Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Richard and Alissa plus 1...and a half ;)

If there were no schools to take the children away from home part of the time, the insane asylum would be filled with mothers."
-- Edgar Watson Howe

I did it...I'm not proud...it really is a guilty pleasure. I hate to admit it, but I watched the season premiere of Jon and Kate Plus 8. I know, I know...not quite as bad as Flavor of love, but definitely up there with the Hills. Come on...does anyone else get queasy at the sight of Speidi??? I also have to admit that I might have gotten a little misty at the end when Kate started crying. I know, I know...gotta be the hormones. ;)

So it got me thinking...how are any of us different from them? Ok, seriously..I get that people aren't chasing me down to get a photo of my latest haircut and Corbin is just one child..not 32, but in all honesty, how are their fundamental problems any different from the ones any married couple faces at some point in their marriage? We haven't hit these bumps yet (knock on wood), but I'm assuming after 10 years...every marriage feels a bump now and then. I think the media is just amplifying their issues..probably making them a little harder to get over, but if you listened hard enough...it came across loud and clear...that man is TOTALLY having a mid-life crisis (and crazy whiney!). Floundering...trying to figure out what comes next and I see myself there not too long from now. Not that I don't love my life...I wouldn't trade it for the world (seriously...there is no other husband like Richard)...but sometimes the issues you face are inevitable and have nothing to do with your spouse. 

I always said I would have kids and stay home. Until I started working at TWC...then I paused for a minute, thought maybe I could have both, but in the end...Corbin put his foot down and I quit ;) I don't regret that decision..not for a second, but that doesn't mean it isn't hard. People have this perception of stay-at-home parents....playdates, lunches with friends, soap operas and chocolate ice cream. I just want to shed a little light on the truth. You always hear people say they know its the hardest job out there, but do they really understand what that actually entails? I spent six years of my life becoming an accountant and a few more becoming a CPA and the most complex decision I make on a daily basis is what to feed everyone for lunch and dinner. That's a hard pill to swallow when you are used to calculating bonuses for the executives in a Fortune 500 company. The most adult conversation I have during the day is trying to figure out what "ba ba" means in the instance Corbin is using it...bottle? bubbles? ..... who the hell knows until he throws himself on the floor because I haven't figured it out in the 5 second timeframe he is allowing. The most flexibility I get is whether I should wake up before him and take a shower or be lazy and wait until he goes down for his first "nap". Hence...I haven't showered yet ;) My day does usually consist of playdates, lunches with friends, and Dr. Phil (if Corbin isn't glued to something on Noggin), but it is all on Corbin's call. We have a 4 hour period between his first nap and second nap that we can leave the house to do anything. If I miss either by even a few minutes..I pay the price. And yes, he naps for 2.5 hours in the afternoon, but its not like I can go to a movie or spend the afternoon shopping at the Gap unless you mean online. How many times can you watch a Baby Story? Or surf www.allrecipes.com for something new to make for dinner. And let's not mention if I don't get it started while he's sleeping...dinner doesn't get made. After a few months...these things can wear on someone who is used to just going with the flow...taking a break when you feel like it...having a set purpose for each day with something important that has to get done or the boss is in your face. 

I took those days for granted. I know that now, but I'm no more an accountant than I am a circus performer. No more a Corporate girl than I am a movie star (although the paycheck of that last one would definitely come in handy). But that doesn't mean I shouldn't get something of my own (hence the blog..ha ha). That doesn't mean that my 24 hour job doesn't come with a few perks of its own. I may sit on a Sunday night wondering what the hell I'm going to do with Corbin for five days, but the funny thing is...everyday I wake up...we get to do something new. We have the freedom, in that 4 hour slot ;), to go where the wind takes us. Some days we meet people for lunch...some days we go shopping...most days we play outside with sidewalk chalk, toys, and Rocky. It's not the most exciting thing I've ever done, but it is the most rewarding. My boss does care about me. My boss does show instant gratification every time I get him a cup of juice or rewind the Jump Arounds for the 8th time in 15 minutes. My boss is my best friend...besides Richard. I gladly give up my life for him because I truly believe he will be a better person for it. And I truly believe its a small price to pay. 

