Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Mommy Nerves

Thad thinks its weird, but I rarely have dreams that I don't know are dreams. I always know when I'm in a dream and then I get to do fun things like float (way better than flying, ps). And when I'm having a bad dream, I can always wake myself up because I know I'm dreaming.

But last night I had one of those very rare dreams for me where I don't know that I'm dreaming and it feels super real. And basically, what was happening was that I was the world's worst mother. My baby hated me. She acted like she didn't know me, and it was definitely all my fault. I woke up hysterical and didn't go back to sleep for a very very long time.

Obviously, my baby doesn't hate me. I haven't even been given the chance to be a horrible mother yet. I guess I'm just having one of those days where I feel the chinks in my armor. I think I said it several months ago, on a similar day like this, where everything feels so overwhelming and the grass is greener everywhere but under my own feet.

Thankfully I've had all day to reflect, and in between vomits this morning and somewhere during my slow moving afternoon, I realized that here we are, always saying things like "God's timing is perfect" and here I am questioning my ability to be a mom.

God called me to mommyhood, not me. Not Thad. Who am I to have anxiety or question a perfect plan? I know that the feelings of anxiety I have had today will be confined to today and tomorrow will be back to normal--things like, what do I paint the nursery and "I hope he or she has your toes, not mine" and all the joy in those thoughts.

And on the counter in the kitchen this morning there was a card from Thad. My Thad. The utterly un-verbose husband of mine, who had covered every inch of this card with how great of a mama he thinks I already am.

God's timing is so, so perfect.

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

When did that happen?

  Some lovely mama friends of mine have been encouraging me to take week-to-week pictures of my baby bump. I promised them that I would never, because A) I don't really wanna know how much I'm growing and B) who wants to remember that anyway? Well, I've been 'rest assured' that I will 'regret' it if I don't and since these mamas are much more mom-intelligent than I am, I have aquiesced. I was sure there was nothing to take a picture of, being that I still have TWENTY SEVEN whole weeks to go before I'm due, & then I looked down.

UM, when did that happen?? At first I thought it was definitely just the insane amount of pasta I had eaten the night before, until Thad poked it and said "That feels different." (We're very scientific about things around here) followed by, "It's all hard and stuff."

So there he or she is, 11 weeks and 1 day old, and hopefully feeling fantastic because I feel like a bowl of mush. The nausea usually lasts til noonish, which is typically when I get off work. Wonderful. But if everybody is right about the first trimester being the worst for this kind of thing, the good news is I've only got two more weeks of it!

Poor Thad has been worried sick that I'm on my deathbed, despite my assurances (and my Dr's assurances) that it's all completely normal. Bless his heart, he rushed home from work one morning because I wasn't answering my phone and he thought for sure I had passed out. But really my phone was just on vibrate. Unfortunately, on Saturday I went and blacked out and was reeeeally under the weather. He put me in bed with stringent instructions not to get up, and while I was sleeping he apparently had canvassed the internet and finally learned that the vomiting et al. is pretty standard and let me know that I wasn't dying. Glad we got that figured out.

On the subject of if we want a boy or a girl, the answer is neither, because we'd be just as happy with either! The truth is, at first I was just sure we were having a boy. I mean, I just knew. &then my mother's mother looks at me just so deadpan and says: "It's a girl. I'm never wrong." &then 15 other people tell me, it's a girl, I just know it. Well, golly, it's a bit overwhelming. And then Thad starts in on his "How are my girls today?" &now I just feel all discombobulated and have decided to stop thinking about it until the day before the sonogram can tell us and not a moment sooner!

Monday, May 21, 2012

Our Little Pinch

    I am ten weeks pregnant today! I'd like to say the surprise has worn off, but it hasn't. We've known about the little one for almost a month now and I still have days where I question if it's all real. Of course, seeing the baby on the monitor at the ultrasound last week was pretty solidifying, but hearing his/her super crazy heartbeat was otherwordly. I know people have babies every day but it sounded like a miracle to me.
   Towards the end of April, I was about to make a call to a gynecologist my chiropractor recommended (because the pill I was on was FOR THE BIRDS) when I realized what the date was and realized something else. I took two pregnancy tests right then and there, and when they were both positive I was sure that that thing was happening to me that other people have told me about. Their stories go like this:

"When my wife was pregnant with [so and so] the first home test she took was negative."

"The first two tests I took were negative, but the third was positive."

"Never trust those home pregnancy tests, you're always bound to get a false negative."

