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!


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.

First Ultrasound

March 16, 2010

It seems there’s always bad news to accompany the good nowadays, am I right?  And since I am bursting at the seams to share this beautiful and sad news, here is goes.

This morning was my first scheduled ultrasound.  We just closed on Week 9 and are beginning Week 10 in pregnancy one, and I’ve been sick as a dog.  Well, sick as a dog that isn’t exactly throwing up but is instead manifesting her sickness through a combination of food aversion, anxiety attack, depression, and all around lazy bitchiness.  I’m hot – then I’m cold.  I’m sorry – then I’m mean.  I’m happy – then I’m sad.  Poor City Boy … I don’t even like putting up with myself for crying out loud!  I honestly don’t know how he can stand it!!

Knowing the big ultrasound was scheduled for today, I naturally began having bad dreams about a week ago that the baby has died.  I imagined laying on the exam table and the tech not being able to find the baby.  No heart beat.  At the time it seemed like an omen.  So, I started sinking into a funk, telling myself that I am silly to think I could have a baby.  “Not ME!  Why am I getting my hopes up?  Don’t I know that babies are for OTHER people?!?”  And so it went until I had driven myself into such despair that I remained in my pajamas, on the couch from Saturday night until Monday late afternoon.  Wallowing in self pity and impending doom.

This morning, I tried to keep calm.  The City Boy was unable to get the morning off, so my grandparents attended the inaugural ultrasound with me.  My heart was in my throat as the tech squirted the hot goop onto my belly and started twirling the wand around.  “Remain calm”, I thought to myself.  “Don’t get excited.”  Suddenly, I saw a little blob on the screen.  “Could it be? … Could it be?  YESS!!  It is!!  A little person!!”  I watched as the tech tried to get several measurements and each time the estimated gestational age reading at the bottom of the monitor stated 8 weeks and some odd days.  At first I thought nothing of it, but then I started thinking … maybe the baby is dead, and it hasn’t grown since I was 8 weeks along.  Maybe I’m looking at the corpse of my little baby and my body hasn’t started the whole elimination sequence yet.  This morbid line of thinking continued for several more minutes, as I just watched the different views of the little body.

Suddenly, my brain returned to normal and I remembered to ask about the heartbeat.  Suddenly, the tech hit some MAGICAL button which released this BOOMING heart beat into the room.  And then, on the bottom of the monitor I could see the heart beat being charted across the screen.  180 beats per minute!  That’s my kid alright!  Stellar cardiovascular health, of course!

So, that was the fun part of the appointment.  Baby is alive, baby is thriving, baby is the cutest thing ever!   See how photogenic?!? 

Then, it was into the examination room to meet with the doctor about a little thing called high grade cervical dysplasia.  As I have discussed here, I was diagnosed with this vile condition on Christmas of 2008, and have since then been seeing a gynecological oncologist.  Her mentality regarding my state is to continue monitoring the dysplasia via regular pap smears, colposcopies and biopsies (when necessary) to make sure the cells are not spreading or morphing into invasive cancer cells.  According to her (and she has many years of research to back this up) many women’s bodies, if allowed the time to do so, will fight the damaged cells and sometimes reverse completely without the need for invasive procedures.  Therefore, she has taken the “let’s keep an eye on it” mode of operation.

Well, my ob/gyn has a difference approach.  He wants to perform a LEEP procedure like, YESTERDAY!  He immediately began telling me that his job is to treat ME, and the pregnancy SECOND.  “What good is having a baby if you die of cancer and can’t take care of it? Blah Blah Blah.”  I asked why we couldn’t just wait until AFTER the baby is born to go through with a LEEP and he gave me a bunch of crap about the cells progressing into cancer by then.  Ah, the beauty of having SEVERE dysplasia versus just “run of the mill” dysplasia.  So, if we perform the LEEP now, we run the risk of miscarriage.  If we perform the LEEP at 20 or so weeks, we run the risk of pre-term labor, and in either case we have the probability of incompetent cervix.

