Wednesday, June 30, 2010

A Day to Celebrate

Today is Matt's birthday. He's 29 today, which means I'm a major cradle-robber. Yeah, cuz I'm 38. So today, we're going to celebrate the birth of this wonderful man:

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Because he is wonderful, no doubt about it. He's the strongest man I know, and I don't mean just physically. He's supported me through things that would have brought lesser men to their knees.

I adore this man. He's sweet, caring, compassionate, intelligent, handsome, has a great sense of humor, and he's also a big goofball. And I like that. We can start laughing at something, something totally random, and I'll be laughing so hard that tears are running down my face. And I'm starting to think that's one of the best qualities you can ever find in a man...a sense of humor. Because if he has that, you can basically get through anything.

Did I mention it's also our three-year anniversary? Weird story there. We knew we wanted to get married in the summer of 2007 (we were both teaching at the time, and summer makes the most sense). We found a wonderful place for the wedding, an incredible place that has been converted to a wedding location. They have horses, ponds, a fountain, everything.

As soon as we saw the place, we knew we had to get married there. In fact, we put down a deposit as soon as we saw the reception hall. I'd post some pics of how beautiful it is, but I'm not sure where they are at this moment. I'll ask Matt and get back to you on that.

We wanted to do it in June, so it wouldn't be quite as hot. We had an outside ceremony, and the reception was inside. The only date left in June was June 30, his birthday. Well, I guess that's a good way of remembering when your anniversary is, right?

::side note:: When I was at the gynecologist yesterday, the receptionist had a beautiful arrangement of flowers on her desk. I commented on them, and she said they were for her anniversary, A DAY LATE. Her husband had forgotten. FAIL.

So, we're celebrating both today. We're going to eat at the place where we had our first semi-date. We were still friends at the time, but we were starting to realize we were "friends with possibilities". We're also going to see Eclipse today! I know, there are a lot of Twilight haters out there, but I maintain that you haven't read the books if you don't love the movies. And you should really keep an open mind about these things.

It's going to be a great day...can't wait!

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Let's talk about sex, baby

Warning: If you don't want to read about gynecological problems or sex, stop right here! I mean it; don't read any more!!!

So I went to the gynecologist today, thinking I had a yeast infection. The doctor said I probably do, but I'm not going into details about it here, so don't worry about that. I'm going to talk about something much worse.

While I was there, I told Dr. C. that I've been having some pain during sex, so he decided to check me. Apparently, my uterus is really tender all over. Like, so tender that my foot almost kicked Dr. C. in the head when he was checking me because it hurt so badly. Not on purpose, mind you, just a reflex.

And I'm thinking, okay, he'll prescribe some kind of cream for me or something. No worries. Well, guess what he suggested? A FREAKING HYSTERECTOMY! I could've fallen off the table, I was so shocked. Are you kidding me? is what I wanted to say, but I was too shocked at first to say anything. I think I just looked at him with a scared, panicky look. As if I don't have enough problems with my health, right?

I said, "Dr. C., I can't have another major surgery. I mean, I just had one 6 1/2 months ago. You were there!" referring to my C-section. He just kind of looked at me with sympathy.

I was in disbelief. I felt Matt touch my hand, probably because he thought I was going to lose it. I said, "So there's no cream or anything that might help?" No, he said, but he was willing to refer me to a urogynecologist, a doctor who specializes in gynecology and does no obstetric work. But he said it would be like getting a second opinion.

I told him I definitely wanted to go; I'm not going to let somebody tear out my uterus willy-nilly, without a second thought, you know? Does any woman say, "Sure, go ahead and take it out. No problem." I don't think so.

After I left, I tried not to worry about it, but it's been in the back of my mind all day. Matt and I have only planned on having one child, mainly because of my health, but obviously, a hysterectomy would take the choice of having another one out of my hands entirely.

A few hours later, Dr. C.'s nurse called me and said he'd returned from lunch, and he'd been thinking about my case. The nurse said Dr. C. wondered if I'd like to try a place that helps women with these kinds of problems. I responded that I'd do anything to keep from having a hysterectomy.

So, I have an appointment with this place next week, and I have no idea what to expect. I went to their website, and it looks like they do physical therapy as well as women's health. And when I called to tell my mom about it, she said, "What, will they give you exercises to do?" I laughed my arse off.

She got offended and told me not to laugh at her. I told her I wasn't laughing at her, that I was just imagining what sort of exercises they would come up with for my uterus. I almost ran off the road, I was laughing so hard.

At least there's some hope. I don't know if I'll still go to the urogynecologist or not; we'll see. But I can't have surgery. I have a little baby to take care of...that's just not happening.

Monday, June 28, 2010

Janet Jackson, watch out!

Matt and I took Audrey to church yesterday, for the fourth or fifth time since she was born. It's right up the road from our house, which is a major bonus, especially when you have a baby to get ready, right? You never know when that diaper blowout is going to happen (it did) and you're going to have to change the whole outfit.

