Ooh, That Smell!

April 26, 2010

I know I’m totally skipping over our wedding festivities … but I’d like to tell you about our mini honeymoon from this weekend. I know, I know … I WILL get to the wedding stuff, but I know that will take a lot of energy that I just don’t have right now. All in good time, my Friends.

Due to the timing of our pregnancy and wedding, we opted to skip a honeymoon right now in effort to save as much vacation time as possible for when the little Fraggle is born in October. However, last week I got a call from an old family friend who wanted to know if we would like to use their beach-side hotel room for the weekend in Treasure Island (in the Tampa Bay/St Petersburg area) at no charge. Naturally, we said, “HELL YA!” and packed our bags for two days in the sun.

Week 15: wasn't the City Boy nice not to include my growing ass in this photo? He's so great!

The hotel was nice, we had a GREAT suite, with an amazing ocean view and they even let us bring little Pieter along for the ride. We were elated!

Please note our "pre-sun complexions". See the eager anticipation on our naive faces?

 

Pieter says, "I love this place!"

Upon waking Saturday morning, we took a few “Look How Excited We Are” photos, picked up new trunks for the Hubby, went to Publix to pick up beer for the City Boy to drink, and then made our way to the pool to enjoy the sunshine. I should also note here that the City Boy harrassed me all morning about the beach. “Ready to go to the beach?” “Why would you want to sit at the pool?” “What time do you want to hit the beach?” On and on he went. But, really … my LOVE of the beach has dwindled in recent years. I mean, YES! I love the beach and the natural beauty, but I do not love the sand, the crowd, the hassle, the salt that lingers on my skin and hair. Plus, I knew I wouldn’t be entering the Gulf to cool down, and thought the promise of nice, clean, HEATED, chlorinated water sounded much more hospitable — so, we went to the pool.

And, there we sat for two hours. The sun was out, the clouds were nowhere to be seen, and there was a constant wind which made you totally forget that it was nearing 90 degrees outside. Right around the two hour mark, I excused myself to use the restroom, and when I looked at myself in the mirror, I froze! Holy cow, Batman! I was BURNT!!

The fact that I may have been a little red was no real concern, because that tends to happen to me from time to time … I’ll get a little red, and the next day have a dark golden tan and everyone is happy. But, this? THIS? This was no “little red”! This was, “that’s gonna hurt” calibre, and it freaked me out because I’ve never really had a true sunburn before. I mean, honestly, usually I don’t even wear sunscreen and all is fine. And here I was, only outside for two measly hours and I looked like the Lobster Girl from Lake Tohopelikega!

Hoping it would die down once we got out of the sun, I suggested that we go grab some lunch. The City Boy was in need of some food to absorb some of the alcohol he had been ingesting all day, and I needed some shade. However, we ended up eating outside on the deck of the Friendly Fisherman Restaurant instead watching the pelicans and being totally disrespected by our waitress. But, the wedge salad was good.

We arrived at the hotel, just in time to take a 3 hour nap, get back up and meet some friends for dinner at Chili’s. Unfortunately, the 3 hour time lapse did nothing but give my skin more time to develop a severe sensitivity to clothing and all things movement-related. Even though I was cursing the sun (and myself for not wearing sunblock), and was terribly embarassed for looking so ridiculous and pained, we had a great time with Marcus and Kelly (who is scheduled to have their first child in just 2 weeks!)

Can you BELIEVE this?!?

This is my "Yes. I am an idiot" expression.

So, needless to say our mini-honeymoon was chock full of memories, but completely void of romance (sorry, City Boy!) Instead, on our drive back home yesterday we received a home remedy tip from the mother of one of our friends. She told us that she had been using this remedy for 50+ years and it works everytime, and that I’d thank her later! So, we tried it. She suggested we rub Fish Oil over the burned areas, then wrap the affected limbs with saran wrap. She promised that within twenty minutes, the burn will subside and the healing will be nearly complete.

And … I tried it.

Is someone having a fish fry around here?

And, I took a nap like this, believe it or not. But I awoke about 2 hours later having involuntary leg spasms (not sure if that is related in any way) and the strongest desire for a shower.

My final verdict on the fish oil/saran wrap idea is … Not Again. Although, it DID temporarily take the sting out of things, I have spent the better part of today trying to ignore the stench radiating from my arms & legs. And? I’m still not able to wear pants of any sort!

I know I’m preaching to the choir for all you folks who have experienced real sun burn before, but this shit HURTS!! It hurts to touch, it hurts to move, it hurts to even think about!

