Thanksgiving Edition

I hope everyone’s Thanksgiving was filled with friends and family and love. And food. I am missing my family this holiday season (as evident by my last post) but I am thankful that I have friends who are there for me and who will invite me into their homes.

So for a positive and therapeutic blog, I am thankful for (these are in no particular order):

1) God’s blessings. I am so blessed.

2) My wonderful amazing husband. He is my support and my rock. He is patient, incredibly sweet, and so understanding… even if he doesn’t always understand. I can tell him anything and he will do anything for me. I cannot imagine my life without him.

3) My amazing family. I can turn to them with anything and not fear judgment or criticism. I miss them everyday and can’t wait to see them again.

4) My husband’s amazing family. They are willing to help with anything they can and are so excited for us. I’m lucky to have extended family who treats me as one of their own.

5) My amazing friends who are also there for me. I’m lucky to have the support system I have, especially during these days when I’m feeling less than upbeat. I’ll stop saying amazing now.

6) The little boy who is swimming around in my belly, even if I cannot feel him yet. He is healthy and seems to be happy as a clam, leaping and tumbling around in there.

7) My job. Yes, I hate my job. But I am still thankful I have one. So many people are without jobs these days that I’m blessed we both have steady paying jobs.

8) My new house. I love our new house and can’t wait to be able to fill up all the rooms with visiting family. And eat at our new table. Which we’ve only used once.

9) My two precious kitties (one of which is laying across my right arm, making it incredibly hard to type).

Those are just a few of the things I am thankful for.

 

I’m a Christmas Toad

I’m having a hard time with this Holiday season. I’m pregnant, I’m unhappy, and I’m missing my family so much it hurts. I love my friends and I’m so glad I have them, but the fact that I haven’t seen my family since May is really wearing on me. Add to the fact that I will be the only one missing from Thanksgiving and Christmas and I’m kind of just wishing those two Holidays would just go away and come back next year.

I’ve tried to get excited about my nephew’s present, but I just get depressed that I won’t get to see him open it or anything else. I won’t be there to see him all excited on Christmas morning or to see him opening presents, which I’m sure he’s gotten a hang of since last year. Christmas is always one of my favorite times of year – decorating, baking, shopping – but Christmas morning was always my favorite. It’s just not the same with just the two of us.

This is how a typical Christmas morning goes for the Wanamakers. We are not early risers, so Christmas doesn’t start at 6am or anything silly like that. We are more likely to start at 9 or so. Sometimes we pick a “Santa” who passes out the presents. We often fought over this when we were younger. Never now though… we’re total adults. So anyway, once we battle that out, Santa passes out presents. One by one. One deliciously wrapped and custom bowed present by one. Yes, you read right. All our presents have bows. Ok, maybe not ALL… but at least 75%. It’s like a disease. And you can’t cut the ribbon. You have to carefully slide the ribbon and bow off the present before you open it. Again… one by one. So then the next person gets their present and so on. Last year I think we were opening presents for approximately 6 hours. It was glorious. I mean, we did have a one-year old opening presents too. And 10 people. So that slowed us down a little. And at least one present will be cleverly and deviously wrapped in duct tape. Last year it was my sister’s. It was a Sharpie. Long story. Which I might actually share at the end of this.

Sometime in the first few hours of present opening, the pinch cake is ready and we all eat our traditional Christmas breakfast. Last year I believe we had cinnamon rolls and pinch cake. Both homemade. Probably part of the reason I gained 8 pounds last December. Then, sometime in the late late afternoon, after we have opened all the lovely presents and taken a kazillion pictures, we clean up the paper and tissue and collect all the ribbon and put all our goodies in piles and then eat. What do we eat, you ask? Well, Turkey is for Thanksgiving so Ham is for Christmas. Delicious wonderful tasty ham. And scalloped potatoes, green beans, crescent rolls, and fruit salad. I’m pretty sure there’s a family covenant somewhere that requires us to have this meal on Christmas. And I’m ok with that.

