Monday, December 7, 2009

Merry Freakin' Christmas, Charlie!

So, my husband left for Dallas on Sunday around 4:30. He has training down there for the week and will be back on Friday night, which leaves me alone with the boys. Jamie went to stay the night with Tyler's cousins, luckily, because the Great Christmas Tree Fiasco of '09 (as it will henceforth be called) was about to occur.

I'm feeling pretty good about myself and about having the evening with Charlie all to myself. Andrea and Jeremy stopped by and brought me an early birthday present and some cookies, then they headed back to their house. After feeding Charlie a bottle at 12:30, we both drifted back to dream land. Charlie has been sleeping in the living room in his bouncer at the suggestion of our pediatrician due to his congestion, and I was asleep on the couch beside him. Around 1:30 am, I hear a creak and a crash and the unmistakable sound of glass breaking. To tell you the truth, I was a little afraid to open my eyes, but I did. It was dark but I knew the tree had just fallen and had landed right near or on the baby! When I flipped on the lights above my head my stomach lurched and my hands started shaking uncontrollably. The top of the tree was on Charlie's head! It was just two branches and one heavy ornament, but I wasn't sure how hard the tree had hit him. I lifted him out of the seat and looked for wounds. There weren't any that I could see so I set him down on the couch and grabbed my phone. The child never even woke up. He just wiggled and stretched a little, as if to say, "Why would you move me, woman?"

Andrea and Jeremy have drilled into my head that if I ever need them, to call. I figured now was as good a time as any, even though it was 1:30 in the morning. It took two tries before Jeremy answered. When I explained what had happened and told him the tree was too heavy for me to lift, he, of course, exclaimed they'd be right over. 5 minutes later they come in and survey the scene. Jeremy lifted the tree and leaned it against the corner wall and then we decided it would be a good idea to just go to the hospital and make sure Charlie was alright because you never can tell with such a little guy.

Thankfully, they told us he seems just fine and to just monitor him because they didn't want to do a CT scan on a baby so small since it takes so much radiation. It was the fastest ER visit ever known. When we got back to the house and were able to take a better look at the damage, it turned out to be mostly a glass ball massacre. There were very few regular ornaments that didn't make it. Jeremy and Andrea cleaned up the mess while I fed Charlie another bottle because they're awesome that way. Currently, the tree is chillin' in the corner waiting to be redone later today.

I feel crazy because I told Tyler and others that I thought the tree looked crooked in the stand. He said he thought it was just the way the tree was shaped. I kept telling him it was crooked, but I never really insisted he redo it. Sunday evening I even thought to myself, "Maybe I should put Charlie's bouncer on the other side of the couch in case the tree does fall over," but I convinced myself I was being neurotic. Forgive me for the lack of my usual humorous overtones (or what I intend to be humorous, anyhow), but I believe I'm still in shock. I'm feeling pretty numb except for the growing urge to vomit. Everything is fine and disaster was diverted, but geez! Way to start the week, Christmas tree!

At least, someone was watching out for sweet little Charlie and making sure that tree didn't land 2 or 3 inches further and smash him underneath it. (Thanks, Grandma.) I'm also thankful that Lauren and Kenny chose Sunday to keep Jamie, of all the days they could have had him before or since, and clearly, I'm thankful for my most fantastic friends. Couldn't wish for a better set of neighbors! Below are a few pictures from my phone. The first shows some of the balls but they had landed everywhere...all the way in the kitchen and were all around his bouncer, but not on Charlie himself! The second shows which part hit him and just how close he was to being hurt worse. His head was in that little pillow.

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Giving Thanks

This entry was an idea I got from a friend's blog. I loved reading about her thankful heart so much that I decided I needed to follow suit. With all the stress of working out the kinks of having 2 under 2, I know it will make me feel good to put down in words the the things I'm giving thanks for this holiday season. These are in no particular order.

My Husband

Now, we all know this already since I've already written about his awesomeness, but he's grown even more fabulous with the addition of our latest son. I'm so thankful that he is an amazing father, that he is a helper, that he is so patient, and that he works his buns off to make a good life for this family that he loves so dearly.

My Husband's Job
In this time, when so many people have lost jobs and many more are struggling to even find a job or keep the hours and pay they already have, I'm thankful that my husband has a place where he can make a decent living that, not only allows us to put food on the table and afford life's basic necessities, but also gives us the freedom to own our own home and enjoy some frivolities, all while allowing me the luxury of being a stay-at-home mom.

Our Home

I'm thankful that we were able to find a house we wanted and were able to afford and have been able to make that house a home for us and our boys.

The Boys

Clearly, I'm thankful to have been blessed with my sons. They are amazing and healthy and strong. Jamie is learning something new, not every day, at this point, but every minute! It's truly wondrous to experience. Charlie appears to be thriving and growing each day and that's just what you'd want in a newborn. It seems unreal that I have 2 children.
While Charlie came about a little earlier than planned, I'm thankful it was not a struggle for us to become pregnant, after having seen the heartache that can cause through various friends. In that same vein, I'm thankful those friends are in my life as a constant reminder of how lucky and grateful I am to have my boys. Some friends' prayers have been answered this year and they're finally expecting and I will continue to pray for friends who are still waiting on their little miracle.

My Mom

So many, many people have poor or "okay" relationships with their mothers. They complain about how annoying they are or how they're always getting on their nerves by doing this and that. I'm thankful to have, hands down, without a doubt in my mind, the best mother in the history of ever. She's awesome on so many levels and you should be jealous. ^_~

My Great-Aunt Susie

Not only does this woman fill a void in my heart left by my grandmother's passing several years ago, but she's amazingly helpful, if ever I have a medical question (which during pregnancy, was often). She's a strong ex-military nurse and she's kicked cancer in the face on more than one occasion. She's the greatest great-aunt and I love her dearly. No, you may not have her.

My Extended Family
Again, I often hear people complain about most of their family and I'm not saying some of them don't have just cause. I've heard plenty of family horror stories, some of which you'd swear could have only happened in a Lifetime movie. I'm consistently reminded of how lucky I am, not just with my own extended family, which has some truly spectacular members (my nanny and cousin and aunt to name a few), but with my husband's family as well. My mother-in-law is always willing to lend a hand. He has some pretty fantastic cousins and I feel like his aunt who also raised boys 18 months apart is going to be a great resource for advice. Not many of my family members try to push their opinions on me about what they think I should be doing or tell me I'm doing it wrong. I'm not saying there are no members that do that, but not many...maybe two, and for that I am eternally grateful!

