor at Edwardsville. It was a really tough move. He was so attached to Jacksonville and he'd formed a really close working relationship with the Newman Clubs at Mac & IC. Geez, he pretty much resurrected the Newman Club at Mac! I started attending out of good ole Catholic guilt, thinking I'd go to a meeting a few times and come up with some excuse as to why I couldn't always be there--homework or some garbage. I ended up staying because of Father Tom. His sermons were always spot on and while I didn't necessarily agree with everything he said, he was able to present "the church's position" in a way that was approachable and non-offensive to a small group of rowdy college kids. He was great about answering all our questions, even the tough ones like, "Why can I take communion at the Methodist church, but my Methodist friend can't take communion when she comes to Mass with me?" I still don't agree with "the church's" answers, but he was always able to explain the tough questions to us without judgement or bias or that super-friendly tone of voice that drips of disdain for the youth of America.

When Father Tom moved, I basically quit all affiliations with the Newman Club. I was pretty busy as it was and didn't spend enough time studying and working on my school assignments as it was; once the connection to Newman Club was gone, so was I. After Graham and I got engaged and started planning our wedding, there wasn't any doubt about who would marry us. It made perfect sense: we both knew Father Tom from college, and he knew us as individuals but he also knew "us" and had seen us grow as a couple. We didn't have to explain to him how we met or who we were, and we didn't have to pick between someone's favorite childhood or parish priest. I still remember calling Father Tom from my tiny apartment at Woodlands--he was so flattered that we'd asked him and signed on to marry us right away. "I will definitely be there, no matter what."

He may never know this,  but the blog title actually comes from him. That whole wedding weekend gave us some great stories and crazy memories: Abi's "believe it!" story, my mom trying to keep me from seeing all the snow outside, the crazy piles of snow everywhere....but without a doubt one of my favorite memories is Father Tom's homily, where he kept reminding us that we would be together for the rest. of our. lives! Emphasized just so--almost doomsday like! Absolutely hilarious. I kept wanting to look at Graham and follow his statement with, "Dun dun DUN!" but there was no way we could have done it and not cracked up laughing--probably not appropos when your personal spirutual guide is talking to you about spending your life with the person next to you.

We hadn't seen Father Tom since our wedding day--he had planned to stay overnight in Chicago but when he saw all the snow that day he high-tailed it back to Edwardsville so he wouldn't miss Mass on Sunday. When we caught up with him the other day he said, "I really should have stayed because there was so much snow that only 5 people showed up to Mass anyway." In May we found out that Father Tom was moving back to Jacksonville to be pastor at his old parish. He didn't start at OS until July so we missed him, but when we came down this past weekend we really wanted to make an effort to say hello. I snuck into church during the middle of mass--right during communion--and saw Father Tom up at the altar. We hung around another 20 minutes, waited for church to end, and when we saw people trickle out we ran up to the door to say hello. When Father Tom came out, he recognized us right away but needed to place us in context. He saw us and said, "Hey guys! What's up? ::pause:: ::facial recognition:: Graham and Angie!! HI! What are you guys doing here?" We spoke for about 30 seconds before he realized he should probably be shaking hands with this congregation, so we hung around till he was done with the formalities and we were able to talk for about 30 minutes.

One thing that really struck me was how much Father Tom has changed physically. When we got married 3 years ago I remember seeing some salt & pepper in his hair and I thought, "What? That can't be right...." This time he was not only a little more salt & peppered, but his hair was thinning on top and he was noticably thinner. I only hope it's the stress of the job and not personal or health issues! It was definitely a shock, but his personality is still quite vibrant. Something that has always cracked me up about Father Tom is his memory. He'll accidentally call you by the wrong name and not realize it, but feel terrible about it when he does. He'll forget small details that aren't really important, but it's entertaining when he asks you 5 times. Surprisingly, he was able to remember details about our wedding that I'd almost forgotten. He knew it had been 3 years, he was off by one day when he tried to recall our anniversary, and he even remembered the rehearsal dinner and the pizza we had the night before. I barely remember eating at the rehearsal dinner! He kept saying he has nothing but great memories of our wedding weekend, which was pretty nice. I'm flattered he even remembered who we were, let alone details of our wedding.

Funnily enough, I don't think he noticed that I was pregnant until I pointed it out. He started asking about what our plans had been for the future--he remembered that I hadn't planned at staying in my current position for too long--but when I said, "Things have developed" he gave me a great big hug and was so excited for us. He remembered that Brian and Robyn were as good as engaged at our wedding and was really pleased to hear that some of his old students were still fairly local.

