The Big Reveal

Posted on Jan 26, 2014 in My Kid Stole My Cool, Pregnancy Stole My Cool

Hello!  It’s been almost a month, but I’m back!

What a month it’s been.  After wrapping up the holidays, Damon, Elisabeth, and I said Sayonara, Japan! and hopped over to New Zealand for an almost 2-week vacation in what can only be described as one of the most beautiful places I’ve ever traveled.  But more on that in an upcoming post.

After pausing real life for those two weeks, Damon and I had major catch up to do when we returned home.  One thing that included – our baby’s anatomy scan!  (Read: Gender Reveal.)

It’s funny – when I was pregnant with Elisabeth, the weeks leading up to the gender reveal crept by.  During that first pregnancy, every decision felt monumental.  I felt like I couldn’t really begin planning for the baby until I knew its sex.  Pink bedding or blue bedding?  Hair bows or bow ties?  Diana Jr. or Damon Jr.?

Second time around, I experienced none of that anxiety.  Perhaps because my circumstances are vastly different this time around.  I’ll be having the baby in California while living with my parents during Damon’s deployment.  (More on that in an upcoming post also.)  Boy or girl, it’s not like I have a nursery to decorate.  And boy or girl, the baby is going to get stuck with Elisabeth’s hand-me-down gear no matter what.  This time around, I don’t have to spend 10,000 hours researching car seats and cribs.  And this time around, finding out the gender just didn’t carry the same weight as it did last pregnancy.

But of course, I couldn’t help but think about it.  The weeks leading up to the reveal brought the inevitable, “What are you hoping for?” question from friends, and my inevitable, “I don’t care, as long as it’s healthy,” answer.  Which was true.  Because really, boys and girls each have their pros and cons.  Let’s review. (Be aware, these are mass generalizations.  Just go with it.)

Girls: 

I am the oldest and only daughter.  I have two younger brothers, Will and Jamie.  So I speak from experience when I say little brothers are the WORST.  Once, Will sprayed Raid in my eyes.  On my birthday!  He was only four years old.  It only got worse from there.  Jamie was young enough that he didn’t completely try to ruin my life/blind me like Will, but he has been brainwashed into thinking I was some tyrannical monster who tried to kill him.  He constantly brings up this time I tripped him and almost broke his neck.  First of all, how do you almost break your neck?  You break it or you don’t break it.  Second of all, I have no recollection of this and am pretty certain he’s making it up.  See?  They are the worst!  Not to mention, they never appreciated all my wise counsel and guidance that only an older sister could offer.  It’s a hard burden to bear, being the older sister to younger brothers.  So part of me liked the idea of another girl so that Elisabeth could experience the sisterhood that I always wished for but never had.

Plus, everything we own is pink.  I recently went through all of Elisabeth’s baby clothes – the only gender neutral items we own are basic onesies.  And a few pairs of socks.  Not to mention all the adorable outfits that were never worn.  It pained me to think they might never be worn (by my children).  What a waste of cute baby clothes…  Wouldn’t it be great to have another girl to pass those all along to? 

BUT.

Girls be crazy.  Not me, of course.  But all other girls.  And the thought of two girls in the house a mere 2&1/2 years apart is horrifying.  I’m sure whomever invented boarding schools had two teenage daughters at home together.  Can you imagine all those crazy girl hormones raging AT THE SAME TIME?    The high-pitched screaming matches, the teary meltdowns, the angry silent treatments… TIMES TWO?  *Shudder*

Let’s move on, I’m getting gray hairs just thinking about it.

Boys:

I used to be convinced that little boys were way cuter than little girls.  Then I went and had the cutest baby in the history of the world (a girl), thus disproving my original theory.  But still, baby boys are super cute.  Even my little terrors of brothers were majorly adorbs when they were young.  (Before the Raid and all that.)  And when little boys love their mammas – is there anything sweeter?  Melt my heart.  I know in around 10 years or so Elisabeth is going to turn on me; it would be good to have my own little mama’s boy so at least one child will still love me.

And sure, we do already have a girl so some balance would be nice, though certainly not necessary.

But.

Boys are dirty.  And they are way less fun to shop for.  But most of all, they’re trouble.  I was watching something the other day (unfortunately my pregnancy brain is preventing me from remembering what, but it involved boys being boys) and remember thinking, “Good God, boys are stupid!”  It’s as if they’re trying to get arrested or kill themselves.  My feminine sensibilities do not understand this, and I am not sure how I would cope with a mischievous little deviant running around causing trouble left and right.

That being said, it’s a lot easier to bail a boy out of jail than to undo the years worth of emotional damage girls inflict upon each other, right?

***

Considering these gross stereotypes I just put forward, I determined it’s a wash.  Walking into the anatomy scan, Damon and I knew that girl or boy, we would be equally thrilled/terrified.

So, what are we having?

A boy!

Elisabeth’s reaction? “No.  Sister.”  Poor little guy has it coming to him.

