Tuesday, June 26, 2012

1st Trimester

I was just thinking about some of my friends who have told me they are pregnant. Not necessarily recently, but just over the past couple of years, how they do it, when they do it, etc.

CLARIFICATION: how they tell about THE PREGNANCY, when they tell about THE PREGNANCY, not the "IT" that led up to it. That I don't want or need to know about.

I'm amazed and shocked at how it seems like so many of my friends will let the cat out of the bag once they are in their 2nd trimester already. Like "Surprise! I'm 15 weeks pregnant! We find out the gender next month!" Whaaaaat? How on earth are you able to keep it in that long? (That's what she said).

But seriously- how can you keep that a secret for such a long time? I've read that when you're a working woman you should wait until your 2nd trimester to tell your boss you're pregnant, because the most complications do happening during the first 1/3 of pregnancy. This is true, and makes sense. But there are some pretty tell-tale signs that I am simply unable to hide.

1) I'm already showing. Cynthia told me I started to look pregnant on Saturday. I was glad, because I just thought I looked chubby. Of course, Krytondra and Wendi both told me my face was thinner and it actually looked like I had LOST weight on Sunday. I guess my diet of fruit snacks is working for me. Reminds me of "Romy and Michele's High School Reunion"

2) I make far too many bathroom breaks. And all at inopportune moments. Climaxes of movies, middle of sermons, while swimming...you name it. Not that I relieve myself in the pool. I saw "Grown Ups"- I know the consequences. 

3) My variety of food is a little suspect. The first time I was pregnant, I kept sleeves of Saltine crackers and an entire loaf of bread on my desk and would eat some of both each class period. No wonder I gained 50 pounds. No wonder I felt nauseous but hardly ever threw up. My cravings weren't too weird last time either- just wanted ketchup and ranch dressing, which meant lots of french fries and salads. This pregnancy those things don't always sound so great to me. Instead, as I've mentioned before, it's fruit snacks. Gushers, fruit roll ups, fruit by the foot, etc. And varying cereals- Rice Krispies, Apple Jacks, Corn Pops...Yeah, yeah, I know- "What to Expect When You're Expecting" says to eat only the best. I say eat what won't make you want to get violently ill. Which is why I don't write parenting books- not many people would listen. Perhaps I'm a little controversial.

4) I'm asleep more than I'm awake. Okay, that's an exaggeration. But I've outgrown the small piece of insomnia I had at the beginning of this pregnancy and got back to where I am sleeping 10 hours at night and taking a 3 hour nap everyday. Wait- that's 13 of 24 hours. I guess I am only awake 11 hours. I do sleep more than I'm awake. Wow. I can't hide being exhausted. I wake up 10 minutes before church starts and keep yawning all the way through. I can't sit through an entire movie (which is a big deal, for me). I was awaken from a nap too early the other day and after driving 20 minutes to a birthday party I sat like a zombie for the first 20 or 30 minutes there too.

5) I'm excited. It is different with a 2nd child. There's not the same connection, I'm not as obsessed over being pregnant, but its also exciting because there's a new connection- wondering how Brooklyn will relate to the new baby. It's getting better though. I thought I felt a flutter today, but it was probably just gas. 

and 6) I'm angry. Brandon seems to think this is the most obvious 1st trimester symptom. I didn't remember getting upset much when I was pregnant with Brooklyn, but I definitely see it now. I snap, I lash out, and then I immediately realize what a jerk I'm being. Brandon thinks this is really funny- where I nag and pick on him, say something rude and then snap out of it and apologize very quickly. I'm a lot more picky now than I used to be, I find flaws in everything, I'm pessimistic and negative. Of course I'm also stressed out because I'm PREGNANT and trying to buy a house and am fruitlessly packing boxes without any idea of when we're going to get out of this place. And on top of that I don't know if this is a boy or girl and I don't know how people can wait and be surprised... I have ZERO patience for that. I think I want another girl, but I don't have a girl's name picked out because there were too many girls in middle school, high school and college I didn't like, so lots of names are unusable. It gets so frustrating looking at names I like one day and hate the next. Sometimes these angry times just end in tears. Again, Brandon laughs at me. He's sweet and holds me too, but he laughs at me because it really is so ridiculous.

Some people can hide their pregnancy until they're sure that their baby will more than likely survive the somewhat challenging 1st trimester, some don't get sick, some don't gain weight early, some don't have weird cravings, some are nice... anyway, it's clear I'm pregnant. Only 12 weeks. Still 1st trimester. Wishing, hoping, thinking and praying for the 2nd, followed by the 3rd, followed by another child and then to get fixed.

Friday, June 22, 2012

Brooklyn's Future

It's a fine line to walk: tell your kids what kind of extracurricular activities there are out there so they know their options, let them figure out what they're interested in completely on their own so you avoid influencing and pushing them, or live out your failed dreams through them by forcing something you love on those who may not care.

Brandon's parents chose route one. Mine went route two. We are trying with all our hearts and minds not to be those third set of parents, though we gave definite interests and hates.

