The Woes of Pregnancy

Holy cow, it is February. Can you believe it is February? I feel like I totally skipped December and January. Perhaps that is because I was so sick, I couldn’t really tell day from night. Well, I am still like that, perhaps even more so, but the little block thing on the bottom of my screen shows a 2, thus reminding me that it is indeed February. On one hand, I feel as though time has flown by. I am now 20 weeks into my pregnancy, and I look at that number and I can’t believe how quickly time went by. But then I remember that I am not due until July, and I feel like throwing a fit because it is so far away. Trust me, if you were having my pregnancy you would throw a fit too. Between the numerous doctors appointments, the trips to the ER, and the constant threat of dehydration and malnourishment, not to mention the fact that I am seriously debating on getting an air mattress for my bathroom, you would be counting down to July like me.

The past few months have been filled with ups and downs. Of course the downs have been really affecting me lately, especially my sanity. I have always mentioned that I am not meant to be a stay at home mother, but I find I have no choice. With how sick I have been, my doctor has withdrawn me from work. It is something very difficult for me. I love my job, and it stresses me out exponentially to not be there. Not to mention when they did release me to go back, I was only there for 2 days before I ended up in the ER. During my brief stint there, I couldn’t help but feel that people were mad that I had been out of work. In fact, I had pretty much received the silent treatment. It’s not really all that common for women to become so sick during pregnancy that they can’t work, so I think a lot of them feel as though I am taking advantage of the situation. I mean, most woman work until the day they give birth! It really depressed me to be treated that way. They just don’t understand how sick I am. Let’s just say that my best friend right now is made of porcelain. I think I spend more time with it, than I do my own husband! I have lost over 12% of my body weight, have had a very difficult time keeping food down, and even fluids. I have very little strength, and can hardly go a few hours without upchucking whatever actually made it to my stomach. My doctor thinks I will be out of work for a long time, at least until my 3rd trimester. That is 8 weeks away. I am left wondering if I will even have a job to go back to. It is driving me batty.

Along with work, I have also lost a lot of my independence, which is something that I have always valued. I am having difficulty completing even the simplest tasks without help from my husband and family. I am very weak, and can’t be out too much without becoming sick. I can’t even go grocery shopping. I can’t even go with my husband grocery shopping. I go crazy cooped up in the house all day. I can’t really even go out to visit my family who live right down the street unless someone drives me. My medication severely limits my ability to drive, and by limit I mean doesn’t allow me to. I know its for the best for the baby, but man does it affect one’s sanity after a few days… never mind a few months.

As if that wasn’t bad enough, my sickness is also affecting the baby. She, yes another girl which we are stoked about, is growing at a slow rate, and measuring a little smaller than she is supposed to be. My doctor is not overly concerned yet, but is keeping a close eye on her development. This condition usually causes preterm labor, so it could be very risky to have her developing slower than normal and going early. All of this makes one stressed out, depressed mama.

Though the downs have been harrowing, we have had some great news. My husband has finally been able to find a job and started today. We found out a few weeks ago, coincidentally the very same day I was rushed to the ER after falling due to dehydration and was told I wouldn’t be going to work. Him having a job has helped my stress levels tremendously. If my work does let me go, at least we will still have income. The other good news is, as I mentioned, that we found out we are having another girl. My family is really good at making girls. This will be the 5th baby in the past three years, and the 5th girl! The first boy in this generation is still up for grabs, so my sister and cousins better get cracking!

Despite this, I know that in the end it will be worth it. I will say this though, this mama is done producing. No more babies for me! I don’t think I could survive another round of this!

Have any of you experienced sickness like this? Could I trouble you for some advice? And yes, trust me, I have tried ginger ale and crackers, didn’t work!

Sincerely,

One depressed, stressed out, sick mommy

 

New Beginnings

2013-4Am I the only one that thought the holidays snuck up on us? Then quickly vanished before you could really enjoy them? It was early November, not even that cold yet when suddenly everything changed. Suddenly it was three days before Christmas, and I realized I have not even started my Christmas shopping. I therefore waited in line at various stores to buy my gifts in true last minute fashion. I also noticed that I was one of the only females in line, and found the fact that I lacked all the preparation my gender seems to favor fairly amusing. Alas, I was never good at planning things out, and unfortunately last-minute shopping is quite common for me. This year I had an excuse, however, and it is this very excuse that has also kept me away from posting here, and completely disappearing from all internet related activity. You see, my honeymoon was a little too successful, and my husband and I are expecting another child.