 

 

 

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Christmas According to My Two-Year-Old

Posted on Dec 25, 2013 in The Kids Are Actually Cute

Christmas According to My Two-Year-Old 0

“Santa… Reindeer… Jesus!” This is how Elisabeth explained Christmas to me.  Seems like a pretty sound explanation. At least for a two-year-old. I have to say, I was pretty psyched for Christmas this year.  This was the first Christmas I’ve celebrated in a long time with a child present who gets Christmas.  Gets the fun, the joy, the celebration.  Well, sort of gets it.  See above.  Not to mention, Elisabeth was featured all over one of Tokyo’s premier department stores in their Christmas ad – on billboards, placards, shopping bags, the works.  I mean, when your daughter is basically the face of Christmas in Japan*, it’s easy to get into the holiday spirit.  See below. Anyway.  We tried to impart upon Elisabeth the importance of Jesus on this special day.  And indeed, Elisabeth loves her Fisher Price Nativity Scene (“Jesus’ House,” as she calls it), complete with a light-up manger and flying angel.  However, Jesus didn’t drive around base on a fire truck handing out candy on Christmas Eve; Santa did.  So Santa made the more lasting impression this year.  As did Santa’s lack of sleigh.  “Reindeer?” Elisabeth asked, perplexed, as Santa passed in an open-air vehicle.  She’s been obsessed with reindeer, Rudolph in particular, ever since we let her watch the 1964 Rudolph, the Red-Nosed Reindeer film a couple of weeks ago. “The reindeer are resting for tonight,” I explained.  She bought it. Later that evening at church, following a prayer in which the pastor touched on the real reason for the season, Elisabeth excitedly exclaimed, “Santa!”  She continued to joyously shout for Santa until I silenced her with a blessed pacifier.  “We’re celebrating Jesus!  Baby Jesus!” I whispered.  “Santa!”  Okay, then.  Not much to argue with there. Even later that evening, Elisabeth became increasingly concerned about Santa’s milk and cookie situation.  I don’t know where she learned about the milk-and-cookies tradition, but it was sure stuck in her head.  “Santa milk cookies.  Santa milk cookies!” She repeated over and over and over to Damon, shaking her little finger at him and nodding her head in earnest to...

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Confessions of a Pregnant Mom

Posted on Dec 12, 2013 in Pregnancy Stole My Cool

Confessions of a Pregnant Mom 2

Friends, my posting here has been sporadic at best.  Sure, life has been busy.  My husband was deployed.  I have a lot on my plate.  Blogging takes a back seat.  Blah, blah, blah. The real reason I haven’t been blogging frequently?  I’m pregnant.  And in case you’ve never been pregnant before, I’m here to tell you, it’s hard.  And get this, it’s way harder the second time around, when you already have a little Tasmanian Devil to chase after all day. Don’t get me wrong – my husband and I are overjoyed about the soon-to-be addition to our family.  Babies!  Woohoo!  I love babies! But I emphatically do not love pregnancy.  And I’m highly suspicious of women who say they do.  (You should be, too.  They’re probably liars.)  That first trimester – kill me.  The nausea, the fatigue, the general feeling of not wanting to do anything ever except hide under your covers all day and night.  Who’s with me? During my first pregnancy, I had terrible nausea 24-7 for the entire first trimester.  Luckily, I worked from home, meaning I could stay in my PJs until whatever hour I wanted, and then whenever I felt like I was absolutely going to die, I could just crawl to the couch and lie there eating Saltines to my heart’s (and stomach’s) content. This time around, the nausea was not as terrible, nor did it last as long.  Thank the good Lord!  But the exhaustion was so much worse.  And it’s Elisabeth’s fault.  I mean, I love her to death, but she is so freakin’ demanding.  Can you believe she still expected me to get up at 6:00 AM with her!? During the 1st trimester!?  Criminal, I say! All this to say, I was basically in a semi-conscious state for the past three months, and did not possess the energy to even type a simple blog.  I also reached new lows of motherhood.  Like, “Call CPS, This Woman is Unfit to Parent” lows.  I should probably keep this to myself, but what fun what that be? So here you have it,...