The meanest girls at my high school played volleyball. The cheerleaders were the ones who slept around and drank the most (not everyone- good old Dupes (now Lauren Constant) and Courtney Dunham (now Womack) were two of my favorite exceptions). But you see I have ideas about what I want my child involved in, or rather what I would really prefer she was not involved in. Brandon thinks ballerinas are creepy. He jokes about all softball players being lesbians, as Kerie knows all too well, but as a baseball guy he'd be thrilled if Brooklyn wanted to play softball. But again, we gave ideas.

It's tricky. What if she falls in love with something that we hate? Good Heavens- what if she wants to be in marching band? What will I do? Pray that she's a drummer, I guess, so she has some shred of coolness left. Yesterday I read her a new book we'd never looked at before- an old Dr. Seuss (technically Theo Lesieg) called "Maybe You Should Fly a Jet! Maybe You Should Be a Vet". It talks about all the professions you can be a part of when you're an adult. The one she pointed to saying she liked it? The "Olympic Champion"... a big burly weight lifting man. No, says Brandon. You can be an olympic champion, but not in weight lifting. Swimming, maybe, but not weight lifting.

There's plenty of other things to worry about as a parent, I realize. We want her to make a decision to become a Christian and live a life that follows God. That's much more important than what kind of sports or activities she's involved in. But at almost 2 years old we're already involved in activities and it seems like it just snuck up on us. Oh my- did you know snuck is not a word? Red squiggly lines. Try it for yourself. I guess it just sneaked up on us. Yes, that's it.

We started swimming lessons on Monday. It's hard to believe she's old enough to be doing such things. It's not just a getting used to water class for her, it's really learning to swim- climbing along the wall, getting out of the pool, jumping in, going underwater, blowing bubbles, gliding, kicking... and for the most part, she loves it. We'd love if she wanted to be a swimmer. Too bad it looks like she's going to be a dancer. Too bad for Daddy, that is.

The inspiration for beginning this post this morning was two-fold. We had Pandora on this morning, starting out with Jason Mraz's "I'm Yours". Brooklyn pranced around the kitchen with me, making shaking and swaying movements that went perfectly in time with the song. Just a few minutes ago we turned on "Peter Pan" at her request (surprising- it's my favorite movie, but she gets bored with the pirates. Really? Captain Hook boring? Puhleese) and during the opening credits the song "The Second Star to the Right" plays. She stood up and began gracefully flowing her arms above and below her head, side to side, bending over and trying to lift her legs... just like a ballerina.

Sorry, Daddy.  I guess watching all the show choir choreography has worn off on her.

How did my parents feel about me being involved in... soccer? karate? piano lessons? voice lessons? choir? speech and debate? Who knows. They never gave me an opinion one way or the other, which I guess is pretty awesome. I got to do what I wanted but was never forced into anything. I got to try a lot of cool stuff and didn't feel judged because of it.

How did Brandon's parents feel about him being involved in baseball? They loved it. Supported him like crazy. Showed up to every game.

Hopefully we can do these things too. The moral of the story is that everyday I realize more and more that it's tough to be a parent.

Monday, June 11, 2012

Drug Bust

Earlier this afternoon Brandon said he was going to school to set up his new classroom and pick up a few things to work on over the summer. I said we would go with him and help him out, so we made a little trip out of it. On the way out to the car I semi-notice an extra cop car or two at our complex, but didn't really think twice about it. We've got multiple police officers who live in the apartment complex, including two right across the way from us, so cop cars are a normal thing. Once we started driving off, Brandon says, "I wonder what that kid's getting arrested for."

Excuse me? Arrested?

"Yeah- he was sitting on the concrete, handcuffed to the railing of the stairs. Cops were searching through his apartment. I thought you looked over there and saw?"

No, I most definitely would have postponed our trip to an empty classroom to put desks in order and books on shelves if I had seen a dude handcuffed to the staircase. C'mon. Priorities. And he wouldn't even turn the car around and go out the other end of the complex so I could sneak a peek. So I assume the story is over and we won't find out anymore.

Wrong.

We stayed at school for about an hour, getting back home around 5:45 to realize that there are even MORE police cars than were there before.

"What in the world?" Brandon says as we drive up and park next to a state trooper. Then, we see the plants.

One large, blonde police officer is standing next to a police truck that already has two large, leafy, green plants of a certain herbal variety in it, guarding it for evidence purposes, or recreation for them later- you decide. Out of the apartment in question comes another cop, smiling, laughing, carrying a marijuana plant that measures from his waist to about halfway up his face. We walk by as the two cops converge at the truck and overhear the greatest comment:

"Man... this is some stinky weed".

No joke, cop, no joke. Talk about rank. It's fairly obvious as to why the dude got caught growing pot inside his apartment... it STANK to high Heaven. If you're on the first floor of an apartment complex, you've got to know that smells rise. No doubt in my mind that the upstairs neighbors were the narcs. I would have been too if that mess was coming into my A/C vent. It was hard to breathe just walking past it in the open air... I have no idea how that man lived with it all. I hope for his sake he has a deviated septum or something. I also think he's an idiot.