We debated for a few minutes on the topic.  I understand his point of view … it’s better to have a miscarriage now than to lose the ability to EVER have children, and perhaps risk my life (even though that seems highly doubtful to me) but we’re not talking about a POTENTIAL baby.  We’re talking about one that already has a heartbeat of 180 bpm.  So, I told him I’d like another opinion.  With that, he called another oncologist and forwarded my records to him to have a look-see.

So, on Friday of this week I have a follow-up with my previous gynecological oncologist for a colposcopy and biopsy.  Even though I think she has a tendency to be too laxed on the issue, I trust her most at this point because she knows my case history, and can probably gauge my cell progression with most accuracy.

In the meantime, I will relish on the fact that I have a healthy baby that seems to be doing just fine where he/she is.  And until I receive adequate enough reason, that is where she will stay, with no threat of messing with her cozy little environment.  HOWEVER, if you know of anyone who HAS gotten a LEEP procedure during pregnancy, please let me know how it turned out.  Miscarriage?  Pre-term delivery?  Healthy baby?

What do you feed a ravenous bear in your kitchen? Whatever it wants!

March 2, 2010

FREAK OUT MODE!  Are you aware that we are now down to 39 days before we’re going to get married?!?  Thirty-nine days to go … that’s IT!  Hallelujah!  It’s amazing what you can accomplish with a little applied pressure.  Since February 12th (merely 18 days ago) I have survived the following:

  • Settled on a location for the reception
  • Changed mind twice, but finally decided on a location for the ceremony
  • Finalized the guest lists
  • Made (as in DIY, Baby) invitations and mailed them out
  • Arranged for a block of hotel rooms to be reserved for traveling family & friends
  • Decided upon a reverend
  • Booked the photographer (as in: harassed my very patient photographer into changing not only our wedding date – twice, but the time and place, and arranged for a smaller package)
  • OK’ed the purchase of my sister’s bridesmaid dress – she got it for a STEAL at a bridal boutique clearance sale ($20, OMG!)
  • Decided upon a menu
  • Registered at Target (it’s easiest for everyone)
  • Started playing around with a center piece idea that is still in the first stages of planning
  • Began working on a playlist that is sure to be enjoyable by BOTH sides of the families (working with generational as well as genre and racial differences.  A lesser woman may crumble under this pressure, but not I because?  Because?  Well, mainly because I like all kinds of music, as does most of my family, so we’re good to go and it really isn’t as big a challenge as I originally anticipated.)
  • Took my dress in to be altered because my retarded self gained 10 pounds PRIOR to becoming pregnant.  Tsk, Tsk.  A second fitting is scheduled for 2 weeks from now … hopefully we’ll be all set then.

Just now, as I wrote out my list of accomplishments, I began feeling pretty good about myself.  Very proud, actually.  I mean, not only did I get more accomplished in 18 days than in the past 12 MONTHS of wedding planning, but I did it while suffering from pretty intense hormone-induced craziness and nausea.  But, just as I began the internal celebrating, I remembered all that I still have to accomplish:

  • Buy ties for the boys’ suits
  • Finalize vows (we’re going to write our own)
  • Rent tablecloths for the tables
  • Determine layout of reception/ceremony
  • Confirm photographer will shoot us at Krohn’s Conservatory prior to the wedding
  • Finalize centerpieces and decorations
  • Decide on flowers
  • Purchase wedding bands
  • Arrange travel to and from Cincinnati for the nuptials (I would rather drive so we can bring our gifts home with us)
  • Call the usual dog sitter to keep our baby Pieter while we’re away
  • Call the Kenton County Clerk of Court to determine the marriage license process.  I believe there’s a 3-day waiting period, but need to find out for sure
  • Buy shoes
  • Finalize play list
  • Decide what to do with my mop.  (NOTE: While prenatal vitamins do make your hair grow faster and shinier, the pregnancy hormones have STRIPPED my hair of its usual life and fullness.  It just hangs there looking gross)
  • Decide on make-up.  This would normally not even cross my mind until the morning of the wedding, but again – hormones – have left my face looking like a teenager’s … dark purple under-the-skin blemishes.  Blecht.

