Monday, February 13, 2012
Wednesday, July 16, 2008
Landing in Milwaukee, I look out the window and see green. Sure, there are trees in New England, but the amount of farmland was greater than I imagined. Besides, as we speak there is a Target being built around the corner from my house. An Ikea was just built two years ago, and a Kohl's, Olive Garden, and Smokey Bones, came a tad earlier. Lakes and trees and farms are a nice break from commercialization. It's serenity.
After renting a car, I decide to take highway some of the trip and finish it up going backroads. After an hour ride, I finally arrived in Edgerton but wishing I could drive longer. I love road trips, and prefer to drive than any other mode of transportation. What better way to see the countryside?
One member of our team owns property at Rock River Leisure Estates and so to cut costs, our meetings were held at the recreation hall and dinner was home cooked at his cottage. Another thing Massachusetts doesn't have? Lightning bugs.
Sitting around the firepit after dinner the first night, I looked up at the moon and reflected for a moment how much I missed home and wished Ken and Stephanie were there too, then sat back and enjoyed my surroundings.
Tuesday, June 17, 2008
I took the long way home from work tonight even though I live the next town over.
My first stop was naturally the house I grew up in. It was a raised ranch, white with black shutters in a neighborhood I envy now. Every house had a child my age. And after school in the summer we would all gather in the yard and play baseball. The tree was first base, the fence post was third and if you hit the Katler's front lawn it was an automatic home run. And when you turned 13 you were too old to play.
The house is still white. Two of the windows have the same black shutters, but the basement is now cranberry. Maybe the new owners tried the color out but couldn't figure out if they liked it and so they never got around to changing it back or updating the others. The front door is different and the driveway has expanded for more cars. I heard the also took down a wall inside. It's no longer my house. Driving by it's as if I never lived there.
I drove by the Tower Hill School where I went for first grade. The front door is boarded up and I wonder when the last time a class was held inside those doors. The playground where we played for recess is still in tact, though a bit rusty.
No more movie theater, but a few more Dunkin Donuts'.
Crime is up and education is down. The high school is said to be on the verge of losing its accreditation. How sad is that?
I thought about a 'what if'. What if I was forced to move out of my house for whatever reason. I would never be able to live in Randolph because it's not the Randolph I know. And that is sad.
But I'm still rooting for it to come through.
Friday, May 30, 2008
I was supposed to go out tonight with some friends. But Stephanie was having one of her terrible two moments and I wanted to make sure she was okay when she went to sleep. And can I also point out that I didn't receive any argument over it. I'm sure he was relieved I was staying home tonight. Last time I went out with friends, she was really overtired and extra cranky and so she fought and cried and didn't go to bed until 11. And so here I am. And he has breathed a sigh of relief.
Moms need their nights out. It is important for their sanity and for their marriage. And I know that you are all screaming that I should have went, that she would have been fine, that maybe I was spoiling her (and possibly him) by staying home. I know. But I also would have felt guilty if that wasn't the case. I'm that mom. Not only do I need to make sure she is okay, but I have to make sure he is okay, too.
Work this week has been stressful. An ad for our company was pulled because an item of clothing worn by the star was deemed controversial. It made national headlines. People complained because we ran the ad and 3000 more complained when we took it down. Sometimes you just can't win.
A night to be yourself with friends. Good food, good friends, good conversation. This is what tonight was supposed to be about. Forget about the stresses at work. Forget about the stress of raising a family.
Maybe next time.
Wednesday, May 28, 2008
Sunday, December 24, 2006
1. Exercise more.
Isn't this number one on everyone's list? I would love to look better than I did pre-baby. I have a fitness center in my office building and I don't take advantage of it. In every baby magazine that is sent to me is atleast one "I did it" success story of how they lost the half a person they gained after they had a child. My motivation is looking at all of those "before" pictures and making sure I don't get to be like that. Which brings me to...
2. Stop being so lazy.
Many Sundays are what is known as Lazy Sundays in my house. Pajamas stay on and mommy and daddy read the paper while Stephanie plays with her toys. Maybe put a DVD in, maybe do some cleaning, and the only time we step foot outside is to pick up the Chinese take-out. Yesterday was hectic so today was a Lazy Sunday until I got cabin fever and took Stephanie to the supermarket.
3. Finish what I start.
This is my most important, and the one I most want to achieve. I stopped telling people I was getting involved in activities because chances are, they'd be short-lived. I joined Habitat for Humanity and went to one meeting and decided to quit because I felt they were looking for people with more connections than I had. Others in the meeting had experience doing radio PSA's and knew the right people. At the time I was a trade magazine editor and knew no one. And so I stopped going. I also joined a book club which I went monthly for about half a year. I stopped going because the type of books that were being chosen were far cries from the genres that were in the beginning and so I lost interest. I joined a new mom's group and I still go, but I haven't been in a while. I had bronchitis, Stephanie was sick. And part of me believes that it would be no big deal if I never went again, but I know it would be one more thing I'd be giving up on and so for that reason alone, I'll go again. I also want to join a women's self defense course and maybe a martial arts class which will help get me back in shape as well as teach me how to kick ass. But I'm keeping it to myself until I sign the check and prepare for my first lesson.
I'm hoping that next year I can say that I accomplished atleast one of these.
Thursday, December 07, 2006
I have bronchitis. Has anyone ever used an inhaler? I was given a prescription for one this morning and the side effects on the package include an "increased chance if death." Seriously. I never read those warnings, but the pamphlet was the only thing within reaching distance since I was too tired to move. In no way am I a hypochondriac and if it was just a risk of death I would understand the lagalities of including such a warning, but an increased chance of death? Makes me want to update my will.
Wednesday, November 29, 2006
I realized this as Ken, Stephanie, and I were walking the aisles of the local supermarket that food shopping with both of them was enjoyment. Aisle by aisle picking out what produce and meats and pastas we need to get through the next week or two. Picking out unhealthy food that we say is a one time treat but I know it'll end up in my shopping cart on more than one occasion. Figuring out meals in advance and forgetting them as soon as they are put away. "Do we need any..." "Ooh, can we get....?" That was my enjoyment.
I really need to get out more.
Wednesday, November 08, 2006
"It's fine. I'll be right back."
"Okay, drive carefully."
And I did. But I still got into that car accident.
Stephanie was running low on baby food. She had maybe one or two jars left, the rest was the peas she's tried and hated.
I was about 300 feet from the right hand turn I would make into the supermarket parking lot when another driver pulled out from a bank parking lot and slammed into the passenger side door of my car. She thought that my signal meant that I was turning into the parking lot she was coming out of, not the one right after. The police came and she was found at fault, mainly the person on the main road (me) always has the right of way. Secondly, they saw that her license plate came off of her car and was embedded into my passenger side door.
I always wonder about why things happen and what more serious accident I avoided by going tonight.
A few months ago, I dreamt that I was taking Steph to my mother-in-law's house in the morning, which is where she goes on Tuesdays. In my dream a white car was pulling out of the street I was turning on to and I slammed into that car. I woke up right after the dream and thought it was odd. For peace of mind, I made a mental note to take a different route to her house the next morning. Lo and behold, the next morning I completely forgot about the dream as well as the mental note and left to start the car. As soon as I got into the car, I realized I forgot my watch and so I went inside the house to put it on, then ran to the car and off we went. As I was approaching the street I was about to turn onto, I saw a white car pull out of the street and continue on it's way. It was then that I remembered the dream and wondered if by forgetting my jewelry, I avoided an accident. Had I left on time, I may have hit the car. Probably not, but who knows?
And so tonight I wonder. The side of the car that was hit was the side where the car seat is installed. Luckily, Stephanie wasn't with me when I ran out tonight. And because the damage on her side of the car caused the door not to close completely, she can't be in that car until it's fixed. So tonight I wonder if tonight's accident prevented a more serious accident when she would have been in the car.
My mother's motto is that everything happens for a reason. I was laid off from the company from hell last year and now work for my dream company. If I hadn't moved out of my apartment when I did, I never would have met my husband when I did.
So sometimes I have to imagine that if I am late for work, or even if I take a different route than normal to get from A to B, I am possibly escaping something far worse than just bad luck.
Wednesday, October 04, 2006
I used to blog here. Sometimes I think I still do. I come back here from time to time with a thought. An idea. A statement. But then I give up before I start.
Maybe I'll delete the old blog and start a new one, I think. As if I'm just starting one for the first time.
Does anyone ever check back here anymore?
So much has happened since I last blogged. Stephanie is almost 6 months old.
She is amazing. What a little personality. I re-read my last few posts about how overwhelmed I was and it's as if it was written by someone else. Yes, I remember the sleepless nights wishing she would just go to sleep already. And I remember the wondering of when the last time it was I laughed out loud. But I don't remember it being that bad. I think that;s the reason why I don't delete everything and start fresh, the need to remind myself how it was in the beginning.