There are, of course, many other people and things I am thankful to have be a part of my life, but those are the things that affect me the strongest. There are a few very special friends I have in my life that I am also very grateful to have, but at the risk of someone feeling left out, I've chosen just to let you assume you know it's you. Have a very happy Thanksgiving week, readers. I know I will. I'm looking forward to the food, family, 2 extra days with my husband, and my first girl's night in months.

Saturday, November 7, 2009

Was it Something I Said? (The Birth Story)

So, clearly, the best way to induce labor is to insult your pregnancy with a "Dear John" blog. Several people have commented how funny it is that, on the day of telling my pregnancy how annoying I found it, it ended. I believe my cousin said it best. The comment she left on my last blog entry after finding out I'd be having the baby? "I think your pregnancy may have taken this very personally. I don't think it just left. I think it slammed the door in your face!" Indeed.

After that last "infamous" entry, I headed to my OB appointment for the week. It was the last one I was supposed to have with this OB, because my doctor would finally be returning from vacation on Sunday. Psht! The doctor did my first office check. I had been checked 3.5 days earlier at the hospital because I thought I might have been leaking fluid. In the hospital, I had been 1 cm and not effaced enough to mention. By Tuesday morning, the doctor informed me that I was now at a 2-3 and 80% effaced. He asked a few seemingly uninformative questions, but then informed me, while I needed to make an appointment with my regular OB for next week, he did not think I was going to make it til then. (My mom reckons he whispered a little something up there or used a little voodoo magic during the check so that he could get my hospital fee)

When I got home, it was hard not to feel excited. I was having back pain and contractions, but I told myself it was my imagination or wishful thinking. When things continued to feel progressively uncomfortable 4 or 5 hours later, I decided to call the doctor's office back and was prepared for them to tell me that was normal. Instead, I was told to go to Labor & Delivery.

Say what?!! My husband and I headed over to the hospital to see what was up. The doctor checked and said I was now a "stretchy 3" (how's that for hot terminology?) and 100% effaced. Instead of sending me home to have me come back later, he decided to break my water and get things moving. That all happened in about 45 minutes. After the OB had left the room, I was staring at my husband with coaster-sized eyeballs. We were about to have a baby! That's not exactly what I'd expected for the day.

I labored pain med free for about 3 hours, with intense contractions about 1-2 minutes apart. With my first son, I still wasn't sure the epidural had worked, so I was reluctant to get it this time. When the pain started becoming pretty unbearable, I told my mom that, if I'd made good progress, I was gonna keep going. If not, I'd talk about the meds. By the time I finally got checked again, they said I was a "loose 4." That was not the answer I was hoping to get.

The nurse, who had done natural labors herself, was very encouraging and wonderful but she told me that with my family's and my history of quick transitions and push times that I wouldn't have long to make a decision. She also said that she didn't think the epidural had worked either after I relayed my original labor horror story. I told her I'd give the epi a try after I continued to hear my cousin in the back of my mind saying, "If you want it, get it. Don't be a hero!" The nurse told me not to worry about it and just to relax. She was fantastic, by the way, and smelled like cookies! I told her that and she laughed and said maybe it was because she'd made banana nut muffins earlier that day. I nodded while I secretly thought, "No, you clearly smell like Tagalongs!"

Like this, only with scrubs!

I can now say with complete and utter confidence, my first epidural did NOT work!!!

Immediately after receiving the catheter in my back and laying down, my legs started to get really tingly. I just kept saying at every turn, "This is different from last time. This is different already." There were things I didn't like about the epidural, like how it made me feel and my horribly uncontrollable shakes (which came at the beginning and the end). I could feel like a pinch which hurt but not nearly as bad as the contractions had before. I told the nurse twice about the pinch and we shifted my position. She asked if I felt pressure in my bottom and I said no, so she asked if it was okay if she raised the bed up where I would be sitting to see if that would move the baby down. This was an hour after I'd gotten the epidural. She sat me up, walked out for 5 minutes and I was like "Ugh! I definitely feel it in my bottom." So my mom went and got her and she checked me and was like, "Yep, just like I thought. You're ready." Huh?!! Ready for what? For pushing?! I didn't feel at all like I did with Jamie, and I didn't really know when the contractions were even happening. The nurse told me when to go, I did. Everyone was saying, "Oh! Good Job! You're doing so good!" I was thinking, "Good at what?! What the heck am I doing?!" It didn't feel like anything was happening. However, I'm the apparent queen of pushing because I had about 10-15 minutes worth of pushing with Jamie and I pushed twice with Charlie (I think it was three times, but my mom and Tyler say two).

On November 4th, 2009 at 9:20 pm, Charles Grady was here! It was so amazing. I actually said "You're kidding me?! That was it?! That's what it was supposed to feel like last time?" I was on Cloud 9 and couldn't stop talking about it for hours. Everything has been easier in the recovery department, too. It's almost enough to erase the horror of what I experienced 18 months ago! We've been so excited to welcome home our 7 lb 1 oz little man. I am officially the proud mommy of 2 under 2. Now the adventure really begins!

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Dear Pregnancy,

I'm so over you. If you're interested in trying to make this relationship work again, here are a list of things I'll need you to improve upon.

First of all, for the remainder of this particular pregnancy, I'm getting really tired of all the painful contractions that last for hours with no results. It's really obnoxious. Could you do something about that? Also, the little hemorrhoid "present" I've received? Yeah. Thanks but no thanks. I didn't find the joy in that gift. I'm gonna need you to exchange that. Perhaps consider giving me jewelry next time. A nice necklace from Tiffany's will do. Heck, I'll take one from Walmart. It's bound to be nicer than the current "gift." While you're at it, I'm also tired of getting up to pee 854 times a night only to have a trickle come out. Seriously?!! You're gonna make me wake up for that?! I'm thinking it's time to go Lisa Nowak-style and bust out the know, the crazy astronaut? I think I'll rock her hairstyle now that I'm looking at it.

