Tuesday, November 25, 2014

What's in a name?

Forget Shakespeare, you know what’s in most names? A lot, actually.
A lot of time spent thinking about the choices; a lot of consideration given to the assumed opinions of friends and family, honoring individuals, remembering family members, monograms, nicknames, abbreviated versions, how it sounds when read out loud in class or at awards ceremonies (hey, we can dream, right?), how it sounds when shouted in a reprimanding tone or in moments of sheer desperation, the possible ways people could make fun of the name or celebrate the name.
We parents don’t just pick these things out of thin air (for the most part).
This is why I find it impossible to share my potential baby names, even if they’re only potential names, with other people. Mainly because people can be total idiots sometimes....
Because I have been known to wax poetic from time to time, and because their graphics team ran out of time and wasn't able to include the accompanying poem, here it is:
The Name Game

I might name him Amy and I might name her Bert,
I might name for Exxon, Sears or my great-aunt Gert.

I might do it for glory like Honor or Blaze,
I might name them Oreo when deep in my fat phase.

If I name him Justyce, I know it's supposed to be an "i"
And maybe you're right, that hard I shouldn't try.

We all have different faves, that's what makes horse racing
And mine doesn't have to fit into your sausage casing.

Give me your opinion only when asked explicitly,
Cause I don't take unsolicited advice implicitly.

Please know it took time, intense thought and lots of love
If she's Edna or Agnes, it's not necessarily for someone above.

I might go top ten with Jayden or Liam
It's not that easy when I've still yet to meet him.

I won't judge you and your brood's alliteration
Just leave me to my name without obliteration.

Please don't make fun if Jane and Dave you find too boring
Or if I'm not forthcoming because yours is the name I'm storing.

Sorry if Skylar is too trendy for your taste
Or if I thought Stalin was too good a name to waste.

I might name her for grandparents gone but never forgotten
But no matter what I name him, I know I'll be besotten.

When I tell you Nick and you instead offer up Zack
I like that too, but Nick's the one, cut me some slack.

We all have different names and that's a good thing
Now let's focus on the child and all the wonder she can bring.

For even if he's Gomer or Steve or Mark or Sue
The name isn't even close to the worst thing as parents we will do.

We've got many years to mess with them beyond a Moses branding
Just give them love and acceptance to help them with their standing.

Give me suggestions only before I've made up my mind
Otherwise you can be a real pain in my behind.

Let me choose what I think suits her, you can name your own
Because I'm the one that gets to name this seed that I have sown.

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Happy candy-versary

Yesterday was a very special day for me, a day I am very proud of, my one week candyversary. Yesterday marked one week of me being candy free.

I wasn't sure I would make it this far. Seriously there were some dark days directly following Halloween. I am happy to say I have come out the other end a stronger, wiser person. Enlightened not only by the experience, but also by the fact that my blood is no longer 25% corn syrup.

I'm not typically much of a quitter. Then again, I have never had quite as much candy to get through as we did this year. Three separate trick-or-treating events, plus I purchased some (my favorites, obviously) to give out at our house despite knowing full well that we'd be out trick-or-treating ourselves during that time and therefore never gave any of those away. At the end of it all we had one overflowing plastic pumpkin, a spare bucket and a serving bowl full of all those "fun size" treats. And they were fun... for a time.

I admit, it was a glorious Halloween weekend as I savored, then devoured, then just plain binged on treat after treat. Monday hit, and I realized my candy addiction had taken over. I was out of control: sneaking candy at all hours, double-packing while the kid was at school, single-biting the three-biters in the evenings. It was a long road from Halloween to the point when I knew I had to quit cold turkey. A long, sugar-y, chocolate-y road that at some points I truly believed had the power to destroy me. My teeth ached at the end of each night. Knowing the end was nigh, I really went for it on the last night, alternating Mike & Ike's and Raisinettes by the fistful. I felt like my teeth were about to fall out in protest. And so, nine sticky-fingered days after the party started, the party had to end. Not just because we were down to only Baby Ruths, off-brand lollipops and the odd flavored Tootsie Rolls, but because something in my gut (sugar) told me it was time.

That following day was my first day towards the new me: the me that didn't need candy to get through the night, to have fun, to exist. No, I just needed a strong will and maybe a bowl of ice cream here and there. Hey! Heroin addicts get meth, I needed something to take the edge off... and meth just reminds me of rock candy so that never would have worked.

The first few days were rough. The plastic orange jack o' lantern taunting me every day: "Eat what's in my head!" "Do it!" "You know you are curious about the citrus flavored Tootsies!" But then a few days in I realized I had nearly made it to the weekend, and then by the end of the weekend I knew I just might be in the clear.

Sure I could have made it easier on myself. I didn't have to leave the pumpkin out, but why should my daughter have to go without just because I can't control myself. *For the record, to date, she has consumed no more than 9 total pieces of Halloween candy of any shape, size or flavor and this is not due to my rationing (I don't do that) or making her go without. To be honest, I could have used her help getting through it all. But no, strange as it may be, the little dear just didn't care for any more than what she had. It works out to not even one piece a day. I mean really, what is that all about?