Im_Pregnant_Large

Though we are thrilled of the news, I cannot say pregnancy and me mix very well. In fact, I despise it. I know the whole thing is supposed to be magical and wonderful, you know the whole creating life bit. But let’s face it. Pregnancy sucks. You ache, you puke, you bloat, you swell, you get fat, you cry at the SPCA commercials, and if you’re like me, you get so sick you need to be medicated. Yup, that’s right. This little momma-to-be has spent the past two months praying to the porcelain gods for hours on end, and when my stomach has emptied it’s contents, passed out on the bed because I can hardly move. Then let’s not forget the bundle of other complications, but let’s move on. As I said, pregnancy and I do not mix.

It would appear though that I am on the mend, and I am quite happy to be doing better. Biggest hurtle right now? Cravings. All I want to eat is red meat. Oh, and did I mention poultry makes me inexplicably sick? Seriously, do you have any idea how hard it is to plan meals when you can’t eat chicken? Not to mention seafood (since I hate it) or even worse, most soups? It’s freaking annoying that’s what. I know I know, it will all be worth it in the end. Come July, the new baby will make me forget all the awful things I endured during my pregnancy.

For now, I am back and will be posting about my pregnancy, as well as how my current little one is taking the news. Currently she is ecstatic and can’t wait to meet her baby sister. She refuses to acknowledge that it may be a baby brother. She says baby brothers pick their noses, so she wants a baby sister. She says if we have a boy, then we will just have to “go buy a new one.” Children are quite adorable.

Well, I hope you all had a wonderful holiday season, and may your 2013’s be off to a fantastic start!

And Then They Do…

When I was pregnant with Kayla, I couldn’t wait to give birth. If I could have, I probably would have fast forwarded through the entire pregnancy just to meet my little girl. In all fairness, I did have an awful pregnancy that resulted in bed rest, but nevermind that. I still could not wait for the day that I had her. And then I did.

They said she was not ready yet, but she apparently had plans of her own. On the day of my 34th week, she came. Quickly, I might add. I had my little girl, and I couldn’t wait to hold her.

Then I couldn’t wait to take her home. Then I couldn’t wait until she slept through the night. Then I couldn’t wait for her to sit up. And then she did all of these things.

Last night I realized something. At every pivotal moment in my child’s life, I have always been a step ahead.

Oh wow! Look hunny! She is crawling! Oh I can’t wait for her to walk!

I know I like to say I enjoy every moment of it as it happens, and I do. But there is always the excitement for the next step.

It wasn’t until last night that the realization dawned on me that my daughter really is growing up. It wasn’t because of some milestone I had been anticipating, it just happened out of the blue. She is picking up things, and putting them into different contexts. Yesterday, I told Kayla that I had to go back to work tomorrow.

“You have to go to work namorrow?” (for some reason, that’s how she pronounces tomorrow)

Yup. It’s Monday.”

“Oh. I go to work too!”

“Oh! You have to go to work tomorrow too?”

Yeah, I need some money in my pocket do I go to work too. I money hungry!”

Perhaps I shouldn’t be so surprised. My step father is always saying that he is money hungry, but it represented something more. She is having her own conversations, and understanding what they mean. It was bittersweet. She is a little person, not just a toddler.

This reminds me of the song Then They Do by Trace Adkins, which conveniently was my father/daughter song. You look forward to all the things they will do as they grow up, and then they do and you don’t realize how much you miss the past.

So, treasure your children. Or your pet’s. Or your siblings. Things are always changing, and you will never regain that moment again.

Kayla and Kylie a few weeks ago at Loon Mountain Village – Picture taken by Mark Richard

Dear Presidential Candidates

Dear Presidential Candidates,

I know you are busy strutting your stuff on stage, and arguing why you are the better option; but I have something to say. I am not really a person of note, and I can’t claim to have the education and experience as you. What I do have is something you do not; a perspective from the working class.