And as for "the next time," assuming there is one, please be a little more considerate of my feelings and those around me. I would really appreciate you not leaving me in a puddle of tears over a jar of pickles, and I'm sure my husband would like you a lot better if you didn't have me jump down his throat for...well...breathing, chewing, driving, and "looking at me funny," in general. I'm sure he'd like to see his loving wife every once in awhile as opposed to what I'm sure he thinks of me now (see below)

Now, don't misunderstand. Your end result in the past has been simply beautiful and I'm sure I'm in for a repeat this time. I only wonder, if it's not too much trouble, couldn't you treat me like one of those "mythical" pregnant women I'm always hearing about? You know, The ones who don't vomit every day, don't swell, don't pass out, "glow" instead of having a sweaty sheen, have nary a mood swing, and basically just exude sunshine out of every orifice? Is that too much to ask for for just one pregnancy? Too much to hope for?

I'll keep my fingers crossed that you'll do this for me, Pregnancy. As for now, I'm thinking we should take an extended break from one another. I need my space and time to gather my thoughts. Considering what you've done for me in the past, though, it's going to be hard to stay away forever. So, not "goodbye," but maybe..."see ya later?" We shall see.


Monday, October 19, 2009

Mommy Meltdown

This morning I awoke to crushing anxiety about the impending birth of my second son! Sounds awesome right?! I'm starting to slowly freak out about the 2 under 2 thing. Yes, I'm aware that people do it all the time. Yes, I'm aware how people get pregnant. I don't want people to misunderstand. I'm very excited to be adding to my family. I'm just starting to feel increasing fear about my ability to handle these guys all day together as a stay-at-home mom. The suspense is killing me.

On the plus side, I did have a "supermom" moment earlier today. My 17 month old and I went out to do some early Christmas shopping (I'm trying to get done before the baby arrives so I won't have to tote both of them). we went to lunch at Pei Wei. generally, I just hold his hand and let him walk because, at this point, it's difficult to carry him on top of the hard belly. When we got inside, he got nervous from all the people and demanded up. My other hand was full, so I hoisted him up over my gut with one arm, ordered, paid, and then got the high chair out with my other arm all with my 35.99999 week pregnant belly. Yay me!

Moms who've already survived 2 under 2...I salute you!

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Aging Ungracefully

At some point the line was crossed, and I want to know when. When did this happen to me? Today, I was eating lunch at Moe's when a group of high schoolers came in. I'm not talking 5 or 6 here. I'm talking at least 50 by the time we were done. I don't know why they were all there, nor do I really care. What I am concerned about is that, suddenly, I was old! I mean, it's ridiculous really, how old I'm still feeling. "I'm not old. I'm 37." (Okay, i'm 26 but I couldn't resist the urge to reference Monty Python.) Let me say that my intention is not to make older friends and family feel like cavemen, but to ponder this sad and simple fact of life: When did I go from feeling like this...

Seriously, those are high school freshman!

to this?!!!

Sure, I see high school kids all the time but never in such large quantities that you can compare and say, "Good Lord! They all look that young!" Somewhere, just in the last couple of years, I've begun to see myself as a different person. This should have been immediately obvious to me when I first realized that I was still unconsciously saying I was 25 when I'm, in fact, about to turn 27? Did I forget my age? Is the pregnancy amnesia more severe than I was lead to believe? I mean, honestly folks, I have to stop and think about how old I am. What's with that? No matter how many times I tell myself, "You're 26, Amanda. 26. Almost 27," there's a little voice of defiance deep within shouting back, "25!" I can almost see her there, with her arms folded, glaring back at me.

I know, in the grand scheme of things, I'm not old by a long shot, but man have I been smacked in the face with this today. Some may suggest that maybe it's because I'm now a mom, but what about teen mothers? Do they feel like they're not high schoolers anymore when they still are? I don't think it's because I'm a mother. I think it's because I'm officially closer to 30 than to 20. So, now I'm wondering, will I be hit with this feeling each time I cross the halfway point in another decade? 36, 46, 56?

I can only hope I age as gracefully as my mother or ya know, Jane Seymour. (I had to choose a fellow ginger, ya know...even if it's not natural.)

58!!! That woman right there is fifty-eight!!!

Friday, September 11, 2009

Dear Husband,

Over at, there are many birth clubs and forums and topics. In my November 2009 forum, there are constantly girls posting threads about their husbands laughing at their pregnant appearance, leaving their pregnant wives and girlfriends, saying maybe it would be better if the baby would die (Seriously?!!), and just being all around dicks. One mom started a thread for us with decent men to post a letter of thanks to them. Sadly, not many participated. Now I'm not saying that Tyler doesn't have his flaws. He's got loads of them, as do I, but this is about all the amazing things he does every day. This was what I posted (with a few others added as I thought of them).

"Dear Husband,

I am so grateful that you're the man in my life (though, clearly, I don't always show it appropriately...or at all) Every day I'm reminded by friends, family, and people I don't even know how lucky I am to have a man who is as responsible, generous, and patient as you. Thank you for helping with our son as much as you do. There are too many dads who are uninvolved in their childrens' lives, even if they live in the same home. Thank you for busting your ass at work and for asking me to be a stay-at-home mom b/c that's the kind of care you want for your children. Thank you for the sacrifices you have made in order to keep a job closer to where we grew up just because you know how very important my family and friends are to me, and even though you know I'd move with you wherever. Thank you for the massive amount of help you gave me, while I was recovering from the preeclampsia and for forcing me to rest (even when I was in hysterics trying to defy you) because that's what the doctor ordered. Thank you for struggling to keep your eyes open til I fall asleep on nights when I'm having an anxiety attack. We both know how hard it is for you to stay awake once you're ready for bed.

Thank you for never, ever telling me you think I look bad when we both know there are plenty of times I'm not looking great. Thank you for never mentioning the 50 or so stretch marks I got while making your son. Thank you for telling me I'm your best friend. Thank you for pregnant foot massages. Thank you for not being the giant douche of a man that some of my friends always seem to end up with. Thank you for chasing down Mattie right before our wedding rehersal because you love that dang dog as much as I do, even if you don't always admit it. Thank you for our first date being a messy barbeque joint and playing pool. Definitely not the most romantic of first dates, but look where it's landed us in 7 years! Thank you for being exactly what my mother prayed for me, and on that topic, for loving your extended family. Thank you for seeming to love me in spite of all the crazy floating around in here.