I’m sure there’s more, but I’m beginning to get sick thinking about all that has to be accomplished in 39 days. 


In a pregnancy related note … I started Week 7 yesterday.  This past week has been so nauseating, and not only does my body not tolerate the hormones as well as I had hoped, neither does my usually easy-going personality.  I’m afraid I’ve turned into somewhat of a bitch where the City Boy is concerned.  For some reason, it’s like everything he does makes me feel sick.  When he talks, when he eats, when he moves.  Don’t get me wrong, I WANT him around.  I miss him when he’s at work, or the gym, or in the bathroom … but you wouldn’t know it to see me when he IS around.  I feel so guilty about it. 

Last night I had a dream that he left me … 3 days before the wedding … at our rehearsal dinner.  He took off with a blonde chick, and he apparently felt no remorse for abandoning me and the baby.  He was tired of my antics and didn’t care who knew it.  Sigh. 

I justify my poor behavior because I do at least ACKNOWLEDGE that I’m not being very nice.  I apologize to him almost daily, and he has been GREAT at being patient and understanding.   I bought him a pregnancy book for Fathers-To-Be, and he’s been so cute about reading it and telling me all the little facts he is learning (for example, did you know that the cervix dilates to 10 centimeters during labor?  I know!  What a shocker!!)

What is really stupid about my behavior is that when there is no one physically around to complain to, I usually resort to whining on Facebook, and the women who have already gone through this are incredibly supportive.  Everyone tells me what worked for them to alleviate the nausea … lemonade, Sour Patch Kids candy, peppermint, apples, hot baths, etc.  I’ve tried some of them, but they don’t do anything, and some even make it worse (see: lemonade & Sour Patch Kids).  What I’ve found works the best is Campbell’s Select Harvest soup.  Any flavor.  One bowl of soup and I’m comfortable for about an hour, which is awesome!

Today, I’m experiencing something strange and worrisome though … no nausea and no cramping.  The boob pain is still kicking strong, but I’m all quiet on the abdominal front.  I mean … here it is after 1 in the afternoon, and I’ve been feeling fine all day … that just can’t be right, can it?

I’ve texted with my best friend who works in Labor & Delivery and she says as long as there is no spotting, no bleeding & my boobs still hurt that I’m probably fine.  Just to keep an eye on it for the next day or so.  So, that’s what I’m doing.  I can’t believe I’ve got an entire month to go before I am technically in the clear from miscarriage worries.

The thought of losing this baby now seems so unfair.  A miscarriage in the first two to three weeks?  Sure, that seems more plausible.  But now?  When she’s got her little arm buds and heart chambers forming?  Just when she’s doing so well, and about to form little eyeball sockets?  No fair!  So, we’ll just keep thinking positive thoughts and visualizing our healthy little baby coming to join us in just over 7 months.  I guess that’s all we can do anyway, right?

I’m sorry, but no matter how much I talk about it I just can’t really wrap my brain around the fact that we’ve only got 7 more months of being two people who can do whatever we want.  I can day dream about what I think our life will be like this time next year, but I don’t think I’ll ever be able to guess what reality we’ll be faced with.  Plus, living nearly 1,000 miles away from family makes the imagining just THAT much harder.  What will our daily life look like? Drawing a blank here … I can’t even speculate.

Does anyone else have that problem?  It seems that BEFORE I got pregnant, we used to talk all the time about what we think our children will look like.  What their personality will be.  What our life will be like.  But, now that this life is technically already HERE, we just can’t see it yet, I think it’s a bit WRONG to put our expectations on it.  I mean, what if we spend the entire pregnancy picturing our child to look like THIS, and then when it’s not what we expect will we be disappointed?  I don’t know … I just think it’s disrespectful at this point to put our expectations out into the world about a person who already exists.  I just want the baby to be HIMSELF or HERSELF … whatever that may be.  I don’t want to start my parental life by already not accepting my child.

