See you in a few days!
To whoever found my blog by searching, “Big Ang and wine,”
WELCOME. And, I like your style.
It’s harder than you would think to find a picture of Big Ang drinking wine…
To everyone else, I just realized I haven’t posted in over a week. My apologies. I’ve been cooking up some good ideas and have a lengthy list of upcoming posts, including, among many other things, “I found it on Pinterest,” starting my Tasty Tuesday posts (which I’ve been attempting since February), a crunchtastic post, and many more.
In the meantime, I’ll leave you with a supercute video of a laughing Benny. Consider it a thank-you-for-bearing-with-my-absence gift :-).
Okay, did I get you with the use of the word, “olfactory”?
So I recently discussed how I am big on anniversaries, big and small (seriously, who else gets excited for the anniversary of the first time they met their boss…).
Know what else also gets me? Smells. One whiff of certain smells can transport me back in time. And of all the times I like to reflect on most… well… being pregnant is my #1 most favorite time of all time. I would give up my toes and thus my ability to wear flip flops ever again if I could go back and re-live the entire thing all over again. <sigh>
I was cleaning out our bathroom closet the other day and came across this:
Yup, just a nearly empty bottle of Wen fall ginger pumpkin conditioner. I unscrewed the cap, took a sniff, and WOW…
TOTAL EUPHORIA mixed with insane life-flashing-before-your-eyes-at-warp-speed memories.
You see, my mom gave me this delicious-smelling conditioner last fall, several months before I had Ben. I used it religiously until I realized how expensive the dang stuff is and then I switched to using it for “special occasions” only (which really, could be as simple as dinner with a friend – basically, any upgrade over a day that I planned to sit at my desk at work all day). Anyway, I used this stuff sooo much during the last months of my pregnancy.
I never expected the onslaught of instant memories that would later come, post-Ben, when I sniffed this shampoo.
And it happens every. single. time.
Freaking heaven, I tell you. FREAKING HEAVEN!
I’m now like a junkie, taking secret sniffs every time I go into the bathroom. Seriously, secret. Derek was in bed watching TV tonight, and I snuck in the bathroom, shut the door, grabbed my bottle, unscrewed the cap, and took a nice, long inhale. Geez, I’m feeling lighteaded just writing about it.
Tonight’s whiff honestly made me tingle (that sounds a little inappropriate… maybe I should say that I felt electrified – like a breath of life went zinging through me… okay, I guess that doesn’t sound much better…) when I smelled that sweet ginger pumpkin scent. I seriously had a montage-style flashback – like the kind TV characters experience before they die (anyone see last week’s Desperate Housewives?? JUST LIKE THAT!) – of our childbirth classes (from the people in the classes and what they were wearing, to what I was wearing, to the carpet (WTF?), to the videos and the birth balls, and what we usually ate for dinner before the classes [Subway and Wendy’s, if you’re curious], and the excitement of going from an average baby bump to almost waddling over the span of the course).
Yesterday’s flashback was focused on memories of being in my final weeks at work, ginormous, and wearing yoga pants/jeans and slippers (because nothing else fit the giant, swollen canoes that I called feet) to the office every day, reclined in my chair with my hands on my belly, eating my secret stash of Hershey bars, and spending a lot of time making before-baby-comes-to-do-lists (one of which, I found recently, which brought about its own flashbacks).
On a similar note, I brewed one of these yesterday:
and almost hit the floor. I drank this a few times a week for the first month we had Ben home. Who would think that the simple smell of flavored coffee would make me melt into a puddle of, “AWWW remember when we first brought Ben home?”
Further testament to my madness: I’m totally saving the rest of the Wen and putting it in Ben’s memory box (A.K.A. box of every possible random piece of baby memorabilia, from any and all hospital paperwork, to the band-aid from his first shot… Yes, you’ll see me on Hoarders someday…).