Also, let this be a warning to all you mothers-to-be. When pregnancy books tell you that “pregnant skin” is more sensitive than normal skin, BELIEVE THEM! I whole-heartedly believe that had I not been pregnant I would have survived with nothing more than a little patch of red skin on my shoulders and cheeks. So, lather up the sunscreen, Mama’s!!! It’s soooo worth it!


Dream A Little Dream Of Me

April 21, 2010

Well, all my books and pregnant friends have told me about how tired they were during the first trimester. All they wanted to do was sleep! They couldn’t get enough sleep! I never experienced that. I mean sure – I was sacked out on the couch for most of the day and night during the first trimester, but that was due to feeling like total shit and nothing to do with having any less energy than usual.

Two weeks ago, when my nausea somewhat lifted I felt like a new woman! Until this week. The sleepiness has finally come home to roost! I’ve been taking some crazy long naps whenever possible, and have even increased the amount of sleep I get at night from 9 hours to about 11 hours, but there is still a thirst for more sleep. It’s crazy awesome because the dreams … good Lord, the DREAMS have been so entertaining!

Last night, I had my first dream about the baby and it was so great! In the dream, it turned out we were having a boy! And oddly enough, as soon as we found out the gender, I went into labor. We hadn’t bought a single item for the baby, still hadn’t decided upon a name, and we weren’t even HOME when it happened! We were visiting family when the baby decided to be born. All I remember about the birth is that only the City Boy was present, and it was quick and DRUG FREE! It all happened so fast, and once the baby was born and we were holding him, I thought “Wow. That wasn’t so bad! Why was I doing all that stressing?” Next thing I know, they were shoo’ing us out of the hospital and on our way. When we arrived “home” (wherever that was) it was still just the 3 of us, and I suddenly realized that the baby hadn’t been fed the entire time he had been alive! What kind of mother was I? Definitely not off to the best start, I tried to breast feed him in a panic, only to realize I had no idea what I was really supposed to do. No one even talked to me about this at the hospital! What if he didn’t do it right? What if I didn’t do it right? Panic set in, but in the end all I had to do was pull down my bra and he latched right on like a pro. And, he was SO cute!

The next scene was taking place at a family Christmas party. Both of our families were present, but everyone’s personalities were more intense and severe. We were all excited, but on edge for some reason. I was nervous about letting anyone touch the baby, and it felt like I was constantly worried about feeding him. Then I worried about someone SEEING me feed him, and made a mental note to pick up a Nursing Apron.

The City Boy & I realized half way through the party that we still didn’t have any place for the baby to sleep. So, we hauled ass to some sort of baby supply warehouse and tried to locate a decent basinette … sure, we found some but they were all made of that hard plastic, outdoor playground material. The pressure was mounting as we drove from store to store trying desperately to find a suitable bedding surface for our little bundle of joy.

In the end, I think we just let him sleep in our bed until we went back home to Florida. Really, the most clear parts of the dream were stressing over whether he was getting enough food, chasing away people from touching him, and holding him. I woke up wishing I could fall back asleep and hold him some more. How ridiculous is it that I KNOW the baby in my dreams isn’t really the one that is with me now, but it was so amazing to SEE him, and HOLD him, and BOND with him.

Ugh, five more months of this anxiety! I wish I would have at least remembered what we named him!


Almost Half My Life

April 20, 2010

I remember the day clearly.  It was after school, and I was making my way from Mrs. Pennington’s Art class where we were practicing for the Spring play, “Hansel & Gretel”.  It wasn’t such a mystery to me then, but now I wonder what the hell I was doing in the Speech & Drama festivities.  I guess I enjoyed the camaraderie and activities that surrounded the competitions, but the truth is that I totally sucked at it, and each year (despite my seniority) I landed the most insignificant parts in the annual plays.  This year I was portraying Fritz, one of Hansel’s fat mischevious friends.  The role involved one line. 

Most people don’t understand the very competitive nature of the Speech & Drama team.  There are various categories of competition, such as Storytelling, Improvisation, Broadcasting, Poetry, and Prose with limited spots for competing in each category.  After trying several different categories it was decided that I would be best suited for Storytelling.   

For three years, my summers were spent painstakingly reading through various children’s and young adult books & stories, I would select a short story to work on.  Not only was it necessary to memorize the story, but I had to develop specific voices for each character, and a unique method of conveying the story; making sure that I modified the story (or my storytelling) so that I used up the appropriate amount of time.  Then came months of practicing; reciting the story in front of the mirror, in front of family members during Sunday dinner, in front of the Coach.  Looking back, I never received rave reviews, unless my grandmothers were in the audience, but for some reason I pushed on.

