"Life moves pretty fast. If you don't stop and look around once in awhile, you could miss it." - Ferris Bueller

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Sorry, I am here. Really I am.

I am just taking a lot of naps. I just have not been feeling good at all. Baby's doing flip-flops all over my stomach, which is making for an interesting time for any food in there trying to stay down. Yes, I know, TMI. (I bought a cute new pair of pj's the other day that was stained within mere minutes where I spilled my Maximum Strength Gaviscon.) So that, along with the nasty heartburn, extreme nausea, the leg cramps, the headaches and the snoring husband (love you honey!) and you have a sleepless in Tampa-bay, somewhat grumpy "me". But the good news is, baby is doing fine still incubating in there and he's supposedly creeping up on 4 pounds in there, according to latest sonogram.

The partial previa I have is starting to lessen, although not very much. My placenta (aka my "sack" as my sister likes to call it-- she asks me often "How's your sack?") is migrating northward slowly (it has moved about a centimeter in the past 10 weeks) and I have another sono at 34 weeks to make sure it's moving farther up.

I don't remember being this uncomfortable with Poops the last time around, but they say that God makes you forget the yucky parts so you'll keep on popping out kids. I am convinced that is true. But before I get to thinking, "I still have 9 more weeks to go???!!!" (and by the way, most people--even strangers-- who see my belly and ask how far along I am have no problem expressing their astonishment at the fact that I still have until the end of November even though I look already like I am about to pop) I quickly push that thought from my mind and think I will be absolutely blessed to go another 9 weeks, no matter how huge and uncomfortable I become. I promise I will be around to visit soon!

Thursday, September 20, 2007

The Haircut

We had haircut #2 today, but this time it was done at a much cuter place (than my house) and by a much better haircuttress (than mommy). Mullet begone!

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Poop Catchers: A Review

One thing we go through like water is diapers. And believe me, we've tried them all. There is nothing worse than when a diaper "fails" and we have to change his clothes, his sheets, his crib bumper, and head straight to the bathtub for a full-body washdown. After a lot of trial and error (and a lot of grossly failed experiments) our biggest success has been with Pampers Cruisers, but they are seriously expensive. So when I was asked to give Luvs' new "Bear Hug Stretch" diapers out, I couldn't help but think I'd probably get through one day and head back to Pampers. Boy was I pleasantly surprised!

The big fat tabbies close up tightly and hug his legs nicely. The diapers are built just as sturdy as Pampers and are extremely absorbent. We went through the entire 40-pack without so much as a single leak! I was very impressed, but most of all, I was impressed with the price. The only thing I have a little bit of trouble with is actually finding them in the store. Luvs says they'd like to price a 40-count at about 8 bucks, although I saw them for $10 in the one store I did happen to spot them in (but they didn't have my little guy's size). However, the Pampers 46-count is about $16, and the Luvs are just as good. I will be on the lookout for these and as soon as I find them, I will be switching. It's worth it. The newborn sizes aren't out yet, but they will be in December, just in time for my other little guy's arrival. Sweet!

Best Part Husband

OK what wife on this earth doesn't want to see this on her birthday???

(Hint for men: NONE!) I'd say husband did good. This beautiful necklace was inside of it:

Me=very happy. Thank you husband and babies!

Monday, September 17, 2007

I'm losing count

I am 32 today (Happy Birthday to me!) and I have an e-card from Kelly Clarkson telling me so. My day is complete.

Yes, I am lame. I am 32 and I am in the Kelly Clarkson fan club. I had to join in order to get an update on when her canceled show would be rescheduled, because I had tickets for her show that was supposed to be two weeks ago. It was rescheduled (as the fan club notified me thank God) but it was rescheduled for 5 days after my due date so I guess I should just let this one go. No Kelly Clarkson this time.

Anyway, what a lovely birthday present I got this weekend! A little bloggy love, first from The Rising Blogger for my post on September 11th, which was really sweet especially because I had misgivings about writing it at all.
And the second from Bankerchick over at Bankerchick's Scratchings, who gave me this (thank you!!!):

Isn't that the sweetest ever? The good thing is, I get to pass this on! And you know that giving is so much funner than receiving so I am giving this to Skittles (even though I noticed she has already gotten it!) because she is just so darn stinkin sweet (like the candy!), and to Jenmomof4 at The Wilson Six because every month she "pays it forward" and gets other people to too with her random acts of kindness! I just love random acts of kindness and because of her, probably dozens of people are smiling and saying "That made my day!" just because a random stranger did something nice. I love that.

