Sunday, February 27, 2011

February 27, 2011

Today is my due date. As much as I'm physically ready to have this child, I'm actually worried whether I'm ready in every other aspect.

It's a strange feeling because I know I can do it. I've been there before. I've got more than three years of experience on my parenting punch-card, and if Allison is any indication at the job Jerry and I are doing, we're either extremely lucky or we've made a few good moves.

I guess part of the fear is whether I'll have enough to give. Being a mother is by far the most demanding job I'll ever take on in my lifetime. And, for some reason, I know that adding another child to the mix won't just double the responsibilities. I have a feeling going from one to two is exponentially more complicated than that.

I'm worried about guiding Alli through this huge life-altering transition. As much as we've done to prepare her for what's coming, I know there will be bumps in the road as she gets used to not having our undivided attention. I want her to know that she's still just as important as she always has been, but I'll have to make that known while I'm sleep-deprived and working on making sure someone else's needs are constantly met, too.

I'm worried about having those little quiet moments with my son that I cherished with Allison. There are far more responsibilities at home now, and I don't want our son's infancy to pass while I'm distracted by laundry, taking Allison to school and everything else that comes with running a household somewhat smoothly.

I'm worried about finding time to nurture the relationship that started it all. With our demanding jobs and crazy schedules, Jerry and I already have so little time to ourselves. I know we both feel blessed beyond measure to have created a family, but it's so easy to lose sight of each other while we're running around fulfilling our everyday responsibilities.

Despite all of these fears, I wouldn't want it any other way. I know my worries aren't unfounded. In fact, it helps me realize that I'm taking it all seriously.

Plus, I know there will be moments that make all of my fears disappear. I'm really looking forward to the first weekend after our son is born where we're all snuggled in bed -- me, Jerry, Allison, the baby and Toby -- and I know that everything I need at that moment is right there.

And the rest of my insecurities can wait.

Monday, February 21, 2011

A few days to spare!

Thought some of you would like to see the little man's nursery! Due date is in six days and I'm R-E-A-D-Y.

Incidentally, it's the same room Allison's nursery was in. We moved her into the bigger room. It's amazing to me how different one space can look. Here's a reminder of what it used to look like.

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

The best of both worlds: Jerryisms AND Alli-isms

After two consecutive wrong numbers in a row:
"My cell number's on a bathroom stall somewhere."

Responding to Allison, who is obsessed with gender differences at the moment:
"Music is for everyone, honey. There aren't boy songs or girl songs. ... Unless maybe you're listening to Melissa Ethridge, which is kind of a gray area."

Noting Toby's desperation while playing pancake toss games in the kitchen after I made too many for dinner:
"I might as well be juggling steaks in front of starving Ethiopians."


Explaining the nature of BunnyBear's relationship:
"Bunny and Bear are best friends. ... Best friends for hours."

Looking at the latest cover of Newsweek, featuring a photo of President Obama:

"Mom? Who's that?"

"That's the president. His name is Barack Obama. He's the leader of our country."

"Oh, I thought it was my daddy."

Monday, February 14, 2011

Newspaper column: Sometimes carnations smell better in the garbage

Although I've always anticipated Valentine's Day on some level because it's a few days away from my birthday, when I think back, more often than not, I shouldn't have.

High school was particularly brutal. I never seemed to be dating anyone in February, unlike the majority of my friends, and my district had an annual fundraiser where students could purchase carnations to be delivered to one another throughout the day with a handwritten note.

The first year, I remember losing sleep fearing I would be the only one in the entire school not to get a carnation from someone. I pictured every girl walking through the hallways with heavy armloads of pink and red -- much like Miss America during her triumphant celebratory saunter after being crowned.

Little did I know the opposite would happen.

During homeroom, I was relieved to find two pink carnations waiting for me on my desk. Sure, one was from my mother, who taught at the school, but no one had to know that but me. The other was from my best friend who I had confided my fear to. I instantly panicked because I hadn't returned the favor, but I knew she'd probably be getting actual roses from her boyfriend, so I figured the scales were even.

The next period, I arrived at my desk to find yet another carnation. This one was from "anonymous," so it immediately spiked my heart rate. How on earth was I supposed to concentrate on algebra after that? The school might have devised a great way to raise money, but I'm guessing someone forgot to factor in the level of distraction it could create for a teenager without a relationship status.

As the day went on, I found more carnations waiting for me at each class. And each time I sank lower and lower into my desk. It appeared that every guy I had ever been nice to in passing decided the dreaded carnation was the best way to ask me out on a date.

The flowers felt like lead weights. I wanted to shred them into pieces, throw them in the trash and run home. They ruined what I thought had been perfectly good casual friendships with guys that I saw throughout my day. Guys I now had to avoid. Pronto.

I spent the remainder of the afternoon ducking into bathrooms, cowering behind friends' lockers, and taking alternate routes. When the final bell rang, I instantly felt the relief wash over me. Who knew a series of shrill beeps could sound like music?

Although I made no mention of the disaster later that night during dinner, preferring instead to assume that ignoring the situation would make it disappear, my mom found the pile of bent carnations in my garbage and inquired.

Apparently I should've burned them to get rid of all the evidence.

So I told her everything. Then she made me call each and every one of them to thank them for the flower and say I'd prefer to remain friends.

It was absolute agony. I hadn't read all of Dante's "Inferno" yet in English class, but I figured his seven rings of hell would be downright pleasant compared to my day.

There was still one silver lining -- the carnation from Mr. Anonymous. But one quick phone call to my best friend to lament about the situation killed that glimmer of hope, too. She said her boyfriend had filled that one out just in case I needed an extra boost, but she figured I'd recognize his handwriting.

A pathetic cherry on top of a disaster Valentine's Day sundae.

Those memories are one of the main reasons I never take for granted being married to my best friend this time of year -- no chocolate, jewelry or carnations required.

Sunday, February 6, 2011


Jerry has been freaking out for two weeks that I would go into labor today and he'd miss watching the Super Bowl.

So I did what any loving wife would do.

I called him at our friend's house, where he's pre-gaming, and told him my water broke. And really sold it with tears and all.

Yes, his reaction was priceless. And, yes, it was as much fun as it sounds.