So I'm starting over from where I left off, whatever that means.
So I guess I am back. In more ways than one.
Wednesday, June 28, 2006
My Benefits dept called me about 3 weeks ago and told me that the 8 weeks leave I was originally planning was now 6 weeks. Apparently, the woman who was handling my leave was confused. So my leave was cut short and I've been back to work for a little over a week. I'm considering it a blessing in disguise given that I would still be going stircrazy had I still been home.
I was talking to a friend the other day who is a mother of a one-year old. We were comparing war stories and I noticed that when she mentioned how much she loved being a mother but hated her pregnancy, I was realizing how much I loved the pregnancy, but hated the last 6 weeks. I love being a mother, and I love this little girl with every ounce of my being, but sometimes my love for all things mommy was overshadowed by all things frustration. And I noticed how different I was in that I had no seperation anxiety in going back to work. I left the house at 7:30 with a spring in my step and without a tear in my eye. I'm finding myself missing her during the day and devoted to her when I get home, but leaving in the morning is so easy.
Tuesday, June 06, 2006
"Great," I answer.
And she is. But what I don't add is that she doesn't sleep at night, and it drives me crazy. Correction. She sleeps, but she chooses the comfort of mommy's chest to lay her head rather than her crib. The result? Mommy doesn't sleep.
Sometimes when I choose to blog about something personal, I think twice about it. Same with conversations. Do I really want these people to know that my life is tainted with personal issues? I have a great marriage, loving family, fantastic job... but on the inside?
I looked up post-partum depression online the other day. I didn't consider it a possibility. The website I chose defined it as feelings of suicide, homicide, or inflicting injury. Those thoughts have never (never ever!) crossed my mind since giving birth (or beforehand) and so I convinced myself that wasn't it. And besides, I thought with PPD, I am supposed to not want to have anything to do with her. Again, not the case. I could hold her in my arms all day and gaze into her gorgeous blue eyes. I play with her. I tickle her. I sing Close to You by the Carpenters to her. But at night, I am frustrated. Annoyed. Unhappy.
Every night, at around 7:00, I start to feel down. I get nervous and tense. I think about what her sleep schedule will be that night. And how much my sleep will be affected. Because I'm still out on maternity leave, I get up throughout the night and let Ken sleep since he has to go to work the next day. Up until a few nights ago, she was up almost every hour. Wide awake and hungry. During the day, the formula knocks her out and she sleeps really well. At night? No amount of fluids could make her weary and her eyes have a constant deer-in-headlights look. This past week, she had a few consecutive nights of letting us sleep for 4 consecutive hours, which is HUGE. Last night she was back to her old tricks and I lost it.
When I am sleep deprived, I am extra emotional. And so I started to cry, something I've started to do frequently when woken up by her. Begging her to sleep as I hold a bottle in her mouth. Because mommy can't sleep during the day. When she naps, I can't nap. Somehow I am programmed into believing that I'll sleep through a cry or that she'll suddenly roll over onto her stomach - which screams of SIDS - and also which is pretty unlikely at 6 weeks of age but since my mind wanders, that's what is keeping me from napping.
During the day I am fine. Happy. Social. But when darkness hits, my mood turns sour and I am pessimistic and depressed and negative.
Ken and I have gotten into more arguments since she's been born. Some have been petty, some not so much. The most recent? I don't think he's hands on enough. He'll hold her or feed her when it's convenient for him.
When he comes home from work, I expect more from him. I am with her all day and overnight, I think he should give me a few hours off when he comes home from work. But many times when I ask him to take her, there is always something to do.
I gotta go to Home Depot.
I gotta go mow the lawn.
I have phone calls to return.
I have to get ready for tomorrow.
And I don't say anything. I let it go. Well, atleast until tonight (which empowered me to write this blog.)
He told me I was in a state of depression. And that makes me shudder a bit. Because part of me thought that only I saw it. What does it mean that those around me, those CLOSEST to me, are seeing it too?
I'm not a believer in pills, or Scientology vitamins, because I don't consider it to be that bad. It only affects me at night, and who is to say it is PPD? And I'll be getting more sleep when I go back to work in a month and Ken takes 3 weeks off to take care of her before we put her in daycare at the 3-month mark. And soon after she'll be old enough to sleep longer at night and I'll be fine.
My mother tells me it gets better. I know it does, and so I look forward to that. But right now? The fact that as of this moment it's NOT better is what weighs on my mind. Sigh.
So yes, Stephanie is fine. Thank you for asking. But this was something I felt I should blog about. Instead of the fluff that usually ends up here, I wanted to post something more real. Raw. Unfiltered.
Thursday, May 04, 2006
I've never been so out of touch with the world as I am right now. The current song I have in my head isn't on any Billboard chart, but a Mozart piece from a Baby Einstein Discovery Gym. I probably watch 1/2 hour of TV a day and haven't even missed it. And the sad thing is, when I turn on the TV to escape, it seems like the majority of news being reported on is baby-related. Tom and Katie. Brooke. Brad and Angelina. With a little dash of bird flu, Moussaoui, and Earl Woods (RIP) mixed in.
Speaking of Tom, when I was in the hospital, I had a very annoying nurse named Betty Jo who tried to encourage me all throughout labor. She ended every sentence with, "I'm just saying it out loud."
"Once the baby comes, you'll forget about the pain. Just saying it out loud."
And worse, after every push, she would exclaim, "Hooray!" and she would enunciate the 'Hoo' part of it. I really wished she would shut up, and it was then that I thought of Tom, and how maybe silent births aren't such a bad thing. But I kept my mouth shut and figured that I'd let a more feisty woman going through labor set Betty Jo straight.
Ken went back to work yesterday and so I am taking the night shift whenever Steph needs to be fed or changed, which is every 3-4 hours or so. Before she was born, I promised myself that I would try to nap when she naps, but it's more difficult to do than I realized since something inside me is wrongfully convincing my brain that I'm not that tired, and that sure, I can survive on no more than 5 hours of sleep a day. No problem.
But maybe that's the mother-in-training in me. The one who will bake cookies at the last minute because my daughter forgot to tell me until the night before about the bake sale at school the next day. The one who will stay up with her finishing an assignment for class. The one who will wait up for her to return from nights out with friends, or the dreaded first date (even though that won't be until she's 30.) The one who will drop everything on a dime because she needs me to be there for her.
I drive as if I have a baby in the car, even when I don't. And I wonder now why more people don't have that mindset. It's amazing how quickly your life goes from being all about you to being all about somebody else.
Thursday, April 27, 2006
We named her Stephanie.
I'll write more when I'm less sleep-deprived. But everything I complained about in the last 9 months?
Totally worth it.
Tuesday, April 18, 2006
Last week, I wasn't ready. Everything was so overwhelming. I felt that as long as I still had unfinished projects at work, as long as I wasn't packed for the hospital yet, as long as I wasn't emotionally ready yet - that my body would understand and not put me through it yet.
But everything is done. Granted I do still have those projects to finish, but everything on the homefront is done. The nursery was finished a few weeks ago, all new cribsheets, onesies, bibs, and the like have been washed, and the hospital bags are packed.
And I'm ready. Really ready. I am fully prepared to wake Ken up in the middle of the night and say, "Let's go." I'm fully prepared to make a hospital room a temporary hotel room. And I'm fully prepared to leave as two and come home as three. And everything in between.
And most importantly, I am ready to sleep comfortably again. I'm ready to have my long awaited glass of wine and plate of sushi. I'm ready for my energy to come back, especially now that Spring has begun in New England. I'm ready to stand up, look down, and see my feet again.
And I'm excited about seeing her. Being a mom and learning from her and seeing her personality and sense of humor develop and hearing her laugh. Reading her books and hearing her voice for the first time and what toys and cartoon characters she'll connect with.
I'm probably delusional in thinking that I'll have more time to blog after than I do now. And maybe I won't. But as the days are dwindling, I'm staying offline and enjoying the last moments of hanging out with my husband before life becomes hectic.
Have a wonderful rest of April. Get out and enjoy the weather. Take a walk. Go on a daytrip. Read a book. Buy a vase and some fresh flowers.
Wish me luck.
Monday, April 10, 2006
I'm due May 9th.
What a slap of reality that was.
Wednesday, April 05, 2006
Last night I had a few false labor contractions, which are completely normal, and it freaked me out. Actually, Ken freaked me out. I thought nothing of them until...
"I'm timing them and so far there have been 2 within 10 minutes. If this keeps up, we're calling the doctor." And he continued to stare at me, watching my every expression. I didn't admit many more after that one. They stopped after about 40 minutes.