Anyway, we like this church for a lot of different reasons, but one thing that drew us in at the beginning was the privacy room they have at the back. It's sound-proof and perfect for a crying infant who needs to be fed during the service. You see, I'm not yet comfortable with putting Audrey in the nursery. I've seen too many episodes of Criminal Minds to be okay with that. Wouldn't it make perfect sense for a beginning child molester to get a job in a church nursery, one that's so small it probably doesn't require a background check? Yes, I realize that I think like a criminal, thankyouverymuch.

Yesterday, though, we decided to take her in the congregation, which actually turned out really well. Except for a brief period when she decided to laugh during the beginning of the preacher's sermon.

Matt got her to sleep, and she took a good 30-minute nap during the rest of it. Awesome. I was feeling good, proud of us for getting up and making it to church. I even dressed up a little, since we were going to celebrate FIL's birthday at a nice restaurant afterward.

So, I wore something very similar to this dress:
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I would post a pic of the actual dress, but let's just say it's in no condition to be hanging up right now.

It looked good, if I do say so myself. I bought it last summer at the beach when I was pregnant, about three months along. It's funny to look back and think I was big then...what a joke when compared to 40 weeks.

I wore a chocolate-brown shrug to go along with it, since we were, after all, in church. Also, I'm not entirely comfortable in spaghetti straps with nothing else, and that turned out to be a good thing. A VERY good thing.

During the sermon, I noticed one of the spaghetti straps kept sliding off my shoulder (I took off the shrug because it was so dang hot here yesterday). Which reminds me, Matt and I saw a sign in front of a church the other day that said, "If you think it's hot here...", which totally cracked me up.

Anyway, I kept adjusting the strap, since we were not on the back row (next to last row), and there was a group of teenage boys behind us. The modest teacher in me, who always dressed to cover everything, drove me to it, I swear. I messed with the strap the whole service; it was really bothering me.

At the end of the sermon, we stood up to sing, and I put the shrug back on. THANK GOD. Because one of the spaghetti straps had broken, and my right boob was hanging out. Yes, I had on a strapless bra. Again, THANK GOD. It just kind of folded down and revealed my goodies. I thought, Oh my word. Here we are at a relatively new church, and I'm flashing the congregation.

The shrug is not big enough, obviously, to meet in the middle and cover me without holding it together with my hand. I looked at David and said, "We have to go home. Now."

He looked at me like, Are you nuts? Because we needed to leave directly from the service in order to get to brunch on time. His dad doesn't like us to be late (hi, FIL!).

I said, "I'm serious. NOW."

He immediately handed me the keys, and I took off to the parking lot and got in the car. David struggled out with the rest of our gear and Audrey, of course. We went home and I changed, and all was well.

But the motto of this story is, if you're going to wear a sundress with spaghetti straps, please, for the love of God, wear (or just take) a shrug or sweater along JUST IN CASE. You never know when a wardrobe malfunction is about to take place.

And you don't want that, especially in church.

Sunday, June 27, 2010

Everyone tells you, but still...

So this morning, I got out Audrey's baby book so I could write down a couple of things. Like yesterday, we gave her a sippy cup for the first time (empty) so she could play with it. I read somewhere that's what you should do (I'm a research junkie, by the way). Within a minute of giving her the cup, she put it to her mouth correctly and started to suck. I was blown away by this. Maybe it's normal for babies to do this, but so quickly? Wow, I was just in awe.

Then yesterday, Matt and I took her to Wal Mart. Before we left, I happened to spy the shopping cart cover we got at a shower in her closet. We took it along with us.

::side note:: Matt dropped me off at the door because my FMS has been kicking my butt, so I took the cover in and tried to install it in the cart myself. BIG FAT FAIL!!!

After Matt brought Audrey in and installed the cover correctly (not that I resent him being able to do it the first time he tried, no way), we started rolling her around the store. I wasn't sure how she'd do, because up until now, she's been in the infant carrier or Peg when we go shopping.

But she was a pro. She sat up the whole time, no crying or anything. She even tried to eat my shopping list. And I had used one of those pens that smears when it gets wet, so now it's slightly blurry. Sigh.  But let me tell you, if you don't have one of those shopping cart covers, get one. I think I'll be buying it for baby shower gifts from now on. They rock. The padding is awesome, and it covers the whole seat, so that even germaphobes like me can rest easy.

Oh yeah, and Audrey started to scoot last night. Matt put her at one end of the crib while he was trying to get her to sleep, and she scooted all the way to the other end. Incredible.

My point is, she is doing so many new things each day that I can hardly keep up with it in her baby book. Now I fully understand why second/third/fourth childrens' baby books are usually blank. I know my brother's is. If you're caring for two or more children, you don't have the time to do it, first of all. Secondly, they do something new practically every day, and it's really hard to keep up.

So yeah, I'm not gonna tell you to cherish every moment with your LO (little one) because they grow up so fast, and I hope that I'll never utter those words to a new mom, ever. I've gotten so sick of hearing it.

But they do. And what a fantastic blessing it is to be able to witness it each and every day.

Wednesday, June 23, 2010


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Heartbreaking, isn't it? I know everyone has probably seen pictures of animals covered in oil from the Gulf disaster by now, but this is just out of control. This picture especially bothers me, since Audrey loves ducks. When we were at the beach last week, our villa was right on a pond. Mallard ducks would actually come up to us (probably because MIL had food!), and DD was fascinated. When we read our animal books, she loves to look at the ducks, hear me quack (that's right), and feel the duck's fur on our touch-and-feel books.

