Friday, April 11, 2014

to my littlest munchkin:

well hello today, baby girl. i'm still trying to adapt to knowing that you're a growing, healthy little girl because i really had no idea whether you were a boy or girl until your ultrasound yesterday. you were such a stinker - super active, and moving all over the place.

how has your day been today? could you feel your big brother climbing all over you? i try to keep his little knees and elbows from poking you, but he doesn't quite understand that you're in there yet. he has started pointing to my belly and saying "baby," and most of the time he wants to lift up my shirt to actually "see" you. of course, he may just think that "baby" means belly button. i guess time will tell.

you've been moving around quite a bit recently. i don't know if your brother was as active at this stage as you are or not, because with him i wasn't sure if what i was feeling were baby movements or not, but with you i know they are. and some days you've been bouncing your little self off of the walls in there.

i restrained myself enough to only purchase one thing for you yesterday, which will most likely be what you wear home from the hospital.

i was so excited that it wasn't all pink. in fact, if there were more non-crazy-pink things at target, i probably would've purchased more. i just can't do the over-the-top pink thing for you. not yet. if that's what you want to wear when you start picking out clothes, then i will jump on board, okay? but not yet. for now we'll shop at places like old navy, whose website i just looked up. they have numerous not-all-pink options. it's not that i don't want you to have any pink, just not all pink, and not frou-frou. i'm just not frou-frou enough to make you frou-frou.

i am going to have to get you more pairs of shoes than your brother has had though. it's just going to happen. i already know...

everyone has already started asking about names, and i have one picked out. i have for a while, but i'm not sure your dad is on board. for his sake i won't share it, but sometimes i call you by it already, so we'll see what happens!

everything about this pregnancy still seems kind of surreal, although i think it did with your brother too. i can't believe we're already halfway. that makes your impending arrival even closer than i think i realize. since you're coming via c-section that means that in less than 20 weeks, you'll be here.

i know that spring is just starting to fully bloom, so thinking about late summer like it's almost here is rather ludicrous in some senses, but in reality it's just not that far away.

the one thing that i'm really excited for over the rest of this pregnancy is for keane to be able to feel your kicks and movements and wiggles. if you stay as active as you are now it probably won't take long for that to happen.

i love you, little one.

your mama

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

pieces of me

{found via pinterest}

i'm a borderline extrovert. for the longest time i thought i was definitely more extrovert than introvert, but now i'm not so sure. i get energy from time with others sometimes - if it's the right people, and other times i crave solitude and time to think. time to journal and write and read and run. i need those times to stop, breathe, and regroup. get my mind right, so-to-speak.

today i am reminded that i walk the line between introvert and extrovert. this morning i craved time out of the house, so keane and i went shopping. i wanted to go to two specific stores, and only purchased two things. but on the way home i couldn't wait to curl up for a couple hours writing and reading.

it's funny though, the more i read, the more i want to read, and the more i write, the more i want to write. the more i read, the more time i want to spend extracting all i can from the books at my disposal. the more i write the more i want to be better at the craft, to add something real to the world with my words instead of simply adding to the noise.

days like this calm my soul. they fill me up instead of emptying me.
of course, every day cannot be like today, and i wouldn't want that anyway.

ebbs and flows are simply a part of life.

part of today being what it is stems from the fact that spring seems to have really arrived. now is the time of year when i've forgotten that summer lasts forever down here, and the warmer temps of spring have not yet given way to their obtrusive summer counterparts. times like now you can walk outside and take a deep breath to breathe in the spring - breathe it in to your depths. [and subsequently try not to breathe in all the pollen…]

it is a day for an old-school sweatshirt with pushed up sleeves, a jersey maxi skirt, and delicate jewels. a day that screams ease.

today pulls out different pieces of me. it makes me long for days to cook, days to redecorate, days to get back into running [really running, which won't happen until the fall]. it makes me wonder about the child growing inside me who is making him/herself more and more known with each passing day. it makes me thankful for the wonderful little boy we get to call our son. days like today make me want to write more about this life because i'm reminded how grateful i am for it. for all the parts that make it up, for all the people i am surrounded by, for all of the pieces that enable this life to be what it is.

i hope you're grateful today too.

much love.