In our childbirth class, we were told to call the hospital when contractions come every 5 minutes for an hour. I didn't think anything of them until Ken reminded me of that. It made everything more real and I instantly thought how unprepared I was. I mentally packed my hospital bag and wondered how long it would take me to pack it for real. What would I bring the baby home in? Where are my nightgowns? What snacks can we take? What else are we forgetting?
But I'm not ready yet, and yet I am so ready.
What I'll miss about being pregnant:
Being able to eat foods that I never eat and not feel guilty about it.
Being able to nap midday and not feel guilty about it.
Not having to carry laundry downstairs or take it back upstairs.
Smiles from total strangers.
Feeling little kicks and hiccups coming from my belly.
Having an excuse for my forgetfulness.
Shopping. Whenever Ken complains about the credit card bill, I reply, "It's for baby," and he's okay with that.
What I won't miss:
Walking through clothing stores and seeing all the cute clothes that I'm too fat to fit into.
The lack of energy.
Hormones. I sometimes cry for the dumbest reasons.
Getting up every hour or two throughout the night to either change positions or pee.
That "kicked in the crotch" feeling we have due to explanding ligaments, which makes walking/standing/rolling over in bed painful as hell.
My swollen feet.
Sunday, April 02, 2006
I work for a company that has stores all over the world, and part of my job is to look into complaints filed against these stores.
Friday afternoon I was asked by someone from the midwest if we had any stores in his area, because the one closest to his location "is run by Pakistani's" and so he refuses to go there.
I hate that. I seriously hate ignorant people. And there was so much I wanted to say to him, but I kept my mouth shut. For one, I wanted to tell him that I was a Pakistani, just to hear the uncomfortable silence on the other end of the phone. But being at work, I can't take the time out of my day to convince a person to be less of a racist and read the news more, because last time I checked, we weren't at war against Pakistan. And further, anyone could be a terrorist. Ten years ago, Timothy McVeigh blew up a Federal Building in Oklahoma, and John Walker Lindh, considered a bright kid from a middle-class family, went to Iraq to join the Taliban. Both are as white as this caller from the midwest, but he ignorantly chooses to ....
okay, I'll stop. But you get my point.
I understand people have their stereotypes. Otherwise, Crash wouldn't have done so well at the box office and wouldn't have deserved all the awards it received. But keep it to yourself. Don't volunteer the information. Especially to someone you don't know. Am I Pakistani? No. But I what if I was?
If you want to complain about a company, by all means make the call. Send an email. Write a letter. But as soon as you bring up ethnicity, you have just lost all credibility.
Tuesday, March 28, 2006
1. Season: Fall
2. Color: Blue
3. Time: 6:30 - Home from work and still light enough outside
4. Food: Asian - Thai/Vietnamese/Japanese/Chinese
Non-alcoholic: Seltzer water with a splash of cranberry juice. Or water.
Alcoholic: Cosmo, or a nice glass of relaxing pinot. But I also like a good Bloody Mary.
6. Ice Cream: Pistachio or Mint Chocolate Chip
7. Place: Right now, it's the nursery we just finished. It makes me smile.
8. Sport: Baseball
9. Actor: Tom Hanks
10. Actress: Sandra Bullock
1. Feeling: Overwhelmed
2. Drink: Ice Water
3. Time: 3:20 PM
4. Show on TV: I'm addicted to Grey's Anatomy
5. Mobile: Cingular (I have no idea what this one means)
6. Windows open: 5 (Lotus Notes, 2 websites (both work related, I swear!), Blogger, and a work program.
7. Underwear: Black maternity ones. SEXY!
8. Clothes: Black pants, and a pretty flowery beigish maternity top. Oh, and black shoes.
9. Thought: 2 and a half more hours....
1. Nickname: Muffet (my mother used to call me Muffet because apparently, Little Miss Muffet was my favorite rhyme growing up. )
2. Kiss: His name was Karl. And I loved him. Sigh...
3. Crush: John. 2nd grade. Who knew he was gay?
4. Best Friend: Andrea, she lived across the street. We were inseparable.
5. Vehicle: 1990 Ford Escort
6. Job: I was a candy striper at a local hospital. But my first paying job was at a McDonald's.
7. Date: I think it was with Paul in 9th grade. We went to the movies.
8. Pet: Harry and Herman - hamsters
1. Drink: Water
2. Kiss: This morning before Ken left for work.
3. Meal: Breakfast this morning: Grapenut cereal, a banana, and orange juice.
4. Web site: Hotmail.com
5. Movie: Failure to Launch
6. Phone call: Work-related.
7. TV Show: The Today Show this morning.
6 Have You Evers
1. Broken the law: I stole a Roger Rabbit figurine when I was too little to know better. And I drank alcohol before I was 21. Does that count?
2. Been drunk: Yes
3. Kissed someone you didn't know: Yikes, yes. I'm feeling so irresponsible right now. But it was part of my "Always be kissed at New Years rule."
4. Been close to gunfire: No
5. Skinny dipped: Nope
6. Broken someone's heart: Yeah...
1. You can hear right now: People talking, sound of the keyboard, someone whistling, phones ringing, The vent blowing air above my head
2. On your bed: Comforter, sheets, pillows, laundry that needs to be folded, and To Kill a Mockingbird, which I'm reading right now.
3. You ate today: Cereal, banana, pineapple, a granola bar, and orange sherbert.
4. You can't live without: Ken, my family, my car, potholders, and a phone.
5. You do when you're bored: watch mindless television, read, take a walk, call my parents, buy stuff for baby online.
4 Places You've Been Today
3. My car
3 Things On Your Desk Right Now
1. Monitor, keyboard, mouse
2. Vaseline hand lotion and Purel Hand Sanitizer
3. An empty water cup.
1. Chocolate or Vanilla: Depends on my mood
2. Hot or Cold: Cold (If I'm too cold, I can bundle up. Even if you're naked, you can still be too sweaty.)
1 Place You Want to Visit.
Saturday, March 25, 2006
I hate complainers. People who complain about petty little things is a HUGE pet peeve of mine. Actually, it's those that complain about something incessantly and not let it go. Last summer, I was in the slowest line ever at a Dairy Queen. It was hot, it was late, and whomever was working the line I chose might of been new. Who knows? But the person in front of me kept turning around and rolling her eyes and making comments. I smiled politely and hoped the fact that I didn't egg her on would shut her up. I was wrong. Last night, I was in line to cash out and something happened where the person working the window just walked away. Maybe she ran out of money, maybe she had to get some forms if the customer at the counter hit it big. Who knows? But person A in back of me and person B in front of me had a problem.
Where'd she go?
I don't know.
This is ridiculous.
Anyone want a job? It's obvious they're short-staffed.
Is that girl opening her window? We should all move over and not allow anyone in front of us. We've been waiting forever.
This is ridiculous.
Where is she?
Seriously. Where do you have to be that you are in such a rush all the time? I feel like asking this. Who cares if the line is slow. Where do you have to be right now?
I was in line for dinner at one of the food court restaurants and noticed a man in line at another restaurant who had the same belly I did. My belly popped sometime in the last month or so and so my energy level has sunk. I used to be able to do 50 flights on the gym Stairmaster, but now I am winded after climbing one flight of stairs to get to my cubicle at work. I hate it. Looking at this man, I wondered how anyone could want to live like that on purpose. I guess that being 8 months pregnant has opened my eyes to what I could feel like if I don't take care of myself.
Last tidbit: Most of the songs on my Ipod bring me back to another time and place. Band on the Run, by Paul McCartney and Wings, is probably one of my all-time favorite songs and Paul McCartney is the only artist who I would shell out a car payment to see in concert. In college, I went on 3 dates with someone who turned out to be a fugitive. On our first date, we went to karaoke night at a local bar. It was a Friday night in June 1994. I remember the date because it was the night of the infamous OJ chase in the white Bronco. As soon as it happened, all the TV's over the stage in the bar broadcast the chase and when it was over, one of the bartender's sang Band on the Run. It was the first time I heard that song and now everytime I hear it, I think of that night, and how fitting that song was given my own set of circumstances. I was on a date with a fugitive. And I have wondered since that night if he was laughing inside while that song was playing.
Wednesday, March 15, 2006
I saw the movie years ago when it came out in theaters. I had forgotten most of the details of the movie, but remember the basic premise. Set in Britain, unemployed blue-collar men of all shapes and sizes are jealous that their wives and girlfriends spend their time at the strip clubs, that they decide to form their own male revue and give it a go. That is what I remember.
The night we went was the last night of the performance, and we found that many in the audience had been before.
"The end is the best."
"Have you seen the movie? This has NOTHING on the movie."
"Make sure you're awake for the end. And don't blink or sneeze."