So it especially makes me sick to see these animals. Because I'm thinking, what kind of environment are we leaving behind for the next generation? A pretty crappy one, if you ask me, and that breaks my heart. Because how will it affect them, and how will it affect their children?

Of course, some good things could come of this. We could realize that we don't need to be so dependent on oil, for one thing. Yes, I enjoy the comforts of oil just as much as the next person, but if more, affordable alternatives were available, I would definitely take advantage of those.

But I am so angry about this whole situation. And when I see pictures of Tony Hayward on the news, I want to puke. The smug look on his face, the way he testified before Congress, saying things like, "I don't recall" or just remaining silent when asked a burns me up.

Additionally, the news that BP knew about certain safety issues on Deepwater Horizon makes me even more incensed. Are you kidding me? They knew about the danger and continued to drill? That is unconscionable.

And it seems that a lot of people have forgotten about the 11 men who lost their lives on the oil rig. That has become a back story in the light of this catastrophe, but it hasn't to their friends and families. Personally, I'm boycotting BP. Matt and I were almost out of gas recently, and I saw a BP up ahead. I told him I'd rather run out of gas than buy from them.

Yes, I know that other companies are most likely doing the same things as BP, but this is one I 'm certain about. And I'm sick of executives who are so greedy, so out-of-touch with their own companies. Are their lavish lifestyles worth the price that people in the Gulf are paying, not to mention the other people that this disaster is affecting (all of us?) I think not.

BP, get your heads out of your butt and do something about this mess, more than you've already done. When I hear stories about animal carcasses that were on the beach at night, then gone by morning, I wonder what's going on down there. Is BP removing these carcasses? Are they actually separating animal heads from bodies so that proper testing can't be done? Are there really baby dolphins being found dead on the beaches?

I guess it just goes to show that we all need to be more informed about the companies we support. Sure, we can't possibly know what's going on behind closed doors, but we can pay attention and take action when things like this happen.

God bless those people in the Gulf, and all of us.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Graco, you suck

Dear Graco,

I trusted you when Matt and I bought our baby products. We bought your Graco Lauren drop-side crib, after we were assured by exhaustive research and earnest salespeople that you thought it was safe. It was on clearance at BRU (Babies R Us), and the salesperson said it was the only one left, and they wouldn't be getting any more. Of course I knew about the complaints regarding drop-side cribs, but you reasurred me they were fine. We bought ours at Wal Mart, and we liked it.

A few months later, you recalled our crib. Why? Because it was dangerous, and it had injured many babies. You know what I think? I think you knew about these problems a long time ago, and the fact that you weren't providing any more cribs for BRU is a huge hint. Of course you knew! You've been getting complaints for months, possibly years.

We purchased your drop-side crib because I am short (5'2") and have FMS, so we thought it was the perfect solution, despite my misgivings. I should have listened to that instinct. After the recall, Matt called your number that was listed on the news articles and reports, and you offered to send us a repair kit. You said it would take 2-4 weeks to get here.

Are you kidding me? Where are babies supposed to sleep in the meantime? We were fortunate because Audrey was still sleeping in the co-sleeper, but what about those other parents out there who had no alternate sleeping plans for their babies?

After I figured out that you'd probably known about this danger for months, I decided your repair kit was not going to be enough. I couldn't trust you to make a safe crib, so how could I trust you to make a decent repair kit? I don't think so.

You caused me so much anxiety that I decided I had to have another crib that weekend. Why? Because the recommendation was that we needed to keep the drop-side stationary until we received the repair kit. That didn't work for me, because of the aforementioned shortness and FMS. I could not lift Audrey out of the crib when the side was up.

I considered writing you a nasty letter, but then it faded from my mind because, well, I've been busy taking care of my baby and dealing with my health issues. But now you've really ticked me off. You see, we have your iVibe baby monitor. We've recently transitioned Audrey to the crib (thank God she was sleeping in the co-sleeper and not your death trap in her nursery during her first 6 months), so we weren't using your monitor. Guess what? IT SUCKS. When I woke up this morning, all I heard was static, just as I'd done for the last couple of nights. Kind of hard to sleep when that's right beside you, by the way. Something told me to go check on Audrey, and she was in her crib (new one, not your inferior merchandise), and she was screaming her head off.

Wonder how long she'd been screaming? Who knows. But my baby girl has an ear infection, is teething, and is experiencing diarrhea. So the last thing she needs is a prolonged crying spell. Did I mention that I heard nothing from your monitor but static? Oh yeah, I think I did. It bears repeating, though.

From now on, it will be a cold day in hell before I buy anything else with your label. We have your infant carrier seat, but we will be transitioning Audrey to a convertible seat very soon. I cannot wait to get her out of your so-called safe infant seat. The problem is, our convertible car seat is also your brand. And I wouldn't dream of putting Audrey in it, so we'll be trying to return that to BRU in the next couple of days. If they won't take it back, since we received it in November, we will be selling it on eBay (although I have serious doubts about subjecting other innocent parents to your products), and buying another, safer seat.