So now you can understand that while I love my husband, Christmas just isn’t the same with just the two of us. I love the ritual of it, the laughter, the closeness, and the family. I love watching everyone else open their presents, especially my nephew last year. I will miss that desperately this year. I know it might sound overly-dramatic, but I feel like there’s a hole in my chest. Ok, no not really, I’m not Bella. But I do feel like something is missing. I’m sure it’s partly the pregnancy hormones and partly my unhappiness at work, but I just can’t get as excited about the holidays this year.

But to not leave you on a sour note, I will gift you with the exchange that initiated the Sharpie present. This happened on facebook. Names have been changed to protect identities. Ok, I just took the names out and changed it all to generic family terms. This exchange started because I explained to my younger sister that the things on her list were not exciting and to come up with something else.

From sister to me:

Dearest sister,
Would you like to suggest something for my christmas list? I have very few ideas. You can get me shoes. I have a lovely pair of heels I would like to own. And what happened to cheese in a can? And what is your definition of an exciting christmas present?
Love, Your sister.
ps – if i sit on you with booty pop underwear, does the phrase become “sister! your booty is crushing me!” ?

Me:
It would be “Sister! Your booty-pop is crushing me!

Any movies you would like? Jewelry? Tupperware? Socks? Hairbrush? Toothpaste?

Sister-in-law:
Bras? Toilet paper? Bug spray? Camo underwear?

Me:
How ’bout a matching camo bra and undies set? I don’t think they make camo booty pop underwear though…

Sister-in-law:
Don’t you have booty pop underwear so everyone can see your booty? If it’s camo’ed, you won’t be able to see it.

Dad:
Food? Rent? School Books? Tuition?

Me:
Ah, yes. No camo booty-pop. Ok, back to more suggestions. Ziploc bags? Oatmeal? Pencils? Band-aids?

Mom:
Boring, boring, boring! Where are the fun suggestions?

Sister-in-law:
Water slide? Nerf gun? Ping pong balls? Light bulbs? (those more fun, mom?)

Brother:
Guns? Knives? Swords? Brass Knuckles? Spears?

Dad:
Parachutes? Bungee-Jumping? Shark Diving? Spider Collecting? Canoeing jungle rivers

Me:
Frozen waffles? Glitter? Storage containers? Air Fresheners?

Mom:
I love how all the suggestions are about the person making them. How about books, music, I like the jewelry suggestion, something for your room, something for your kitchen, a sorority item? (find what you want and the color and ordering can be accomplished!) Something about your school?

Sister-in-law:
Peanut butter? Watering can? Churches? Very small rocks? A duck?

Me:
So our suggestions to Sister are our secret desires for christmas presents? I want band-aids and Sister-in-law wants light bulbs? Stay away from Brother then…

Brother:
Good advice. Especially if I have all those things and Christmas music is playing. 200 Vinyl Decals of a sea turtle? Coffee-holics Anonymous sponsorship? Cattle prod? Half-used Sharpie? A chunk of asphalt?

Sister:
from your lovely suggestions, these are the things i want: a half-used sharpie, a duck, frozen waffles, none of dad’s suggestions, nerf gun, oatmeal, and a matching camo bra and undies set!

and please dont get me a coffee-holics anonymous sponsorship. im not ready to reform yet.

‎*none of dads second set of suggestions. all the the first set of suggestions.

 

So for Christmas, sister got most of the things off her list. A sharpie (lovingly wrapped in the tiniest shards of duct tape that could be found), a duck keychain, a nerf gun, and two boxes of oatmeal. I’m pretty sure she got other stuff too, but these were the best.

I will also miss watching other family members attempt to open duct taped presents.

 

9 Reasons Why Pregnancy Sucks

There are so many things about pregnancy that no one tells you. Or only kind of tells you. Yes, some of it is in books or on websites, but it’s stuff you generally find out after you are pregnant (and are in the middle of dealing with). Now, some of this may shock you or disgust you. But that’s fine. You should all know what to expect whether you are male or female. Think of this as a public service announcement. And I’ll even leave some of the worst stuff out.

1) Strange and unexplained bowel conditions. One day you might be severely constipated, the next running to the bathroom several times a day with the total opposite problem.

