In with the in-crowd

Thanksgiving turned out to be pretty nice.  Dad was civil enough, albeit more quiet than usual, and everyone else was great.  We had dinner with my family at my sister's house and it was DE-LISH.  I ate a nice big plateful of food, followed by a little piece of pumpkin dump cake, and then we were off to my in-laws' for dessert.  They were just putting dinner away so I got myself a second plate (good thing I saved room at my sister's!), and then had myself a sampler platter of desserts to top it all off.  I don't think I've ever eaten that much on Thanksgiving, and it was AWESOME.  Mmm... now I can't wait for Christmas dinner!

So this holiday was my first experience getting a whole lot of attention for doing pretty much nothing (i.e. being knocked up).  As usual, there were a ton of people at my in-laws' house.  Hubs said there were around 35 people but I think it was more like 50, and I couldn't go from one room to another without people stopping me to congratulate me and ask about the pregnancy.  I have to say it was a little awkward!  Nice for sure, but definitely kind of awkward.

It's also been interesting to note the difference in the amount of interest some people take in me - like we finally have something in common they can talk to me about.  Now that I'm pregnant I'm included in more conversations about parenting and family type stuff, and when I voice an opinion about such things those people don't automatically dismiss me.  Do I have any more parenting experience now than I did last year?  Of course not!  But I'm going to be a parent now so I guess that means my opinions somehow hold a little weight.

Looking back on previous family gatherings it's such a noticeable difference that it's almost funny.  Those things people say about parenthood being a kind of exclusive club really are true.  I definitely feel more accepted, people are less awkward around me (even though I feel more awkward) - it's like I've joined the human race.  And that thought makes me really sad about the way anyone who doesn't quite fit in is sometimes treated.  I don't think family members (at least my family members) mean to exclude anyone, but most of them don't try particularly hard to make them feel accepted and included either.  It's just a lot easier when you have that most common of all common bonds - reproduction - working in your favor.  But it makes me want to be the person who puts in the extra effort to make everyone feel included.  I hope I can do that at least once or twice.

Now we enter the mad dash to Christmas, huh?  I've decided to do handmade gifts for the family this year.  I'm not sure I quite realize what I've gotten myself into, but I'm committed!  I have to figure out some ways that Hubs can help me assemble everything because I know it's going to be a lot of work, but at the same time I'm a little bit of a control freak when it comes to creative stuff.  I better figure it out for my own sanity though!

Hope everyone's Thanksgiving was fabulous!


Give thanks, or something

What I need to do, and maybe this is why I'm here right now typing this - because I think it will help, is somehow take a step back from the anxiety that has been getting to me the past few days.  At first it was kind of generalized, waking up stressed and worried and proceeding to feel tense throughout the day, and then I started to put my finger on what's going on in my head.  There are a lot of things, and nothing really new: Money, family tension, the holidays, work...  It isn't always easy not having the benefit of a good ol' prescription medication to keep the stress at bay, but up until the past week or so I've been doing pretty good.  Now I wish I could just pop a Xanax and make the butterflies fade away for a few hours!  I have tried a glass of wine since I've been pregnant but it doesn't agree with me; the booze makes my body feel weird and achy and uncomfortable.  No idea what that's about and I'm not going to ask my doctor since she made it clear from day one that she's against any amount of drinking during pregnancy.  Damn teetotaler.

So I'm on my own to try to handle this anxious feeling.  I'm not looking forward to dinner with my family tomorrow, what with the drama with my dad.  Hopefully I'm making a mountain out of a molehill, he's simmered down a bit, and tomorrow will be perfectly pleasant.  I will hope for that.

The good news is that Hubs has the next two days off, so we almost get a long weekend together, except that he has to work Saturday.  I can live with that.  It's always a pain when either of us has to work the day after Thanksgiving, which has been pretty much every year since we've been married.  Seriously, Black Friday should be a Federal holiday just so people have a chance to digest and come out of their turkey hangovers.  But no one ever asks me for my opinion on the matter!  Maybe I should start a petition or write my congressman or something.

