Wednesday, December 31, 2008

And So This is 40...

 
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Here I am. Forty. My 30s are gone, a new decade begun. Officially middle-aged.

It's very odd to have a birthday on New Year's Eve, no matter what age you're turning. You're not just another year older - you have to count down until the whole world is another year older, too.

At least I have company.

Add to it the fact my sister was born on the exact same day, six years earlier. My mother likes to tell anyone who'll listen that we're really twins. Imagine THAT gestation. The other thing that we heard constantly growing up that, since my dad was a CPA, they got some nice tax deductions.

At any rate, I never imagined I'd be pregnant at 40. Isn't that the old joke? Better to be 40 than pregnant? Well, now I'm both. Thirty weeks pregnant. Forty years old. The good news is my belly is so big I can't see if there's anything turning grey Down There, if you know what I'm saying.

So for me, this is what preggo and 40 looks like (don't worry, I won't chew off your arm if you get too close; despite how, um, chubby I appear, I do have SOME self-control when it comes to ingesting anything within reach).

 
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Really, it was a fabulous day. The kids made me breakfast. They were quite proud. And I don't think anyone even stuck a finger in a nose to add some extra "flavoring."

 
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David then took Sawyer and Sage on a hike and to the park. I dashed out to the mall, where, in a huge score, I purchased the dress in the pictures - it was marked at $34, but when I went to the register, it rang up at $17! Still exciting, even though it IS maternity.

We had a big night out planned. David surprised me with tickets to see Wicked up at the Pantages Theater in Hollywood. I was SO excited; I'd read the book years ago and had wanted to see the show, but we never seem to do stuff like that.

I got all dressed up and felt like, you know, a grown-up.

We grabbed a quick dinner and headed up to LA. The show was AMAZING. I swear I kept tearing up by the wicked awesomeness of it all (yeah, I don't get out much). It was David's first show and he really liked it, too, which made it even better.

So that's how I spent my first day as a 40-something. I'm feeling pretty optimistic about how this decade is going to go. For me, my 30s were full of permanent life alterations: I met and married David, had two children, conceived another, and left my career. My grandfather died, then my father.

Big stuff.

I already know we'll be welcoming a new life into our world in just a couple months. And then it's back to trying to lose all the weight I've so competently put on. Back to running. I'm looking forward to feeling my body in motion again.

I'll need the energy: by the end of this decade, I'll have two teenagers in my house.

I guess the biggest lesson I'm learning is to live in the moment instead of looking ahead all the time.

It's something easy to do when you're on a long training run or in the midst of a marathon: you can't be thinking about mile 18 or 26 when you're only at mile 4. You just have to get through it and count your blessings along the way. You have to take in the scenery. Laugh with your training partners. Be thankful for the little stuff, like cloud cover, a slight breeze or a friend suddenly pulling out a pack of peanut-butter pretzels at exactly the right moment.

And when you think you can't go one more step, when your calves are cramping and the finish line seems an eternity away, remember that this too shall pass.

Love the good times. Embrace the tough times. Be open to what might be around the corner, but make the most of what - and who - is with you right then.

Don't look back too much, mourning the passage of youth and cuteness, but instead be secure in the hard-earned knowledge that you can still Kick Ass.

And so this is 40.

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Happy Holidays!

What's that stupid song? It never rains in Southern California, or something clearly assinine like that?

The weather forecasters basically asked us to start building our arks. So we cancelled our plans to head down to San Diego today, stay overnight, and make our first trip to Sea World.

We'd heard it's empty on Christmas Day. And since I'm married to someone who absolutey refuses to go to Disneyland because there are, like, lots of other people there at the same time, it was the perfect time to go to such a place.

Sigh.

Let me just say right here that it did not rain at all today. Not. One. Drop. It had better freakin' POUR tomorrow. I want seven inches of standing water in my basement - if I had one.

So today, in lieu of the Wild Animal Park, we went to a different kind of zoo: the mall. It actually wasn't awful. We decided we'd take the kids to see Santa. We had to wait about 30 minutes. So we amused ourselves (and as a bonus, you can see my almost 30-week bump).

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Then it was our turn. Sawyer turned into velcro child and said he was scared. Sage assured him that she would protect him. And my little girl, who for the past two years has cried like she knew she was getting the coal in her stocking she so richly deserved, walked right up to him. And in her tiny voice said "Hi Santa!" and proceeded to climb right on his lap. A true Christmas miracle.

Even Sawyer managed a smile.

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Here's wishing you all a healthy and joyful holiday season filled with miracles, both big and small!

Monday, December 22, 2008

Mine is Bigger Than Yours!


I thought it was all about the sports cars. But I was wrong. I mean, when I made David sell his red corvette four years ago, he didn't seem particularly emasculated. Especially when we ended up with new carpets and flooring, a new oven and a new dishwasher plus extra cash from the proceeds.