2) You might forget how to pee. Ok, so you don’t actually forget, but your bladder moves or shifts or gets shoved out of the way and you have to use a different set of muscles to pee. This is not consistent. This is very weird. Especially at 2 in the morning.

3) Constant runny nose. CONSTANT. RUNNY. NOSE. There is no real reason for this. It’s just a weird pregnancy thing.

4) Terrible gas. I mean clear the room, make a man proud, bad gas. And it’s not just farting. There’s burping too. And gas bubbles that cause all sorts of uncomfortableness and pain. I’m pretty sure I made up another word there but it’s late and I don’t care. Oh, and most of the burping ends up allowing you to re-visit whatever you’ve just eaten. Lovely.

5) Extreme reactions to talk of blood. Ok, so this may just be me. I’ve never been a huge fan of these stories but apparently now that I’m pregnant they have the capability to make me pass out. Or get pretty close to it. I can’t think about it or talk about it. Makes me very woozy and light-headed. I blame this on pregnancy.

6) Calf cramps. Seriously. Just my calves. They ache and get crampy at night and in the mornings.

7) Random mini-panics as you realize, yes you are pregnant. Then you realize that that means you are going to have a baby. The panics can be about birth, breast-feeding, never sleeping again, parenting, whatever. I get these more frequently now. Some days I just think, hey, I’ve changed my mind – I don’t think I want to do this anymore. Then my husband tells me I don’t have a choice.

8 ) Nipple changes. You expect bigger boobs, achy boobs, etc… but bigger nipples? Apparently they can end up resembling mini marshmallows. And the areolas grow and get dry and crackly. Dry crackly oversized nipples. Yay.

9) Random bouts of insomnia. Like… sleeping fine until 5am and then not sleeping again until 7am. Or only sleeping for 30 or 45 minutes at a stretch and being awake for 15-20 minutes in between. This is not fun. Your body needs MORE rest when you’re baking a baby, not less.

Ok, that’s all I have for now. I’m sure more will come up later. So the next time you see a pregnant woman, or hear her complain of being uncomfortable at 8 weeks, or wonder why she’s grouchy, reference the above list.

Mondays are stupid, but here’s a picture.

I haven’t been doing well the last two weeks. I haven’t done anything about my work situation; mainly because I can’t talk about it without crying. And I’ve done an awful lot of that lately. Saturday I spent all day crying. Actually, sobbing is more accurate. It started out with one thing and just got worse from there.

Yesterday I didn’t do too badly, but I ended up not sleeping for more than 45 minutes at a time last night. I was scheduled to be at work at 5am so I went to bed around 9. And I was still awake at 10:30… and 11:30 (when I finally left our bedroom and went upstairs to toss and turn in the guest bedroom)… and then was still awake at 1:30am. So I gave up on the idea that I would be getting to work on time and worried more about getting some sleep. And then I apparently fell asleep at some point because I woke up somewhere in the 3’s and then again around 4am when I called work to tell them I was going to be late. I left the how late part unsaid. I ended up getting out of bed around 8:30am after continuing my streak of off and on sleeping. I made it to work 5+ hours late and felt like poop all day.

On a more positive note, I got a tiny bit more accomplished on one of my Christmas present plans. And my maternity clothes from Old Navy came. PLUS they all fit… except one pair of pants I wasn’t sure were going to fit anyway. Now if it would just get colder so I can wear the lovely long sleeved shirts I got.

Since I haven’t posted any belly pictures so far, I will gift you one now. This was taken last week at 16 weeks, 6 days.

 

I still haven’t felt the baby move – I’ve tried paying attention really hard but haven’t felt anything I could attribute to baby. But apparently this can happen anytime between a week ago and 3 weeks from now. But hopefully next Monday we will get to see the baby move and… find out whether we are pink or blue! If so, then Mondays will not be stupid next week. Well, after-work Mondays will not be stupid. The work part will still be.

Go straight where I tell you, do not pass go, and you definitely won’t collect $200.