No lie, my heart is doing this weird flippy poundy thing after writing this post and re-living all these ridiculously small memories (the carpet in our birth class classroom?!). Powerful stuff, powerful stuff.Do you have intense memories attached to certain smells?
The reality is I freaking love reality TV. All the time, I am wondering when it will be socially unacceptable for me to love Jersey Shore so much because I’m too old. Or when it will be socially unacceptable for a mom of an x-year-old to be obsessed with The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills. Or when it will be inappropriate for me to be the biggest fan EVER of this great woman:
Photo courtesy Starcasm.net
Honestly. I cannot get enough of Big Ang. I hope you watch Mob Wives and know about Big Ang – if not, dang, do yourself a favor and check her out immediately. I have to say she’s hands down my most favorite person on any reality show I’ve ever watched. And I’ve watched them all. I’m currently trying to convince my sister-in-law (another fan!) that we should make a 5-hour trek out to Staten Island to visit the Drunken Monkey, Big Ang’s bar. And tell me this doesn’t get stuck in your head:
Good lord, I may have lost all four readers with that… hahaha…
Generally, the trashier the reality TV, the more I love it (with the exception of the ever-wholesome Duggar family… and speaking of the Duggar family, their good friends, the Bates family, also with 19 children, is also getting their own show on TLC this summer. Now, I love the Duggars, but the Bates drive me flippin’ crazy. Does it matter? Will I watch the show? Of-freaking-course-I-will.).
When I tell people I love reality TV, they usually say, “Oh! Do you watch American Idol? Or Survivor? Or how about Dancing With the Stars?” Truth: I hate all of those shows. Give me Mob Wives, Real Housewives (New Jersey, Beverly Hills, and OC), Jersey Shore, Teen Mom, Teen Mom 2, 16 and Pregnant, anything Kardashians, Bethenny, or Dance Moms any day… (I heard they’re going to make a Skating Moms show, which would be super exciting since I used to figure skate! Blast from the past below… that’s me in the pink! Tee hee.).
I spend so much time obsessing over what’s on my DVR and how much I have to catch up on (I’ve got a backlog of One Born Every Minute that I STILL can’t watch because now all birth shows make me too teary and emotional for me to make it through them without a massive crying-induced headache). I should probably cut back. I suppose I won’t look back on Ben’s formative years and think, “Geez, I really spent too much time with the kid,” – it’s more likely I will think, “Geez, I really spent too much time watching TV.” And reading email. And checking Facebook. And Twitter. And Google Reader. And Pinterest.
But I digress… That is a story for another day, my friends.
Anyway, gotta run – time for RHOC on my DVR!!
Remember what I said about how Ben was well on his way to escaping the primary baby addictions?
Clearly, I was overconfident.
When it comes to all things pregnancy and babies, don’t ever be overconfident, because you’ll get yours the second you start thinking your poo doesn’t stink. Like when I thought I was the thinnest pregnant woman of all time because I gained a total of 11 pounds during the first trimester… and then I gained another 11 pounds in the following month. Yeah. Like that.
Anyway, this cute little guy:
is now addicted to sleeping with his mother. He’s protesting his co-sleeper. Big time.
I thought it was a phase – this has happened before, and after a few nights, he goes back to his co-sleeper. But this, my friends, has been going on for two weeks now, with no signs of stopping.
How long will he sleep in his co-sleeper? 30 minutes at best.
How long will he sleep cuddled up in MY bed? HOURS.
Sadly, I sleep about 73% worse when he’s in bed with me and I wake up frantically flailing my arms around, trying to find him in the dark, worried that I rolled over and smothered him (this despite the fact that when he’s in bed, I only sleep in an awkward side position, so smothering is impossible). Despite all that, these midnight panic attacks still leave me with better sleep than waking every 15 minutes when he starts fussing in the co-sleeper.
Could it be? My perfect child with an… addiction? Say it isn’t so!