The point is, you have just lost a very valuable customer. And believe me, I will tell everyone I know who has babies about my experience with your company. I know a lot of people, by the way. And I don't have to limit giving out my info to other parents; people buy baby shower gifts all the time, and that's the perfect opportunity to tell them about you.

To reiterate, you suck. And I hope your owner(s) and executives can sleep at night, considering the substandard products you're producing.

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Father's Day

This has not always been one of my favorite holidays. My dad is gone, after a long struggle with alcohol, substance abuse, bipolar depression, and neurological illnesses. Our relationship was fractured over the years, almost broken, but not quite.

On the other hand, I have a wonderful step-dad. I hate even calling him that, using the word "step-dad", because that's a term, for me, that evokes someone who's in your life not by choice, but by a decision of your mom's. He's more like a dad to me; he's known me since I was a small child. And I love him just as much, if not more, than if he were my biological dad. So, from now on, I'll refer to him as Michael.

But today I want to talk about Matt. I'm not going to write him a letter here, but I just want to describe our day yesterday and all he does for Audrey and me. Yesterday was supposed to be a fun, carefree day, where my biggest concern was going to be which Father's Day card to choose for Michael.

When I woke up, though, I had a headache. Not anything unusual, since I'm allergic to practically every substance known to man. It didn't go away, though, because it was a migraine. And my migraines don't go away. They linger, like the smell that you can't find the source of, and then you discover it was a rotten baked potato way in the back of your pantry (that's never happened to me, of course).

After I realized it was a migraine, I started tearing the house apart for a Relpax. Because my last migraine was a doozy, and I could not go through that again. But I had nothing, nothing but Excedrin Migraine. And you suck, Excedrin, I just want you to know that. You're useless.

Of course, Matt joined in the search, and then he remembered that he gave me the last Relpax I had during the May Migraine Marathon. So he got on the computer and researched natural remedies. He read that you should take a shower, 5 minutes of the hottest water you can stand, then 5 minutes of the coldest you can stand, etc. He came in the bathroom and told me when my 5 minutes was up, using the kitchen timer. He couldn't stay in the room with me because of Audrey and also, because I had the space heater in there and it was boiling hot.

Near the end of my 30 minute shower, he came in and said that Audrey had a poop-splosion. Except it was diarrhea, and he said it was everywhere. Bless his heart, he still said he could do whatever I had asked for, but it needed to be the last request for a while so he could clean her up.

Matt spent the rest of the day doing all of the following:

1. going to Publix to search for ginger root, which I was supposed to chew to alleviate my pain. No ginger root, but he did come back with some Canada Dry ginger ale. Close enough.

2. cleaning up the diaper mishap. This involved taking clothing, the swing seat cover, and other items outside to the patio table to scrub and spot. Brilliant, really, because who wants to try that on the kitchen table? And our washer/dryer was covered with dirty laundry from the beach anyway.

3. designing a "button" for my blog, which goes on the siggy of the message boards I frequent.

4. and so many more things that I can't remember, because I only got about 3 hrs. sleep last night.

Oh yeah, he also took care of a 6-month-old all day. Did I mention that? Suffice it to say, Matt is one incredible man. AND HE'S MINE. SO BACK OFF.

I truly hope that all of you have awesome husbands as well. Have a great Father's Day, and tell the man you love how you feel about him.

Saturday, June 19, 2010

To bang or not to bang...that is the question

Okay, if you're thinking this post is about fireworks or sex, forget it. And if you immediately went to the second option, get your mind out of the gutter. This is about something much more important. This is about hair.

I have a hair appointment on Tuesday, and I can't wait. I absolutely LOVE my hairstylist. She is the best. You can walk in her salon feeling like the ugliest, most worn-out woman who's ever been born, and you'll walk out feeling as if you can conquer the world.

That's the key to being a good hairstylist, I've decided. Of course you have to be good at doing hair, that's a given. But if you can make a woman feel like a million bucks while she's sitting in your chair, you are golden. That customer will come back again and again and again, though she may have to go through hail and high water to find the money.

Obviously, you can now see why I'm so excited. But this is my dilemma; should I get bangs this time? I'm the type of girl who likes to shake it up, hair-wise. I have done some crazazy things to my hair, from bleaching it out to a shade not far from Gwen Stefani's (thanks to a high school friend), to having it dyed nearly black. (I thought Mom was gonna die on that one. I thought it was a good idea to have the hairstylist dye my hair to match my eyebrows, which are very close to black. It WAS NOT a good idea).

Now that I'm all grown up (ha), I do less obvious things. Sometimes no one even notices, except for Matt, not even Mom. I'll get some slight layering or a different color, nothing too bold.

But for me, bangs are a bold decision. I have a love/hate relationship with them. On the one hand, I love the way my face looks with bangs. I'll look at pictures like this one

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and decide that I must have them, immediately. But then I remember the drawbacks, like the fact that I'm constantly messing with them, making them look greasy. I know, very attractive.

On the other hand, I have a very wide forehead. Check it:

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Plus, I have a distinct frown line that comes from years of teaching and giving "the eye", and I have an unfortunate vein that becomes very prominent when I'm really happy. I only know this from pics, but that blue, bulging line is there, believe me.

So, what to do? Help me out here. Even though I pretty much know I'm going with bangs, humor me. And I'll let you see the results next week.