You're amazing and I love you, but don't think this means you're getting some tonight."

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Growing Pains

Up until I became a mother, I thought I grasped all forms of that term. "Growing pains," pains in the legs and knees before your teen years, the emotional pains that come with adolescence, and a cheesy 80s sitcom that I watched and adored. Last night I came to the realization that parents experience their own growing pains, with the growth and development of their children. I know, you're thinking, "Hello?! You just figured this out?" Well, no. I've known from the first hint of a developmental milestone that some parents ache at the thought of their baby getting bigger, me included, but it's not something I had given a name to, until the phrase entered my mind around 4 this morning.

We decided to try to move Jamie to his toddler bed. We bought a video monitor, because Jamie sleeps with his door closed, and I knew that I would be desperate to see whether he'd fallen out or climbed out or gotten into trouble even though his room is completely baby proof. (He's very ingenuitive, as toddlers often are) I didn't want to keep opening the door and waking him if, in fact, he was sleeping in his bed, which is exactly what he did for the first four hours.

Tyler put him down, as usual, walked out, and closed the door. Jamie sat up and cried for a few minutes but was asleep within ten. He does this most nights, but by cry, I mean whine. He didn't even attempt to get out of the bed. I thought, "Hey, this is gonna work!" and started my own nightly struggle against insomnia. Each time I got up to use the restroom, I checked the monitor and there he was sound asleep in his bed. Around midnight however, it started to go downhill. He woke up crying, which he generally does in his crib at some point during the night, but only once and not for more than ten minutes before he's back to sleep for the remainder of the evening. I told myself that this was more of the same, and it was...sort of. He would cry and then "sleep" for about ten minutes and then cry again. This happened over and over again for about 2 hours. I wanted to go in sooner, but I kept hearing Tyler's voice in my head, "Let him do it. If you go in there, he won't go back to sleep." Never once did Jamie try to climb out of the bed. He just stared at the edge like he was confused, and I think that's precisely what the problem was. He didn't know what was going on. Eventually, though, I looked at my crying baby on the monitor and then looked at my soundly asleep husband, and the baby won.

I went in there and sat beside him. I patted his back. I covered him snuggly. I tried everything and when it was apparent that he was not going to let me put him back to sleep in his bed, I carried him to my bed. He was excited to be there. He saw his daddy, but quickly noticed that his dear ole dad was dead to the world at the moment. (Tyler's the kind of person who can sleep through two hours of toddler cries and wake up in the morning with, "Jamie did great, didn't he? Told you there was nothing to worry about." At which point, I'd be considering the best way to strangle him.) Jamie relaxed but continued to stare at Tyler. As soon as Tyler moved in his sleep, Jamie took that as an invitation. He shouted, "Daddyyyy!" and poked him in the face.
"Ow!" shouted Tyler.
"No!" shouted I.
"Wah!" shouted Jamie and that was the end of Jamie's stay in our bed. And the end of Jamie sleeping in a toddler bed, for now.

Tyler carried him back to bed, changed his diaper, fixed him a cup of milk, and while he was laying there drinking it, Tyler put the front of the crib back on the bed. Jamie went back to sleep and is still asleep now at 8 o'clock. That's about 5 hours, at this point. At least, Jamie had pretty good timing. It was about 3:10 when he woke Tyler, who would've had to have gotten up at 3:30 today anyhow.

As I finally tried going back to sleep myself around 4 am, after Tyler had left for work, I thought about growing pains and about how different ones affect each parent with such different magnitudes. I felt slight pangs every time he outgrew clothes or diapers as well as when I looked at "old" pictures and realized he would never look like that baby ever again. I had no trouble switching him to solid foods or a sippy cup. In fact, those things made me glad. I felt sad the first time Tyler pointed out that we had a toddler, but it was quickly replaced by the joys of having such an adorable being. I have a close-knit family including in-laws and several competent friends, so letting Jamie have his first night away was not that major. Sure, I stayed awake and wondered what he was doing all night, but it didn't cause me the same anxiety I felt leading up to this. Why, I wonder, did I feel so much angst at taking away my baby's crib? Why is this particular thing such a sore spot for me, personally? Now that I'm pondering it, I think I'll wait til Jamie's about thirteen to move him out of his crib.

Not exactly the "Growing Pains" I was referring to, but ya gotta love those early 90s hairstyles!

Thursday, August 13, 2009

SHOW US YOUR LIFE FRIDAY - Favorite Vacation Spot

A girl who's blog I frequent has been doing this for many months and the topics are always fun and interesting to me so I finally decided I would hop on the "Show Us Your Life Friday" bandwagon.

This week's topic is "Favorite Vacation Spot." For a quick trip I love to go to Cincinatti, OH but my most favorite trip that I've been on was to Oahu, Hawaii. Maybe that's because I got engaged there or maybe it was just because it was fantastically beautiful in a way that I'd never before experienced. Whatever the reason, it's somewhere I am dying to visit again someday and so I suppose that makes it my favorite vacation spot.

Here's a shot when we were first arriving. The only unfortunate thing about these pictures is that I only had a video camera as a digital camera at the time and so they aren't of the highest quality, nor are they nearly bright and vivid enough to show all the true beauty.
Upon arrival, as is their custom, we were given beautiful live leis that smelled divine. Our hotel did not have an ocean view or even a good view (it was an alley) but that's what made it affordable for us. However it was right in the middle of Waikiki and a 2 block walk to the beach. Wonderful!
On our first full day we went on a submarine ride which was really interesting and beautiful with all the blue light filtering through. Later we went shopping and bought some Hawaiian attire to wear to the luau, as recommended to us by the locals. The luau we saw was fantastic and I would go again to the same one in a heartbeat.

It was a wednesday when we got engaged and really one of the most fun days of my life. We started out by renting a car to drive around the island. We got a convertible, something I highly recommend! It was the most beautiful drive. We stopped at the Dole Pineapple Plantation and went through the maze which was fun and really romantic. We went to the best pizza place I've ever been, Pizza Bob's. Then we went to Turtle Bay and saw my favorite animal ever, the sea turtle, swimming right there in nature. It was awesome. I mean, simply amazing. (The picture with the rocks is Tyler scouting for a big turtle. The encounter we video taped.) We went to Sunset Beach which is fantastically beautiful and the water couldn't have been more clear. After that was off to Pali Lookout for the proposal fiasco. Ha.