Each of you claim that you will improve the economy, boost jobs, and decrease debt. I am sure your plan sounds great, and looks even better on paper. I am sure that you are going to do everything in your power to make this country better. I do not doubt your intentions at all. What I do doubt is your ability to listen.

Take a moment to step down from your pedestal. Just a small moment, that is all I ask. I want you to think like those of us that work day to day, living from pay check to pay check. Lets say last year I was making $20 an hour. I got a raise of $0.06 an hour. That is an extra $2.40 a week. However, my healthcare costs increased by $7.20 a week. Gas has increased by $.42 a gallon, as have about 95% of food costs, retail costs, as well as service costs, i.e. cell phone, cable, internet, etc. I am effectively working for less money this year as I was last year. And costs are just continuing to rise.

Why is the middle class shrinking? Because your forcing them into poverty. Open your eyes and pay attention.The corporations outsource our jobs, then whine about decreased sales. Well if they take away someone’s job, obviously they are not going to be buying as much, thus the economy will fall. I understand they can make that T-Shirt for $.03 over in china, then sell it here for $29.99 which increases their profits. It is business sense, totally understand. The thing is they then give a nice hefty big bonus to their head honchos. Do I think Executives should be paid well? Yes I do. Do I think they should be given million dollar bonuses while they have to cut raises for the lower workers because of lack of profits? No.

The fact is, you cater to the rich, assist the poor, and forget the working class. I am not saying that I would rather be in poverty. They have struggles too, and I am glad that those who need the assistance get it. However that doesn’t change the fact that those of us who do work our butts off to stay out of that have it easy. Get your stuff together and fix this country. Help all of your citizens. Don’t preach about what your doing or going to do for them, as chances are you won’t. Instead, why don’t you show them? Why not prove that you are going to make a difference.

If this post is out of line then I apologize. I am currently sitting at my desk waiting to see if I get laid off. So far, many of my coworkers have. Why don’t you, Presidential Candidates, come and sit at my desk. Playing the waiting game might make you remember that you have a responsibility to the people. Stop strutting, stop arguing, and start listening.

Sincerely,

An annoyed middle class citizen

Evening: A Thought of Family Moments

As the glow from my wedding, and relaxation from my honeymoon begin to fade, I am once more introduced to reality. Last night, I clung to the hope that my vacation could last forever, but alas the stack of bills neatly piled on my counter top near glared at me for even thinking such a thing.

Come morning, I would once again dive back into the daily grind; heading back to work to an unspeakable amount of emails, none of which were particularly pleasant. So to help alleviate that awful thought, my little family and I decided to bust open that top tier of our wedding cake that were were supposed to be saving for our first anniversary. Lets face it. That is just plain nasty. Even my aunt, who is a pretty fantastic lady, said it was absolute disgusting. So in order to make sure such wondrous cake did not go to waste, we sliced it up and devoured it. Our timing was not the best, as it was around 8:00pm when we decided to stuff our faces with sugary goodness. As one can expect, this did not bode well for my little one’s bed time. This little oversight turned into our first, post-marraige family time.

We curled up on the sofa with our bundle of sugared up energy and put on a movie. Safely tucked away in a nice warm blanket, She cuddled between us as watched Puss in Boots. The movie was pretty bad, but the moment was incredible. She laughed, excited over the kitties, and giggled whenever they meowed. She thought Humpty Dumpty was a “white poopie” for a little while, but after a few stifled giggles we explained to her that he was not a poopie, but an egg. She didn’t buy it.
Movie time is something that we have done many times. In fact, we generally try to do it every week. I don’t know why, but there was something special about it last night. Perhaps it was because I was looking for something incredible to wrap up my vacation, but I strongly believe that it was because it was the first time we had done it as a family, bound in love and marriage.

Then of course, her daddy farted and Kayla and mommy quickly relocated to the other side of the couch. While it lasted, it was a truly amazing moment.

A Note From the White Mountains

It is done. I am officially a married woman. My husband (So weird to say) and I journeyed up to the White mountains for our honeymoon. It may not be as glamorous as our first option, which was the Bavaro Palace in Punta Cana DR, however I am thrilled with our choice. We are staying in an absolutely stunning little townhouse with a full kitchen, cable television, internet, multiple bedrooms, and a cozy little fireplace. Oh and guess what… We are staying here for FREE. Yes, you heard me correctly. Free. It has been an amazing time. Here are some fantastic pictures of our adventure.