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Night Stalker 2.0

Posted on Nov 27, 2013 in My Kid Stole My Cool

I recently wrote about the war raging between my toddler and me.  Guess what?  It’s still going on, and I’m still losing.  Bedtime has become the worst battle. I should cut Elisabeth some slack.  We travel a lot.  One day her dad is home.  Another day he is gone, and doesn’t come back for a long time.  It’s a lot of change for a small person, and she handles it pretty well.  Except at night.  I don’t know if she thinks that if I leave her at bedtime, I won’t be there in the morning, or if she just likes to terrorize me (I think it’s the latter), but the child will not go to bed. She launched her bedtime campaign small, insisting I sit in the rocking chair while she fell asleep.  That’s not a big deal.  That’s why they made a Solitaire iPhone app, right?  But gradually she began taking longer and longer to fall asleep.  Every time I tried to sneak out of the room, the rocking chair would give me away with a telltale creak.  Every time Elisabeth would wake. “Mama?” she’d asked, making sure I was still present. Followed by, “Mama sit down!”  Every. Single. Time.   And also, when did she become so bossy? I started to employ a new strategy.  Every time she caught me leaving, I would say, “I’ll be right back.  Mama’s just going potty.”  Elisabeth respected that.  If a girl has got to pee, a girl has got to pee.  Did I feel bad lying to my child?  Eh.  I figure on the scale of parental lies, this one ranks pretty low.  Plus, I always do come back eventually to check on her. Anyway, the potty excuse worked for awhile.  I would slip out of her bedroom under feigning incontinence, and she would fall asleep.  But then she caught on.  “Mama!  Sit down!  Mama.  Mammmmma!” She would moan until I resumed my rightful place in the rocking chair, playing Solitaire until my hand cramped. And just so I wouldn’t forget my place, she became quite particular regarding the placement of...

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Just Say No

Posted on Nov 19, 2013 in Pinterest Stole My Cool

Just Say No 2

After Elisabeth’s incredibly anticlimactic 1st Halloween last year, I know you’re all dying to know how I handled the holiday this year.  Even three weeks after the fact. So here you go: I didn’t. I just said “No”.  I said “No” to Halloween.  I said “No” to the Pinterest and Etsy-inspired expectations.  I said “No” to the frilly tutus and over-the-top costumes which require a professional seamstress to craft.  I said “No” to dressing my child up as a character whom she wouldn’t even recognize, because she doesn’t watch any TV except Elmo.  And I said “No” to Elmo, because, well, a neighborhood kid was already going as Elmo and I didn’t want Elisabeth to steal his thunder.  Plus, I hate Elmo.  That voice.  It’s the worst. Anyway, I almost didn’t say “No.”  I spent a couple of wasted hours searching online for the perfect costume, which let me tell you, doesn’t exist.  After marveling at how expensive and grossly tasteless most TODDLER costumes were , I said, “To Hell with this overblown holiday!” I then went to pbkids.com, where I at least knew the quality of the costume would be semi-decent, found the cheapest option on sale, and purchased.  Bonus?  It was gender-neutral!  Should I ever have a boy, guess what he’s going to be?  A pumpkin! Yup, I bought Elisabeth a freaking pumpkin costume.  Quite possibly the most boring, predictable Halloween costume available.  Such was my rejection of Halloween’s unspoken costume competitiveness (who will have the most creative costume? the cutest kid? the most original outfit?), I dressed my daughter as one of its principal symbols.  I suppose I could have dressed her as a black cat, and that would have been equally cliché.  Maybe next year. My newfound freedom from the reigns of our Pinterest-obsessed mom world felt goooood.  I definitely spared myself a few gray hairs by not worrying about something as trivial as a Halloween costume.  Because guess what?  The costume choice mattered not at all to Elisabeth.  She would have screamed her head off no matter what costume I dressed her in. Ah,...

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My Kid Stole My Cool

Posted on Nov 14, 2013 in My Kid Stole My Cool

My Kid Stole My Cool 5

Welcome to my new blog!  It took a little longer than I expected, but it’s ready now, and I hope you like it. Thanks to everyone who sent in blog name suggestions.  I got a lot of good suggestions, and several that gave me a good laugh.  I appreciate it!  Turns out though, that I came up with the name on my own.  Who would have thought it possible? Now, about the new blog.  Before anyone that knows me calls me out, I was never “cool”.  Hardly.  But on the scale of Coolness, I definitely ranked higher pre-kid than I do post-kid.  Can any other moms relate? -The sleep deprivation that turns you into a character out of The Walking Dead?  Not cool.  (I’ve never actually seen the show, but I imagine new moms are even more terrifying than flesh-eating zombies.) -The yoga pants that become acceptable day-wear?  Not cool.  But hey, they’re the only thing that fits. -The jumbo diaper bag that’s replaced all your chic handbags?  Not cool.  Even if it’s designer, it’s still a diaper bag. -The spit-up in your hair?  Not cool.  Oh, and when was the last time you washed your hair?  You can’t remember?  Me either. -The wasted hours spent browsing Pinterest in the quest to become the perfect mom?  Non cool. -The peanut butter smeared all over your clothes? And everything else?  Not cool. -The minivan? *Shudder*  So very not cool. Much of this blog is about how my expectations of motherhood were stupendously off.  I thought I could retain – if not my coolness – my pre-mom attitudes and appearances.  That I would effortlessly transition from a fun, fashion and fitness-loving, jet-setting childless woman into a fun, fashion and fitness-loving, jet-setting mom.  And while I strive to maintain my former sense of self as a mom, it certainly manifests itself in different ways.   In my personal favorite post, The Christian Bale Scale, I wrote: “I always thought I’d be that mom that everyone hates because she always looks put-together: cute outfit, coiffed hair, bright-eyed.  But no.  Sadly I’m the hater,...

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