So I am just going to kick back and relax today, despite my dirty floors, and bask in the sound that is the best birthday present ever, of a little boy in a monitor with a tiny little voice saying "Momma" over and over again and "Da-dddy" and "Hi!" while playing in his crib and not taking a nap.

Saturday, September 15, 2007

Take a Bite out of Boob Class

I went to "Breastfeeding 101" last night with a dear friend of mine who is also pregnant, sparing my husband from such details as cracked nipples and cabbage leaves. However, when we were walking up to the classroom at the women's hospital, by the sheer numbers of men in the room, I was sure we were about to walk into the wrong class, like "childbirth" or something. But no, it was correct. And my surprise didn't end there! No, it didn't! Not only were the men vigorously taking notes on things like how long a woman has colostrum and when it turns to breastmilk, and details on the La Leche League, but most of the people asking questions were actually the men! I was astonished! And I can't help it, but part of me was even a little jealous. Then I thought about it again and decided I really don't mind owning the information myself and not having my husband standing over me with his notebad saying "Honey, I think you're doing that wrong."

But there were times in the class when I knew full well that it was best that I went with a girlfriend rather than my husband, because we probably would have been kicked out of the class for being the most immature adults in the room. Like, say, for instance, when the instructor brought out the little stuffed boob that looked like a burger with a nipple on it. Complete with a pull-cord which I must admit I spent half the class wondering what on earth the pull cord did, like did the boob say something when you pulled it? Or did it vibrate? (Later, I found out when you pulled the cord, it inverted the nippy to show what happens when a woman with inverted nippies tries to breastfeed -- kind of a boring toy now, but definitely useful). Anyway, that's neither here nor there. It was when she was demonstrating the latch that I know my husband and I would have completely and immaturely lost it. Because she likened how an infant tries to latch onto the boob to how an adult would eat a burger, and proceeded to turn the flat stuffed boobie sideways and take a bite. I'm still laughing thinking about it now.

So yes, my friend and I were the only ones in the class who already had kids but were taking the class anyway. But I had a lot of questions this time around because I didn't get a chance to take the class last time before Aidan was born because he was early, and I wanted to prepare better for breastfeeding this time around and try to go a little longer than I did with Aidan. Although I still have a slight problem with the idea of a person who has never given birth or breastfed teaching a breastfeeding class. This was the case last night and it was the case as well during our childbirth class. But I guess there's enough science behind it to for someone to teach that part of it. Still, I always feel like it's like a journalist reporting about a hurricane while standing in the sunlight under a bright blue sky rather than being knocked over by the sheer wind and rain.

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Tails: September 11th

My mom asks me why it's been six years and I have never written about 9/11. I know why she asks me. I was living there at the time. But for some reason, I think that being there and living through it for me is so much smaller than the people who really lived through it, those who lost people they knew and loved, who literally ran for their lives that day, who were trapped buried underneath the rubble for days, who jumped from the inferno, who witnessed fear at its most basic, primal worst, who fought off hijackers, who sat helpless while terrorists ravaged through our hearts.

I lived in Queens, just on the other side of the river. I took the F-Train to work at my job at Fox News Channel every day and I was running a little late that morning. I was supposed to be in early to cover someone else's shift at 9:30. It was just past 9 when my phone rang and it was my mom who said, "Turn on the tv."

I saw the smoke coming from the World Trade Center and thought, "Shit." There were only preliminary reports then and at that time it was being labeled an accident; a small plane that went off course. I knew it was going to be a busy news day even if it were an accident, so I just said "Gotta go! I'll call you later! Love you." Hung up and ran for the subway. What a morning to be late, I thought.

I got onto the train and for the next hour and a half I was stuck on the subway underneath the East River on a trip that only usually takes 25 minutes. I was pissed. I thought the train was having problems. I thought I was in serious hot water, late on a breaking news day. Great. No one on the train knew what was actually happening. There's no cell service down in the tunnels. The conductors said nothing. It turned out the train I was on was one of the last ones into the city for the next few weeks.

As the train pulled up to my stop, there were officers everywhere. I ran up the stairs and out into the sunlight, straight down 6th Avenue toward the News Corps building and when I got there, it was under lockdown. Of course, I ran out of my apartment so fast, I had forgotten my I.D. and security wouldn't let me in. I pulled out my Driver's license, my business cards, everything I could to say who I was in a panic and he let me in. I ran in, ran down the escalator and into the newsroom, where everyone was standing, mouths dropped, watching the live news, watching the monitors at their desks as the second tower began to fall. I could not comprehend what was happening. I was seeing only one tower left and now it was falling.