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Toddlers: A Thought on Birthday Parties

Handling a birthday party that is not your child’s: Not fun.

My daughter is two, actually she is two and a half! As such, there are a few universal qualities that one can expect. First and foremost, everything is hers. If she likes it, its hers. If it’s purple, it is most definitely hers. If she, at one time in her short life, touched it, then its hers. As much as I try to dissuade this behavior, it seems stubbornly imprinted in her genetic code.

The birthday Girl: Kylie! Isn’t she just too cute?

Today we had a party for my wicked cute niece who turns two next Saturday. We had her party this week because her big obnoxious Auntie (or Tee Tee as she calls her) is selfishly getting married on the most sacred days of her little childhood. Yes, I am that cruel. In all fairness, I did buy her an adorably cute little cake that matched the top tier of my wedding cake with a pretty pink K scrawled on it, so I am not totally heartless. Anyhow, back to my original point. There were presents at this party, presents my beautiful little two and a half year old could not keep her hands off of.

“No no, Kayla those are Kylie’s presents!” Yes, there names are close, blame my sister. Then again, I have an older niece Kiley and I named my daughter Kayla so I guess you can blame me too. Getting derailed again, man I am bad at that! Despite the constant scolding, my daughter needed to get into the presents. She also just had to have the birthday girl princess tiara. Luckily Kylie was not a fan of things on her head so she did not object to my daughter swiping her crown.

My beautiful little thief with her stolen crown 🙂

Then it came time to sing happy birthday. Kayla loves when people sing happy birthday. Actually, let me correct that. Kayla loves when people sing happy birthday to her. She did not like singing to Kylie, which was shown when she burst into tears. Of course everyone thought it was because we were singing loud, but I know the truth. She didn’t get to sit in front of the cake, and everyone wasn’t singing to her. For as shy as my daughter is, she certainly likes attention if it concerns birthday. That could be cause she associates birthday with birthday cake. Seriously. When she sings happy birthday, its not Happy Birthday to you!” its “Happy Birthday Cake to you!” (but she totally means happy birthday cake to me). Yeah I know, she’s wicked cute.

After the cake fiasco passed, we came to the dreaded time that had my skin crawling from the beginning, the presents. Now I refuse to be one of those parents that goes and buys a gift for their kid simply because its another kid’s birthday and they will be getting a ton of presents. So this is how the present opening went.

Kylie opens present. Kylie gets excited for presents. Kylie opens next present. Kayla swipes recently opened present. Kylie wants swiped toy back. Mommy interferes and gives Kylie her new toy back. Kayla has a meltdown. Kylie forgets toy as next toy is opened, and conveniently so does Kayla. Then we repeat.

It was only through great patience, and quick moving parents that we were able to stop a full on toddler brawl. Well except for the plane fight, that one just sort of happened. No bruises though, and thirty seconds later they were happily playing together with all the toys. They are like sisters, Kylie and Kayla. They have a love hate relationship that looks eerily similar to the one I share with my own sister. Luckily, we have moved past the point of fighting over things… most of the time.

 

Have you experienced this issue with your children? What is the best way you have found to surpass the EVERYTHING IS MINE, MINE I TELL YOU, MINE! stage?

Beauty: A Thought on Autumn

Fall is my favorite time of the year. Not only do I get to dress in my super sexy boots that I seriously spend way too much money on, (according to my hubby at least) but I am also surrounded by breathtaking beauty. You see, I am lucky enough to live in a pretty fabulous region of the USA, the north east. We may be known for our sever road rage, our inability to pronounce our R’s, and for our less than amiable attitude towards tourists; however we are better known for our fall foliage.

Beginning in October, or late September, the leaves begin their decent into fall by changing into various shades of yellow, gold, orange, and red. The impact it has is stunning.

If ever decide to head to Boston, Ma you may want to aim for October. You won’t regret it! My favorite is the tree lined road. One of the things the hubby and I like to do on a Sunday afternoon is take a nice relaxing drive through the backwoods. I am excited because due to the pure awesomeness of one of my friends and her kickass family, my fiance and I will be spending our honeymoon up in the white mountains. Mountains + fall= breathtaking.