Pali Lookout is a beautiful mountain lookout that lets you see a great deal of the island. It's amazing and would've been super romantic had it not been for the unbelievable winds! Tyler kept trying to get me to stay a little longer but I kept telling him the wind was hurting me and so I started walking back down to the car. He looked awfully pouty and when I asked him what was wrong he said, "I just thought that would've been a really good place to propose." Ha. The parking lot worked just fine, too. Ha.
The rest of the experience was equally fantastic from walking Waikiki at night, to the dinner cruise, to souvenir shopping in the international market before we went home. I really can not wait til we have an opportunity to go back!

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Pregnancy Parasite & Staying At Home

Can you believe people actually purchase these on the black market for a diet solution?!

It would appear that Charlie is a true parasite, which, frightens me when I think about delivering what's sure to be a 60 lb infant. At my last OB appointment, I'd lost another 2 pounds. It's not something that's detrimental by any means when you're as over weight as I am. In fact, the doctor says that I'll probably weigh less after I give birth than before I got pregnant. That would be excellent indeed, but I'm not really planning on that to happen. In my ever pessimistic mind, I keep waiting for the bottom to drop out...or "to expand" (terrible, i know).

A friend of mine recently had to write a blog about how she has to spend most of her day at work thanks to debts that must be paid back and at the expense of seeing her own child. This makes me very sad but it also reminds me to be very thankful. I'm so grateful every day that we are financially able to allow me to stay home with Jamie. Granted, by the time Charlie gets here, I wouldn't be able to work anyhow because of the cost of two children in daycare. There's just no way we could afford $300 a week with a daycare paycheck. Nevertheless, I could be working right now to make every last penny we could get before having two children. Thankfully, I don't have to.

Jamie is in quite an adorable stage right now and I'm very glad I get to relish in practically every second of it. I love when he picks up a book or magazine or picture and says, "Wa sat?!" (which is "What's that?!" for adults) and that I'm able to tell him or in the case of it being something he knows, turning it around and saying "I don't know. What is that?" I love when he looks at every dog and goes "oof oof ow ow!" which is really a dog woofing and a cat meowing together but hey, it's adorable. I love when he signs "All done" and pushes his plate away so I know he's finished eating. There are so many things changing and new stuff that he's learning about literally every single second that I'm so thankful to be sharing it with him while I have the time to focus all my attention on him. Maybe I'll feel differently when there are two to chase (because I know parents with more than one kid who stress staying at home) but for now I think this is a pretty amazing life and I promise to enjoy every minute I have with little Jamie before I miss it and he's big Jamie.

For those women out there who have to work to support their family, fear not. My mother worked overtime all the time and my brother and I were in daycare pretty much every day growing up. She and I couldn't have been closer! (except for that pesky preteen stage, of course. ha) When we go out to this day people say with such shock "You guys seem like best friends!" like it's unheard of that a mother and daughter would get along that well. So, it is truly possible to let your children know you adore them even if you have to spend most of your time at work. As long as you make the most of the time you do have with your children, they'll never notice that it's less than the time they spend at the nursery.

Friday, July 10, 2009

Charles Grady Belew and a New House, Too!

Let me just say that I can't wait for us to finally be all settled in to the new house and for the last box to be unpacked! The plan is to be mostly done this weekend, but we'll see. The end does seem within reach, at least, and that is a very positive thing. I promise pictures of the home are coming as soon as the piles of stuff have been placed in their proper locations. We're very excited about the upcoming housewarming party.

I mainly just dropped by to spread the news that we are, as I suspected, having another boy. Boys seem to run rampant in the Belew family so I really didn't expect to see anything other than a willie. We didn't even have full names picked 
out for a girl. While Jamie was annoyed by our mere presence at his 20 week ultrasound and tried in vain not to show anyone his manly bits, Charlie showed his differences to his big brother by spreading his legs for the world to see. I can't wait for the time when he and Jamie are able to play together and hope they will be lifelong buddies. Jackson will only be 4-5 months older than Charlie and with the two of them living so close, I have a feeling they will become thick as thieves, while Jamie shows them who has all the authority! Continuing my new surroundings of all boy children, it seems Nanny's house will be amuck with little guys. Come christmas she'll have my two, as well as Isaac filling up her home. (Sheesh. This Christmas, Jamie will be old enough for Santa Claus. That will be exciting.) It seems I can register now for the baby shower everyone keeps asking me to have...not tha
t I'm complaining. I better wait until fall clothing starts coming back out.

This little guy seems much more active than Jamie already but the doctor said I'm probably just more aware this time. I disagree. I think he really is more active. He's all over the place! He's my little popcorn baby. Perhaps, Mexican Jumping Bean is more appropriate since he has me craving tortilla chips pretty much nonstop. Tonight we're going to Moe's Southwest Grill before we run some more house errands and I am completely stoked! I'm obsessively checking the clock for the time Tyler will be home. I'll leave you w
ith a look at our newest edition. Some say alien, I say adorable!

Friday, June 12, 2009

Two Outta Three Ain't Bad

It appears my mystical powers have failed me. I guessed right on my friend Emily's girl and my friend Erika's boy, but my cousin Jessica decided to spite me and have a little boy instead of the lady I'd predicted. Actually, I believe everything Jessica has done in her pregnancy was to spite me. First, she went and had not a smidge of morning sickness. Then, she thought it would be funny if she showed me how few stretch marks she could get (i.e. zero). And for her grand finale, she decided to have a 6 hour natural labor. That's it?! Six hours?! Who is this super woman?! Aren't we supposed to have some of the same genes? I always knew Nanny loved "Perfect Jessica" the best. I should have known that she passed her awesome pregnancy genes to her first grand-daughter on purpose.