"Is he uncomfortable with nudity?" a woman asks, nodding her head towards Ken.
There were many similarities between the play and the movie as far as plot. There were a few differences, like the setting (Buffalo, NY) and that there were more musical numbers than the original.
The major difference?
The last scene of the night. The final musical number. I knew there would be stripping. If I recalled, the last scene in the movie showed the men in all their glory with only the policeman's hat that was their costume covering the goods. That's what I was expecting. What I got? An eyeful. Little by little, the costumes came off. Everyone was cheering, obviously knowing what was to come.
There was a Bachelorette Party in the house that night, and one of the castmembers tried to drag the very embarrassed bride-to-be onto the stage to get a closer look. Blushing, she would go no further than the steps leading up to the stage.
Right before the curtain fell and the lights went out, they dropped the hats. Six little Jr's all in a row. In my shock and laughter, I tried to skim all six, but only really focused on one.
The acting was outstanding, the vocals were second to none, and the comaraderie among actors was obvious. Ken loved it. I thought he would be a little uncomfortable with male nudity, but because the play was fantastic, he didn't really see that as a letdown. He was glad that it was the last run of the play because he knew I'd probably want to see it five more times.
Sunday, February 26, 2006
I realize that there are only 10 weeks left on your lease. I hope the accommodations that I have provided you in the past 7 months or so have been adequate. Free room and board, plenty of food and nutrition, no loud or sudden noise to disturb you, and enough time to sleep. Who could ask for better living conditions?
That being said, I understand how you might think that since you'll be moving out soon, you feel that you can throw my schedule into disarray. Don't get me wrong. The seven months that you have been in my life have been fantastic. You haven't caused me to be sick or achy. Even daddy has noticed. He proudly told my doctor that he was impressed how good it's been and how little I've complained. And I owe it all to you. But now that you're getting bigger and it's getting close to the time we should meet face to face, I thought we should have a talk.
Now that you're getting bigger, I know it's sometimes fun to stay up all hours of the night. But honey, mommy has to go to work in the morning. You know I love it whenever you move around, but if you feel something hard when you kick, please don't think it's a wall that will crumble if you keep kicking hard enough. It's my ribcage, and it isn't going anywhere. So please stop trying to tear it down.
Same goes for my bladder.
P.S. Daddy thanks you for your sudden yearning for onion rings and french fries.
Sunday, February 19, 2006
I worked for a small marketing firm. My main client and my boss do not speak. They have a long history of mutual disdain and so I was the go between. It was a stressful position, because every idea proposal I would offer to them was turned down because they thought my boss was ghostwriting. After I realized what was happening, I met with them and told them that my boss is never involved in my ideas, let alone in what I do for them (which was beyond true). They admitted being skeptical, since passing ideas off as someone else's is something my boss would do, and they apologized for thinking I'd go along with it. I left that meeting questioning my company.
In April, my boss asked me if I would be interested in working from home. They wanted to sell the building for various reasons, all of which made sense. "Think about it over the weekend and let us know." Granted, I would miss the daily interaction of an office, but since we were in the trying stages of starting a family, the thought of avoiding daycare and a commute were enough of a sell. Ken was completely in agreement, and so I came to them with my answer.
The first potential buyer fell through because the business didn't meet the standards of the Office Park. The second potential buyer came in October. I was told not to say anything to the client just yet because they were nervous about this offer falling through as well. But we started cleaning out our offices and a potential move date was given for Christmas week.
A week before Thanksgiving, I was told that my salary was being cut. Dramatically. I had gotten a really good raise a year before and it was being taken away from me, and then some. I told them I wasn't sure if I could do it, especially being pregnant. I held it together but as soon as I got back to my office, I called Ken and broke down in the middle of the conversation. Shortly after hanging up, they offered more if I took on the position of Accounts Payable. This would mean I would be taking the job from "S". Justifying to myself that S had another part-time job that she could make full-time, I accepted the position. If I wasn't four months pregnant, I would have looked elsewhere and turned it down. Given the position I was in, I didn't think I had many other options. I was also told that she would be notified after Thanksgiving.
Plans were underway. I ordered a company PO Box local to my house, I chose office furniture I wanted to move home, and I called Verizon to install a new phone and fax line. I also noticed that Thanksgiving had come and gone and no one had said anything to S.
A week into December, I was given the go ahead to let the client know about the transition to my home. They were upset for not letting them know sooner, and not giving them any say in the matter, given that it was their company. They had some decisions to make, I was told, and that I would find out the fate of my firm's involvement with this company soon. I asked about it several times. Have we heard anything yet? Any news? And I was always told No. Nothing yet.
During this time, S had asked me if I knew how to order a PO Box. Seems she was told to open one for company bills. I was confused. I asked my boss about it. Like a deer caught in headlights he looked at me. "Well, Jodi.... Let her do it for now, and who knows. Maybe in April or May, you'll take over." I was assured I'd still be paid the amount discussed. I assumed they had felt bad about letting her go. S had been their right hand for many years and I could understand their not wanting her to leave. But this was ridiculous. "That's fine," I replied. "I just don't like secrets." He diplomatically joked that I know more than he does sometimes and left. That afternoon, I went onto Monster.com and applied for a job. I also emailed my old boss who has been after me to come back and keeps offering to keep her eyes open in case something opens. I asked her to start looking.
The next day, Verizon came. When I came into work after the lines were installed, I asked for an update from the client. I was given a thumbs up and was told everything was all set. The next day, I received a call from the client. They were coming in to pick up all of my stuff. I asked why. "We're taking back the account." I told him I'd call him back and ran into my boss's office. "They're taking back the account." I could tell from his face that he already knew. He explained that everything was last minute, and that given the icy relationship, they thought it best to cut ties. "Don't worry," he told me. "You're still on our payroll until the end of December and we have many projects for you to do." The end of December was two weeks away.
After the building was cleaned out and I was home twiddling my thumbs, my boss called. "Maybe you should try to work a deal to work for the client," he said blankly. "Because we don't have any projects for you." After a brief moment of wondering how long he has lived without balls, I spoke my my mind. I forget his reply, but the conclusion was that for those last two weeks, I would be working with the client educating them on what I did. And what I learned during those two weeks was invaluable. They let me in on the history of the feud, which made me feel like a fool for having respected my boss at all during the 18 months I was there. They also let me know that they asked my boss if I would be interested in working for them, and he told them no. That given the pregnancy, I would only want to work from home. And that they would have to convince me to work there. Which of course was news to me, since no one ever mentioned an offer. The head of the company never offered me the position, because he felt that he didn't want me if I needed convincing. I didn't blame him.
A few days ago, I got a message from one of the writers I worked with asking me for assistance on a newsletter I worked on. My boss had given him my number because I was the only one who would know the answer.
Think I'm calling him back?
Thursday, February 16, 2006
2. If you aren't allowed a glass of wine after a stressful day, peanut M&M's work just as well.
3. I'm not a fan of Kanye West AT ALL, but apparently I know the words to Gold Digger and can rap along to it when it's on the radio.
4. I really don't care if people see me singing aloud in my car.
5. You can write the angriest letter into any company and can have all valid points, but if you write 'weather' when the word should actually be 'whether,' you've just lost all credibility and you'll be made fun of.
6. When you're pregnant, the bra is your enemy and you can't get home fast enough to remove it from your being.
7. When was the last time I blogged?
8. I'm feeling sympathy for the Doberman's, who are yes, still in the trailer after a blizzard dumped 18 inches on the ground. The frame of the house is done. Lord knows what's being worked on inside.
9. I put the milk back in the fridge after breakfast this morning, right?
10. TGIF and a long weekend.
Thursday, February 09, 2006
"Um... yeah," I replied. "Why would YOU hear what Britney did?"
Apparently, my father has been watching Access Hollywood again. He knows I'm into pop culture and entertainment news, but we don't talk about it. When it comes to women like Britney, he focuses on the physical and doesn't know why society as a whole is pretty much sick of her.
"You know to never do that, right?"
Yes. Britney is an idiot. Do you really have to be a mother-to-be to know that to hold your 3 month old child against your body while riving and blame it on the paparazzi, is irresponsible. I told him this, along with the opinion that her first responsibility was to her son, not herself. That satisfied him. I just hope that the next time she's on TV and I ask him to change it, he'll do so instead of saying, "Wait a minute," and continue to watch as she continues to flaunt her body across the stage.
This week, whatever third trimester aches and pains I have been having have been placed on the back burner because my husband has been sick. And so motherhood came 2 and a half months early for me.
On Monday, after one of my doctor's appointments, Ken complained of his stomach feeling like lead. And he was lightheaded.
"Do you think I could have caught something?"