And don’t even get me started on the actual competitions!  Always on a Saturday, and usually in a far away county hidden deep into the hills of Kentucky, we would board a school bus around 5:30am and drive to the school that was hosting the meet.  Nerves a bundle; not getting enough sleep; worrying about missing an entire page of my story; hoping for forgiving judges, we trudged on through the morning to our destination of the day.  I suppose one thing I enjoyed about the three years spent in S&D was the time it allowed me to spend with my mother.  This was the only thing that we ever really shared together … and even though we didn’t spend the ENTIRE day together, just knowing she was there made me feel good.  For whatever reason, she seemed to really enjoy the meets, and she even got involved enough to judge a few of the competitions so perhaps that’s why I kept with the program.  I just wish it had been an activity that I actually excelled at.

But despite how wonderful it may have been to have my mother in attendance to support me, it never softened the blow of NEVER winning!  It was torture, yet I continued … is that really a good trait to teach your kids?  Keep pushing at something that just isn’t your strong suit?  Wouldn’t I have been better off concentrating these efforts on a pursuit that yielded some positive results?  Anyway, the fact is that I didn’t … I continued the course, and this was exactly what I was doing after school that April day fifteen years ago.

As I exited the Middle School through the large front doors, I looked up and saw that it had rained at some point in the day.  Early evening was setting and the air was cool and breezy.  I spied my grandmother’s Grand Marquis waiting for me on the corner and I climbed in, glad to see her.  It wasn’t common for my grandmother (who lived in the neighboring town) to pick me up from school, but I assumed she was on her way to our house for dinner and thought little of it.

The news was playing on the radio, and her face looked serious.  “There has been an explosion”, she told me.  This shocked me, and she continued to tell me about the Oklahoma City bombing.  On the news, we heard of dead children and injured people.

Luckily, the school was only a short drive from my home where we parked the car and went inside to eat dinner.


Weekend Catch-Up

April 19, 2010

I’m a list maker, as has been discussed more than once … and I stand behind my list making tendencies as I have found that it really does aid in my productivity and overall clarity of what the hell I am trying to accomplish.  But, yesterday I had the misfortune of sitting down with the City Boy to compose what we have now named “The Married List”. (Insert dramatic music here).

As everyone knows, when a couple becomes Husband and Wife, there are arrangements that should be made to insurance policies, and name changes, and combining finances, etc.  But due to the City Boy’s background and PASSION in the investment/insurance realm, his eyes light up with the thought of modifying policies, changing beneficiaries, increasing benefits, etc.  If you ask me, I think he’s just a little too insurance-prone.  I jokingly said yesterday that I’m glad there’s no Breathing Policy clause to add to our life insurance or he’d probably be all over it.  But, I kid.  He’s really not that bad. 

The truth is: I absolutely agree that we need to increase our policies (especially for the wee one), change the beneficiaries and start getting serious about our Wills and retirement accounts.  Especially with all we’ve got going on right now, it is easy to ignore our long term goals in effort to attack the short term stack that is staring us in the face (Hello, Baby!).  So, I was more than happy to have the conversation.  We made our list, decided which were the higher priority items, and then I stopped the flow of conversation dead in its tracks!  “Enough death talk!  Enough negativity!  Let’s focus now on paint colors!!”

So, that’s what we did … after just a slight argument on the importance of our Married List.  I had gone to Sherwin Williams yesterday afternoon to pick up some sample cards for painting the house, and after deciding how we’d spend each other’s death benefit (I KNOW!  Morbid, isn’t it?!?) we plotted the colors in the house we would LIVE in together.  Doesn’t that just have a much nicer ring to it?

Afterward we went to the grocery store, watched a movie and then watched the Orlando Magic beat the Charlotte Whoever-They-Are in their first series of the NBA Play-Offs.  I don’t like watching the regular season games, but once there’s something at stake I really like to watch how our boys do.  And our team this year is doing pretty well!  Next year I’d like to see a game in person though … I guess we need to start thinking about babysitters!

***

In pregnancy news, I started the fifteenth week today.  Lately, by mid-afternoon my good mood and lifted spirits begin to wane and the sleepiness settles in.  But the nausea has become less and less of a thorn in my side throughout the day, which is a tremendous milestone!  However, now that I’m not wishing for death on a constant basis, I worry that something is wrong.  And, I know!  I’ve read enough of the pregnancy articles and books to know that this is totally normal during the start of the second trimester.