Monday, April 7, 2014

my healthcare experience

{found via pinterest}

ok friends, i'm going to tell you here and now that a tirade is coming at you. if you're not in the mood for it, i understand.

but for those of you who are sticking it out, here goes --

the understatement of the morning is this: i'm not too happy right now.
let me explain why.

today we were supposed to have the ultrasound to check on the baby, and find out whether this little one is a little man or a little lady. key word in the above sentence: SUPPOSED. here's what actually happened this morning:

i woke up on the early side to eat breakfast and talk to peter about a few things. i had already figured out what i was going to wear today because i knew we would probably have to wake keane up to get him breakfast and get him ready to go in time for our 9 a.m. appointment. and that is exactly what happened. i woke keane up at 8:20 and got him his breakfast. peter worked from home today so that he could be there for the appointment; so i left keane under his watchful eye so i could get myself ready to go.

and then, as i put the finishing touches on my mascara - which is always the last part of doing my makeup - and we were readying ourselves to walk out the door at 8:50 [the office is only 5 minutes away] my phone rang.

guess who it was. no, really - guess.

it was my doctor's office - though not the location where i normally go. and the caller informed me that the ultrasound tech at that location was out today, and thus the ultrasound tech at my location would have to cover all of the appointments at that location, and my appointment would have to be rescheduled.

i'm sorry, what?? there is nothing wrong with anything at my office location, but i'm not as important as the people at the other location, so despite the fact that my husband is home from work, and setup his entire schedule to work around this appointment; despite the fact that my son - my ONE YEAR OLD SON had to wake up early so we could all come to the appointment; despite the fact that we had told EVERYONE when the appointment was and that today is the day of the ultrasound and the day we would find out; and despite the fact that it really is THAT BIG OF A DEAL, all you can give me is a call as i'm leaving the house and a cursory apology??

not to mention the fact that the earliest i could then get a rescheduled appointment is thursday, and that i have to now go to the other office location and see a different doctor whom i've never seen before and, given that we're having a scheduled c-section, is not the doctor who will deliver our child.

if this had been a one time thing i would have been pissed, but i would have gotten over it soon enough. but given the fact that i almost died on an OR table whilst having an emergency c-section with keane - and no one, NO ONE, from the doctor's office, or from the hospital EVER came and talked to us about what happened, or even explained what exactly happened, but we figured out what happened from talking with keane's doctor and piecing things together on our own. and given the fact that i have repeatedly had to have appointments rescheduled, including the early ultrasound with this pregnancy. i'm beyond pissed.

and why do they do nothing but offer a cursory apology - if that, even when they almost kill you?

because they don't have to. they still charge just as much to the insurance company - sometimes more depending on how much extra they have to do to save your life once they almost kill you, and they still get paid just as much. most days, when you walk into a doctor's office or hospital you are not a customer. you are a patient, and they hold all the cards.

you want good healthcare? it'll bankrupt you, so you might as well have saved your money and lived while you were dying.

i have stayed at "greater carolinas women's center" because i like my doctor. because he has handled things well, and i trust him to take care of me and my babies. but make no mistake, the last straw has been drawn.

if we decide to try to have another baby biologically i will switch practices. i will switch outside of carolinas medical center because it's that bad. when you overcharge on everything, and make ridiculous amounts of money, and yet you cannot even offer something small and simple to make restitution to your customers - yes, customers - when you screw them over then i'll take my insurance money somewhere else.

and since that's all that matters to you people - not the level of care you actually give, and whether or not you actually care about the people you're supposed to be caring for - it's just about the money, then i'll take mine somewhere else.

the problem with that is the whole system is screwed up. still. still very screwed up. you cannot take a healthcare law band-aid and expect it to fix something that is fundamentally broken.

[i try not to talk too much about politics on here, by choice, but i feel that the above statement needs a bit of explanation.]

i am firmly down the middle when it comes to obamacare. in many ways i am in favor of universal healthcare. i think that if you look at european countries who do have universal healthcare they far surpass us in the united states when it comes to the level of care they are given across the board. however, i do not think that obamacare will solve anything for the simple fact that our system does not need reformation, but transformation. you cannot put a bandaid on a hemorrhaging artery and expect it to stop the bleeding. we need to scrap the system completely and start over. build from the bottom up in a way that actually helps the people it's supposed to help, not in a way that bankrupts them.

and, cards on the table, i am also not in favor of the healthcare law from a personal standpoint since my husband and i are young and healthy, and our monthly insurance cost is now the second-highest monthly [and i believe, yearly] cost in our budget. the only thing that costs us more is our mortgage, so i do not consider the "affordable care act" the least bit affordable.

but i digress.

let me just say that i do not think the problem lies with the vast majority of the doctors or nurses, or the "boots on the ground" people. they are at the mercy of a bureaucratic system that is out to screw people.  the system is the problem. and it is a big one.

from my standpoint, let's just say that the healthcare system as it is spews a lot of crap, and today i got to be the unsuspecting receptacle who caught it.

here's hoping your monday
is better than mine.