Oh!  I just noticed the lovely sunset.  The sky is blue and pink and yellowish and wispy with clouds.  And Atticus is whining to be fed, so I guess this is as good a place to stop as any.  Happy Thanksgiving, all.  I think I'll focus on gratitude for the rest of the evening instead of on my worries.  Look at that, I think I just found my solution. :)


The BIG ultrasound; and Drama is just around the corner

What was supposed to be the big, exciting ultrasound turned out to be a bust yesterday.  The little monkey refused to reveal what was going on between its legs, so I'm still in the dark about whether it's a he or she.  At first the tech thought she saw a little "something," and she did, there was definitely something showing up in apparently the right spot, enough for her to say she was pretty sure it was a boy and would be very surprised if she turned out later to be wrong, but she couldn't get a good image of it.  So she suggested I go relieve myself (I drank waaaay too much water beforehand) to see if that gave the baby some more room to move around and give us a better view.  But when she looked for a second time she couldn't find whatever it was she saw the first time at all!  So that caused her to second-guess herself, and think maybe it was a heel or something curled up under its butt, and she couldn't say with any confidence at all whether she thought it was a boy or girl.  DARNIT!

The good news is baby's measuring right on target, except for its legs which are measuring a week ahead!  We got ourselves a leggy one I guess.  Thank goodness it doesn't seem to have inherited the stumps from my side of the family (I didn't either, but my dad and one of my brothers definitely got them; they look really cute on little kids, but not so much on adults).  Everything else is looking good as well, and all the important parts seem to be in order so far!

So, the holidays are just about upon us once again, and I'm having my usual hard time keeping up a positive attitude about them.  Last year Thanksgiving was a disaster, and the year before it was Christmas that bit the big one.  This year my dad hasn't been speaking to me for a few weeks since I told him we won't be baptizing the baby (hey, he asked and I couldn't lie), so I anticipate Thanksgiving to be a particularly jovial affair!  If anyone in my family decides to tell me what time to show up for dinner, that is... which they didn't last Thanksgiving, until they were all already eating...  I really don't understand the drama that always pops up around the holidays in my family, but I'm more than a little sick of it.  One of these years I want to take off for the entire week of Christmas, somewhere far away and without any cell phone reception or internet, where no one can bother me.  And just knowing that Christmas will be utterly serene will help me get through whatever drama will inevitably pop up for Thanksgiving...  One day...


Thanksgiving Comes First

I follow this blog, Suldog (thanks to the "blogs of note" section on Blogger), and I almost always get a kick out the author's posts.  He has an entertaining writing style and I enjoy his colorful (not to be confused with obscene) way of venting and getting things off his chest.

Well, it seems that every Autumn he focuses his efforts on trying to stop commercial advertisements about Christmas that show up before Thanksgiving.  Appropriately enough, and as you might have guessed, he's coined this "movement" Thanksgiving Comes First.  The goal is really just to gather people who are also annoyed by Santa displays in the mall, Christmas carols on the radio, and advertisements of all kinds selling Christmas before we have a chance to even digest our Halloween candy.  There's no push to make any of these activities illegal by any means, it's just an opportunity for like-minded people to voice their opinion that we prefer to enjoy and celebrate one holiday at a time, and that we don't appreciate commercial interests trying to push us to BUY BUY BUY before we wanna.  If enough people are vocal about this preference, maybe retailers will start to listen and hold off on holiday advertising and sales until we clear our Thanksgiving tables (like Nordstrom)!

Anyway, because I've definitely found myself more than a bit peeved about retailers shoving Christmas in my face as early in the year as August, I figured I oughta do my part to spread the word about Thanksgiving Comes First.  I just feel that 1. Christmas (or Hanukkah, or Kwanzaa, or whatever other winter holiday you may celebrate) would feel a lot more special if we had the same anticipation for it that we did when I was a kid, and if it wasn't dragged out for two months or more; 2. Thanksgiving is an awesome holiday in its own right and it gets the short shrift because of the overwhelming presence of 'Christmas' well before turkey day; and 3. I don't need or want retailers to remind me that Christmas is just around the corner.  They advertise and offer big sales early to make themselves more money, not to do a public service to their shoppers, and frankly it just bugs me.  It's hard enough to keep the focus of holidays in general and Christmas in particular mostly on things that matter, rather than just decorations and presents and spending.  It would be nice to slow things down just a bit, and enjoy each holiday for what it is.

If you agree, like Thanksgiving Comes First on Facebook, and write your own Thanksgiving Comes First blog post to spread the word.


I painted my toenails blue

(I couldn't think of a title, so that up there is just a little extra factoid for you.)