It was really great to see him again, even if it was for 30 minutes. After talking to him again, I really wish we were all closer so he could christen our daughter in a few months (or whenever), but I don't think it will be possible. We have a great parish and a wonderful pastor (also a Father Tom) but it's just not the same, you know? It's like inviting your neighbor Tom over when your best friend Tom moved to Kathmandu. A lovely recreation, but not exactly what you were hoping for.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

10 years ago today....

--I was 16 years old.
--I was sitting around a firepit in good ole Evergreen Park.
--I was in a play called, "I Never Saw Another Butterfly", which is about the Holocaust.
--I had a really small part at the beginning and served as an extra throughout the play, so I had a lot of down time.
--I went to a cast party hosted by one of the guys in the play.
--I met some new people who have since become a huge part of my life.
--I have lost touch with a lot of people who I thought would still be my friends today. Life, eh?

Oh. And I also met my husband. Ten years ago today, at said cast party, I met the man who would become my husband.

How do I remember? Well, opening night for the play was October 12th, which I wouldn't remember except that it was a Thursday night, making the next night Friday--obviously. The 13th follows the 12th, making the second night of the play Friday the 13th. Theatre people are notorious for their superstitions (Macbeth, anyone?), and moments before the "curtain went up" (there was no curtain in our theater) someone said, "Hey! I just realized tonight is Friday the 13th!" What do you get when you combine high school theatre geeks with theatre superstition and raging teenage hormones from hell? I'll tell you! You get a bunch of nerds wishing each other "Good Luck!" instead of "Break a leg!" just to be safe.

Anywho, the next night was the "epic" cast party at Keith Wood's house. (We didn't use the word epic....I can't remember what word he used to describe the party back then. Probably bitchin'.) I remember looking forward to it all day on Friday and Saturday (the 14th). I had to work that day and spent part of my shift training a new girl. When I left she said, "Have fun at your party tonight!"

I remember very specific details about that weekend. I remembered so much about that weekend, even a month later and a year and two years later (and that should have been my clue right there).

At the party, a bunch of us were sitting around the firepit, laughing and being loud and goofy and horny, just like normal teenagers. I saw a tall, lanky kid wander into the yard and pull up a chair. I didn't recognize him but he looked slightly familiar. We started talking about Keith Wood and his eleventeen siblings (no lie) and I was killin' em! Joke after joke, man! (This is how I imagine/remember it in my head.) In my loud, obnoxious teenage glory I yelled out, "Hey New Kid! Which brother are you? WHICH BROTHER ARE YOU????!!!!" New Kid looked around and said, "Who me? I'm not related to anyone here. I don't know anyone here."

Me: OOPS! Bwahaahahahahahaa Sorry! ::obnoxious teenage laughter followed by self-indulgent teenage chatter about lordknowswhat--probably NSync.::

New Kid shrugs and looks at everyone laughing at Dumb Blond Angie.

This is where New Kid, who's name turned out to be Graham, slyly looks at me again and thinks I'm cute. (Supposedly. I have no knowledge of this because I was talking to my friends and was too self-absorbed to look at New Kid again. This is what Graham tells me happened.)

The night continues. There's lots of laughing and noise, coupled with some inappropriate lap dances around the firepit. (What? We were teenagers. You probably did it, too.) Somehow my position around the fire shifted and a few hours later I was talking to my friend Chandra (note to self: Facebook her and findout whatever happened to her) about the TV shows of our youth (because we were like, so freaking old back then!) when New Kid (who was sitting in front of us) tilts his head back and joins our conversation.

The conversation continues awkwardly until New Kid realizes it's dumb for him to be sitting with his back to us and turns his chair around. Finally! I get a better glimpse at New Kid's face and see that he doesn't resemble a Wood sibling at all. He's tall and thin and has a fun sense of humor. Eventually Chandra disappears (or maybe she just disappeared in my memory) and suddenly the conversation is left to me and New Kid. CRAP! I let my insane fear of silence take over and I start peppering him with questions. Where do you go to school? Who are you here with?

Turns out New Kid goes to Marist (RIP, all-boys school) and isn't there "with" anyone because he's the driver for the evening. His brother was dating a friend of mine, and between their small group (New Kid, New Kid's Brother, Brother's Girlfriend, Girlfriend's Best Friend, and Best Friend's Boyfriend) he's the only one with a driver's license. Somehow they sweet talked him into borrowing a minivan from one of his parents and driving them to the party where they would stay until someone's curfew kicked in and they had to get home.