Sunday, March 30, 2014

pregnancy brain?

{found via pinterest. universal blueprint}

i've been trying to write a post for about a week and a half now, and every time i sit down to write, my pregnancy brain takes over, and i go blank.


and regardless of the fact that i had some idea in my head when i sat down to write, it dissipates immediately and i got nothin. 

sure, things are happening in our world. spring is always super busy because of my coaching schedule getting added to our normal schedule, but somehow things feel both more and less hectic this year. 

i know it's on the early side, but i've felt the baby some in the last week or two. and the baby is also starting to show more than keane did at this stage. i can't say i'm thrilled about that part. peter isn't either  since he has to constantly remind me that my belly is supposed to get bigger when i'm pregnant. i just didn't want to get as big as quickly. i'm very self-conscious about it. more than i should be, but it is what it is.

i think in part it's hard for me because there is a sort of expected helplessness that comes with pregnancy. to a certain extent the rest of the world seems to think that because i'm pregnant i'm helpless, and i shouldn't do anything at all. 

it's almost like - okay, you're pregnant, so you are your pregnancy from now until the baby is born. you are nothing but an incubator. incubate well.

ok, yes, sometimes i use being pregnant as an excuse - but that's usually only when i want peter to do something so i don't have to, like taking out the trash or walking the dog. sometimes i get away with it, and sometimes i don't. he is a very reasonable and rational person so when i'm being unreasonable and irrational he doesn't take too kindly to it.

he is pretty fantastic when it comes to giving me back-rubs though. it might have something to do with the fact that he doesn't want to hear me explain to him that the uterus is only connected in two places in your lower back, and since my uterus tips backwards it makes the discomfort that much worse for me. he heard that enough when i was pregnant with keane...

anyway, i know i sound a bit frustrated, mostly because i am. but it's not because i'm frustrated with being pregnant, exactly. it's more that i'm just a bit frustrated with myself for putting too much of my identity into how i look. i'm frustrated with myself for allowing my tiredness to supersede my desire to continue working out as often as i should. i'm frustrated that all too often i let myself be seen as someone who is just a pregnant belly, and i see her when i look in the mirror. i'm not frustrated with what it is, i'm frustrated with my own reaction to it. and whom i've allowed it to make me. i'm frustrated with the fact that said reaction isn't better.

in light of this i've decided that sometimes you have to be a little crazy and risky and daring. if a life is lived to simply be safe, we miss out on grand and amazing things. 

i cannot live my life - even my pregnant life - as a time to just wait out life. i have to continue to live. sure, some of the things i normally do need to be altered, but that doesn't mean i need to turn into someone wholly different than who i am. i don't [and shouldn't] need to lose myself on account of having and raising kids. sure, things will change, but when i'm a mom i do not cease to be other things as well. 

so there you have it.

here's to the trying.

Monday, March 17, 2014

rainy monday

in case you're not in the same corner of the world as me today, it rained quite a lot here. cold and grey permeated the world around us, and as i tried to snuggle under blankets and stay warm throughout the day, i thought back to another rainy monday.

it was quite a while ago now, but that rainy monday happened to change my life forever. that rainy monday was november 21, 2005. at that point in time peter and i had dated for just under three years, and had decided to celebrate our anniversary early because of my school schedule and the craziness that surrounded our actual anniversary.

i must also inform you that at this point in time i had made it known that all i wanted from him was "jewelry". yes, really. i can remember sitting in my room at school, on the phone with him, and he asked me if there was anything in particular that i wanted for our anniversary, and "jewelry" was my reply. what can i say? i tend to speak my mind…

i had also told him that i refused to move to a new city with him if i didn't have a ring on my finger. i would not be strung along, nor would i upend my entire life if he wasn't sure about us. so let's just say he knew where i stood. he also may have had a tiny inkling that part of the reason i had decided to graduate a semester early was so we could get married a little sooner if we so chose. and he may have a bit of a passive-aggressive streak in him.
[in the above paragraph, "tiny inkling" should be interpreted as "100% certainty," and "a bit of a passive-aggressive streak" should be interpreted as "a huge passive-aggressive streak."]

lastly, you need to know that he told me that if and when he proposed he did not want me to see it coming - he wanted it to be a surprise.