I’m seriously considering the purchase of an At Home Doppler system to keep an ear to the baby’s heart beat.  But, that’s crazy isn’t it?

OH MY HEAVENS!  I had an ultrasound two weeks ago and totally didn’t post the new picture of the World’s Cutest Baby!  What the hell am I thinking?

Look at my little angel?! She's just kickin' back - hands on her head, enjoying her day!

***

Total Random Thing: I somehow managed to Netflix the debut movie for both Owen and Luke Wilson over the weekend.  It is called “Bottle Rocket” and was released in 1996.  Is it a good movie?  No.  Are there some interesting comedic elements to the flick?  Sure.  Would I recommend it to anyone?  Um, nah.  It was just a goofy movie with both brothers.  They both look very young, and if you’re ever really bored and are looking for a nice movie to fall asleep to, I think this is what you’re looking for.  Enjoy!


Emotion In Motion

April 16, 2010

It seems Life has done quite a bit of changing as of late, and has left me just kinda “riding the wave” which should make my mother proud.  I’m no longer trying to control things … at least not until I watch how this machine is functioning.  Once I get a good handle of how it’s operating NOW, I plan to jump in and do my best to bend it according to my will.  But I know better than to jump in prematurely.  Until I figure out the current direction and velocity, I’m easy like Sunday morning.

However, despite this “why fight it?” mentality, there are some scenarios which bring me great distress and it really bothers me.  Last week, I spent Wednesday through Sunday submerged in family.  We got married on Saturday (which will be covered in great detail later), so for 3 days prior there were many preparations being made, introductions to the City Boy’s family as they trickled into town, fretting about wedding protocol and the like. 

I cannot express how wonderful it is to be involved with my family nowadays.  It has been a long time coming, but these past two years of civility and harmony have been so great!  But when I’m completely surrounded by them, I suffer from an almost constant internal “freak out mode”.  I feel claustrophobic; I feel judged; I feel trapped and muted, like no one can hear me.  And, then I feel guilty for having these thoughts.  It’s an awful cycle.

The truth is, it bothers me much more than I would ever admit verbally that I am such at odds with everyone in my immediate family, emotionally speaking.  They are all so “alike”.  They look at life the same, they all feel the same about their inter-relationships with each other.  They have similar opinions on the way the world works, and HOW it should all work.  Don’t get me wrong, they aren’t all clones of each other but they are actually able to have a conversation with each other where they genuinely agree on most of what the other is saying.  Then, enters me.  They don’t really know how to take me: me, with my opposing views, my passionate opinions on many topics, my incomprehensible lack of emotions (according to them, not in reality).  My eagerness to buck the establishment of their codes.

So, I find myself either in a chronic state of defending my position, or uncomfortably internalizing all my thoughts, which only mushrooms into a hidden mental meltdown.  This undoubtedly results in me retreating to a quiet place in the house, or escaping entirely wishing for nothing more than 900 miles distance between us all, where we can all go back to liking me again.  It’s an ugly thing, this pattern.  I don’t like it. 

I don’t like being so “at odds”.  But, on the flip side, I like who I am.  And I genuinely like that I am different.  I just wish it were more accepted by them, is all.  I tire of seeing the sideways glances they slide to each other, “Oh here we go again.  Here goes Emily with her crazy thoughts again.”  I guess it’s true: there is absolute strength in numbers.  It would just be nice to have an ally at times, that’s all.

Now that the baby will be arriving in just 6 months, we are talking more about moving up North in the next two years to be closer to both our families.  Despite the fact I will SORELY miss the heat down here, and the sunshine, and the ability to be active outside in December without wanting to hurt someone I know that being nearer to family & friends will be good for not only ourselves, but definitely for our children.  And, even though I KNOW we won’t be living in the immediate vicinity of our family, I just wonder how the dynamics will change.

Will I eventually feel more comfortable?  Will they ever just get over the fact that I like to argue and look at things different than they do?  I hope so.  Will they stop focusing on all the things they think are negative about me? 

I guess time will tell.  The truth is, I love my family.  My parents, siblings, brother & sister in law, and my new nephew.  I just wish I could visit for a few days without this nagging on my heart.  I am fully aware that all of this is not their fault.  Maybe my wish is really that it just wouldn’t bother me so much.  I just pray that our relationships only continue to grow stronger as we near the time of packing up and moving home instead of the opposite.

Amen.