New Kid seems nice enough. He may have told me his name, but I don't remember it. (Again, I way too self-absorbed. Besides, I didn't think I'd ever see New Kid again.) We start talking about work and he says that he's a summer camp counselor. ::swoon:: I'd always wanted to be a camp counselor (probably the biggest regret of my teenagedom) and when I said that I wanted to work with him, he says, "Great! You got a car? Then you're set. Megan (Brother's Girlfriend) will hook you up!" Then New Kid shouts across the firepit, "Hey Brian! I recruited her to work at camp with us!" Somewhere across the firepit I hear a voice say, "Cool." I saw a hand wave at me, but I don't think I ever saw New Kid's Brother that evening. If I did, I most likely thought he was Keith Wood's brother.

Well, it's a good thing I couldn't see across the firepit. Had I been able to see across the firepit I would have noticed a few of my friends (including Brother's Girlfriend and Girlfriend's Best Friend) exchange knowing looks. Based on what I was told when I was 16, apparently one of them thought that New Kid and I would make a cute couple once New Kid and his girlfriend broke up. I was "safe" and "uncomplicated", so....a good rebound? From what I remember, they had planned on introducing us at some point, but we ended up meeting and introducing ourselves on our own.

Well, at some point I had to return home or drive someone home. I start making my way out (we had to exit the outside through the inside) and I see New Kid inside. I say, "Well, I'm leaving. BYE!" and give him a big ole hug. In the basement light I'm really struck by how tall this kid is. I mean, wow! I felt like a midget in his company.

About a month later our mutual friends start talking about setting us up. They talk to him and tell him a *slightly* different story than the one I was told, but it was necessary to get either of us to commit. Two months later we started dating. I don't always remember October 14th, but this year I remembered for a few reasons. The first, you ask? Well, our 10th anniversary is coming up in a few months (10th dating, 3rd wedding) and every now and then we look at one another in complete amazement. It definitely doesn't feel like it's been 10 years. However, it's pretty undeniable. Since meeting each other we've both earned degrees, got married, purchased a home, one of us got herself's pretty crazy when you think about it.

The other reason I remembered that today was the 10th anniversary of the night we met? It's sappy, really.

Today we went to a baby shower held by Graham's coworkers. For us. Actually, for our baby. Our baby.

Ten years ago, had you told me that New Kid and I would be married and just a few weeks away from the birth of our daughter, I would have screamed and run far, far away. "New Kid? But....I barely even know the guy! What's your name again?"

It's pretty amazing when you think about it. Every now and then I'll hear one of those ridiculous country songs about "You n' me, way back when" and I roll my eyes and change the station. And then some weird anniversary like this rolls around and my mind can't even process the events that have taken place in the last 10 years. As sappy as those songs are, they're clearly written by people who have looked at their spouse or loved one and thought, "What the hell....ten years already?"

So, New Kid. Happy "Anniversary". It's been a good ten years, hasn't it? I hope the next ten years are just as wonderful.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Weekly Update: 32 Weeks

How far along? 32 weeks, 3 days.

How big is baby? About 16 inches long and roughly 3 lbs. Give or take, of course.

Total Weight Gain/Loss: Up 20, roughly. I'm not sure anymore. Enough. Enough is enough, I say!

Next Appointment: Next week. Not with Doc Holiday, though. She's on call, so for the first time I'll be seeing someone else in the practice. Should be interesting.

Maternity Clothes: Rapidly leaving "cute" and approaching "mumu".

Sleep: It comes and goes. I'm always waking up to either a baby kicking my bladder or a husband's knees in my back or a cat sitting on my hips and nudging my face. I will never sleep again.

Best Moment This Week: Sleeping and showering after coming back from our weekend camping trip.

Annoyance of the Week: Something I'm not certain I can discuss publicly. I need to get some counsul from someone a little higher up than me, methinks. And, being asked what "the baby" is going to be for Halloween. She's still inside, so right now she's going as naked and covered in goo. Next year she'll wear a costume for her first Halloween. This is not her first Halloween.

Movement: Always. Right now she's pretty out of control.

Planning/Preparation: Getting ready for the nursery overhaul.

Belly Button In/Out: Definitely out. It's gross to look at.

Gender: Still female.

What I Miss: My favorite fall sweaters.

What I'm Looking Forward To: Maternity leave. 29 days to go!

Contractions: Occassional Braxton-Hicks. Depending on baby's position when they strike, they can put some pretty intense pressure on my back and lower abdomen.
Milestones?: Finding out it IS possible to camp when you are 7 months pregnant. Not necessarily comfortable, but definitely possible.

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Weekly Update: 31 Weeks

How far along? 31 weeks, 3 days.

How big is baby? About 16 inches long and roughly 3 lbs., according to the books.

Total Weight Gain/Loss: Up 20, roughly. I'm not sure anymore. Enough.

Next Appointment: Two weeks.

Maternity Clothes: Rapidly leaving "cute" and approaching "mumu".

Sleep: I need lots of it these days. It's been a while since I've gotten a good night's sleep.