"Honey," I replied. "We were at an obstetricians office. What the women there have, you can't catch."
But he went to work and came home and felt sick.
"I'm cold." "Make me tea." I tell him to get into bed. "I'm too cold to get up. Help me. Can I have hot chocolate instead of tea?"
I come home from work the next day to find him sprawled on the couch watching TV. I ask how he's feeling. "I need more juice," he replies. And so I look at him. After about 15 seconds or so, he asks, "Do I really have to get up and get my own juice?"
Don't get me wrong. I'm all for taking care of those who are sick. But come on. Somehow, men were created missing the gene that enables them to take care of themselves. Women know what to do when they're not feeling well. We eat when we want to eat and we know what to eat. If we feel we need medicine, we take medicine. We don't need permission or reassurance that it's okay.
Whomever claimed that women are the weaker sex have never dealt with a man with a stomachache.
Sunday, January 29, 2006
Tomorrow is my first day of my new job and I won't have trash tv to escape to anymore.
I have no problem admitting to being a fan of Ellen Degeneres. Daytime talk shows are usually an hour of hearing a host who loves to hear herself speak (hello, Oprah). Ellen is refreshing and her quick wit kept my attention when I was too lazy to do anything else.
I'm not a fan of Maury Povich. His shows are ridiculous and absurd and pretty much a train wreck. Which is what caught my attention of course. The two or three shows I caught revolved around paternity tests to determine which of the 15 candidates could have fathered a young woman's poor child. The audience is made to feel bad for the woman, but I felt sympathy for the men, who had to be forced to sit next to a woman whose weakness for these men as well as their relatives and friends were pitiful. And just like a train wreck, it was difficult to look away.
TLC used to be my favorite channel. From Trading Spaces to While You Were Out, I was fascinated with decorating tips and how quickly I could feng shui my living room. But then they got personal. A Dating Story takes along on a blind date that was fixed up my mutual friends. A Wedding Story captures the planning, stress, and final product of said planning and stress. And finally, A Baby Story tells the story of a couple a month or so before the baby arrives all the way into the delivery room. After the baby is born, the family is shown a week later gushing and laughing at how well they are adjusting. I figured I would love this show. Prepare me for one of lifes miracles. I figured I would like this show. For one, well duh, I'm pregnant. But I used to love those Discovery Channel Shows where they took you into the operating room for breast implants or liposuction. Something about them fascinated me. But after catching a few episodes, I have come to realize that A Baby Story is the WORST show to watch if you are pregnant. It's too detailed... and it freaked me out.
So being lazy was fun and relaxing. I was able to paint the new nursery and catch up on everything I needed to do without scheduling around a schedule. So, bye Ellen. So long Maury. Til we meet again, Regis and Kelly.
Sunday, January 22, 2006
A number of reasons were pointed out as to why we are under scrutiny, and why, as the article points out, so many of us leave. Political climate, rising costs of living and home values, and general stereotypical attitudes about the people, to name a few. Like our edge. How we have our own rules for driving. Case in point. A scene yesterday when I was at a 4-way stop with one other car. He had the right of way. And so I waited for him to go. He never went. I waited a little longer and when he didn't budge, I assumed he was letting me go first and so I took my foot of the brake. I guess the movement of my car woke him up from whatever daydream he was having because that is when he decided to go, too. He started to move as I passed the front of his car, and beeped at me because I apparently cut him off. And I yelled (out loud in a car where all the windows were closed), "You didn't move!" (Of course, I wouldn't have yelled if there was a chance he would hear me.) It made me feel better. And it justified my actions. To myself atleast.
That incident and my reaction to it reminded me of the op-ed piece and how maybe we are what they say we are. We can't be the only ones with an edge. It can't be just us, right? How could this state be under so much criticism when there is so much here to be desired? The history, the culture, the personalities. Our weird obsession with our sports teams that some describe as scary. Someone once said that if 100 people were plucked from around the country and immersed in our culture for a year, they would love it. And I agree. And although I would love to have the chance to experience life living in New York City or DC or Chicago, I know it wouldn't compare.
But then something happened that changed any doubts I had. A car accident that we sort of witnessed last night. Ken and I were sitting on the couch when we heard a loud screech, followed by a crash. We both looked at each other, and without saying a word, jumped up and looked out the window. Ken called the police to let them know and we headed outside and to the main road to see what happened. We joined others who must have also heard the crash and watched as police cars rushed to the scene.
Apparently (this was our guess), a car drove out of a side street without stopping and the SUV that was on the main road heading in her direction saw her and tried to stop but instead drove right into her door. We guessed the driver at fault who was coming out of the side street was in her late teens or early twenties, judging by a graduation cap tassel hanging from her rearview mirror. To call her shaken up would be an understatement. But she was walking okay (as was the other driver) and so for that we counted her blessings for her, since we didn't think she was in any frame of mind to think to do so herself. We asked if she was okay and if she needed a phone or a bathroom and so she went into a nearby house to clean up and call her parents. The older driver finished up giving his information to the policeman, used his cell phone to make a call and when the woman came back to the accident scene, asked if she was alright and if she wanted something to eat, as he had just picked up some takeout.
And it made me smile, as I was reminded of the article once again. Standing there, among an ambulance, a tow truck, and several police cars with flashing lights illuminating the sky, glass shattered all over the street, and surrounded by various witnesses and curious onlookers, it made me think of one point wasn't discussed.
We may get easily frustrated. And yes it is true we have an edge. But when you put us in the worst possible circumstances and ruin our day, we'll still offer you our dinner.
Friday, January 13, 2006
They know I'm pregnant and when I'm approximately due. I nervously mentioned it in the interview and they congratulated me, made small talk and moved on. The company I worked for previously screwed me over in the end (a post for another time if you're interested) and so the fact that they didn't see my pregnancy as an obstacle was a relief.
I start in 2 weeks. It'll be a little weird to wake up and go since I've gotten used to the easy and boring living of the unemployed. It'll be weird to have a schedule to follow again, not to mention wearing a pair of pants that doesn't have an elastic waistband. I had knee surgery about 4 years ago and the week I had to take off to recuperate was the worst. I was itching to go back. Now? No rush. I like the fact that I can relax and plan my day according to my schedule. No rushing to the post office or bank with everyone else during lunch hour. No running to the grocery store at dinner time to pick up the last item needed to make that night's meal. No taking a walk and needing to check my watch and trying to remember when I started, careful not to go over my lunch hour.
But given the company, the fantastic reputation it has (Boston Business Journal rated it one of the top 15 companies to work for) and the perks (free coffee and ice cream on-site, and luckily a fitness center to work off said ice cream) I really can't be disappointed about working there.
Wednesday, January 11, 2006
Ken's disappointed. He was hoping that I would have pizza or spaghetti cravings, just so he would have an excuse to pig out with me. Occasionally, I'll have a craving for Swedish Fish, those gummy fish-shaped candies. He likes those cravings. But when I head into the kitchen and take out the milk, ice and frozen fruit and plug in the blender, he knows it's going to be a boring night.
And on the subject of cows, did I tell you I'm fat? I didn't really realize it until this weekend when I got dressed to go out to dinner, walked by a floor length mirror and was shocked. Ken asked what was wrong.
"Look at me. From the side, I almost take up the width of the mirror."
"Um, I think you're exaggerating just a bit."
"No, Jodi. You're almost six months pregnant."
"It's a baby."
I love being pregnant. Don't get me wrong. I have enjoyed the entire process, from beginning (wink, wink) to now, and continuing. I just never thought I would have such a weird body image. I see pregnant women all the time and never consider them to be fat. Do they see the same when they look at me? Probably not, but then again... they could see themselves as fat when they look in their own mirrors.
I'm also discovering how much I'm freaking out about everything again. It comes and it goes. The newest episode comes in realizing that I'm well over the halfway point and that this baby will be entering the world in less amount of time then the number of weeks I've been pregnant. I remember last fall when we were asked when we were going to start looking at decor and thinking about paint and carpet. "After the first of the year," was always the canned response, knowing that there was plenty of time to think about it. And now that the first of the year has come and gone, it's overwhelming (yeah, I know I use that term a lot in these posts) to know that we've picked out a name (don't ask, not telling until she's here), decor, paint, and carpeting and I feel like there's not enough time to consider swings, highchairs, and strollers. But atleast it takes my mind off the outrageously ridiculous cost of daycare.
Monday, January 09, 2006
"Catching up on blogging," I'll sometimes reply.
"Oh," is his regular response.
The first time I mentioned it, he asked what a blog was. He's not much of an online person. He'll pay bills and check email and read the top business headlines, but he doesn't surf the web much. So I told him a blog was sort of an online diary where people can comment and link to their own. "Oh."