so there i was, uneasily close to the end of my final semester of college, adamantly refusing to move cities without a ring, and no idea where to look for a job. did i look in pittsburgh? in charlotte? then there was the possibility of another city entirely. i felt the metaphorical rope sliding farther and farther through my fingers. so i made a deal with myself. this trip to visit peter was it. it-it. if we got to the end of the visit and i had no ring, i was going to end it. three years is a long time to spend with someone, and if he didn't know by now, who's to say he ever would?

so i took a deep breath, packed my bags, and drove 8 hours to charlotte. i drove down on friday. i would leave on tuesday.


on monday, peter took me to the biltmore in asheville. we took a rooftops tour, in addition to the regular one, walked around the gardens, toured the winery, and had reservations for dinner at the restaurant.

we chose to walk around the gardens when we first arrived because the clouds hung heavy and grey in the sky, and we knew the rain would come.

the christmas decorations already adorned the house and peter got himself in trouble for taking a photo of the giant christmas tree. our rooftop tour turned out to be even better than we expected because we were the only two people on it. we tasted all of the wines at the wine-tasting, and peter joked that his favorite was not any of the wines, but the palate-cleansing crackers.

i bought a bottle of white zinfandel for grammy. we looked around the gift shop. and then we decided to take a drive in lieu of a walk due to the rain and imposing chill. we had some time to kill before our dinner reservations, so we parked next to one of the ponds on the property and decided to exchange gifts.

peter gave me a book, and then presented me with a non-ring-shaped box, and remarked, "you said you wanted jewelry." and i opened up

a diamond necklace.

and i was pissed. i tried really hard not to cry [and thankfully succeeded]. all i kept thinking was - i'm actually going to have to break up with him now. three years, gone. how could i be so sure, and he so not sure? a freakin diamond necklace. i decided i would wait until after our dinner to have that conversation though since we had a couple hours in the car back to charlotte. there was no sense in making a scene now.

so we sat there, and to this day i have no idea what i said in the time that elapsed. we sat there for 30 minutes after that talking about something. and as soon as i could i told him we should head back to the restaurant so we didn't miss our reservation.

and do you know what he said? he said - "one more thing before we go to dinner" and he pulled out a ring shaped box, opened it up, and asked me to marry him. and i said - "will you pinch me, please? is this actually happening?" and then i said yes.

yes, i will remember that rainy monday for the rest of my life. i'll remember the look on his face. i'll remember the waitress asking us if we were celebrating anything because she thought my ring "looked very shiny." i will remember calling my brother and both of my parents to tell them and getting voicemail for ALL of them. i will remember the excited disbelief in my best friend's voice when i got her on the phone, and my sister-in-law's barely masked glee when she called back and asked what was going on - when she very well knew already. i will remember arriving back in charlotte to peter's family awake and ready to receive us.

i will also remember almost getting into an accident on my drive home the next day because i was distracted by the refracted light coming off of my ring.

no, rainy mondays are not usually a great sort of day, but they'll always hold a special place in my heart for the unhappy surprise that turned into the happiest of all surprises. [and surprised i was.]


Wednesday, March 12, 2014

pregnant life

{via foodzings}

at about 9:10 tonight i went to the store and bought some rainbow sherbet. because i really really wanted it. doesn't make sense, i know. does it sound more understandable if i say the baby really wanted it? probably. but the truth is, i'm sure i had a little something to do with it too.

anyway, yes, i sat on the couch reading articles and flipping through facebook, all the while salivating every time my brain thought back to rainbow sherbet. which, in all fairness, was about every 5 seconds. i know i have laser-like focus when it comes to certain things, and now i apparently need to add rainbow sherbet to that list.

i'm also apparently a bit stingy when it comes to my ice cream preferences because i bought said rainbow sherbet with my own pocket money, and i informed peter of this when i brought it home.

"this is my rainbow sherbet, and i may let you have some, but i just want you to know that it's mine. i bought it with my money."

being the great husband that he is he didn't argue with my craziness, he just chuckled a bit and said he'd lay off of it.

gotta love hormones… actually, scratch that, i'm pretty sure that's just how i feel about ice cream.

anyway, in other pregnancy news i really wanted to buy a skirt today. i came across a cute one that i really liked and hadn't seen replicated in every store window. and i thought about all of the things i could wear it with this summer [ahem] next year. such a cute high-waisted a-line skirt. which wouldn't fit with the baby bump, and even if it did would probably make me look like i was having triplets.

why is it that when other women are pregnant it's so easy to talk about how cute they look with the bump, but when it's you, all you can think is -- i look like a whale -- ? anybody know? anyone? [bueller?]

ok, so it probably has to do with being your own worst critic, and everything always seems like it's more noticeable when it's happening to you. yada, yada, yada.