Jeez, could I sound ANY MORE HIPPI-ISH?  Hormones.  Blame it all on the hormones.

How We Got Here

February 23, 2010

Would you like to be caught up?  Because I really want to catch up.  Let’s just take a look back to capture a few dates of recent importance.

January 18th:

Spoke with my Aunt Donna who, quite bluntly told me that I hadn’t done enough planning to pull off a wedding by May 29th.  I hadn’t planned for the fact it was Memorial Day weekend, and there would most likely be no tents, chairs, tables, or dance floors available to rent.  Not to mention some of the unexpected costs I wasn’t planning for.  So, I agreed that she was right.  I had been WAY too relaxed on the Wedding Planning front, and spoke with the City Boy.

We decided to push the wedding back to September 4th.  Labor Day.  Still a 3-day weekend for the convenience of traveling guests, 3 extra months to save and plan, the weather would probably be more stable, and we could figure out more cost-saving ways to put on the show.

February 12th:

After three days of fretting and worrying and flip flopping on the verdict in my head, I went to Wal-Mart and purchased an EPT test kit.  Coming home from the store, I unloaded all the groceries and went to the business of “administering the test”.  And guess what new skill I’ve learned recently?  After years of practice, I finally figured out how to turn a pregnancy test positive!  Apparently, it’s not nearly as difficult as I thought!  Seriously – within SECONDS the infamous second line appeared, and made it very clear that it was staying right there.

I screamed.  I squawked.  I pulled up my pants and called my best friend, then my mom.  I tried reaching the Stud, but he was at work and away from the phone.  I paced.  I couldn’t believe it, and I was so excited!

So, here we are 11 days later.  We started the 6th week of gestation yesterday and have attended one doctor’s appointment.  This week has brought with it some crazy nausea that I wasn’t experiencing until now.  I’ve bought two pregnancy books for me, and one for the father-to-be.  I have turned into a slightly deranged version of myself, and am starting to doubt that I’ll ever be a functioning member of society again!  It seems I just want to moan, and sleep, and think of never eating again.

Oh, and on the wedding front?  We’ve pushed it back up to April 10th.  Which leaves us just 6 weeks to plan and get our butts to KY for our ceremony & reception.  We cut the budget by about 75% (no need for a big fancy wedding when there’s a baby to plan for.  Priorities, People!)  I dropped my dress off yesterday with the seamstress who is going to make a little alteration to make room for my (wowsa!) expanding chest so that I can make it down the aisle without busting anything.  Invitations are going out this week — we’re actually going to make this happen, and SOON! 

We are excited … to say the least.  Today is the City Boy’s 36th birthday and he says that our baby is the perfect present.  As he is out enjoying his birthday jog, I sit in this house … still in my pajama pants from yesterday feeling gassy and gross.  When he returns, I plan to cook him a meal of zucchini squash, spinach salad and broiled salmon … but I intend on eating NONE of it because I am nauseated by the thought.  Guess it’ll be peanut-butter toast for this mama.

What a month!!  What a year this will be.  I just keep thinking that by my birthday in December I’ll be a mother!  I’ll have a 2-month old!  We will have a baby with us at Christmas time!  We will not only file our taxes as Married from now on, but we’ll also have ourselves a little exemption!  Wow.  Just … wow.

So, I’m expecting to be more inspired to write in the coming months, which is good.  Our babe will need documentation of what his/her parents were like before we turned into Mommy and Daddy.


Is There A Ferris Wheel Around Here?

November 16, 2009

After sitting through an awesome training day yesterday, I can finally (after some months of worry and fretting and not-having-a-purpose) say that my business is about to hit the mother f&cking roof, People!!  And, obviously, I’m excited.