He has no idea that I sent a few people giftcards as a result of that promo that I wrote about a few months ago. He would be shocked to see pictures and accompanying stories about the neighbors (I made him delete early pictures he took of the house and view that I thought were invasions of privacy. I didn't tell him that I changed my mind and instead thought they'd be a good read.) He wouldn't understand that I have online "friends." Not that he would care, he just wouldn't get it.
And so it was a little surprising one day when he asked if I blogged about him. He is always interested in what I do, and I know he's been curious, but he knows that I value my privacy when it comes to certain things. I don't keep secrets, but I hate when people read over my shoulder, whether it be a newspaper or seeing what I'm doing online. So when I'm online, he knows not to look at what I'm doing.
I told him that I didn't think I ever dedicated an entire post about him - atleast, until now - but I have mentioned him a few times here and there, and that he's always open to read it if he wants. He's never asked for the site, so I assume that since he knows there isn't anything scandalous written, he's okay with it.
If he asks, I'll let him read. But part of me likes the fact that no besides him knows if its existence and that so far, he hasn't asked for the site. Not that I've written anything juicy (I've so been tempted), but this is like something all my own. As long as it lasts.
Friday, December 30, 2005
I started out praising the Chantico (still do!) and rallying against OPC. I opened my husband's eyes up to another world. I realized how much public information I could find out when my neighbor's dog decided he liked to defecate on my lawn more than anywhere else. I got knocked up and laid off. What a pretty good year.
I'm not much into making resolutions. I have no idea if I even made any last year, that's how much I take them seriously. I still need to go to the gym more often. I still need to save and invest more than I have been. I still need to keep in touch more often. I still need to be less stubborn. And I still need to do everything else that is a typical resolution. But I'm not resolving to make changes because when the year is over, I'll either feel bad that I didn't keep the resolutions, or be where I am today - unsure if I made any in the first place.
I do hope that at this time next year, I will have found a job, I will be able to say that my daughter is happy and healthy, and that those around me are too. And that the trailer that has been the focal point of the view outside my bedroom window will be a thing of the past.
Happy New Year!
Friday, December 23, 2005
Case in point. I was watching the local news the other day about the debate over taking "Christmas" out of everything and replacing it with the word "Holiday". Christmas lights will now be marketed as Holiday lights. The Boston Mayor also made it known that this year, at the annual tree lighting, it will be the Holiday tree that will be lit up. Saturday Night Live made fun of it during their news segment and then joked that instead of the annual lighting of the Menorah, the Mayor will be lighting the Holiday Candelabra. It's a bit out of hand.
My Christmas celebration is a tradition of dinner at at Chinese restaurant with about 10 relatives. I don't celebrate Christmas, and I have no desire to use any other terminology that a disgruntled member of society lobbied for. For the record, they are CHRISTMAS LIGHTS! Whatever colors they are, whatever shape you put them in, they are Christmas lights. If I did celebrate Christmas, I'd put up lights. Heck, I'd put up a tree and adorn my front lawn with one of those cute inflatable snow globes that are new this year. I don't know anyone who celebrates any other holiday, and still puts up lights. That is why they are called Christmas Lights. That's all there is too it.
When I was in high school, the winter semi-formal was called Santa's Dream, until someone complained. And so it was changed to to the equally corny Winter Wonderland. Maybe my distates for all things PC started then.
Why do we have to be so politically correct all the time? Who made that rule? Just let it be. That's the way it was, that's what we're used to, and that is what we know is right.
And changing the Pledge of Allegiance for the Atheists so that His name is removed? Seriously. Please just let us have this one. If you don't want to say it, don't. You don't have to stand, you don't have to face the flag, and you don't have to place one hand over your heart. That is your right. But let us do it if we want to. Isn't that our right?
Merry Christmas, Happy Chanukah, and Happy Kwanzaa. Whatever you celebrate, enjoy it.
Friday, December 16, 2005
I haven't blogged because I've been emotionally drained, but without actually being emotional. When I found out that the major client that I work with has revamped their company and is taking everything in-house, I was relieved. The company had become quite a headache in the past few months and I was planning to look elsewhere next fall.
When the rumor that they were thinking about it was made public, I went onto Monster and applied for a job. I also contacted my old boss who was more than happy to look for an open position. Just to cover my bases. When the rumor became truth, I wasn't worried because I had minutes earlier checked my email and saw that Dunkin Donuts saw my resume on Monster and wanted to set up a phone interview for a position in their corporate offices. Now, I love Dunkin Donuts. Their coffee is my morning addiction (well, I've had to cut down in the past couple of months...) And so I figured that when the Mothership calls, you can't pass up the opportunity. And so a phone interview was set up. Knowing that this interview existed, and knowing that my previous employer is on the lookout, lightened the fall of my job situation. The phone interview went well, and the recruiter told me that she would pass my resume on to the hiring manager.
Which brings up another issue. Baby.
I'm due to have a child in 4 months. Seriously, would you hire me?
(It's a girl by the way. YAY!)
I know that not hiring a person based on being pregnant is illegal, blah blah blah. But the truth is, it happens. Of course I'll make it known in an interview (I'm not showing to the point where it's obvious) and let them know that daycare plans are in place (sort of) and that I would be available for anything while I'm out on leave, pretty much at their beck and call. But is that enough?
I was relieved a few days ago when I heard the news. Overjoyed. But now. I spent the morning on Monster sending out resumes before heading out and catching up on my million errands. Today was my first full day of not going into an office. I feel lost. Unsure. Drained. But hopeful.
Tuesday, December 06, 2005
I knew it. All the while I was taking my key off the chain, I was telling myself something will happen and I won't have a key. But I figured, what could happen? It's not like they're going to lose my key. So as he looked at me with that "Please, have a spare" look, I could only feel my face falling into my hands and mumbling, "I can't believe I just did that." I was embarrassed. I was holding up a line, and I had to wait at the desk as he asked everyone around if they knew anyone that could jimmy a car. I felt like calling a prison that was a few towns over. Surely someone there would know how to break into a car.
No one at the dealership knew how how to get the car open, and so 45 minutes and $90 later, a new key was made. I asked if this happens often, and he lied and told me it did. He couldn't have been nicer. And I couldn't have been more apologetic since I was holding up the line and wasting his time.
I was probably making more out of it than necessary, but I kick myself over stuff like this. Especially when I have to spend a ridiculous amount of money on something that could have been prevented.
And I still have no idea what I did with my original spare.
Thursday, December 01, 2005
Driving home on Sunday, I felt the baby move. It was a little flutter, followed by what I assume was a kick. It was very cool. It just made this whole thing real. I saw the ultrasound two months ago (has it really been that long?), but actually feeling a kick? Just took it to a whole new level. And with that new level brought a little panic.
This weekend, spending time with my niece and nephew... made me think about what type of mom I'll be. I think I'm a cool aunt. I play with dolls and trucks and I buy toys when they beg and read them stories with funny voices and I play pretend. But then I go home. I'm not there for the important stuff, like disciplining, or cleaning up scrapes, or taking them to the doctors, or knowing how to stop a cry, or answering life's questions. My niece once asked me why I drink water all the time when it doesn't even taste like anything, and where does water even come from? That was easy to answer, compared to the rest of what she probably asks her parents.
I wish there were more books written by parents - not doctors - about what is right and what is wrong. Doctors seem to exaggerate and never tell you not to worry if your child is not walking/talking/potty trained/eating solid foods/out of a crib according to schedule. There is one answer for everything, according to doctors. Parents tell it like it is. Lessons they have learned from experience. "No need to worry," they'd write. "My child went through this, and turned out fine." That's what I want to hear. No medical terminology. No statistics. Just stories.
On Wednesday, we'll find out if these kicks belong to a boy or a girl. It's all just very overwhelming.
Monday, November 28, 2005
We headed to Cape Cod on Wednesday night to avoid holiday traffic. It was a pretty quiet night since my brother and his family weren't coming until Thursday. The biggest surprise was when I walked in and my parents commented that I was starting to show. I knew I was growing. My pants still fit, though they had become quite snug. But it doesn't really sink in until someone else points it out that I'm getting fat.
Thursday night, we were watching TV when my brother heard a noise coming from the garage. None of us heard it, but all went to the door where the garage meets the kitchen and pressed our ears to the door. Silence. My mother mentioned that there were some break-ins reported a few towns over and so she wanted to call the police because she automatically assumed that was the cause of the noise. We knew there was nothing in there, but after ruling out an animal and hearing more noises coming from the garage, my mother called. We were all against it, but given that we saw humor in it, we didn't stop her. We called it CSI: Cape Cod, and watched as the lights of the car flashed as it stopped at the house. We opened the garage door, and watched as the officers with their flashlights looked inside everything, under everything, and behind everything. No one was there. We thanked them for coming by and he left. My brother and I both heard the noises off an on for the next hour. We followed the noise and found the "Welcome" plaque that was outside, banging against the house in the wind. Nowhere close to the garage. My mother was embarrassed.