And yes, of course I could have donated it... somewhere. That's the thing though, I am not sure where you take it to donate it, didn't really feel like doing the research and frankly, I did enjoy the early days of sampling all my favorites whenever I wanted. Breastfeeding = Insatiable. Seemingly endless candy supply = Awesome. By the time I knew I needed help, it was too late for donating. In truth I just felt kind of sad for whomever would receive the end lot as a donation... smarties and candies that look like they came from someone's grandmother's purse make a horrible donation. Who wants that? No one. Thankfully not even me, which was exactly the boost I needed to give it all up.

I would like to thank my dear friends and family for supporting me throughout this past week. Your love and support are invaluable always. A special thank you to our babysitter who, after being prompted by my begging, took several pieces for herself. A big thank you to my husband for ignoring the extra padding that now exists. A big screw you to my mom for bringing the candy that was leftover at her house to my house. Not cool mom, not cool. I understand peanut M&Ms give you heartburn, but I shouldn't have to eat them all either (yes, that's the kind of gluttonous logic that we use in our family).

So, here I am. Just over one week later and I feel much better already. I know that I didn't quit candy for good but I did quit candy for now, which means I can do it. So maybe I will treat myself with that knowledge and have "just one" tonight. Seriously, just one.

Saturday, November 8, 2014

Overdue, why yes, yes I am

October 10, 2014
As with many pregnancies, my due date has come and gone and still no baby. A common occurrence really, or if not common, pretty much a 50/50 split between early and late due to some wildly conflicting statistics out there.

I have now been pregnant for 40 weeks and 4 days. That's 9 months and 10 days, or 284 days total. I have been aware of my pregnancy for most of this time, minus the first few weeks when I may or may not have downed a few bottles of wine that fall under that: "don't drink anymore but don't worry about those" category my doctor so eloquently laid out for me.

Of the 284 days, I have felt pretty good for most of the time. What this means is that I have had bouts of nausea, fatigue, aches, pains, heartburn, cramps and growing pains throughout, but in general count myself amongst the lucky ones who have actually felt more good than bad. Mentally I would say I have also been more on the positive side for the past 284 days. I fear that all of that may change if I continue to be pregnant for much longer. This has nothing to do with the very large yet comfortable (apparently) baby residing in my gut. This has everything to do with the fact that all of a sudden, I have become the most popular person in the world, or at least it feels that way. 

Over the course of a regular week in my life, if you count phone calls, texts and emails, I probably hear from approximately 2.3 friends or family members total on average. Starting about a week before my due date, and then kicking into high gear on the actual due date, I now hear from approximately 2.3 friends every few hours. This is incredibly sweet, thoughtful, kind, and sympathetic. This is also incredibly annoying. I'm sorry... that is so rude to say considering these people are just showing an interest in me, my unborn child and my health status. I am a terrible person... I get it. That being said, having to respond "yes, I am still pregnant" and "no baby yet" no fewer than 8 times a day isn't really helping matters along here. 

I promise I will let you know when the baby arrives. It's only one of the most joyous moments of my life, and I tend to be a bit of an over-sharer anyways (hello? Gratuitous self-serving blog anyone?)
So, to save everyone a little bit of time, until you hear otherwise, here are the responses to your questions:
  • How're you feeling/doing? Large and in charge.
  • You still pregnant? Yes, I am.
  • Baby today? Maybe... I'll be sure to let you know if and when that happens.
  • Anything? No nothing.
  • How are you today???? Same as yesterday: still pregnant.
  • Any baby news? Not news, per se, but I am due to have one any day and as one of my closest friends/family members, I will be sure to notify you when that happens.
  • What's the status? The status is I have a massive baby in my belly and instead of trying to rest or get things done to prepare, I am writing you back to tell you that.
  • Anything? Nothing.
  • WTF??? I know, right! Right back atcha.
  • Everything OK? Yeah, I suppose. Depends on your definition of OK. I am not currently pushing a baby through my lady bits, so I guess that's OK. I am currently eating as if I am going to the chair including fistfuls of candy corn washed down with heaping spoonfuls of peanut butter, and that's OK. I am ramping up my walking and finding reasons to head crosstown on foot, even if it is just to hit up another supermarket for more pineapple, which is OK. I am looking up eggplant fra diavolo recipes while rolling on a medicine ball just before my scalding hot shower, which burned like hell, but I'll be OK. So yes, I suppose everything is OK.
  • Baby here yet? Did we have a falling out that I forgot about and you're nervous I won't tell you when the baby does come? Cause we're cool. You're on the email list. I promise that within 24 hours of one of the happiest moments of my life I will actually want to tell everyone I know about it. Thankfully, these days there is email and the internet making it ridiculously easy for me to do so. But in answer to your specific question, no, the baby is not here yet.
  • Sooooo????? Indeed.
To all of my dear friends and loved ones, thank you so much for all the love and support you are continuing to show me. Please don't take this personally. Trust me, I want to share the good news as much as you want to hear it... arguably more because it means I will get a glass of wine and some sushi out of it. I promise, this baby can't stay in there forever... it will happen. And when it does, I will be sure to let you know.

Still here!