I made a sacrifice the day I decided to stay home and I didn't even realize it. It was such an easy decision for me. It's not for everyone. Some families are better off with two working parents, not only financially, but emotionally. Giving up your life for however long you choose should be commended. In 5 years, my children will be in school and I will finally have my life back. But will it be "my" life. I walked into motherhood a career-oriented, headstrong woman...and I'll be making the next step in the journey, someone who has no clue what comes next. My degree led me to Richard, but it won't lead me back to where I came from. So where do you go from here? Sure there are a thousand things I love to do, but do I have the drive and the ambition to turn them into who I am next and still be able to be home when Corbin gets off the bus? I don't know the answer to that, but I do know that when the time comes I have a family who will support me no matter what choice I make because it will include them. I find it so sad that this family, who put their lives on tv, are being scrutinized for things that everyone goes through. Yes, they have made choices I would not make, but who am I to say that when I'm not in their shoes. I hope they find their ways and that someone steps up and realizes the complaints they have are petty. Mean nothing in the scheme of things. And when the time comes...and I'm sitting at that door of "what's next"...I hope Showtime buys my blog and makes it into a mini-series! Ha ha!!! Cha-ching ;)

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Monsters vs. aliens

This sucks. The alien has taken hold. My life as I know it has come to a screeching halt and standing in front of me is a mountain of buffalo chicken dip. I love buffalo chicken dip, but do I really want to eat an entire mountain of it. Ummm, yes...who doesn't. But the aftermath of the mountain is just depressing. Seriously depressing. So depressing that I might wash it down with a frosted sugar cookie ;) 

Yes...this mama is 10 weeks pregnant. Feels like 45 weeks, but only 10 rather long weeks. I don't remember half this crap. Corbin was such an easy pregnancy. I hate me pregnant with Corbin. You suck! I was nauseous for one week. Week 7. Then perfectly fine, slightly larger, Alissa. Not this time. New lil' bean alien is screaming "I hate you" from the inside out and I thought I had at least 16 years until I would hear those sweet words uttered from my offspring. Not a chance. Loud and clear...pure hate coming from this belly. In the form of nausea, mood swings, headaches, fatigue...let's just say..you name it..lil' bean is throwing it my way. How could the presence of such an innocent being morph someone into this hormonal fear inducing monster. I'll tell you how. It's simple actually....they mess (I would rather use a very vulgar word, but I'm trying to curb my language..haha) with your mind..that's exactly how. I'm telling you...this one HAS to be a girl ;) 

The plague is spreading through our house. At around 6 weeks the nausea kicked in. No vomiting, which is thoughtful of "her", but a constant car sickness feeling..like I've been riding in a car going through the mountains with my eyes closed for about 3 days. Pleasant. The only thing that seems to help...besides tons of vitamin B6 and a prescription for Zofran
(every pregnant woman's miracle drug)...is EXACTLY what I want when I want it. How is this different from normal Alissa you ask?? Your guess is as good as mine ;) This unfortunately is at the cost of dear Richard's sanity and evenings...poor guy has seriously made more runs to the grocery store and to every fast food restaurant known to man in the past 4 weeks. The best was a Zaxby's run at 9:30pm one night. I'm sorry, but when you need a Wings and Things combo..you need a Wings and Things combo. I'm not going to lie...a Cherry Limeade slushie from Sonic sounds pretty freakin' awesome right now :) (please note that by 7pm this evening..one was waiting in the freezer for me) All movies and tv shows make these cravings look all cute and funny...oh honey, have you had some pickles and ice cream. Screw that..it BLOWS. We have a monthly budget for eating out of $80. Seems like plenty right? NOT THIS MONTH...I blew that joker in the first week of May...you guessed it, we broke the $300 mark this month! Insane...she's evil I tell you..EVIL. Don't think Richard hasn't jumped in on the action. It is definitely true that men get sympathy pains. While we were at the beach, Mr. Bray made himself a nice afternoon snack. Not quite pickles and ice cream, but definitely close. He mixed potato salad and mac and cheese together to create what came to be known as potato-roni and cheese. He nuked it in the microwave and basically licked the mayo and cheese covered bowl clean. Even I thought it was nasty. That's saying a lot.

