Thursday, November 5, 2009

Baby on the Brain

Seems like there are a number of pregnant or recently-gave-birth mothers in my social circle these days. And God bless 'em.

Because if there is one sure way to know you're done having kids, it's when you see those bulging bellies and think, "Thank you, God, that it is them and not me!"

Frankly, pregnancy to me is just the necessary evil in order to get the cute little baby.

Number one, I didn't particularly like the stress of wondering if what I'm eating is going to cause some defect in my child, or if eating too much chocolate would make the poor thing allergic.

Of course the weight gain was brutal. I added 50 pounds with every pregnancy - yeah, I blew by that whole 25-30lb healthy range around the start of my second trimester. And don't be envious of those women who only gain 10-15 pounds during their entire pregnancy. Because you need to realize it is because they were vomiting multiple times, every single day, for 9 months. Yeah, I'd rather gain 50 pounds then to spend all my waking hours in the loo.

And as cute as those maternity clothes are at the store when you're only 5 months along, by the time you move into your 7th or 8th month, you despise elastic waistbands and shirts with sleeves of any kind.

During my first pregnancy, we lived in Phoenix, AZ. Rachel was born October 2. Do the math. I was huge during the heat of the summer. NOT good planning. So I thought I would be smarter the second time around. I would be at my most uncomfortable stage during mild winter months.


Except Phoenix experienced record-breaking heat waves in March.

And I got cranky.

So I coped the natural way. I'd eat. Problem was, Caleb craved junk food. (Yes, I firmly believe it is the baby that asks for it, not the mother. Rachel was a cheese junkie, and to this day she loves cheese more than the color pink, so my theory is legitimate.)

So, cheese during pregnancy #1: 50 pounds.

Junk food with #2: 50 pounds

The third one I get to blame water retention. (Although Noah begged for potato chips morning, noon and night.) I had 'extra amniotic fluid' with him. What does that mean? Basically, that I ballooned up into what appeared to be a ready-to-give-birth-at-any-moment woman when I was only about 6 months along.

I would go to the gym and people would come up to me and ask me when I'm due. When I'd tell them, their eyes would bulge from their sockets, they'd shake their head and say, "Wow, I thought it'd be sooner than that."

Gee. Thanks. Just what a pregnant woman wants to here. Why don't you just come out and say, "You're enormous! Are you carrying a baby or an elephant? How much bigger can you get?!"

Quite a bit bigger, apparently. Let's just say Noah got his name because there was a significant flood at his arrival.

Oh, sure. Pregnancy's not all bad.

Your hair and nails never looked so good.

And....yep. That's about it.

So essentially you're trading your figure, your normal brain function, and your ability to watch a Johnson 'n Johnson commercial without bawling...for thick, shiny hair. I don't know about you, but I'm not crazy about that trade-off. Because all that extra hair will just fall out shortly after you bring that baby home from the hospital anyway.

And that's just what you need, isn't it? You're already cleaning up spit-up and poop on an on-going basis, and now you have a bathroom floor covered in hair. Super.

I will admit, as tough as the first month or so is with a new baby, it was always much nicer to have them on the outside. I really liked to look at my babies. Even when they're screaming and their whole face wrinkles up due to a gas bubble that desperately needs to pop, they're fun to watch.

Let's face it. Babies are just plain cute. I'm convinced God made them that way because when you haven't had more than 4 hours a sleep a night for nearly a year, it takes a cute little face beaming at you to keep you from stuffing him in a box to be shipped off to Grandma.

My mother has no idea how close she was to finding her boxed-up grandson in the arms of the UPS man.

I personally won't be one of those women later in life that always tells the young moms, "Oh, enjoy your babies. It's the best time."

I know they only say that because they have no recollection of it. They were too sleep-deprived to actually impart a memory into that brain. There's just no way.

No, they say it because babies are cute. And they only see them when they're cute. When the kid is screaming, the mommy typically takes them out of public.

I know this because one day I was attempting to print photos at the Walmart photo center and Noah was crying like there was no tomorrow. I was just waiting for them to print (which, literally only takes about a minute any other time, but when your child is screaming at the top of their lungs, the printing process seemingly drones on for hours) and a little old lady gave me a dirty look and said, "Aren't you going to feed that baby?!"

Bet she wasn't thinking, "These are the best times of your life, sweetie."

No, she was making me - and everyone else around us - aware that I wasn't cutting it as a mother.

This was a good time for a projectile vomiting episode, but to no avail.

Maybe the reason these women think baby days are the best days are because the most recent memory they have of their children is the teenage years.