My father had seen an ad for a crafts show on Martha's Vineyard a few weeks ago, so our plan for Saturday was to spend the day there, and walk through some of the towns. My parents are craft show junkies. They stop at every booth and admire the talent, while I walk by until I see something interesting, stopping every so often of course, to sample the homemade mustards and jellies. The day before, we tried to schedule the car to go on one of the ferries and were told that we would have no problem going over, but there wasn't any room for the car on any of the ferries back as they were booked solid. We thought about renting a car, but the need for two carseats for my niece and nephew prevented that from happening. After calling the number on the bus schedule, was told of the bus that went to the craft show, and figured that would be our best option.
We made our way over to the island and waited at the bus stop right outside the Vineyard Haven Ferry Terminal. The bus we wanted came on time, but the driver mentioned that he wasn't going near where the show would be. And he wasn't sure if any bus did. We told him the conversation with the bus company the day before, and so he called his supervisor to see if any buses went in that direction. The supervisor came, checked his schedule, and found that the closest bus that went anywhere near there would drop us off 2 miles from the center, but wasn't scheduled to come by until 1:22. It was almost 11:00. And the show ended at 2. Winter hours, we were told. There was nothing he could do. As we walked away to find a cab, he called us back and said that he would drive us there himself, "to prove that islanders are nice." When we arrived at the center, he told us that when we were finished, to walk to the end of the road and wait for the bus. He also had told us that if we called a cab, we would be required to pay the fare from Point A to B. Apparently, where they started from was Point A. They would then pick us up and take us to Point B. Since the majority thought that paying for a fare when we weren't even in the cab yet was silly, we would wait for the bus. After the show, we walked to the end of the road where we joined another couple waiting for a bus, and we waited.
It was freezing. Cars passed by, probably wondering why we were standing randomly on the side of the road. Knowing that we couldn't be waiting for a bus because buses didn't come by there. But we waited. Because we knew the second we started walking back, a bus would come. After 45 minutes we gave in, and made our way back to the center to call a cab. Apparently, the bus supervisor was wrong yet again. No weird cab fees. We decided to go to Oak Bluffs, one of the prettier towns on the island. The cab driver who took us there told us that she used to go bike-riding with JFK Jr, and that whenever Carolyn Kennedy comes over to the Vineyard, she always requests her as her cab driver. Now, I'm a fan of the Kennedys. Not in the political aspect, but the family. The history. And the legacy of Camelot. So when she mentioned John and Carolyn, my ears perked. I didn't believe her (neither did my father), but didn't question it. We just assumed she likes to impress the tourists with random tales. She also pointed out where Diane Sawyer and David Letterman have their houses. In Oak Bluffs, we had lunch, and explored the town a little bit. My father bought a Black Dog T-shirt and a bib for the baby. Black Dog is a huge label over there. It started out as a restaurant owned by a sailor who always had his black dog onboard with him, and now there are stores all over the island. It's amazing how fast it grew.
We wanted to head into Edgartown and Menemsha, but since our schedules were screwed up because of the bus that never was, we had to leave early in time to catch the ferry back.
Not the relaxing weekend I expected, but memorable nonetheless.
Wednesday, November 23, 2005
I'm heading home today at around 1:30, will make my famous candied yams (and if time permits, brownies), shower, pack, and head to my parents house where I'll feast and relax and shop and play with my niece and nephew until Sunday.
Safe travels to wherever you are going, and have a wonderful Thanksgiving.
Monday, November 21, 2005
Confession: I am the world's worst procrastinator. How bad am I, you ask? Well, I was going to post a blog this afternoon about how I haven't responded to all the emails I need to respond to. Emails that have been sitting in my Inbox waiting to be answered. Plans that haven't been finalized because I haven't emailed back a date to get together. Relatives wondering if I have been swallowed up by this baby since I haven't responded to let them know how I'm feeling. I didn't post about it today because I figured it can wait and I'd get around to it later. The reason I'm getting around to it now? Because I am procrastinating on editing a magazine draft for work tomorrow.
I have to do this magazine. It usually takes me about 2 hours to do and I literally looked at the clock tonight and planned out the timeframe that I would dedicate to doing it. I figured that I would go online for half an hour and respond to emails. Responding to emails, I concluded, would get me motivated to do the magazine. Finish one task I had been putting off, conquer the next. I quickly visited the websites that are on my list of favorites, played a little Freecell (my addiction), and here I am. Over my allotted half hour. No emails have been responded to yet and the magazine is starting to collect dust on the kitchen table.
Don't get me wrong. I do get things done, eventually. And on time. I just wait until the last minute to do them. That's why I think I work best under pressure. I think better and so I feel that what is finally accomplished is better than what it would have been had I started on time. That's my logic.
On the bright side, I guess this could be considered crossing one off the list, since I technically put off blogging about procrastination and here I am getting it done. Aren't you proud of me?
I need a round tuit.
Sunday, November 13, 2005
Wednesday morning at precisely 9 a.m., IKEA opened it's newest location. Two blocks from my house.
IKEA, if you're not familiar, is a huge Scandinavian furniture company with locations all over the world. Low prices, decent quality, most pieces require assembly. There are only a handful in the United States. Before the Massachusetts spot opened on Wednesday, the closest location to all of New England would have probably been in New Jersey.
I have to give them credit though. Their marketing and public relations campaign was phenomenal. I would have loved to work in their PR offices during the days, weeks, even months leading up to the grand opening. Everyone was talking about it. They offered a $5,000 gift certificate to the first person in line, and so a college aged guy camped out at the front door a week and a half before Opening Day. Cameras were on him to make sure he stayed there (with privilege to leave to relieve himself only) and sure enough, he got the prize. Opening Day promised more giveaways, samples of Scandinavian fare, a local high school band, as well as TV and radio personalities broadcasting live and offering their own prizes.
When my mother told me that she was going to head over there on Wednesday morning for Opening Day, I wanted to go. I was against it beforehand. They were expecting about 10,000 visitors that day and I originally didn't want to be anywhere near there. But then when she told me she was going something in me jumped and I wanted to be a part of it. Ken thought I was nuts.
I tried thinking of excuses I could use to be late for work, but in the end, the angel on my left shoulder convinced me that since I'm missing enough work for my monthly baby appointments, I shouldn't miss any more. Especially over this.
Ken went hiking this weekend and so I decided to venture over there. Ken wanted me to wait and go with him, but the intrigue was too much and so I started out anyway. I knew I should have turned around the instant I turned out of my street. I live off of a main street. A street that had an easy route to get to IKEA. A street that we were glad was not part of the published directions on how to get there. And apparently, a street managed to be discovered as an alternative route. IKEA is located in a huge shopping area that also offers a Christmas Tree Shop, a Home Depot, Michael's Arts & Crafts, Costco, and several other shops local to the area. I'm in that area often. What would be a 10 minute drive on a typical Saturday, took me 40 minutes yesterday. When I finally got into the shopping center, it was more lanes of traffic, more bumper to bumper, and so I decided to pull into Christmas Tree Shop instead, browse around in there for a little while, then go on about my day.
I had to return something at Sears and so I went to the mall and was there for a while. I returned the clothes and went into Mimi Maternity and bought my first outfit. The top is still a little long since I won't "pop" for another month or so, but I can't wait to wear the jeans. They have an elastic waist and a thick cotton panel in the front that will be so comfortable as it covers my tummy.
On my way home, the highway electronic message board announced that my exit, as well as the following exit, were closed due to heavy traffic. The closest exit I would be able to get off for an easy, non-IKEA route would be 4 exits up. As I neared the exit I normally take, I notice that it is in fact open. I take the exit and as I near the merge onto the main road, I see the problem. A 2-lane road is now 3 lanes and it's ridiculously backed up. I make a U-turn when able and get back on the highway. Only being able to go 15 mph to the next available exit, it takes me over an hour to get home from a mall only 25 minutes away.
To call this crazy would be an understatement. It is insane. Madness. I'm still interested in going. I've never been and want to see what the fuss is about.
But I decided I'm not leaving my house today.
Wednesday, November 09, 2005
A few posts ago, I mentioned how ridiculous the ongoing rain and lack of sunshine has become. Remember? And I mentioned that rainfall is said to be a sign of good luck. And then I mentioned at the end of the post that if I happened to come across any good fortune, then I'll be sure to send a little your way. Remember? "A promise is a promise," as Nicholas Cage said to Bridget Fonda in It Could Happen To You.
No, I didn't win the NY Lottery.