   So obviously, I was getting two false positives, right? A trip to walgreens and two more positive tests later and I wasn't buying my own false-positive story anymore. I think I died several times waiting for Thad to get home. It was seriously the longest day of my life to date. His reaction, at first, was as though he had just run through a brick wall and was subsequently surprised by his own strength. We had to tell my parents right then and there, regardless of it being rush hour traffic and their living on the other side of town.
Bun in the oven!
  My mom is a twin and her twin has been a grandma for a few years now, which means that my mom has been all out of alignment for years. She has been very, very patient regarding her grandmotherhood status, only mentioning her need for a grandchild to me about 200 times. So of course, all 95lbs of her just dissolved in tears and I had to hold her. It is so cute when tiny things cry.
  Anyhow, our unplanned baby is definitely no-less loved than if we had planned it. We are over the moon. We spend a lot of our time daydreaming together about the baby. We cannot wait to find out in 8 weeks if we've got a boy or a girl, & we have our names picked out, too. I'm so impatient. I cannot believe I have to wait until December to meet baby. It seems like its just ages and ages away. I also can't believe how much I hate the smell of food, want to take 4 naps a day, and how suddenly aware I am of my own mortality. I have never, ever wanted to take more care of myself or eat the right things or just simply do the right things because I want my baby to be okay. I have never needed something to be okay like I need baby to be okay. It's still a very new feeling.
   Two other women in our church are due around the same time I am. It's so crazy. David and I grew up together and his sweet wife Julia and I are due five days apart. Three babies being due within a couple weeks of each other is the equivalent of a baby boom in our small group.
  So, stay tuned! I gotta run, it's time for my nap.

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Defining Notes

You know how some things just define a period in your life? I never cease to be amazed at how smells and sounds can RUSH you back to a moment or a place. Smells especially can throw me back places that I don't even remember remembering.

That being said I stumbed upon an album today that is just throwing me back in all the right ways while still being new. For me, mewithoutYou was a defining piece to my high school experience; if I hadn't been listening to mewithoutYou, it would have been an entirely different experience altogether. Not quite the same and definitely not as magical. I do think that as teenagers we connect with music in a way that is never quite the same once our hormones calm. I don't think music ever has the same meaning that it has to any other age group like it has to a bunch of insane adolescents looking for an outlet or a way to express themselves outside of the lines of their parents. So I acknowledge that I could write a blog post like this about several different bands and almost mean the words just as ardently--almost.

mewithoutYou was a revelation to me. I did not know that music could be what mewithoutYou is until I first heard them sophomore year of high school. It changed everything for me. Sure I knew pop-punk and sure I owned your standard emo albums of the day (I still unashamedly listen to Juliana Theory, which is simultaneously unacceptable and totally awesome) but nothing like these guys.

I became attached to this band in a way I never was to any other band because at the age of 15 they meant something different for me. Their sound, their lyrics, even the way they conducted themselves live was so different than what everyone else was doing at the time. It was theirs.

Once their fourth full length album came out, they had experimented with their sound quite a bit, changed and evolved like I suppose all bands are supposed to do and I was, thankfully, less hormonal and more interested in blues and classic rock and country like I was raised to be and mewithoutYou and I all but parted ways except for the occasional iPod scroll back down memory lane.

For some reason today I was iTunes main page and saw their newest release and of course had to further investigate. I haven't followed the band for years and didn't bother to buy their last one but then I saw the first track, February 1878 and my interest was officially piqued. One of their best songs is of course January 1979, the title track of their second album:

And February 1878 does NOT disappoint as a follow up....or a twin....or a rebirth....whatever you wanna call it.

Basically mewithoutYou has officially done what I did not think possible: they have remained themselves but grown, and they have me listening to them now, despite the fact that I didn't think I'd ever be a current listener of the same bands I was back in the day. And basically this album has brightened my day and made me feel 16 again, if that's possible.

Monday, May 14, 2012

Politics, Politics, Politics....

I think my facebook friends are probably annoyed with my incessant harping on politics (not that I plan on stopping) but this one is too long for fb:

"Frank VanderSloot is the CEO of Melaleuca Inc. The 63-year-old has run that wellness-products company for 26 years out of tiny Idaho Falls, Idaho. Last August, Mr. VanderSloot gave $1 million to Restore Our Future, the Super PAC that supports Mitt Romney. Three weeks ago, an Obama campaign website, 'Keeping GOP Honest,' took the extraordinary step of publicly naming and assailing eight private citizens backing Mr. Romney. Titled 'Behind the Curtain: A Brief History of Romney's Donors,' the post accused the eight of being 'wealthy individuals with less-than-reputable records.' Mr. VanderSloot was one of the eight, smeared particularly as being 'litigious, combative and a bitter foe of the gay rights movement.' About a week after that post, a man named Michael Wolf contacted the Bonneville County Courthouse in Idaho Falls in search of court records regarding Mr. VanderSloot.

"Some digging revealed that Mr. Wolf was, until a few months ago, a law clerk on the Democratic side of the Senate Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations. He's found new work. The ID written out at the top of his faxes identified them as coming from 'Glenn Simpson.' That's the name of a former Wall Street Journal reporter who in 2009 founded a [Washington] company that performs private investigative work. The website for that company, Fusion GPS, describes itself as providing 'strategic intelligence,' with expertise in areas like 'politics.'