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Almost had to take down a nurse today

Matt had an appointment at the dermatologist today, so Audrey and I went along. He'd never been to this doctor before, but Dr. R., as we'll call him for our purposes, has been the only dermatologist I've ever had. It made me feel ancient to realize I hadn't been there in at least 8 years, but whatever...that's not my point.

I needed to change Audrey's diaper, so since there was nowhere in the bathroom to do it (the door practically hit the toilet when you walked in), I decided to change her on the examining table. I mean, it takes forever for the doctor to come in, as everyone knows.

Well, I had my back to the door when it opened, and it was a nurse coming in the room. Let's call her Nurse Ratchet, although she was more like the "nurse" in Misery. Anyone remember that movie? The one where a crazed fan rescues her favorite author when he wrecks his car in a snowstorm, nurses him back to health, and then cripples him to keep him around? Yeah, that one.

So, the first words out of Nurse Ratchet's mouth were "Oh. Stinky." I whipped my head around, like Whaaaat? What is she talking about? Because Audrey most definitely did not have a "stinky".

Since I'm a good Southern girl and my momma taught me manners, I said, "Oh, I'm sorry."

She said NOTHING. Seriously? The first thing people usually say when they see this beautiful little girl:

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is usually something like, "Wow, what a beautiful smile!" or "She has such expressive eyes!" or something of that nature. I can always think of a compliment for a baby; it doesn't take a rocket scientist. They're all beautiful to me.

It's not like I expected a compliment; it's just something that happens frequently. Again, being as nice as possible, I asked where the trash can was. She said, "I'll bring you a bag." Real snippety-like. That burned me up.

When she left the room to get a bag for the offending object, I asked Matt what the heck she was talking about, that Audrey hadn't even pooped. He said that Audrey's urine has been strong-smelling lately, maybe because she's on an antibiotic.

But so what? I don't care. You can be nice about a situation instead of acting like you're the Queen of England and you just stepped in some dog $hit.

Not Nurse Ratchet, though. She came back in the room, holding a plastic bag so that her hands were entirely covered, like she was about to come into contact with some radioactive material. I swear, I wanted to take that diaper and shove. it. in. her. face. How dare she be so rude! What a freaking diva.

If I didn't love Dr. R. so much, I would be changing dermatologists so fast Nurse Ratchet's head would be spinning. But he is just awesome, the best.

So, ::sigh::, I guess I'll just have to put up with her. It's not like I go there very often, as previously mentioned. But who knows? Maybe I'll scope out her car and save a special diaper for Matt's next appointment. I bet it would look awesome with poop spread all over the hood.

Stinky, indeed.

Monday, June 14, 2010

Remember these?

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Scrunchies. They were all the rage in the 80s, and then suddenly, they became passe'. At least that's what the Sex and the City gals declared in one of their episodes. I think they were at a bar (imagine that), and Carrie saw a woman with a scrunchie in her hair. She turned to one of her entourage, can't remember which one, and said something like, "She's from out of town." How did she know this? Because of the hideous scrunchie in her hair, apparently.

I'm deeply offended. I still love scrunchies; in fact, I have one around my wrist right now. Go ahead, judge me. I don't care. Scrunchies are so versatile, and they're much better than simple elastic bands. I have a very sensitive head, and elastic bands pull my hair so tight they stretch my scalp, making me look like I had a mini face-lift.

But scrunchies...they're so loose. They allow you to fashion a casual ponytail that would never dream of giving you a headache. And when you're not using them, you can put them around your wrist. Yeah, I know the same thing can be said of elastic bands, but they cut off the circulation to your fingers. And I have a small wrist.

This pain is uncalled-for, and I will not take it. I declare that scrunchies are better than elastic bands. I will wear mine with pride, and I dare anyone to make fun of it.

Of course, no one will, since I would never think of wearing one outside the house. ::hangs head in shame:: And so, I'm admitting that I'm a follower, a person who accepts what the media tells me is cool.

Oh well, you have to choose your battles, right?

Sunday, June 13, 2010

And the Fibro strikes again...

Yesterday, my body simply revolted against me. From the moment I woke up, it's like it was saying, Yeah, you thought YOU were going to choose your activities for the day. Ha. Big fat HA. We're still having a good time on vacation. No, really, I do mean that. Because ever since I was diagnosed with FMS, everything is relative. If I have to feel like a piece of steaming crap, then why not do it in a beautiful setting?

But every step I took resonated through my body, vibrating it with spasms of pain. You know how it feels when you're at a red light, and someone with an obnoxiously loud stereo system pulls up beside you? How you can feel the vibrations in your body? (Heck, maybe you're one of those people. No judgments here).

Anyway, that's how it felt. The pain radiated from my feet up through my knees, hips, shoulders, to the top of my head. That kinda sucks when you're going up and down lots of steps, on the way to and from the beach. But remember how I said everything is relative? See, I was going to the beach, not to, say, the hospital for chemotherapy treatment. Okay, so maybe that was a little dramatic, but you get the point.