All this binging is not free for me either. Every morning when I'm getting ready and every night when I'm brushing my teeth. Richard points at my belly and laughs. Sweet, huh? There is already this ever so subtle "bump". Oh yes....not even 3 months in and she's "showing". What the hell? I will say this is what Richard thinks...its the baby. Yeah, I'm gonna go ahead and put it out there that the 12,000 calories I'm probably consuming on a daily basis can't be helping my cause. And I'm pretty sure the baby isn't making that bulge....it's definitely fat. ;) Needless to say..I've already graduated into my "fat" pants that I wore for the weeks after having Corbin and it is.... oh, so depressing. I won't even mention that people couldn't even tell I was pregnant with Corbin until I was 7 months. We took pics at 6 months when I felt huge and looking at them now....yeah, I look like a do now. Damn it! I'm going to be a whale! And although, I might have promised not to say anything about this...Richard totally split his pants down the butt while bending down to pick up Corbin yesterday. It was freakin' hilarious....to me...not really to him. Hence...sympathy came to bite him right in the a*@....literally :)

The one thing that never changes from pregnancy to pregnancy is the wonderful fits of rage. I'm starting to wonder if there is a secret rage management class out there just for women who are growing people. Like a temporarily insane group. If everyone remembers correctly....these lovely fits did not occur until around 20 weeks when I was pregnant... and still lovely...with Corbin. Practically bum rushing a woman in the bagel line and spearing a man in the sausage biscuit line with the tongs...to this day, I still stand by the fact that that crazy man took the sausage biscuit from my side of the tray...HELLO, I WAS FEEDING TWO FREAKIN' PEOPLE!!! (am I making my case about rage, by any chance :) ) This all leads into my latest incident with the Indian food man. One warm Sunday morning...let's say I was 8 weeks pregnant (not 20)...probably around 10:30am...I decide that I have..yes HAVE..to have chicken biryani. So Richard calls the restaurant that helped cater our wedding to place a to-go order. The man says they don't open until noon..to call back. Fine. So I wait and wait..tummy starting to hurt..and wait. Finally at noon..possibly 11:59...I call back. The man informs me that on the weekends, they don't take to-go orders because they serve a buffet. Sorry. Um yeah...I'm pretty sure I don't have to tell you that I went ape sh*t. Seriously...I could be quoted saying something the effect of...then why the hell did you tell me to call back at noon, etc. and so forth. Finally I get done screaming and hang up. Poor guy. Then Corbin starts whining..for some unknown reason... even to him I assume...I scream. He shuts up. Richard has chicken byriani sitting on the counter 20 minutes later from who knows where..but I'm pretty convinced he's learned to pull things out of his butt when faced with an adverse situation like this one :) Totally why I married him! Then all things were right in the world...for about an hour or so ;)

I do find it humorous that in the span of 10 weeks...most of the rage centers around food. Like its an animal instinct to hoard as much as you can...hence the fact that I've already gained 8 pounds. (For those fortunate enough to avoid this lovely life altering event in your lives....you should gain 1-2 lbs a month...starting much later than this) Oh well...I have this hope that if the pregnancy is bad this time around I will be spared the agony of the big red ball. I know its a pipe dream...but at least give me the hope. Corbin has recently gone off all his medicines and is eating anything and everything. The only hurdle still left to jump is getting him to drink real milk instead of the prescription formula. We have put about an ounce in his sippy so far with no problem, so I'm confident it won't be long. 

It's funny how you are a different person the second time around. The same person..just with a different idea of what you are going through. I'm not glued to What to Expect When You are Expecting....or taking numerous pictures of my belly's progress. I haven't bought 17 newborn outfits that I now know...the baby will NEVER wear. I'm not constantly analyzing every single symptom I have or don't have thinking that only the worst has happened. I've already paved the way. Know what is to come. I'm more relaxed. Not a naive young girl.....anymore. I know it doesn't sound like it, but it's almost as if you learn to let go of what you can't control through the first baby. What will be will be. You just deal with the things as they come instead of anticipating what they will be. Sometimes you get that happy ending and sometimes you don't. That's life. At the end of the day, it's not the not so happy endings that you count...it's your blessings...and some of mine, I count twice :)

Monday, May 11, 2009

Here we grow again!


So here I am. Standing in a dark room barely lit by a Winnie the Pooh nightlight that sits just as you open the door. Right next to a cherry crib with the mattress inches above the floor and a very big boy stretched more than halfway across it. I remember decorating this room. Putting up the bead board. Having to paint that crap 17 times because Richard's brilliant idea was to paint it before we put it on the wall...it warped. Yelling at the guy who painted the mural..partially because I was insanely hormonal and mostly because Winnie and Piglet looked hypothermic. Standing on a ladder...7 months pregnant...and lining up each individual letter in each word for the border and surprising Richard with the ending since the entire quote didn't fit. (You must always remember you are braver than you believe, stronger than you seem, smarter than you think, and..here's my part...loved more than you know). All of this seems like it was just yesterday....but seriously...here we go again!