So I probably should have mentioned in my last post that I’ve been moved from my current position back to Kitchen and Bath, Appliances, and Plumbing. Yup, all mine. Yippee hooray. I went from one department with approx 100 square feet of space and 1 1/2 employees (one only works two nights a week) to three departments with a billion square feet (ok, just a third of the back half of the store), eight employees, and a TON more responsibilities. Oh yeah, and a crappier schedule. This was not my choice. I’m not happy about it.

A few posts ago I mentioned that the pregnancy weepies had found me. This week they were back in full force. I cried at work Monday morning. I cried at work Tuesday night. Wednesday I managed to stay pissed off all day but didn’t end up crying. Thursday I cried because I was so depressed. Friday I cried because there was a squirrel in the road who looked like he had been hit and was trying to get away and it tore my heart out. Saturday and today (so far) I have been tear-free. But I feel like I’m choking back tears half the time.

So here are my options: 1) Suck it up and try not to despise every second of every day I’m there. 2 ) Get a medical “discharge” and step-down from my Supervisor status (probably losing about $.50 an hour) and become a regular associate again. 3) Talk to my store manager to see if there is a compromise. 4) Win the lottery and never go back.

So far I have not won the lottery. None of the other options are appealing to me. Number one is pretty unlikely to happen. With the current situation I will hate every second I am in that building until the hatred builds and I explode. Or kick someone. Or get fired because I’ve called my immediate manager all sorts of hateful nasty things. Number two is a distinct possibility. The stress for me and the baby is not good. The crazy hours are also not good. I can’t lift much back there and I have to be able to rest and there isn’t much of that to be had.  Number three is going to have to happen if number two is going to happen. So I’m kind of stuck with number three whether I want to or not. I’m not looking forward to it. I’m actually dreading it a lot. Since I actually mentioned stepping down to my district manager he is now going to make sure I talk to my store manager. But I hate conversations like this. I’m not good at them, I never know how to word things or what to say, and at this point, I’m afraid I will end up crying. Which I seriously don’t want to do.

So the only thing I know how to do is pray for strength and support and a solution. I don’t want to end up with high blood pressure caused by stress or an ulcer. I don’t want to dread coming back to work after the baby is born so much that I end up depressed. But I also don’t want to put myself in a worse situation. Pretty much what I need is prayers. Pray for me to have strength to have this conversation, to know what to ask for, and to know what decision to make. And to not cry. I hate crying.

Thursday Update

I am now several weeks into my 2nd trimester and I can’t say things are easier. Different, just not easier. The nausea is gone and so is most of the extreme tiredness. Is that a word? Tiredness? Oh well, it’s mostly gone anyway. I still get tired easier than I did before I was pregnant, but the brain-numbing exhaustion has mostly passed. The excessive peeing was supposed to have slowed this trimester too but I haven’t seen much of a change. Except now I go from not needing to pee to needing to pee immediately.

I’m still drinking a ton of water and some days it never seems like enough. I haven’t regained my love of delicious tasty things (chocolate, cakes, cookies, etc) but I’m still managing to put on more weight than I should be. I’m guessing a few too many McRibs will do that to a person. Don’t judge. And don’t try to tell me what’s in them. I love them and you will not take that from me.

Another new symptom is weird pains. Most times when I sit down I get this strange uncomfortable feeling like my bladder is being compressed and everything is being squished. Probably because it is. It doesn’t last long, but it still doesn’t feel good. Then I get sharp pains, pressure pains, shooting pains, and other pains at random and various times throughout the day. Then there is my nose. It’s always stuffy. Or runny. Or stuffy but running. Very very annoying.  Apparently this is also a common pregnancy symptom. WHY DON’T THEY TELL US THIS STUFF??

In other news, we are moved into our new house. The unpacking is slow and tortuous. Tons more space, but still not enough places to put things. Probably because we have too much stuff. I have done some throwing away and some garage-sale-boxing, but not nearly enough. Today I unpacked a clothes box and semi-organized the bathroom. And cleaned the stove and the table and set up my fall table decorations. Which seems a little silly as the rest of my house is still in chaos but I missed decorating for Halloween. I’m still looking for an unpacking fairy but haven’t seen one yet.