For those of you that don't know my relationship with my cousin, I jest. "Perfect Jessica" is something I said in an angry tantrum long ago...I think it was last week. Sorry, I can't help myself sometimes. And the previous paragraph is all based on the fact that last Thanksgiving, Jessica declared she was glad we were not pregnant at the same time because she was sure I would hate her. Well, in the meantime, I went and got knocked up purely to see if her theory was true. That was the whole reason for Belew #2. It turns out I did not hate being pregnant at the same time as her. In fact, I am so proud of her and happy for her and my entire family that a new addition has been added. She's a tough old bird just like Nanny and I adore that.

Though her whole situation did get me thinking. Is my Gingervitis the cause of my crappy pregnancy? There are two types of people on the Long side of the family, those that look like straight up Native Americans and those that seem they jumped the boat from Ireland. There's not really an in between. Perhaps there's a severe nausea gene that hitches a ride over with the freckles and one for stretch marks getting cozy with the one for red hair. Someone should do research on this subject for the sake of ginger moms everywhere. (Again, I jest but only half-heartedly)

I'm sure baby Isaac is adorable and I will post a picture of him here as soon as there is one to post, so check back often. As for me, I can't wait to get up there and meet him at Jessica's earliest convenience. Perhaps I'll tow Nanny along because Lord knows she wouldn't get up there unless she's baited by a chance at holding a new baby. I'll even take a graveyard shift just so they can get a whole night of sleep. Have a wonderful first night at home with your son, Wonder Woman!

Isaac Bradley Wilder, 7 lbs 4 oz, 21 in.
Ready to start yapping, a Nanny Long trait! (We pop out the alert ones)

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

The Best Days

As I sit here watching my son grin while he pretends to eat cereal puffs out of an empty container, I can't help but think of my friends...friends that are expecting babies, friends that have new little ones, and friends who are waiting for their time to come...and I'm filled with amazement and a little amused by the advanced knowledge at how much better their lives will become. Each day with your own child brings some new wonder, and just when you feel you couldn't possibly love anyone or anything any more, your baby suddenly will become magically more adorable than the previous second.

Now, I'm not foolish enough to think that every parent in the world is a good one and that everyone has love for their children, but the women I have in mind most certainly will. And I don't care how cliche it is, the truth remains that the love you feel as a mother is the best kind of love. I'm also not so insane to ignore the fact that there will always be bad days but for every completely and utterly bad day there are 50 good ones with your child. (that's coming from a woman who battles depression consistently) Last night I was sobbing uncontrollably, but in the midst of it jamie was runnig across the living room and throwing himself at the floor. Then he would roll like he'd had a major spill and giggle, and I couldn't help but laugh through my tears.

Currently, Jamie is laying on me and tickling me waiting for me to laugh. I'm serious. His first word was tickle and he has now mastered the concept. He wiggles his fingers on my arm, stomach, whatever's closest saying "tickle, tickle, tickle" until I belt out my most convincing laugh. I just wanted to take this opportunity to tell you ladies, even the ones with newborns, that you can imagine it, but you truly have no idea of the joy you are in for. Sappy I guess, but true. Even now, I'm surprised every day by this love. I'm so excited to have ladies to share it with.

I need to shave.

Monday, June 1, 2009

Tennessee Gypsies

Our family is officially homeless. Well, I suppose not officially. The house hasn’t technically closed but the fact remains that other people now live in the home on Mercury Boulevard. The couple that wanted to buy our house chose the 29th of May for their closing date because that’s when their lease was up on their apartment. The closing didn’t go through on the planned date and they were freaking out about not having a place to stay, so we wrote up a rental agreement with our real estate agent for a week because “They” tell us the closing will happen by the end of this week…here’s hoping.

After that, we’ll just be waiting on our loan to process (a seemingly endless task, even with great credit) and then it’s off to live in our new home. We drove by it the other day just to take a peek at the outside and were pleasantly surprised to see our six foot privacy fence already installed. During the walk-thru, the builder told us that they wouldn’t even start on it until we closed, which would have made it two weeks without a fence for Max & Mattie. We also peeked in the windows at our new appliances. This house comes fully loaded with a brand new stove, refrigerator, microwave, ice maker, disposal, dishwasher, and a washer and dryer! Not many builders throw in those last two. I’m totally excited.

When we do finally close, we will still be having that painting party I mentioned. I don’t know when to expect to close now so it may be a couple days notice for it. I know last minute doesn’t work for a lot of people but even one person helping is more than no people helping, so we’ll take whoever has the time to help out a pregnant lady with a one year old who isn’t really supposed to be painting. (How do you like that sympathy card?!) Yes, Emily, I know that looks like it says Jamie isn’t supposed to be painting.
I’ll provide pizza or something…wings, perhaps. When we do know when we’ll be closing, I’ll send out notice. Trust me.

Currently we’re vagrants roaming Tennessee with a car full of suitcases. We started at Tyler’s Granny’s house but she has a lot going on this week and doesn’t need the added stress of house guests. That lasted 5 nights. Sunday we headed west on a caravan to Henrietta. We’re now staying in the old double wide at my parents’ house. Good ole Cheatham County is quite far away from well, everything, but at least we’re in our own space and will hopefully not be stressing out my parents.

We discovered when we got here that Mattie stayed in the outdoor kennel for about two days before breaking the wire and escaping. She has since been living happily as a country dog on my parents’ property and is not the hundred miles away we would’ve expected her to be at this point. It’s going to be heart-breaking to put her into a fenced yard but we would hate to part with her, and she clearly wants to be with us. She spent the entire day curled up next to the sliding door of the double wide. Mom would’ve let Max out but he hates everything animal. He tried to attack her two dogs and would most definitely eat the cat and probably get stepped on by the horses trying to take them down as well. Apparently, he didn’t get the memo that he’s 20 lbs and about a foot tall. He’s always been very picky about his animal friends. If Tyler and I don’t bring them into his world for him then he assumes they are the enemy and must be stopped. Dogs. We're not sure yet whether Beans will be back to live with us or not. She certainly has a better situation at Boxwell than she would at our house but she's welcome to come back anytime, of course.

Soon all 5 of us, 6 if you count the baby (who I am convinced is Charlie) will have a home and a backyard and will not be right on a four lane road. I will be counting down the days to that!

Saturday, May 9, 2009

Holy Moly Month


Well, it would appear that it is time to start packing. Holy cow! I'm excited but really, of all months this year! The only one that could've been worse would've been November when the new Belew arrives. Here's a little preview of our days before the closing on May 29th and the move on May 30th were scheduled.