And I suppose a wailing infant is no contest to a willful teenager.

But I'm not there yet. So I'll keep you posted.

And personally, a 7-yr-old that doesn't require diaper changes, a 5-yr-old that doesn't spit-up after every meal, and even a nearly 2-yr-old that finally sleeps through the night sounds more like good times to me.

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Take your vitamins!

Good news!

I declare that Halloween candy is health food.

That's right. Go ahead and stuff another peanut butter cup in your mouth and start dancing for joy! Because it's only 80 calories - and if you're dancing you'll burn it off in about 25 minutes!

Let's just take a closer look at the health benefits - yes, you read that right...benefits! - we have in our plastic pumpkin-shaped totes.

Baby Ruth. Did you know it is cholesterol-free? And it has 4 grams of protein! This should be included in your daily diet, don't you think?

But we don't have to stop there. Those wonderful nuts are blissfully present in peanut M&Ms and Snickers bars! YEESSSSSS!

And how about that Almond Joy bar? Let's hear it for coconut! It's high in fiber, vitamins and minerals. In fact, it's a nutritious source of meat, juice, milk, and oil!

Sounds like a full-course meal to me!

Peppermint patties? Are you kidding me!? The astounding benefits of dark chocolate rival those of a plate of broccoli.

Bet you weren't aware that your package of Whoppers contains 30% less fat than the average chocolate candy, huh? Nice.

Let's not forget the really sweet stuff. Starburst, Skittles and some sour Lemon Heads. Beneficial for runners or diabetics to get their blood sugar up to a safe level. Never underestimate the power of pure sugar! Yum!

If you think all of this is just my way of justifying my sweet tooth...think again! Research proves a little sweet treat will actually provide stress relief, increase your alertness, focus & concentration!

So quit feeling guilty for digging into your kids' treats after you've tucked them in bed for the night. You're practically taking a vitamin for heaven's sake.

And just think. If this plan backfires, you get to go shopping for new clothes! It's win-win!

Home Sweet Home

I feel like a kid at Christmas.

You remember the unbridled anticipation: You walk by the tree every day, seeing that nice, shiny package with your name on it. You're dying to rip into that thing with exaggerated hopes for what it holds.

You see, we're moving into a new home in a few weeks. Out of our 16 years of marriage, we've only owned a house for a couple of them. We are practically expert renters, and quite frankly, I'm sick of it. Getting a place to call our own sounds almost too good to be true. may actually be happening! I may actually be very close to tearing open that bright red ribbon and glimmering green wrap!

So how am I spending my days? Your first thought is packing, right?


You'd think that would make sense, but after moving a gazillion times (okay, only 10 times, but it feels like a gazillion), I have realized that the most beneficial packing doesn't happen until about a week prior to the move. Before that, you still need everything (at least we do, because as short-term renters, we don't unpack stuff like wall decor and extra tupperware).

No - my time, instead, is being sucked up by episodes of Design on a Dime, Color Splash, and Divine Design. (ESPN has been replaced by the four letters of HGTV at our place, much to my husband's dismay!) I am addicted to decorating shows. And I will probably continue to feed that addiction mercilessly.

It's fascinating stuff, really. I mean, I'm not one to put a chandelier in my bathroom or cover my ceiling with pavers, but hey - it does get the creative juices flowing!

But if I'm not plopped in front of the TV, you may find me strolling around a furniture store.

But I'll likely look irked. Because, honestly, don't plaster your windows with "MOVING SALE! EVERYTHING MUST GO!" and then only mark things down by $25.

Get real. It's still a $850 couch.

When you're serious about selling, call me.

And what is it with furniture stores being designed like a maze? I get so lost and end up walking in circles, or bumping into things. I still have a protruding black-and-blue mark on my thigh from running into a footboard a week ago. Maybe I could sue the store and get my house furnished for free???

Okay, okay. Probably not my best idea.

And finally, my third trap from actually accomplishing anything these days is scoping the internet and eBay for deals on home decor.

Only to fall in love with something and have my husband walk into the room to say, "You're not buying that are you? We haven't even moved in yet."

Oh, just go watch some ESPN while you have the chance. And leave me the credit card.

Perhaps what I am most looking forward to with our move is removing all cardboard boxes from my home. I have no recollection of a home that didn't have boxes stacked in a corner somewhere. It's pretty sad when you consider ways to incorporate cardboard into your decor, just because you know it isn't going anywhere.

This time, everything is going to find a home. And the child-like excitement wells up inside.

Because I feel like I've finally found mine.