Still, he loves loves loves cars. Especially fast ones. But with child #3 on the way, the chances of him getting one anytime in the near future are, well, zero.

Not to worry. He found something else.

Friday night, David called our neighbor R. The two have had a bromance going for awhile now. They go on romantic mandates to Home Depot, Target, and on one especially crazy night, they went to the batting cages.

Now David wanted to get wild at Sears. So the two of them set off. A few hours later, I heard our garage door open briefly and then close. David walked in the house, set down his keys, and came right up stairs.

Busted.

He'd assumed I'd be asleep. But no. I was wide awake (What Not to Wear was on!). So it was confession time.

He'd gone out, with encouragement from his enabler, and purchased a 46" LCD flat screen. The salesman even nervously asked a couple times whether David wanted to call his wife, but David pounded his chest and said HA! He didn't need to do that.

Different story when he laid down next to me in the bed to stammer and stutter about what he'd just done.

That was nothing. It was the next morning, when he stood at the bottom of the stairs and danced to his new song "I have the biggest one on the stree-eet. I have the biggest one on the stree-eet.

"It's even bigger than R's!"

Yes, people. Flat screens are the new phallic symbol.

He had a new spring in his step. He knows R is grumbling about it right now, thinking about how he might be able to, you know, someday overtake David in the size department.

Meanwhile, the TV is still in the box in the garage. I'm surprised David hasn't been snuggling with it. He's trying to figure out if we should mount in over the fireplace or get some kind of console to put it on. I am not joking when I say nowhere in our house - other than over the fireplace - do we have the wallspace to put this behemoth on, which is why he didn't get a 52".

I'm happy he's so proud of his...size. Even though I've tried to tell him: it's not the size of the TV, its the motion of the pixels. Or something like that.

Friday, December 19, 2008

See what I'm talking about?

 
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Wednesday, December 17, 2008

BirthGasm

I know all a few of my friends think I'm completely insane a true pioneer to be having an actual planned home birth.

Well, if they knew what I now know, they'd all be signing up. Really.

A recent documentary that aired on ABC's 20/20 has informed us that we've all been missing out on one of the great joys of childbirth: the ginormous orgasm that can occur as the baby passes through the birth canal.

The film, "Orgasmic Childbirth," is by childbirth educator Debra Pascali-Bonaro. She fills us in on one of the unknown parts of labor: that it's sexual and that, according to her website, pleasure during the process is "a neglected human right."

Sorry for this image I'm going to share, but the idea is that the child is coming down the same place where the penis goes. Of course, there might be a little bit of a size difference (except in MY house, right sweetie?).

Consider Amber Hartnell of Hawaii, who told ABC: "All of a sudden the orgasm just started rolling through and rolling through, and it just kept coming, and my whole body was spiraling and rolling, and I was laughing and crying." Said Tamra Larter of New Jersey: "It was happening, and I could hardly breathe, and it was like, 'oh, that feels good.'"

Um..yeah. I'll have what she's having!

Apparently there is no manual assistance going on. It's just the stimulation by the baby of the vaginal canal and the drastic influx of hormones - including all those crazy endorphins.

It also seems to help when your husband is caressing and kissing you throughout labor, as one couple did (personally, if my husband tried that, I would beat him over the head with the closest available object, which, in a homebirth, might just be my flat iron). The trailer of the film does show the sensual aspect of birth, such as massage and getting water poured gently down the woman's back, and is really not intended to send the message that child birth is a sex romp.

Basically, the point is that although not every woman experiences child birth as a pleasurable thing, it IS possible.

Now, as someone who has had an unmedicated home birth, I can assure you the LAST thing on my mind was the Big O. On the other hand, I did learn that child birth doesn't have to be excrutiatingly painful, as our society would have us believe.

You don't need an orgasm to have a positive experience. Pushing out Sage felt phenomenal. Not in a sexual way at all. It's just the awesomeness of being completely in control, of really understanding how strong my body is, and that a new life is moments away from arriving.

There is nothing better in the world.

I wish there was more out there about the option of unmedicated birth (I say unmedicated rather than natural, because I feel the only unnatural birth is if the baby comes out your butt. Which, come to think of it, it might feel excactly like that for certain parts of active labor) that isn't horrifically painful.

'Cause I don't think the idea of orgasm during birth is doing much to educate women. Or entice them, for that matter.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

To Pee or Not to Pee

... that is definitely NOT the question. Cause really, I have no choice.

It seems I've entered that delightful phase of pregnancy where you sneeze and pee your pants. Cough/pee. Laugh/pee. It's worse when you actually have to pee, but the other day, I peed at Costco, stood up, pulled up my pants, sneezed, and peed in my undies. I hadn't even left the freakin' stall yet.