pregnancy is wonderfully fantastic and miraculous and amazing and incredibly humbling on so many levels.

i mean, why is it that all you want is to get pregnant - all you want is to add to your family - all you want is to go through the crazy journey to bring a baby into this world, and once it happens suddenly all you want is a double espresso, some sushi, and a gin & tonic [or even just a glass of wine…].

because the grass seems greener on the other side.

at the end of the day i wouldn't give up this little person to wear cuter clothes, or to drink my coffee how i'd like to, or to knock back just one little g&t. it's not even a question.

in some ways i can't wait until this little person debuts, but it's not because of the clothes, or the drinks. i can't wait to meet this little person because i can't wait to find out who he/she is. i can't wait for keane to be a big brother. i can't wait for our family to experience what it's missing without this child in it. i am so excited to know this baby. this little person.

the journey to most places worth going takes a little while, and getting there is rarely the easiest thing you've ever done. and i'm going to do my best to remember that while this little baby, and my belly, continue to grow…


Tuesday, March 4, 2014

so vain

{via someecards}

okay, so i'll admit, this pregnancy has shown me a few things about myself. most big life events will do that, i think, but this has brought out a "lovely" color in me. peter has reminded me that i'm not good at being pregnant. you may think this reminder a little cruel. and it would be if it weren't so freakin' true.

no, i'm not terribly good at being pregnant. and the truth of the matter is that the reason behind this fact has something to do with vanity.

i've worked out my entire life, [no, really, i started gymnastics at four, soccer at six, and ran in my first race at the age of nine or ten.] and i actually enjoy working out. i like running. i like being able to jump in and play soccer with the girls i coach, and to play against guys at the sports-center. i like yoga and strength training and i even like the feeling of waking up a little sore. so i don't take too kindly to the fact that i'm putting on weight, even if it's due to the fact that i'm growing a human. and not being able to push myself to the brink is frustrating, even if it's for the best reason. and it is.

it's not that i'm upset by any stretch that i'm pregnant. not at all. it's just that i don't do so well with all of the puffiness and the tiredness and the super-size swimsuit i'm going to have to rock this summer. nor do i love the fact that even though i'm only 14 weeks i'm already a little pudgy. apparently this is not abnormal once you've had a child, but it still doesn't thrill me. nor does it thrill me when i have people essentially say "it looks like you're pregnant again" when i'm only 14 weeks - especially when they don't know and i could've just put on a few pounds - but some people just like attempting to put their foot in their mouth, i guess.

but that's what i mean. i'm thrilled that i'm pregnant. ecstatic about having another baby, just not exactly over-the-moon about everything that comes with it. i don't love waking up wondering what will and will not fit on any given day. i don't love only wearing certain clothes and needing to skip out on some of my favorites for a whole year because they don't work with the baby belly. i don't love the weeks of walking around looking like i just stopped working out - like i've simply put on a few pounds instead of looking like i'm pregnant.

so yes, this time even more than last time i'm realizing how very vain i am. vain. vain. vain.

it's not that i'm proud of it. quite the contrary, actually, but i am willing to admit it. because when something slaps you in the face day after day after day you get kind of sick of living in a constant state of denial.

i constantly want to go shopping because i quickly grow sick of the clothes i can wear, but then i realize how little i'm actually going to use whatever i buy, and i question the merit of buying something new.

basically pregnancy makes me feel a little stuck in some other areas of my life. not all to be sure, and not so much that i'm at all upset about being pregnant. it's just a time of transition. 

of course, the more our family changes, and the more keane grows, the more i realize that times of transition become constant once children enter a family. they change everything. i know that one child changes everything - and everything continues to change as he becomes more autonomous. and a second one will change everything all over again. and eventually a third will too. 

life and constancy do not go hand in hand. at one point i thought that life would get to a place of routine and normalcy. i did not count on the reality of the situation, that everyone changes constantly. and that is true of families whether or not the members of said family are children or adults. we don't "arrive" in life until we breathe our last breath. 

so yes, i get frustrated with pregnancy at times, but it's no different than life in general. i grow frustrated with that at times too. pregnant or not. and at the end of the day, despite my vanity. i'm more than a little grateful. 

i am grateful for the little brown eyes that stare up at me every morning from the confines of a crib. for the blue-grey-green eyes that i catch a glimpse of as he kisses me before he leaves for work in the morning. i am thankful for my man, and our little man, and everything they add to my life. and i am so very grateful for the little eyes and the little body still being formed in me. the little parts of our littlest baby whom God is in the process of forming right now.

i am vain, but i am far more grateful.