I realized that as I was trapped in the subway for that hour and a half that my parents were probably watching the television, freaking out that while this was going on, I was on my way into the city, and after it all started to sink in, I called them. "I'm ok," I said. "I'm below ground. We're safe here. I'm safe." "Oh, THANK GOD!" my mom yelled back. I told her I had to go and I'd keep in touch. I logged in on the computer and my e-mail was flooded with subject lines "Where are you?" and "Are you ok?" from friends and family who live far from me.

Bulletins were crossing the wire, planes were missing everywhere, we realized we were under attack. The newsroom was both completely numb and chaotic at the same time. We didn't know the scope of this yet. This truly was worst case scenario. We didn't know if the world was going to end as we knew it, whether this was the just the beginning, whether there would be bombs, more attacks, we didn't know anything. But we had to find out. It's what we do. Turn off. Work.

I worked until 2 in the morning that day and had to come back in by 7 a.m. That was pretty much my schedule for quite some time. The subways and bridges were shut down indefinitely. There was no way I was going home any time soon. I, along with my co-workers, plunged into work. I ended up staying in the city for the next two weeks. Borrowing clothes, yes even underwear, and an apartment from a co-worker, who turned out to be one of my dearest friends, and working around the clock. The only food we had time to get was whatever the channel was providing from some deli.

That summer, it was hot. There was no wind, and a white, chalky haze from the World Trade Centers hovered over Manhattan for more than a month. It just hung there, stagnant. I can't explain the smell even though I remember it so well. The city was the best and worst place to be during that time. ATMs ran out of money. Stores ran out of food. People saluted and waved to the firefighters who drove by with their huge flags waving from the backs of their fire engines. Firefighters drove by and passed out bottled water to people on the streets. Businesses were shut down. New York City was in a collective silence. People were cautious. And at that point ready for anything. Riding the subways or the bus was a scary, but bonding experience. Everyone noticed everything. An unattended backpack. A suspicious face. Suspicious activity. There was no local crime, or at least it felt like it. That feeling of togetherness was overwhelming. The feeling that anything could happen was terrifying.

The friend I was staying with lived a couple blocks from the Empire State Building. There were always threats against the building, which turned out to be hoaxes, but we didn't know that at the time. That skyscraper stared right at us like a giant face through her bedroom window and there was no sleeping. Just in case.

For a while, we ditched our "regular" jobs in emergency mode. Tapes and tapes of video were being pumped in from every network. Every network shared everything. There was news conference after news conference. There were two live cameras on Ground Zero at all times, watching the "bucket brigade", as they called it; firefighters one by one passing bucket after bucket of rubble down the line. When they came across someone who was buried under there, we knew. The firefighters would either break out into chaos trying to free them, or salute, and a few minutes later we'd see them solemnly roll away a flag-draped gurney. Each time, every producer would stop and watch. Many cried.

I only went down to the site a couple of times. I couldn't really bear to. I saw it enough from my desk and heard enough from reporters and photographers who were there. But when I did go, the one thing I remember most about what it looked like was the papers everywhere. There's an old church behind Ground Zero that held services for the workers and was turned into a kind of shelter for them. The entire grounds of the church was covered in papers from the towers. Papers literally everywhere you walked, all covered in a chalky ash. All along the fences there were missing people posters, put there by family members desperately waiting to hear any word of their loved ones. There were impromptu memorials of flowers, candles, and notes in bunches along the fences around Ground Zero. People would pray, all day, all night, and sing and talk, at a park north of Ground Zero, at Union Square, which became a sort of giant memorial and gathering place.

At work, the only time we left the building was to go sleep for a couple hours, but no one really slept. We were all zombies just going through the motions of this first-ever experience for every one of us. Somehow, we all got it done. Through our own personal fear and loss, we wrote, we worked to bring as much of what we were seeing to the world as we could. I never saw more professionalism in my life.

A month later, things were finally starting to quiet. The air was starting to smell a little less, the cloud was starting to lift although there was still smoke coming from the wreckage, and there was a chill in the air. People started to live life a little more normally. Before that point, going out for a beer seemed sacrilegious and besides, there was just no time. But I remember the first time we all got a chance to hang out together outside work and we got hammered. Which was terrible because what happens when a bunch of people who have a bunch of pent-up exhaustion, fear and sadness get drunk? Yes, drunk crying. The whole lot of us.

For months and months, no one could really talk about anything else. And conversation would always turn to "Where were you?"