I'm just thankful for Matt, because he was so good and sweet and unbelievably helpful. He watched Audrey while I took a good, long nap in the afternoon. He massaged oil into my legs and calves, draining my lymph nodes down there. That's part of the "self-care" that my massage therapist has taught me. He also got up with Audrey every time she stirred last night (which she's been doing a lot, strangely enough...wonder if she's teething?) He took care of her when she awakened for the day. He let me sleep until 9, then asked if I wanted to sleep some more.

You're not ruining my vacay, FMS. You may have won this battle, but you will NOT win the war.

Friday, June 11, 2010

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Our first day at the beach rocked! The place we're staying is absolutely beautiful, a little villa set back from the beach about 1000 feet. The screened-in back porch is on the edge of a pond, with mallards and turtles swimming around, enjoying that they're lucky enough to be living in such an awesome place. The pleasure is definitely apparently on their faces, I'm sure, even though I haven't personally seen them yet. (Seems weird to refer to ducks and turtles having faces, but what else would you call them?). Audrey, Matt, and MIL went out to see them this morning. I'm in considerable pain from trekking around the beach yesterday, so I've been icing my body, doing yoga stretches, and basically taking a much-needed rest this morning.

Last night, FIL (father-in-law) took some pics of the three of us on the beach, near sunset. I know, I'm a dork and coordinated our outfits. Check it out above. Love all the pics, but I really want to blow this one up and hang it in our den, which has one painfully bare wall. There's absolutely NOTHING on that wall. That's going to change when we get home, though!

So, we're going to try the pool for the first time with Audrey today and see how she likes it. My guess is that the water is nowhere near as warm as her bathwater, so I'm not sure how she's going to react. We have a baby float with a canopy for her, and I'll be slathering her with sunscreen again today. I am determined to protect her skin, because I have had some serious burns, especially when I was little.

I don't blame my parents, because they certainly didn't know as much about skin protection back then. But I had some burns that caused blisters and vomiting, which can't be good for anybody. I also had some self-inflicted burns as a teenager, when my friend and I (who's just as pale as I am) decided to lie on a silver reflecting mat in her backyard. Anyone remember those? Let's just say this...thank God it was summer and we didn't have to be anywhere, really, because our friends would have been merciless in their taunting.

I'll update later about Audrey's pool experience, good or bad. If it goes well, I may have some more pics.

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

So frustrated!

We're leaving for the beach today, so you can imagine all the stuff we had to do yesterday. Pack, which is especially daunting since I've never packed for Audrey, do laundry, run know the drill. Yes, we were procrastinators, for the most part. I'm usually not, but I've been so sick lately that I've been lucky to get through the day. I know, I'm having a pity party. You're all invited, by the way.

For the past few days, Audrey has been an absolute angel. We have been on the go ever since Matt got off work for the summer, and she's just gone along for the ride. She's been off schedule, we fed her at the mall twice in the last few days (among other hideous things:), and it didn't faze her at all.

But yesterday. OH MY WORD. She whined all. day. long. I'm not exaggerating. Matt went outside to cut the grass in the morning, and when he came back in, I guess he noticed how worn-out I looked. He said, "Has she been like this all morning?" I said yes, as a matter of fact. He gave me a look of heartfelt sympathy. Which I deserved. Ugh. It's like the freaking four-month wakeful all over again. Dang it!

And she got plenty of sleep the night before last. I posted that she slept until 9 am, which was almost 11 1/2 hours! Unbelievable! So why the heck was she being such a pill yesterday? Matt tried to get her to nap several times, and he was unsuccessful for the most part. At one point, as she lay on the bed (covered with newly-folded laundry), Matt looked over and she had a clean pair of my panties in her mouth. Chewing on them. Yes, it's very important to know they were clean;)

So, is she starting to teethe? If this is what it's like, I'm going to have to be institutionalized. My PPD/PPA can't handle this overload. Please, God, take pity on us during our road trip today. I'd like to arrive at our destination with part of my sanity intact, at least the part that I have left. I must focus on this: Image and video hosting by TinyPic 


Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Thankful on Tuesday

I'm feeling very thankful today, so I thought I'd do a "Thankful on Tuesday" post. I know lots of bloggers do "Thankful on Thursday", but I may not get to post this Thursday, so here goes.

I'm thankful that:
1) I've finally found a medical professional who seems to be helping with my fibromyalgia.
2) My ILs (in-laws) are paying for part of my treatment and also my re-certification classes for teaching (grad classes are so freaking expensive).
3) Matt and I have grown closer over the past few days and hopefully it will continue.
4) Audrey has behaved so well in the past few days.
5) Audrey slept until 9:00 this morning!!!

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This pic isn't from today, but isn't it adorable? Yes, I'm a diva and wear a sleep mask. Not really, but my eyes are extremely sensitive to light. And PLEASE don't leave me nasty comments about bed-sharing because you don't know the circumstances, k? Thanks.

Anyway, I guess I can mention that we're leaving for the beach tomorrow. I can't wait!! It will be Audrey's first trip. And if any psychos are reading this, know where I live, and think you're going to break in...I wouldn't. My brother is house-sitting and is a self-professed redneck, and he won't hesitate to shoot you. You have been forewarned.

I may get to blog on vacation, maybe not, we'll see. If not, have a great week, everyone!