 

Pretty right? Now you see why Fall is my favorite season? No? You need more reasons? Well how about the coolest holiday of the year? No I am not talking about thanksgiving. Halloween is by far the coolest holiday ever. Sure Christmas you get presents, but on Halloween you get to dress up like a hooker and not be judged for it.Okay, its mostly the younger woman that dress like hookers, but still we get to pretend we are something other than what we are which rocks. Plus you add candy, spooky movies, and ghost stories and I am a happy lady. Plus, Kayla looks cute in costumes.

 

Little Miss Moo Moo

Cutest Ladybug EVER

Yeah I know, I make cute babies. What is your favorite part of fall?

Mornings: A Thought on Alarm Clocks

Over the past few weeks my household has gone from normal crazy to psychotic crazy. Even my dog has felt the dramatic change in the air and has become increasingly more demanding of my attention. This, as you can imagine, sparks a war between my pooch Zoey and my daughter Kayla. This battle is never more hectic than in the morning, at 6:30am.

My dog is lazy. There really is no other way to describe it. She sleeps a good portion of the day, and when she isn’t sleeping she is resting. She is a bed hog and always likes to curl up at my feet. During the morning, however, when she knows Kayla will be coming in at any moment she moves and curls up against my back. Then, as my door creaks open and the my little curly-haired clone whispers her normal “Good Morning Mommy Daddy”, the mayhem begins. (yes, she calls us mommy daddy, not mommy and Daddy” ) Kayla comes to the edge of the bed, to which my dog growls and grunts in annoyance. She never snaps or makes any other aggressive move, just growls and grunts. If Kayla persists, as in she climbs onto the bed with us, Zoey then begins to whine. She does not want to get up. Lazy thing.

Then the chaos strikes. Kayla yells at Zoey, “No! No Zoey!” and the dog whines more. Kayla yells louder. Daddy grunts and burrows under the pillows. Kayla starts laughing. Zoey keeps whining. Mommy tries to pretend she can’t hear anything. Kayla starts jumping on the bed. The dog starts growling again. Daddy gets cranky (he is so not a morning person). Mommy finally gets up and begins her day.

I brush my teeth. “Mommy I want to brush my teeth.” Zoey practically sits on my feet.

I brush my hair. “Mommy I want to brush my hair.” Zoey is still sitting at my feet.

I put my boots on. “Mommy where my boots go?” Zoey sits next to me trying to get onto my lap.

I grab a coffee. “Mommy I have some coffee too?” Zoey runs around my feet, causing me to trip.

I put my perfume one. “Mommy me too!” Zoey sneezes like crazy because she never moves from my feet.

I grab my purse. “Mommy where my purse go?” Zoey runs to the door, as long as it isn’t more than two feet away from my current position. By now, Daddy is stumbling out of bed.

I give my daughter a kiss, my hubby a kiss, and pat my dog on her fluffy head. I then try to squeeze out the door without allowing either one to follow despite their best attempts.

What is your morning ritual? If you say you wake up naturally, I will hate you! Just kidding. I won’t hate you. Just mildly dislike!

 

 

 

Awesomeness: A Thought on Fathers

With my impending nuptials just around the corner, the past few weeks have been exceedingly busy. I have had to pick out linens, confirm dates, dish out lots of money, juggle work, school, and a toddler. It has been quite the task, although not all together unpleasant. Sure, some of the necessary traditions that everyone else seems to know escape me. I may have addressed a few invitations as Maureen and Anthony instead of Mr. and Mrs. Anthony [last name]. I may have given my DJ a blank stare when he asked me what cake cutting song I wanted. Really? I have to choose a cake cutting song? Why did I think this would be an easy process? What I should have done was go out and buy a Wedding for Dummies book. That would definitely have helped!

It was not really until the last two weeks that some of the more beautiful things about planning a wedding began to surface. Going through all the reply cards and finding the little handwritten notes of “Can’t wait! We are so excited!” really made me smile. There is nothing like planning a wedding to force you to sit down, and think of your relationships with people.

My family is like a village, a mostly female village. Each and every person in it had a hand in my development. The women are strong, independent, and opinionated. Trust me, you don’t want to cross these ladies. I think that because I am from a Matriarch, I often think of the women of my family and remark on how they shaped me into the woman I am today. What I don’t do, or at least don’t do enough is think of the men.