I can't even begin to imagine what it was like for families, relatives, rescuers, and victims or what it is still like. I can't even begin to imagine it. It was so difficult for me that I saw a therapist for two years afterward. And every year, I cry on the anniversary. I will never forget that 9/11 was on a Tuesday. Today is Tuesday and that is weird to me. I suspect I will talk to my dear friend with whom I shared that time with. We don't talk very much now living on opposite coasts, but we always talk on this day. I was going through my clothes cleaning out the nursery closet a couple weeks ago and found a pair of her pants that I had borrowed when I stayed at her house during the weeks following 9/11 and I finally parted with them. There is so much more to tell about New York City during that time but I don't even know where to begin. All I know is that it was the most terrifying, unifying time I have every experienced. I have never seen so much love come from so much hate. I would never want to be in any other place on that day.

Sunday, September 09, 2007

Big baby and a lovely S Shape

I feel almost ridiculous walking into the gym as big as I already feel like I am. I have officially taken on an "S" shape (where my belly is as far out as my bum). But it feels good when I go so I will trudge on. I feel like it helps my swelling and my weight stay down. What doesn't want to seem to stay down, however, is my awful heartburn. At last appointment, the doctor noticed (as I had) that the baby seems to be a little big. He is crowding all my junk already! Sitting and kicking and rolling all over my stomach, which is creating this horrible heartburn and nausea, the nausea oh so reminiscent of the first trimester. I love him nonetheless, but he's very bony and poky and doesn't seem to want to have a nap. Poops was more floppy and he was on schedule. Up at 6am, again most noticeably right in the middle of the newscast I was producing at the time at 6pm, and a couple big spurts in between. I have heard that terrible heartburn means the baby will have a lot of hair and I've also heard it's not an old wives tale. Which would be really neat to see because Aidan was bald up until just before his first birthday, when all he really had grown was a mullet while maintaining his bald top. Something about the acid stimulating the hair follicles.

So thankfully we got our crib! Yay! Toys R' Us had a shipment between the time I had bought the other one and today and they had three in stock. Of course we dissected the box and made sure that it was intact before we brought it home and it was perfect. Husband is working on it right now. Oh the joy!!

Now, I just can't wait to see Brittany Spears open up the VMAs in Las Vegas!

Saturday, September 08, 2007

Don't you just hate it when..

you find the perfect "something" and it turns out it's the only one left at the store, and you bring it home and you open the box to begin putting it together and you find it BROKEN!

Argh. That's what happened this morning when we opened up the box to the new baby's crib. I have been searching for the perfect little white crib for weeks now and we finally found one, on sale, at where of all places but Toys R' Us. It was the last one in stock. It has a side that pulls down, it turns into a toddler bed, it's real wood and it's white. All of my criteria. (I have found that most white cribs with a pull-down side turn into daybeds. Not "toddler" beds. Go figure. And yes, I need the pull-down thingy because I am super short.)

Anyway, we open up the nice big box and I'm all dreamy-eyed and excited because we're about to see it all put together, when I spot a huge half-foot-long split and gouge in the wood.

Wah. Wah. Debbie Downer.
So I am about to embark on calling every Toys R' Us in the country to return this one. Sniff.

Wednesday, September 05, 2007

Oh and ps. On the Dyson

Yes, Ciara, Yes! Ciara asked me if the Dyson is worth the splurge and I have to say a resounding YES!!! But even better than that, ours was $399 and we bought it Friday. Come to find out that on Sunday, Target began running a special on all Dysons, that if you bought any model, they'd throw in a $100 gift card for you. SO, I waddled on in with my receipt and my pouty face to see if they would still give me that gift card because we bought the vaccuum on Friday and they said yes! Yay! So if you wanna splurge, go to Target and get that $100 gift card while you're at it! Whoopee!

Tuesday, September 04, 2007

Hello, Third Trimester, My Lovely Friend

Yay! Third trimester! We've made it! That means 12 weeks left till due date and 9 weeks left till plain-old full term, man is time flying! We had a very productive weekend. Hubby had his "pregnancy support team" shirt on when he tackled our (ok, my) very large list of to-do's on his four-day weekend and he did it with such grace. We cleaned out the guest room to ready it for its paint transformation and while he painted, I finished putting together the office, cleaned out and organized the closets and all of the baby clothes. Meantime, I tested our new DYSON vaccuum cleaner and (yes, I have reached a time in my life when I am excited about a vaccuum cleaner!).

Husband also put together Poops' table and chairs that he got for his birthday and I am so sorry we haven't put it together sooner, he is in love over these things!

I call this masterpiece: "Baby in Still Life: Meeting Adjourned"