I am probably creating a monster and probably will hate myself in a few months, but I won’t complain yet. Someday, he’ll be a big grown man and it would be fairly inappropriate for us to sleep together all snuggled up. Someday sooner, he’ll be a big boy with no interest in sharing a bed with mom. So, for now, I’ll enjoy it, one night of crappy sleep at a time.
I’m huge on “anniversaries” – whenever big things happen in my life, I reflect on them a year later, and the year after that, and the year after that . I used to joke with my boss on the “anniversary” of her and I meeting, of my first day on the job, etc. So, this is a big anniversary post, and I’m very much reflecting on the past year tonight.
I will apologize in advance for this long story, and a post fairly devoid of my usual spunk – I feel like it’s one of those stories you start telling and then realize way deep into the story that it’s way too long and the person listening doesn’t care – but, I want to document it for myself, so here it is.
If you want the Cliff’s Notes version – a year ago today (3/7), I found out I was pregnant with Ben. If you want the full version, read on! (I will reward you for getting through the nearly picture-less beginning, with some photos at the end!)
ANYWAY, a year ago today, I saw this:
Well, technically this isn’t the first test I took – it was the last, and the darkest (and therefore, the best one for the picture!).
And a few days after that test, I had these:
The first test I took, on 3.7.11, is on the bottom, and they progress up from there… clearly I wanted to be SURE!
March 7, 2011 was a Monday, and the earliest I wanted to take a pregnancy test, at 11 DPO (oh yes, I was charting, and analyzing that dang chart every free waking second I had!). I wasn’t even late at that point, and I was totally expecting my baby hopes to be crushed the next day. Maybe it’s just me, but when TTC and you get to that point in your cycle – well, the thoughts completely consume you. I did 0% work at my job that day.
Throughout that day, I was increasingly upset - I had convinced myself that I wasn’t pregnant, and I felt so discouraged. We hadn’t been TTC for that long, but the 6 months/4 cycles seemed like forever and I felt like it was never going to happen. The previous cycle, I had a very early miscarriage, which of course made me worry that I had some terrible fertility problem and that we would end up with multiple MCs and end up on rounds and rounds of IVF at some point in the distant future.
As a side note/disclaimer, you may find it strange that I get upset when people tell others about the MC, and here I am, sharing it with strangers on the internet – but, I feel like it’s my story to share, and I should be the one who decides when/where/how to share it, if that makes sense at all. I also feel like this happens to soooo many women, and yet very few people talk about it publicly – it helped me a lot to know I wasn’t alone in the experience.
But I digress…
My mom and I met after work and go for a Costco date of shopping and dinner (you know I love me some Costco hot dogs!). I did my best to hold it together, but all I wanted to do was go home and cry. The minute I got in my car and started driving home, I burst into tears – like full-on, ugly face sobs, for the entire. way. home.
Despite the fact that I was convinced this was another failed cycle, I took a pregnancy test when I got home. It came up a very, very faint positive. I’d done a lot of reading on faint positives, and a positive is a positive, no matter how faint, BUT, with the miscarriage cycle, the tests were all faint positives. Seeing the faint positive was like PTSD – I was thinking, “I can’t handle going through this again!” Everything felt exactly like it did with the MC, so I was convinced things would go wrong. I told Derek, made myself a hot chocolate with a shot of peppermint schnapps and went to bed. Yes, I was so convinced of this all going sour, that I had a drink after a positive test. Oops.
I took another test the next day, and the day after that, and kept taking them until I accumulated the massive pile pictured above. I had some of the same symptoms that I did with the MC, so I went to my OB and barely showed a positive on their not-sensitive-at-all test (seriously people, don’t waste your time with their garbage tests – get yourself a First Response, or twelve, and call it a day). Anyway, this meant bloodwork for beta testing on Thursday, then a follow up test on Saturday, just like with the MC.