My father passed away when I was young, and nothing can change that. I will always have fond memories of him, and he taught me many things that I carry with me today. After he passed, however, my sister and I became the benefactors of something great. The men in my family banded together, and gave us something beautiful. Four men, strong and brilliant men, filled the role that we had lost.

 

The first of the four is my Uncle, and he was the strength that my mom and my sister relied upon when my father passed. We lived with them for a while, and he served a purpose I will cherish forever. He helped heal us. I remember when I was in fourth grade, we had a big science project. We had been studying temperatures and we were tasked with creating a “cooler” to house an ice-cube. We would then monitor them and the one who kept the ice-cube solid the longest would win. I was at a loss, as was my mother. How do you build a cooler? Go go Uncle P. He swooped in like a super hero without a cape, and took me to the best home improvement place around us; his shed. We selected a few pieces of wood, some puffy stuff I later learned was insulation, and some other few doodads that held whatnots together. Together, we built this rectangular box that most certainly was not pretty. He did let me do most of the hammering and glue, so it was expected. It was so atrocious looking that I was horrified I would fail, but not only did I not fail, I won first place! To a fourth grader, that is pretty much as cool as it gets.

The second of the four was more of the teddy bear type. He has a comforting smile, and always winks at you. I remember he used to sit down with me on my grandmother’s porch. During these times, it was our routine, I would ask him when he planned on marrying my godmother. Each time he would smile and say soon. I would laugh and tell him it better be. He would wink and move on to topics about school or some random topic a young girl would deem vitally important. As I grew older, his role did not change. Although I stopped asking him the marriage question, he has not changed much. A few years ago I showed up at their house with a flat tire. He sent me on my way to his friend, and made sure all my tires were fixed. I did not have to pay, only mention his name. They smiled at me and so “Oh! He is a good guy, saved us all from tickets on numerous occasions!” You should see him now with his grandchildren, it is just too adorable. He may look tough, but he is all mush!

The third of the four is a man, who though hundreds of miles away, leaves an impression on any who meet him. He has a sense of humor larger than the distance that separates us, and he made it known. I don’t think I have a memory of him without a smile, and we always loved when he came to visit. He would get us out of trouble with a wink and a grin. Not to mention he know just about everything there is to know about anything. I remember when we first moved towards central Mass to a town most of Mass had not heard of, he went out and bought a book. By the time we saw him next, he knew more about the little town than we did. Apparently plastic was invented in Leominster, who knew? My uncle, that’s who! With his sweet southern drawl, he can wiggle his way into anyone’s heart. Not to mention, he makes a great gift. A portrait of him circulates every year at Christmas.

The fourth man is special. He is my Step-Father. My relationship with Tony is incredible. We are very close, we get along very well, and we are a lot alike. We may not be blood related, but his influence has truly made a mark on me. I am hot-headed, quick to annoy, notoriously cheap, and pretty laid back. We even look alike, although I am pretty much the spitting image of my real father too. It’s the Italian in us. When I first began my wedding planning, I knew I wanted Tony to walk me down the aisle with my mother. I wanted to show to everything that he was a vital piece of my life. He is the man who I look to as my father. He did not replace my biological father, for no one could ever do that. But who is to say that I cannot have two fathers? Both of them are part of me, and part of who I am.

Grampy and Kayla

When I looked at songs for our father daughter dance, I had a lot of trouble. I was twelve when Tony first entered my life, and many of the songs were geared towards that. A lot of them are also really mushy, which if you know us you would know that is not us. We have a wry sense of humor and are very independent. We bond over our love of old music and rock, and snicker evilly when we get something cheaper than it’s actually worth. It was our intention to find a totally wacky song that we both love, and grove out on the dance floor. He of course would rock the sprinkler while I did the more dignified shopping cart.  Although I still love that idea, I found a song that fit us perfectly. And guess what? It’s not even rock!  See, I can be a big girl when I need to be!

My Step-Father is an incredibly important person in my life, as are my Uncles. Without their love, their guidance, and their influence I would not be who I am today. I hope you all take the time every now and then to sit back and think of all of the people who helped shape you into the person you are today. You should probably say thank you.

So thank you, ubber awesome guys. See you on the dance floor.