I’ve got a plan for the next 90 days that will push me to the absolute limits of my comfort zone, but I need it – and so does my future little family that is going to be here sooner than I know it.

So … tonight I am having the sensation of being on a rollercoaster – front row.  This year has been the agonizing, nerve wracking, and slow ascent to the top of the first big hill that the rest of the ride’s momentum is based.  It seemed like we were clicking and clacking and jerking and pulling forever, and I couldn’t even see where the top of the peak was.  I looked left, right, up and down but could never see further than the shoulder straps that held me in.  Nails gripped the lap restraint. 

But now, I have reached the peak.  I’m looking down a little and am starting to see life that exists beyond my little ride, but it’s only getting me more excited for the wild ride that I’m about to experience.

90 days … it’ll be work, but I have to make it happen. 


Moving on Up …

November 1, 2009

Last night I realized that I really have no business being in human relationships.  It’s funny how through the course of one conversation I had reduced myself to tears, feeling completely inadequate in having anything of meaning to contribute to anybody.  Needless to say, having so much time away from the City Boy these last 2 months has taken its toll on me.  But, the good news is that the sun rose today and apparently he still thinks I have SOMETHING to offer (awaiting results of what that actually is). 

More news on our front: we set a time to start the migration Northward.  Two years (give or take), and we are looking seriously at Columbus, OH.  I would like us to live in a culturally diverse place, with career opportunities, that’s close to our families without being TOO close.  Columbus seems to fit the bill.  The only real Cons in this result is: A) having to pay state income tax again and B) the damn cold!!  But, we’ll FINALLY have a basement, and having more opportunity to enjoy the OTHER parts of life that don’t include climate or taxes.  So, all in all I think it’ll be a good fit for us.

I am opting to NOT discuss this with my family until at least, after our wedding.  I know if I let this cat out of the bag any sooner my mom will nag and nag and nag about it until I may consider changing my mind entirely.

I guess the only thing that’s really “pending” to seal the deal for us is the state of cultural diversity.  The fact is: our kids will be different.  We don’t want to raise them in a segregated environment.  Luckily, I found a group in the Central Ohio area that fosters to and creates a network of inter-racial couples, and children of all ethnicities.  I sent an email this morning to their coordinator asking more probing questions about Columbus, specifically.  I am hoping for a swift response from her, but we’ll see.  If you know about this, please feel free to share your thoughts.

I just can’t imagine raising my kids in Florida … I mean, what’s the point of living in a climate that encourages outdoor activities if you don’t even feel like your kids are safe enough to venture outside alone?  The City Boy, being raised in – duh – the city, laughs at me when I talk about how when I was a kid in the metro Cincinnati area.  In the summertime we ran around the neighborhood, playing in people’s houses, yards, the woods, the lake at the end of our street.  Our only concern was being home in time for dinner … and this wasn’t THAT long ago!  The truth is, Florida is a HAVEN (for some unknown reason) for sex offenders and perverts.  I can’t stand the fact that little girls are taken, raped, killed by people straight off the street — and within their own family networks.  Ugh, but that’s a whole other post.

The point here is: we are heading North … within the next 2 years.  Truthfully, I think we would already be planning it if I hadn’t just bought this house in July.  The market here is still in the toilet, and I’ll have to do quite a bit of research to determine if it would be worth the risk to rent it out right now.  We shall see.

I am still a little in shock that we’ve come to this conclusion.  We both LOVE the sunshine, the beaches, the freedom of not being tethered to those we love (I know, it sounds bad).  Even though I miss my family, there’s a part of me that really likes being “away” … but I know that once babies are in the picture I will most likely change my tune and want to be surrounded by loving characters to play a role in their lives.

The planner in me is sitting here, laptop on the ready, thinking … OK, that’s 24 months!  I’ve already got several items on my internal to-do list.  So, let’s get this wedding over with (only 6 more months to go!) so we can get on with starting over someplace new. 

I love moving!!  What about you?