Last week was a pretty good one in VonD-land.  At home we got some electrical work done that allowed us to rearrange our living room to make it more open and easier to move around in (and gives us more room for the mountain of baby stuff we'll eventually be buried under).  I'm finally getting used to the new layout, but Hubs and Atticus loved it from the beginning.  Atticus in particular was so excited he didn't know what to do with himself.  I think he particularly enjoyed the shadows cast by the new can lights in the ceiling, which gave him a newfound appreciation for his own shadow, which he chased incessantly for the first couple of days.  

Work was pretty good as well.  I managed to get some hours at my job with the DJ, and not only did I finally pin down this couple for a day-of wedding coordinating gig in April (the one my SIL is doing for me), but I met with them yesterday and the job turned into a full service planning gig!  Very exciting and brings in a lot more money.  This week I also start my second part-time job working at the online company.  Keep your fingers crossed for me that things continue to go well work-wise.  Luckily I seem to be finding little opportunities to make money all the time - babysitting, working with a friend who's a caterer, whatever comes up!  So I'm trying not to worry too much and just trust that everything will be okay.

And, naturally, the joys of pregnancy continue this week.  My current dilemmas are as follows: 

1. My faceful (more like upper-torso-front-and-backful) of acne.  Like a good girl I switched out my awesome face wash that contains salicylic acid and kept my zits perfectly manageable for a safer one that's supposed to just get rid of oil.  I figured, the excess oil is what's making me break out everywhere so this will probably work, right?  Wrong!  My skin is drier, all right, but now it's just dry and pimple-laden.  What's a gal to do?  My forehead is bumpy like sandpaper and it's spreading south and making me sad.

2. Daily heartburn.  I try to eat (somewhat) healthily, really I do.  I buy fruits and vegetables and lots of times I actually remember to eat them.  But every night around 7:00 the heartburn hits whether I've just eaten or I'm getting hungry for dinner.  Tums Smoothies are my friends.

3. Intestinal distress.  If it's not constipation it's gas, and if it's neither of those it's what I affectionately call "mud butt."  All of which range from uncomfortable to painful.  I spent no less than 30 minutes in the bathroom at my friend's birthday party on Saturday because my tummy was so upset.  Granted, it was probably revolting against the jalapeno poppers I had with lunch the day before, followed by the leftover Chinese food covered in Red Rooster sauce I had for dinner.  Baby likes spicy food!!  How am I supposed to deny baby her spicy food??

That's all for the dilemmas, now for the joys:

1. Newfound confidence.  This seems like a strange one to me.  I don't know if it's the hormones or what, but for the past few weeks I've been feeling like a much stronger person.  The anxiety that has followed me around like a dark cloud for the past 2 or 3 years has almost disappeared, and I actually feel good.  I don't really know how to describe it but I love it.  I'm not so afraid to make mistakes, or of what people might think of me if I say something they disagree with or don't like.  And like the money thing - I'm just not as worried as I most definitely would have been six (or even two or three) months ago.  Hopefully this side effect sticks around for, like, ever.

2. Bumpin'.  Okay so just about as soon as I said that I'm not showing, I noticed that I'm pretty much showing.  Maybe strangers can't necessarily tell, but my friends and family can.  So that's pretty cool.  And weird.  I was hoping I'd be like those pregnant women who are all like, "I never felt so sexy in my whole life as I did when I was pregnant!"  But I'm not.  I think it's awesome that I'm starting to show, but I'm also still getting used to the changes in my waistline, and I have zero libido so nothing makes me feel sexy at all, much less changes to my waistline that I'm still getting used to.

3. Sex!!  No, not the sexy kind of sex.  I'm pretty sure I just mentioned that I have zero libido.  What I mean is we get to find out the sex of the baby in just one week!  And that means I get to start figuring out how to decorate her room!  (I maintain that she is a girl, even though I also maintain that I will be equally happy to find out he is a boy.  It's just that she feels like a girl to me.)  We'll see which of my split personalities is right on this one next week.  Hopefully she (or he) doesn't get shy and hide the goods!

Now I need to get moving.  I have many terribly important tasks to accomplish today from getting started on a wedding planner proposal for my clients (!) to grocery shopping (-_-) to baking pumpkin spice muffins (:)).  Happy Monday!