May 2-3: Drill Weekend for Tyler
May 3rd: Jamie's First Birthday Party
May 4-9: Tyler works shifts at Vought & the Guard base all day
May 9: Last minute shopping for our 9 day vacation to FL
May 10: Renaissance Festival (which is part of my Mother's Day and planned weeks ago when it was totally feasible)
May 13: Jamie's 12 month shots
May 14: OB visit for me
May 15: Hair appointment before trip and shower (1st time since last November so it's not like I'm being a diva or anything)
May 16: Host Erika's Baby Shower
May 17-26: Trip to Florida which is unchangeable at this point at only a week away and totally inconvenient. haha
May 29: PreK graduation and my last day at work

Now it is May 9th at 4am and I can't sleep because there is obviously much to do! I have a feeling there will be little sleep this next week. Next thursday a POD is being delivered so we can load up before the vacation. Next friday we have a walk-thru scheduled on the house we'll be purchasing. At some point in the next week, Tyler has to make it out to my parents' house to bleach down their outdoor kennel for Max & Mattie to stay in til the move and their brand spankin' new yard with a privacy fence! Also I have to pack an entire house before next saturday. Saturday morning Tyler will have to have a mini-moving sell to get rid of big items that we won't be taking and saturday around noon he'll have to load the big items we will be taking into the POD. Then sometime on sunday before we leave for Georgia, we'll have to drive to my parents to drop off the dogs! WHEW!

Then, when we get back we'll be staying with someone for a few days because we have to be totally out by the 29th which is the closing date for this house we live in now and on saturday morning the 30th we'll be closing on the new house and can start moving in, but first we want to get as much of it painted as possible on saturday so that we won't have to worry about doing it with little toddler hands living there.

As you can clearly see by now, we need help...lots and lots and lots of help. I'm not even sure if the previous paragrahs are coherent at this point, but this one will be. I need boxes. Loads. If you can spare them, I need them and I need them now. I will need patience from the ladies at work because I'm gonna need every second of packing time I can manage this week which means long days at daycare for Jamie. This is something I am not pleased about and never do. He's usually there about 2.5 hours a day! I feel like, if I'm not there, he shouldn't be either but this week it's a must. Tyler could use some Mega Men on saturday the 16th as I will be frantically assembling, hosting, disassembling, and trying to enjoy (which shouldn't be hard considering the company) a baby shower that's been planned since January. He will definitely need help around lunch on that day to load the big items into the POD since I wouldn't be able to help with that part anyway "in my condition." On the 30th, I'm gonna take a cue from the Wallaces and Host a humongous painting "party." We need as much painted as possible so anyone who can and is willing to wield a brush, I am asking for your help. I'll have pizza delivered for the hungry workers and we'll get as much knocked out as possible. Then we'll be set to move in to the house.

I'm at least, really thankful that my last day of work is the 29th for now so I can focus on unpacking and playing with Jamie in a more sane, less crazy-moving mom manner. Thanks so very much if you took the time to read this.

The Belews

Friday, May 8, 2009

Come One, Come All

Here's my sorry that I've been lacking in the blog department. Much has happened since "Bellybean." For starters, Jamie is now a one year old! He's also toddling around from place to place. He's still quite clumsy, but with his 80th percentile head teetering above his 10th percentile body, who could blame him? Those numbers were from his nine month check-up. His 12 month will be next wednesday. I still expect his noggin to be above average. He's sick right now and we had to go to the hospital. The doctor there said he has a large head and when i told him the percentile he was like, "And is someone monitoring that?!" What?! I assume his pediatrician is. Apparently, I have a freak show baby. Maybe I could get rich if I enrolled him in a Circus Tots program. "Come and see the Living Bobblehead! You won't believe your eyes!" I mean, clearly my son has a sizeable head, but I like to think that it's there to house his sizeable brain. Thanks Doc, for giving me a complex, as if I don't have enough of those already. I'm just thankful that Jamie isn't old enough for such insecurities.

His birthday celebration was wonderful. He tried to eat his cake with a spoon. The only part he truly got messy with were the cookie ears (it was a monkey cake). Now my baby is officially a toddler and I adore him more everyday. Just when I think "You're so cute I can't handle it," he gets even cuter.

As for the current pregnancy, I've lost weight so far and I pretty much feel like the infamous pumpkin, unless I'm asleep. Please pray that it ends this time. Not the pregnancy, obviously that will end when it's time. I mean the misery. I know I got through it once already, but I'd really prefer a happier experience this time. Loathing pregnancy doesn't really make it any easier.

Thursday, April 16, 2009


Just a quick little update here. There are no pictures to be shared because it still didn't look like much but we saw the heart flickering away on the monitor, and we saw the bean bounce or jump or what have you. That was the cutest part. I was like, "Is it moving?" The doctor said, "No, not right now," but then it went **bloop** right up on the screen! Yay!

The doctor says he puts the due date at November 30th which I know is way too late in the game, because I found out the day I missed my period. There is just no way I would've caught it when I was technically 2 weeks pregnant because that would've been conception. So I'm gonna leave it around the 17th and maybe a few days after. So here we go.

Sunday, April 5, 2009

Super Mom I Am Not

...But, I had visions of being one of those moms who bought and prepared all organic food for her children. Delusions of grandeur, it would appear. In the past week, Jamie has tried and thoroughly enjoyed lasagna, chef boyardee ravioli, a slice of cheese pizza, an entire corn dog, and an ice cream cone. Granted, my mother and grandmother were both present for the ice cream and it was, in fact, at Nanny's request that I gave him the first lick. Disclaimer: The pizza and corn dog were, of course, both torn into bite sized chunks and served with a delicious cup of whole milk.

I would really like to say that we simply don't have the money to buy all organic. True. Or that there aren't really any local organic stores. Partially true. But the simple truth of the matter is that I want him to eat these things. I want him to have all the things we thought were delicious when we were kids (and still do). Now is it also true that I've grown up to be terribly obese? Yes, it is. Loving friends, I appreciate that it's in your nature to negate this but it doesn't change the hard cold fact. I am obese. But my brother and mother and father all enjoyed these things as children and grew up to be healthy adults in the weight department. None of them are even close to overweight. The difference is that I am lazy. But those children will not be my children. How is it even possible to let weight get that out of control?