So we get into our apartment and Brandon says, "I guess you'll have to blog about this- tell the world it wasn't our mysterious upstairs neighbors who were into drugs, it was the never-seen young neighbor on the corner".

Au contraire. Here's the deal:

Our crazy mysterious upstairs neighbors, you remember, the Sweeney Todd imitators who would drop hair from their murder victims on my doorstep? They were the sellers. The guy on the corner grew the stuff and then the wild family upstairs sold it. See- growers can't be sellers. Doesn't everyone know that? No no, you must do one or the other, or else the whole deal goes sour.

Point proven today. Everything was hush-hush before so there wasn't too much attention on any one apartment. Once the sellers moved away, the corner drug store had to go into business all in himself. Things got crazy and he ended up handcuffed to the stair rail. I always knew this place had its secrets, but I'm just now realizing there's ALWAYS more to the story.

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Too Much Sherlock

I'm clearly watching too much of the BBC series "Sherlock", which is fabulous and if you haven't checked it out, you must, immediately, and be amazed at the brilliance. So clever, so witty, and so not cool that there are no more episodes until January. I only have 6 episodes to watch over and over again to tide me over. That, and as I mentioned on Facebook yesterday, my dear Sherlock, Benedict Cumberbatch, is the villain in the new Star Trek movie, so at least there's that. Not that he's that attractive, and he surely won't be as Khan... but oh well.

The point is this: Sherlock has gotten into my subconscious, causing me to dream about things and people that do not interconnect, with me doing daring deeds that I wouldn't do even in wild high school days, and making me so brilliant I just can't stand it.

Exhibit A: last night's dream.

Beginning at Needville High School, I am getting ready to caravan to a summer camp with lots of other friends, and Mr. Janacek (real life principal, in my dream played by Dr. Franklin from "The Hound of Baskerville" episode, so obviously I don't trust him) is telling me to hurry up and that I can't take any carry on luggage in his truck because it will shift and shake and could cause an explosion. I know this to be false and sneak into the office with Megan Allen (high school choir friend) to grab pillows that will aid us in the search for something important. Mr. Janacek leaves without us, trusting when we say we will follow him soon.

In my dream, he is Jennifer Richard's (friend from church) uncle, and she is in on our plot to hold up the chase, so she stalls as Megan and I go investigate Alyson and Eric's (sister-in-law and brother-in-law) apartment. They have complained of dog urine stains, and we have a feeling there's more to this than pet accidents. We magnify and take photographs, scrape carpet fibers, but take longer than we expected, so we have to speed into some downtown Route 66 town in Arizona where we are supposed to be meeting someone who has some clues for us. Luckily, Jennifer is still aiding in the daring escape before the evil landlady came home, so we were in the clear. We are to meet in an old movie theater by a McDonald's, but we walk in and realize that not one but two Chevy Chase (not very funny actor) films are being shown, and we don't know which theater the clues are going to be found in. Luckily, Brandon and my brilliant not even 2-year-old daughter solve the problem for me (the theater on the right) and Brooklyn manages to discover and disarm a bomb that had been placed in a turtle toy.

I know the game is not over, that there are going to be more and more challenges before I will be able to feel safe, but all we can do is wait in a small house until I learn what to do next. I am pretty sure this house is owned by a much older Marilyn Newberry (favorite 16-year-old). Suddenly, I get a text message about sneezing and trains. I am able to translate this to mean that Brandon, Brooklyn and I need to jump onto the moving train behind Marilyn's house as it goes by. All of a sudden Jake Hiebert (ex-boyfriend) calls me and says I have got it all wrong, and the mysterious text actually means we are to derail the train and kill everyone aboard. This is disturbing, as the train is full of Koreans and my friends Emily Felts (friend from church) and Brooke Shipman (college sign language friend) who are living in Korea are on the train with their baby boys. Add to this that I had already thrown Brooklyn onto the train (great mom I am) and I really am not looking forward to this whole derail and kill idea. But still, Jake, Brandon and I run to the switch and change it, just as, once again, genius child Brooklyn jumps into my arms and all the Koreans look sadly at me. I woke up before I knew what really happened.

My dreams had really been calming down lately. No such luck anymore. And I didn't even fall asleep to Sherlock... I fell asleep to Sgt. Bilko. But did I dream of Steve Martin and gambling in the army? No. Not even close. And I know that eating at night enhances dreams, or makes them weirder or more memorable or something...but I can't stop doing that. 4 AM is a prime time to wake up with morning sickness in these parts, so it's turn on a movie and eat fruit snacks for me. So what to do? Entertain you with my insanity, I suppose. Well anyway, if you found this interesting, again, I recommend Sherlock. He's much more clever than I am.
Sherlock Holmes and John Watson. Greatest male heterosexual friendship in the world, besides maybe Bert and Ernie.