Everything seemed so fragile, so precarious – I was terrified, rather than happy. As the days passed uneventfully, my beta doubled, my nervousness waned, and excitement grew. I finally felt comfortable enough to enjoy this amazing experience! And enjoy it, I did – best time of my life, aside from now.
It seems like this all happened years ago – I can’t believe it’s only been a year. And a pretty crazy year at that – pregnancy:
17 weeks, and one of the few belly pictures we have!
madness at work (no pic needed!), family vacation with my parents:
Hoover Dam, @ 8 weeks.
a tornado, an earthquake, a hurricane
my SIL’s wedding AND a simultaneous October blizzard/nor-easter (with no power for 8 days, while 37 weeks pregnant)
Bless her soul for picking the best possible bridesmaid dress for a ginormous pregnant person…
and then finally, this adorable little munchkin:
Yeah, my baby was born with a tan – for real.
Who now is quite the big boy, and 16 weeks old today, 4 months old next week… HOW DID THIS HAPPEN?!
So, if you’re still reading, thank you for listening :-) It has been one amazing year!
Benjamin and I have been very busy the past few weeks. Okay, not THAT busy, but busier than usual. We went to an infant developmental movement class (yes, for real, this is an actual class – a little “out there,” but fun) and learned that Ben’s favorite activity, standing (of course while one of us holds his hands), is actually bad for his development, so we have been focusing on more tummy time. He’s starting to hate it less, and dare I say, may be starting to enjoy it. Any non-scream-inducing, good-for-you activity gets a plus in my book.
Not crying during tummy time = success!
Today, we went to a local breastfeeding group, and Benjamin was the awe of the group from the moment we walked in.
Mom #1: “Wow! Look at that big boy! How old is he?”
Me: “Three and a half months.”
Mom #1: “WHOA. My son is five and a half months!” (our dear Benny completely dwarfed the other baby!)
… and later…
Mom #2: “Is he exclusively breastfed?”
Mom #2: “Really? Seriously?”
Me: “Yup, nothing else but me.”
Mom #2: “For REAL?”
I actually had way more fun than I expected at the group – everyone had little one-on-one sessions with the lactation consultants, I had some questions answered, and my mind put at ease in learning that you cannot overfeed an EBF baby. It was total nipple city, but once I was over the initial shock, it was fun to be with other moms in the same life stage, and with similar beliefs (similar in terms of breastfeeding… I’m still wrapping my mind around the discussion of placenta encapsulation – but hey, I can’t knock it unless I’ve tried it!).
Side note: imagine what kind of Google hits I will get now that this blog contains the words, “placenta encapsulation…” and, “nipple city…”
I also scored myself a badge for our first semi-public (semi as in, not in the middle of the street, but public as in, in front of people without a medical degree and people who I am not married to!) BF’ing excursion – something I never thought I would do. Okay, I swore I never would. But, with everyone else with their tops off, I figured I would be the black sheep of the group hiding under my pretty Udder Cover. (Why yes, mom, if everyone jumped off a bridge, I’d go too) Thankfully, I dressed for the occasion and Benjamin stayed focused, so I avoided any unnecessary exposure. We’ll keep that saved for spring break ‘04 (kidding, kidding…)…
The highlight of the meeting was that the leaders had a scale, so Ben was weighed for the first time since 1/27 (when he was 15 lbs. 6 oz.). Today, he was a whopping 17 pounds, 9 ounces, and I definitely lost my bet with Derek (I said he’d be in the 16s, he said the 17s). So, suffice it to say, he’s thriving off the apparent ice cream that’s coming out of my body :-).
“Who are you calling chubby?”
Hope everyone had a fabulous Super Tuesday!
Hi all! I’m am super excited to be guest blogging at The Memoirs of Megan today – talking about family size and how I want a million more little Benjamins (okay, and a Benjamina!).
So, go check it out HERE and while you’re there, check out Megan and her seriously adorable daughter, Vivien! You can thank me later :-)
How many times can I say “check out” in a two sentence post… geez…