So I'm not going to lie and say this was a big surprise...oh my, how did this happen?!?!? Please.....everyone knows how this happens and with a small getaway by ourselves for the first time since Corbin was born...it ain't no surprise. We actually decided to start trying shortly before we left. Yes..I said it..the forbidden word..."trying". I don't get it. Why are people so embarrassed to admit they actually want a baby??? I understand not wanting to tell people during the process. There is that whole image you put in people's heads and of course, if it doesn't happen for a long time..you have everyone constantly asking if you've had sex and completed the task at hand. Talk about awkward. ;) But after the deed is done..who cares. We were trying and it happened a little faster than I thought it was going to. Since I'm insanely Type A, over the top, and a gigantic planner..I took my temp with Corbs for 6 months and then he decided to join this crazy family the second month we were "trying". Not this lil' guy...HELLO...ready or not, here s/he comes!!

So there I was. Two weeks after the "trip"...the dreaded two week wait. The WORST part about "trying". I took a test..negative. Boo! A few days later..still waiting. I took a test..negative. Boo! A week later..still waiting. Convinced it would be negative..not only because of said tests, but I also didn't feel the way I did with Corbin. The funny thing was that Avery would not leave my side. This being our (my) cat that I've had 10 years and pretty much does her own thing..aka..sleeps all day and never really bothers anyone. She would even sit outside of the shower the entire time I was in it and when I would open the door..would.not.budge...even though she would get soaked by the dripping water. It was weird and we knew something was up..who knew whether it was a large tumor on one of her organs (god forbid) or there was a small "tumor" (my mom swore I was a tumor..aka "surprise" or as my sister's liked to remind me..accident) growing arms and legs in my tummy. Anyway...after taking my last two boring tests..all I had left was a sample digital test. I took the test. And waited. It took 3 minutes to get any results.... no watching to see what appears.... lines, a plus sign, or any other image pee and paper can form. So I'm waiting. And waiting. Seriously..3 minutes feels like a lifetime in testing and in...well, labor. All of a sudden. The answer popped up... Yes+ . Shock, disbelief, panic, excitement, joy....you name it...I felt it. SH@T! It crossed my mind to keep it a secret and find a fun way to tell Richard, but as always..it was written all over my face when I walked out of the bathroom. So I just handed him the test. At least he didn't throw his back out this time ;)

So now the journey begins for one..and takes a sharp turn for the other. We got to see our sweet lil' bean today for the first time. I was amazed at how it already looked like a baby...Corbin just looked like a seahorse on his first ultrasound (but was a week or so earlier). It all became very real very quickly. The memories that had been masked by time and that wonderful hormone drug that wipes your mind clean of all remnants of any reason to never have children again...were suddenly in the forefront of my mind. I felt nauseous. What the hell was I thinking?!?!? Two under two? Seriously??? Richard is soooo taking the fall for this one...damn wine ;) I just got my sense of normalcy back. I actually eat meals again. Use the bathroom when I actually have to go. Can form a complete sentence. This very large solid brick wall is standing before me and I'm headed straight for it in a car doing well over 100 mph. Two kids...I feel nauseous. And then the doc says.....and there's the baby's heartbeat. This tiny little blinking light in the middle of the screen. And it became very real. The look on Richard's face when he cut the cord. The warmth of a tiny baby sleeping on my chest. The tiny little legs that curl up when they hit the cool air. And that first baby smile. Only this time....I will get to see my big boy meet the new baby. Give his new sibling kisses in the hospital room. Curl up in bed to watch cartoons as a family of 4...instead of 3. He already points to my belly (and randomly to my boobs..ha ha) when you ask him where the baby is and then he kisses the tiny bump. I'm not naive this time around. I know what I'm headed for. I know it won't be all fun and games, especially the first few months, but I also know what comes after the storm. The rainbow you get for bouncing on a big red ball in a dark bathroom. I know those days pass. And so will these. The reason for I'm standing in a dark room watching my big boy sleep. This will soon be someone else's crib. This will no longer be Corbin's room. Our lives are about to get a little bigger, a little more chaotic, and a lot harder. I can't stop the car. I can't slam on the brakes. But I can find the tunnel that is slightly to the right..the one that has that light waiting for me at the end of it. The one that may be dark for a few seconds, but then opens up to two sweet kids running around in the backyard. My big boy teaching his baby sister or brother how to run through the sprinkler. To pour sand all over the patio. To discover a lady bug. Oh yes, ladies and gentlemen....here we grow again :)