I work for a small marketing firm. And I got something in the mail from one of the companies we used to deal with. Apparently, the person who was in this position before me ignored the brochures that kept being sent from this company because upon opening their latest brochure, I came across a little bit of excitement in the form of a balance. For each dollar spent with this company, she was racking up points. Points that can be redeemed for gift cards to many fantastic websites. Because she is gone and I am here, these points are mine, apparently to spend as I wish.
Ken chose a gift card to LL Bean. I chose a gift card to Red Envelope. I also ordered one from Staples, since I feel a little guilty not spending some on the office. Family will be questioned on Thanksgiving when I show them the brochure.
And since a promise is a promise, what would you like? I'm offering a gift card only to those bloggers whose blogs I read and who of course read my Ramblings... in return and respond with your words of wisdom and humor on an ongoing basis. You know who you are. If you're not sure, ask.
$35 LL Bean
$25 Red Envelope
$25 Sharper Image
If you wish, email me (listed in profile) with your address and choice and I'll leave a comment in your blog that I got the email, just to confirm that it is actually you who emailed me. The company will send it to me, and I'll send it along to you. This means that delivery will probably take about 3 weeks.
With a baby on the way and a sudden need to replace a dishwasher that broke last night, it makes me pretty happy that I'm able to give some gifts that don't require opening my wallet.
Monday, October 31, 2005
I think I eat pretty well. Oatmeal or good-for-you cereal in the morning with orange juice, a decent lunch, and a pretty healthy dinner. For snacks I sneak in crackers (the new Sundried Tomato and Basil Wheat Thins are delicious!) and some fruit and veggies. For dessert I have ice cream or frozen berries and Cool Whip. All the while consuming ounce after ounce of water.
But some of the time I splurge. Like on chocolate. Or onion rings, which I would NEVER eat before. Before I was pregnant, I couldn't remember the last time I had an onion ring. I'm not much of a fried food person. But now? I've had them three times in 12 weeks. I never initiate, like I would never order them at a restaurant, but if others at the table ask if I'd like to share an order, I've never said no. But I'm pregnant so that's my out.
My husband can't wait for the cravings to start. He's looking forward to when I want a pizza at 2 in the morning just so he can have some too. That's what he hopes his "sympathy pains" will be - to share my sense of cravings.
But I haven't had any yet. With the exception of chocolate milk, which I had about 4 glasses in a row a few weeks ago, I haven't had the urge to eat anything in particular. But if I do want a pizza at 2 in the morning followed by an Oreo Cookie Blizzard from Dairy Queen, I won't turn it down. I'm pregnant and that's my out.
Tuesday, October 25, 2005
Sorry to Leslie and John, but I'm happy that the White Sox are leading. The sight of Roger Clemens losing sends happy endorphins right through me. Carl Everett isn't much of an angel either, but he's not Roger Clemens.
The Dobermans house is coming along smoothly. Their house has been gutted, new windows were installed, and the roof has been fixed. The trailer is still there, but it's less of an annoyance now knowing that the end is soon near. That is, unless the wind blew it 20 feet into our yard this morning.
I'm 12 weeks along today. I won't know the gender for another month. My only symptoms right now are heartburn and the occasional backache, so I can only assume this baby is loving me and very happy with the food and sleeping accomodations I'm providing. So far my only craving have been chocolate milk. I'm not sure how much I have gained so far, but I do know that only one pair of jeans and two pairs of dress pants still fit me. I'm trying to prolong maternity clothes for as long as possible.
I went to the dentist last night and when I asked for an earlier than 6 month next appointment, was denied because insurance won't pay for it. So my next appointment is for April 27, approximately one week before I am due. I mentioned this to the receptionist. Without looking up, she replied, "Okay, well just call if there is a problem."
I also joined a local book club. The first book read was Broken For You by Stephanie Kallos and this Friday we will discuss The Pact by Jodi Picoult. I've been wanting to join a book club since I moved to the area and so far this one has a great mix of people and opinions. I'll know my next book on Friday. Hopefully it intrigues me as much as the first two have.
All for now. I haven't had much time to update or catch up. Hope the weather is better in your neck of the woods, and if so, then I'll try to pass along some of my potential good fortune boatload your way.
Tuesday, October 04, 2005
I'm having a baby.
Over the past month and a half, I have felt tired, queasy, had a few back aches, some heartburn, exhaustion (which I blame in part for lack of caffeine), absent-mindedness, and all the other wonderful symptoms that go along with this. Except morning sickness. I've been blessed with not having to run to the bathroom at the first sign of nausea. I've also been a nervous wreck.
Is it possible to malnourish the baby? Will it hurt him/her if I sneeze? What can't I eat? Does it matter which position I sleep in? It's amazing what goes through the mind when you realize that everything you do and everything you put into your body, has an effect on a child you're creating.
Hope for the best, expect the worst. That was my mentality the days and weeks leading up to yesterday's doctor's appointment. They may not hear a heartbeat. Sometimes that happens. Ken was more optimistic. The baby's fine, he would say, Stop thinking that. But that was me being realistic.
During the appointment, we went over the basics, and she answered all the questions I remembered to ask. I was too nervous to hear the heartbeat. Can't we wait until after the heartbeat to talk about this? I wanted to say. After all, if there is no heartbeat, this conversation is meaningless. When it was time to hear the heartbeat, I said a silent prayer to my unborn little fetus begging it to be there. And the microphone was turned on and we waited. No heartbeat. She moved it a little more and again. No heartbeat.
She wasn't concerned because sometimes it happens. I'll go in for an ultrasound and that will show everything. She left me to change and I broke down. I know she would have told me if she thought there was a problem so I was a little optimistic. But at the same time, my main goal in this appointment, failed.
Ken and I went down the hall, walked into a smaller room, and again, hoped for the best.
The machine was hooked up, and as I watched the screen looking for a little miracle, it appeared. A little head, but bigger than the rest of the body. Little arms and tiny stumps for legs. And the microphone turned on and the heartbeat was loud and clear. It was a little shadow of a being, but it was beautiful.
Saturday, October 01, 2005
I am a Sox fan. And now that we're thisclose to doing it again, I just can't control myself.
Last night, on the last Friday of the regular season, we tied the Yankees for first place. "Yankees suck" is a common chant around here. People wear the saying on t-shirts, on bumper stickers, even shout it randomly at Patriots games. It went so far that the city has banned all anti-Yankee type anything from Fenway Park. It's silly, but it goes both ways. "Red Sox suck" is a common chant in NYC bars, and yesterday afternoon Sox t-shirts and other memorabilia were thrown into a bonfire outside Yankee Stadium. The Yankees don't suck. They're not as great of a team as they once were, but they don't suck. Neither do the Red Sox, even though they are a better team then they once were.
A Yankees-Red Sox game is unlike no other. You can just see the fire and determination in the eyes of both teams that is not present when they're playing anyone else. Part of the reason I watch is for the game. The other is because of the plays that will be talked about and replayed on tv. Pedro sidelining Don Zimmer. A-Rod knocking the ball out of Arroyo's hand on his way to a base. The fights, the facial expressions. It's a nail-biting game with a touch of comic relief.
During the early part of the season, I am fine. If they're not doing so well, I'm okay with it, because we still have time. I am incredibly optimistic. So what if we're 20 games behind and there are only 10 games left. We can still pull through! That's my mentality.
But now we really can pull through. And I'll be watching it all.
Wednesday, September 28, 2005
I have the attention span of a young puppy. I'll start to say something, take a sip of whatever I am drinking, or even cough or sneeze, and then forget what I was even talking about.
One of the qualities I was most proud of having in my last job was my ability to remember everything. A client could call me for the smallest task or the simplest question, and if I didn't speak to them again until they called again 5 months later, I'd remember their situation vividly. Not anymore. My recall is shot.
But oddly enough, dreams I remember. I've been having really weird dreams. One night I had a dream that I was running from Saddam Hussein (a kinder, gentler Saddam, but still somewhat dangerous.) Another night I dreamed that I visited my brother at his new job for Reebok and all the employees were dressed to the nines, except that they were all wearing Reeboks. I thought that I could never work for Reebok because I wouldn't want to dress up everyday, but the idea of wearing sneakers was tempting. My brother doesn't work for Reebok. I have no idea where that came from.
Last night, two bloggers were in my dream. I don't want to reveal any names for fear of freaking certain people out, but here is how the dream went. We lived in an apartment complex that was laid out like a college campus and I was on the phone with one blogger and asked this person if they could babysit. They lived on the other side of the complex and I couldn't give them directions to where I lived because I had no idea where my building was in relation to theirs. I went outside and asked the first person I saw (who happens to be the other blogger) if they knew, and since they did, got on the phone and gave the first blogger directions to my building.