Best Moment This Week: Talking through some issues with my doctor.

Annoyance of the Week: Not being able to handle some of my issues without some serious screaming and chocolate therapy. Oh, and being told I'm too small for being 7 months. I'm pretty much on target for weight gain and fundal height, so I'm not too concerned and my doctor's not concerned. It's just annoying to keep hearing it.

Movement: Yes'm. It's been a little decreased in the last few days, but I'm still getting the requisite number of kicks in the 2 hour time frame (as directed by Doc Holliday), so I'm not going to worry unless it seriously decreases.
Planning/Preparation: Dining room is painted, and Graham has about 10 days of work left, so the baby's room gets painted starting on October 21st!

Belly Button In/Out: Definitely out. It's gross to look at.

Gender: Still female.

What I Miss: Sleeping through the night.

What I'm Looking Forward To: This weekend's experiment.

Contractions: Occassional Braxton-Hicks. Sometimes they hurt, but it's mostly pressure that goes away about 20 minutes after shifting my position.
Milestones?: Right now, each week that she's inside is a milestone. We've still got a ways to go, but I've always been paranoid that I'm going to have a baby that requires months in the NICU. Each week that she's inside is a week worth celebrating.

Monday, October 4, 2010

"The best things happen while you're dancing..."

That song has been in my head all day. Halloween season has just gotten started and I'm already thinking of Christmas movies. Oy.

Maybe I've been married to Graham for too long. His enthusiasm rubs off on me earlier and earlier each year! Before you know it I'll be watching Christmas movies in January.

Saturday, October 2, 2010

Nursery help

 Now that we've gotten some other very necessary home improvement projects out of the way, we can finally focus our attention on the nursery. I've been getting a little anxious that it wouldn't get done in time, and until it's actually d-o-n-e and the last finishing touch is put in place I probably won't rest too easy. I'm still having a little trouble putting together the "vision" for the nursery in my head, so I'm turning to all 5 of you for help!

We decided to paint the room a light purple and stick with a more neutral bedding so we could decorate with a little more fluidity. As far as a "theme" for the room, we're sticking with the outdoors and nature, but when I look at things I really like I realize I'm gravitating towards butterflies and dragonflies a little more than to anything else. Maybe it's because the room isn't yet painted, but based on what we've got it still feels a little "unfinished" in my head. Here's what we've got so far:


Art/stuff for walls:

I got some 3D butterflies similar to these from Target. I'm thinking they'll go over the crib.

Now, here's my inspiration. We're going with an outdoors/nature feel for the room. I love the idea of an applique tree in the room, but the ceilings slope inwards and I don't think it would look right if half of a tree was straight and the other half was leaning inwards. There are two or three possibilities for a tree like one of these, though, on the outside wall and opposite the closet....not sure if there's enough space for one of these babies, though.


Pretty much all of the above comes from Etsy. Go figure. I really love the first two trees and the blowing/wind effect they've got going on. But, like I said, there's not really enough space for either given the ceiling and flat wall space we've got to work with. I like the yellow flowers growing in the green grass, and I could put those up tomrrow because the colors would work well with the paint we're going to get on the walls sometime soon. But, it's my least favorite of the bunch and there's already a lot of grass going on in the bedding.

I loooove the cherry blossom applique, I really do. I think it'd look really pretty over the crib or dresser. Only problem is that I know nothing about decorating and I'd have to pick colors. A brown branch would be fine, but what color would you pick for the flowers? Pink & light purple don't really work well together, right? I suppose I could go with white flowers just to be safe, but that seems kind of lame.

The tree with the fawn is probably the one tree decal or applique we could get away with, given our space constraints. I like this one a lot--I feel like it goes along with the "theme" we've got for the room. (I use the word theme loosely...we're not really big on themes as it is. Giving a room a theme is just weird to me.) I really like that it's cute and whimsical without being all, "BABY" and in your face. This is something we could keep up in her room for a few years, or move to a playroom in the basement. We could keep this in a room and change paint colors and it'd still feel like a child's room. Or, maybe I'm just saying that because I really like it.

The last picture is a sheet of decals I found, so if all else fails...we've got that.

I'd like to incorporate one of the above ideas into the room, no more than that. I think it would look too busy otherwise, and the room's not exactly enormous. No need to cram more in there.

So. What do you think? Lots of questions here, so lemme break it down:

1. Tree on a slanted wall: will it look as stupid as I imagine it will?
2. Does anyone know someone who can do a cheap (as in 'not expensive') paint job for us in the nursery? Anyone?
3. With light purple walls, what colors would you choose for some of this stuff?
4. Anything else to add?

I have zero talent for art, so please don't suggest I do it myself. We'd be more successful if we gave the baby a marker and 10 minutes alone.