"That's a polite way of saying 'opposition research.' When [Miss Strassel of the Wall Street Journal] called Fusion's main number and asked to speak to Michael Wolf, a man said Mr. Wolf wasn't in the office that day but he'd be in this coming Monday. When I reached Mr. Wolf on his private cell, he confirmed he had until recently worked at the Senate. When I asked what his interest was in Mr. VanderSloot's divorce records, he hesitated, then said he didn't want to talk about that.

All he did was donate a million dollars to Romney's Super PAC, and Obama's opposition research people are after him to destroy him. Publicly.

"Bloggers have harassed his children, visiting their social media accounts and asking for interviews and information. Mr. VanderSloot has said his attackers have misconstrued facts and made false allegations. In February he wrote a long reply, publicly stating that he has 'many gay friends whom I love and respect' who should 'have the same freedoms and rights as any other individual.' The Obama campaign's response, in April, was to single out Mr. VanderSloot and repeat the slurs.
"Mr. VanderSloot acknowledges that 'when I first learned that President Obama's campaign had singled me out on his "enemies list," I knew it was like taping a target on my back.' But the more he's thought it through, 'the public beatings and false accusations that followed are no deterrent. These tactics will not work in America.' He's even 'contemplating a second donation,'" to Romney's Super PAC.  "Still. If details about Mr. VanderSloot's life become public, and if this hurts his business or those who work for him, Mr. Obama will bear responsibility. This is what happens when the president makes a list."
Okay, so Barack Obama and his opposition research people, make it a public project to destroy the reputation, the livelihood, of this VanderSloot man who donated a million dollars to Mitt Romney's Super PAC.  What is the warning?  You give money to Romney, I'm coming after you, too.  You got anything to hide, and who doesn't? Who doesn't have something they'd rather people not know about?  If you give money to Romney, I'm coming after you.  So it's an intimidation factor as well as the impact on VanderSloot, which is personal destruction.  Thankfully, VanderSloot's got a spine and says: I'm gonna double my donation."

And how about this kicker? In 2010, we sent 4.2 billion dollars in tax returns to MEXICO. Here's how:

"The scheme involves illegal immigrants that are filing tax returns," which is okay. They can file a tax return. What they're doing is "claiming child credits for multiple dependents" in their -- quote, unquote "their" -- US household, "and collecting enormous cash refunds," because not enough has been withheld from their paychecks and they've got all these dependents.
But on their W-4 they didn't put enough dependents down. So, for example, one illegal immigrant's tax return "showed income of over $14,000, [and they] collected a cash refund of over $10,300," because of all the dependents that were not accounted for in the withholding table during each pay period. This actually was uncovered by TV reporter in Indianapolis at the NBC affiliate, Bob Segall. It's S-e-g-a-l-l. (I don't know if I'm pronouncing had you seen name right.)
But his [the guy that broke the story] "investigation revealed that claims for additional child tax credits by ITIN filers," illegal immigrant filers, "have skyrocketed during the past decade -- from $161 million in 2001 to" a total amount represented the form of credits, cash refunds that total "$4.2 billion in tax year 2010." So the imaginary children of illegal immigrants -- 'cause they're claiming dependents that may or may not live with them, that may or may not be in the house -- collect a total of $4.2 billion.
The same investigative reporter "also found that illegal immigrants filed 3.02 million tax returns in 2010, with 72% of those returns (2.18 million) claiming the additional child tax credit." And, furthermore, according to the report from the TV reporter, "[T]he IRS says it can't change the system unless it gets permission from Congress; and closing this loophole requires lawmakers to pass a new law specifically excluding illegal immigrants from claiming additional child tax credits."
Well, I don't think that's gonna happen, do you? Particularly this year. Do you see anybody in an election year passing a new law excluding illegal immigrants from claiming additional child tax credits? "It would be un-American to do that! Why, the next thing you know the Republicans will want to take away their health care. The next thing you know the Republicans will want 'em fired and deported! Why, the next thing you know..." So we just have to live with it out there, folks: $4.2 billion for tax year 2010 in cash payments to illegals for their quote, unquote, "child dependents."
4.2 billion. All whilst we worry how we're going to feed our own children. Pathetic. 

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Yesterday and this morning I had the incredible privelege of waking up after the sun. I have watched the sunrise through a Starbucks window for almost four years now, and forgot what it was like to wake up with light outside. In fact, I've forgotten what it was like to get more than five hours of sleep or to contend with traffic on the way to work--you know, all the little things most people move zombie-like through every morning have caused me extreme joy the past two days. I feel like I have joined the land of the living! So goodbye sunrise. I now have a chance of being awake enough at sunset to see a few of those again.