Monday, June 7, 2010

Perfect Sunday

Yesterday was just awesome. We didn't do anything special, but it was great to spend time together as a family, OUTSIDE OF THE HOUSE. Yes, I've felt a little bit cooped up since December when Audrey was born. It's hard to take her out of the house by myself because of my fibromyalgia (FMS). It makes it nearly impossible for me to tote her around in her infant carrier, since the weight is too much of a strain on my back and neck. But she's getting so big now that we can put her in the Peg (I can't tell you how much I love this stroller), so I'll be able to take her out by myself more.

We all went out yesterday, though, to run some errands. Matt was insisting that I buy a bikini to wear on our beach vacation, but I've been kind of resisting it until recently. My old bikinis just do not fit anymore, mostly because of my huge boobs. Yeah, they're ridiculous.

Also, I haven't been interested in showing off that much of this postpartum bod yet. Still have the linea nigra, even if it's faded a good bit. But after losing just about the rest of my pregnancy weight, due to the sinus infection/concussion/migraine/vomiting debacle of May 2010, I've decided to do it. Why the heck not? I mean, I could be 20 pounds heavier next summer, and then I would've missed my window of bikini wear-dom (yes, I know that's not a word. I'm a former English teacher, people).

So I bought one at the mall, but I didn't have a chance to try it on because the store was closing. It was 6:00, and disgruntled employees were giving us "eat $hit and die" looks. Nobody really cared, obviously, since there were about 8 or 9 people in line at the time.

::side note:: I heard one of the employees say, very loudly, "I need a blunt object" as he was staring down all the late shoppers. It took me a minute to understand that he wanted to do us bodily harm. Wow.

Anyway, when I tried on the bikini at home, it looked pretty darn good. Except for the fact that, since I had to get a large size to accommodate my giant bazongas, it was way too big around. Boo. I'm hoping that MIL (mother-in-law) will be able to fix it today. If anyone had told me I'd be sporting a bikini 6 months after having a baby, I would've laughed in their face. Because I gained 44 lbs during pregnancy. That's right. So, although I wouldn't suggest my "diet", it did work.

So the day was fun, and I feel that Matt and I reconnected. It's hard when you have a baby to stay close; you really have to work at it. Even though we had Audrey with us, she behaved perfectly and we were able to just be silly and act stupid. Yay for a well-behaved baby, at least for one day!

Saturday, June 5, 2010

6 months today

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Saturday, June 5, 2010

Dear Audrey,

When I opened my eyes this morning, one of the first thoughts I had was, Audrey is 6 months old today. I knew, of course, that it was coming, but it just hit me hard as I stared at your sleepy, peaceful face. You're still sleeping right beside me, in the co-sleeper, although I know that has to end soon. Most babies have been out of their parents' rooms and in their own cribs for quite a while now, and I know it's almost time for you, too. I decided that you would sleep in our bedroom for the first six months, since doctors believe this reduces the risk of SIDS and also improves the bond between baby and parents. And I don't regret it one bit, since you are perfectly healthy and I can't imagine the bond between us being any stronger.

But I also can't imagine waking up every day and not seeing your adorable face gazing back at me, one of the first things I see. You're the one who wakes me up almost every day. You don't wake up screaming anymore; you just look around for a while, soaking in your environment, and you start making cooing sounds that eventually bring me out of sleep. Let me tell you, that's the best alarm clock I've had in my entire life.

Sometimes, it seems impossible that you have been with us for half a year, but then again, I can barely remember my life before you arrived. You have made such a complete and utter change in my priorities, my capacity to love, even my day-to-day routine, that I can't envision my life without you in it.

You have grown so much in such a short time, both physically and mentally. When you were born, you weighed 7 lbs even, and at your last doctor's appointment, you were over 14 lbs. I know you weigh more than that now, but it's just hard to believe that you've already doubled your weight. And you're so long! I always thought I'd have a short baby, since I'm only 5'2", but you're already over the 70th percentile in length. Wow. That's a big accomplishment, coming from the long line of shorties on my side of the family. I guess you're going to be tall like your Daddy's side of the family, which is good. You'll be able to reach all the top cupboards for me when you get older!

And the way you've grown mentally is incredible. You used to just lie there, of course, like every newborn, looking gorgeous but not doing much with the exception of screaming from time to time. Now, you're even more beautiful than you were (imagine that), but you've turned into a little person. You can sit up with assistance, play with toys, roll over, eat rice cereal with a spoon, favorite thing of all, put your arm around me when I'm carrying you. You like to leave the other arm dangling at your side, which is something Nanny says I always did as a baby. But when you circle your other arm around my shoulder as I hold you, my heart melts like warm chocolate with love for you.

We'll be taking your picture today, with you wearing your white onesie and your six-month sticker on it. As I pulled the sticker out of its envelope this morning, I wanted to cry when I saw that number. But I want you to know, I've never been happier. Thank you for bringing so much joy into my life.

With all my love,

Friday, June 4, 2010

Update on children's book

You might be wondering, what ever happened to that children's book Emily said she wrote? If you have no clue what I'm talking about, here's the original post.

Now, I can honestly say that I did write one, and it wasn't just an illusion brought on by my concussion:) The day after I wrote it, I polished it up, added in some words that were missing, and voila! I can't believe how easy it was.