If there is one thing that I do plan on instilling in my children, it's that activity is so important. I don't think it will be hard because my husband was involved in karate and was outdoors all the time as a child. My brother enjoyed amazing stints in karate and baseball, and while my mother tried to have me involved in things like ballet and softball (at my request) I quickly lost interest due to bad experiences with snobbish girls. I hope to find positive people for Jamie and his sibling(s) to play with. I know there's always that one kid but when you are the awkward chubby kid who's not that good and they all talk about you behind your back it becomes really hard to enjoy. I had a great experience in band and I hope to find something like that for my kids where they fit in. Be it football, soccer, swimming, ballet, band, martial arts, track, etc. I want them to find something early that they enjoy and feel good doing so they have a positive experience with exercise!

Then I can say yes to hamburgers and french fries and pizza and ice cream. Don't get me wrong. I'm not going to feed them only junk and be the mom with the 300 lb. six year old, but I'm not going to stress the occasional Happy Meal. Besides, how can I deny the pure joy on this face?

Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Bring It On, Baby Bean!

Well, it would appear that it has begun. I've thrown up twice today. I'm still hopeful that the first couple of vomit free weeks is a sign that I'll be one of those normal first trimester pukers!

The doctors office needed me to drink 32 ounces of water before my appointment this morning so that it would be easier to see my tiny bean in there. Are you serious?!!! I really think this picture of Jamie perfectly captures how I felt at the thought of this. His eyes are just completely bulging out of his head. The horror! In fact, the second puke was due largely to the 32 ounces of evil water.

So anyhow, it seems I'm not someone who will totally escape the "joys" of pregnancy but this time I'm ready. I'm not going in totally ignorant of what's to come and I won't be blindsighted by all the awfulness that may present itself. Bring forth the hurling and the mood swings! Summon the heartburn and the stretch marks! I will be victorious! You can fight me from the inside all you want little Belew, but in the end, I will win and you'll be brought into the world as a part of this crackpot family. Mwahahahaha! Hopefully once you get here you won't think I'm so bad afterall and you'll be a lovely dear of a baby, just like your brother.
The baby wants me to barf again. Later, loves!

Saturday, March 21, 2009

What Dreams May Come

One of the best and yet strangest parts of my last pregnancy were the dreams. They were vivid. They were odd. They were realistic. I often couldn't tell if i were truly awake or not. One of my most common dreams while pregnant with Jamie was that I needed to get up but could not open my eyes. I'd struggle and struggle until I finally realized I was dreaming and then I'd wake up...but not really. This would happen about four or five times, and it would always take several minutes before I could convince myself that I truly was awake.

So far, this pregnancy has been utterly different in nearly every way except for the missed period. I've had no vomiting and barely any nausea thus far. Well, what I'd call barely any. It's more like manageable nausea, which is still totally different. I've been in a rather good mood and I'm sure multiple people, especially my husband, would attest that was not the case last time. I told a friend that I haven't even wanted to smother him in his sleep for breathing yet! I've been having occasional cramps (which a few girls have assured me is ok, unless I have bleeding). I completely felt like I was going to start my period. That is so different from last time that I didn't even expect to be pregnant. With Jamie, I felt pregnant from the start. I was having absolutely no signs of an impending period and knew I just had to have a little person growing in there.

Now the "nearly" part comes in the form of the dreams. I've once again been having those interesting, vivid dreams. In fact, it was the the main way I suspected pregnancy. I had a dream that my cousin Jessica and I were at some college dorms and she had her baby and it was a girl. She was born with a full head of black hair that was in a Pebbles-style ponytail! Jessica, if Caroline looks like this, she'll be the cutest newborn ever!

The baby was really alert and could already sit up by herself. She was just looking around on and sitting on Jessica's stomach but was still all gooey!!! Then her husband took them up the hill and I was like "Crap! She didn't tell me her name!" and for some reason I could not get my backpack together to come after them and find out what the baby's name was!!!

I recounted this dream to her in a Facebook comment, which also included the closing line, "haha, after a dream like that i'm not sure who's the pregnant one here?!" This was two hours before I took a positive pregnancy test. How's that for ironic?! (which I'm told could be the wrong use of the word) ^_~

Monday, March 16, 2009

5 Weeks+10 Months+26 Years= Unprepared

Well, ladies and gentlemen, it's official. I'm pregnant again. And though I adore my son and children in general, I find myself already questioning my ability to do this again so soon. Jamie is amazing and he's everything I could've asked for in a first child. (notice the neglect to include "first pregnancy") Needless to say there were a lot of questions running through my mind when I realized it was clearly 2 lines on that infamous little stick. What if this is a wonderful pregnancy and a difficult child? What if we don't get into a house with three bedrooms by the time #2 arrives? What if i'm not mentally capable of 2 kids under 2? What will other people think? What sacrifices will we have to make to afford it?

I have to say that there was one thought that hadn't even entered my mind until yesterday. Yesterday was the big day of announcing it to the families. Though they did seem quite excited, I'm positive I overheard someone say "Poor Guy" directly after the news was given. Now, if they were referring to my husband, they are sadly misinformed because he is the one who has been pestering me for #2 since Jamie was about 5 months old! Of course, the most logical thought is that they were referring to my son which, even in jest, I still would've found slightly annoying.

This is a thought I'd never considered. I'd never considered that, because of the new baby being so close in age to Jamie, my son would not get a turn in the spotlight or that he would somehow be forgotten or left behind too early in his young life or passed over by family in favor of the new arrival. I never considered because it's something I would never let happen. Let's face it, with total disregard for tooting my own horn. I'm a fantastic mother...and fabulous with children in general. They love me and it's because i have a true love for them. This second child coming when Jamie is so young might be a bigger challenge financially, mentally, or even socially (because it's seriously hard to do stuff with friends now) but it most certainly won't be a challenge where attention is concerned. If I have enough love to give to 16 kids in a preschool class every single day, I certainly have enough to share with my own two children.

Jamie's going to have all the love he wants; make no mistake about that. And #2 has wiggled it's way into our hearts as quickly as it did my uterus. I have big plans for my family...big plans.

He doesn't know what's in store, but he looks pleased anyhow!