That's not to say it's good, because I'm not sure. I think it is, but I'm a little biased. The only thing I truly care about is that Audrey ABSOLUTELY LOVES IT. Every time I read it to her, she giggles and laughs and acts like it's the best thing she's ever heard. So, maybe I'll try to get it published (probably will at least try), maybe not, but now I can share this book with Audrey again one day and explain to her how she and her daddy inspired it. How I've been trying to write some fiction worth reading for a while now, and after a walk with her and Matt through the yard, I was able to do it in one day. It makes me happy.

Thursday, June 3, 2010

People are the worst

If you're a Seinfeld fan, you know what I mean by this title. Elaine, Jerry, George, and whoever else are sitting around talking, and one of them says, "I hate people." Then Jerry says something like, "Yeah, they're the worst." Sometimes that's how I feel, which I guess is progress, since I used to feel like that all the time. I used to dreamingly talk about moving to Montana and living in a place where I didn't have to see anyone but my family for days, weeks, months. I'm better about that now, believe me, but sometimes I feel like throat-punching people for their inane comments.

I took Audrey up to Matt's school yesterday, since it was the last day and he wanted to show her off to all his buddies at work. It was great; I got to see a lot of people I know, too, since I used to work in the same district. Everyone made a big fuss over her, which made me feel proud and all fuzzy inside. Since I stay at home, I don't see a lot of people on a day-to-day basis. Plus, it's just awesome to have people tell you how gorgeous and fabulous your little girl is. Who wouldn't want to hear that?

But of all the compliments we received, you would know that I'd focus on the off-handed negative comments. And they weren't even directed toward Audrey in particular. Most people kept talking about how happy and pleasant Audrey is, and she was really hamming it up yesterday, by the way. She was laughing, giggling, and showing off her dimples like crazy. She even waved for the first time, to someone she's never seen before (yeah, that chapped my hide a little, but it was so cute, I let it go).

But then there were those comments like, "Just wait 'til she's a teenager", or "Enjoy her now because she won't always be that happy." Well, no $hit, Sherlock. Really? Do you mean there will be a time when she won't let me kiss her all over her face, as much as I want, whenever I want? When she'll run into her room and slam her door because of an argument we've had? When she may even tell me she hates me? REALLY??? 

Let me just tell you. Every parent knows this, and especially one who's been a teacher for all her professional life. Teaching 8th graders for 10 years will just about kill you if you let it. I've had students who cussed me out on a regular basis, and I've also seen all manner of dysfunction in families that has led to some seriously troubled young people. Hell, it's happened in my own life.

So don't remind me of it. I know the comments were made in complete innocence, to be humorous, etc. I also know that some people say things like that to make you further appreciate your time with your baby, because we all know how fast they grow up (another comment I'm getting tired of hearing).

But you don't know me. You don't know that I'm trying to soak in every beautiful moment I have with my daughter, every. single. one. You don't know that I constantly feel guilty when I'm not engaging her in some way, even though my brain tells me that she needs time to herself, time to learn how to play independently. Don't you insinuate, even in a back-handed way, that I'm not trying to suck the marrow out of every day I have with her, because I know it could all be over in an instant. DON'T YOU DARE. Let me enjoy my baby, and go deal with your own crappy kids.

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Possible Pregnancy continued...

I just realized that I never updated about the possibility that I might be pregnant. How could I leave you guys hanging like that? Unacceptable. Here's the original post.

Well, I did get a call back from my psych's office, and they instructed me regarding tapering off my antidepressants. I also stopped taking muscle relaxers and pain meds after a call to my rheumatologist.

I had a lot of symptoms of early pregnancy, but they can also be signs of PMS. Why couldn't Mother Nature be a little more clear on this topic? So, I called the OB's office and spoke to the nurse. She told me to wait and test the first day of my missed period. NO WAY. I'm on meds that could harm a fetus. After hearing that, she told me I could use a First Response pregnancy test, which claims to detect a pregnancy 6 days before your missed period. Of course, she told me that they aren't always accurate, since it depends on the amount of HGH in your body.

Matt bought a test, even though he was scoffing at me the entire time, saying there was no way this could be possible. Hey, unless you're abstinent, there IS a way, hubby. Since he was being such a pill about it, I refused to take the test until about three days after he bought it. Yes, I'm really stubborn that way.

I know you're all waiting with bated breath for the results, so here it is; I'm not pregnant. I took the test and then re-took it six days later, as the directions suggested. Amazingly, I was somewhat disappointed. And so was Matt, I think. It made me realize that, although I've always been set on only having one child, maybe I'm wrong (perish the thought!). I mean, why wouldn't I want another when my first one is so gorgeous and sweet?

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Aunt Flo still hasn't arrived at my house, and it's been 32 days since the first day of my last period. I really don't think I'm pregnant, but it's a little unnerving. I'm sure that all my health problems of late have made me, well...late. Not to mention the anxiety!

If we do have another baby, I'd like to wait a little while. I don't want to "rob" Audrey of her babyhood. The only problem is, I'm old as dirt and don't have that many more years to mess around (no pun intended).  I'm not worrying about it, though. As my friend's mom from high school used to say, "What will be will be."