Last night I almost wet the bed watching, over and over, that guy throwing the shoes at W. I know it's bad that someone could get away with launching not one, but two shoes at the President before being tackled. But the expression on Bush's face, and his cat-like reflexes...it was hysterical. I couldn't stop cackling. And peeing.

Guess it's time to drag out the Depends liners from my last pregnancy. The good news is I know this part only lasts a couple weeks. I feel like my preschoolers, having to carry extra underwear around with me. Then again, I've been known to smell like a preschooler lately.

Hopefully you will all join me in doing your kegels while you read this.

Not helping the issue is that I always carry super-low. My midwife came over yesterday for her first visit and confirmed. His butt is right below my belly button. He is in perfect position at the moment, which is nice to hear after Sage arrive sunny-side up.

She also mentioned that I have nice strong abs. Yeah, baby! I told her to thank my trainer. Who I haven't seen in months. But it's nice to know there's one spot that hasn't succumbed to the pregnancy sprawl.

Are you still doing your kegels?

Just checking.

Trust me. Your underwear will thank you.

Monday, December 15, 2008

Modern Technology

The other day I opened an email from my neighbor R. She was forwarding pictures she took the morning before at IHOP, where our families went to celebrate Sawyer's birthday.

I almost cried. Okay, I actually sniffled. Twice. Maybe three times.

R. is a fabulous photographer and a master of photoshop. The first is obvious but now I know the latter is true because it is the best picture of me I've seen since I left the first trimester behind.

My daughter looks adorable and R. thankfully erased the boogers marching under Sage's nose. R. didn't get rid of my round cheeks that seem to be on the verge of swallowing my eyes, but she made me look, well, almost pretty, which is an amazing feat on many levels, including that it was early in the morning and I had not a touch of makeup on (even my beauty mark has been smoothed away).

And since I've been in the pregnancy self-esteem smackdown for awhile now, it was a much-needed boost.



I appreciate all my friends who assure me that, since I was in such fabulous shape before I got pg, I'll have no trouble getting back there. Unfortuately I'm guessing my body is not interested in running two marathons in less than eight months ever again.

The thought of having to drop all this excess baggage isn't a place I can go right now, as I enter the third trimester. Twelve (or less, hopefully) weeks to go.

And then it all begins.

Hey, at least I can enjoy having porn-star boobs for a little while longer - and thankfully there will be no pictures of those beauties!

Saturday, December 13, 2008

High Five




Yesterday, when I snuggled with my son in his bed before he went to sleep, he was four. When he stumbled in my room this morning, he was five.

Just like that. An entire hand. Five.

I don't know why that number seems so big. Or why I'm having a tough time with it.

The first thing Sawyer did was drag me into my bathroom, turning on every light. He led me right to the scale, where he hopped on to show that surely he was bigger now that he was five.

He didn't even ask for any gifts. Not before we went to IHOP with neighbors and not even after we'd been back home for awhile. Then David arrived from a brief overnight trip. And the wrapping paper flew.

Sawyer couldn't stop thanking me throughout the day: for the Star Wars wrapping paper, for the two Star Wars ships, for his robe, his book, and, the Most Exciting Thing Ever - his Stormtrooper Blaster.

I'm guessing the thrill and ensuing dance was mostly based on my telling him he'd never be getting a gun. But as any moms of boys know, it doesn't matter whether or not you buy them one. If there isn't one at home, then there's an arsenal at the neighbor's house, and barring that, they'll find any stick, toy golf club or, if worse comes to worse, fingers will become a weapon.

It's in the genes. Just like my daughter somehow knowing the name to every Disney Princess before she'd ever seen a movie or book about them.

Really, though, Sawyer is not an aggressive kid (other than when he's playing Star Wars with all the neighborhood kids, smacking each other around with light sabers). He's actually quite sweet and easy-going. His teacher said he's open to being friends with all the kids and I shouldn't worry that he hasn't found that one special best friend yet.

The Year of Four was really a big one for him. He learned to ride his bike without training wheels. He learned to write his name. He dresses himself, puts away his clothes in the correct drawer, can get in and out of the car by himself and, occasionally, even puts away a toy or two.

What I'm most proud of is what a compassionate little kid he is. He asked me to bring in chocolate pudding for his birthday treat yesterday at school. Then he said "Wait, make sure you bring vanilla, too," because one of his friends doesn't like chocolate. What four year-old thinks of that? Or adding a toy to his Christmas list for the twins up the street because they'd lost a toy and he knows they're sad about it?

We visited his cousin last month, who showed him a karate kick and said "You don't know how to do that." And instead of being upset or competitive about it, Sawyer said "Oh! Can you teach me?"

He always tries to include Sage - even when his friends or cousin are telling her she's too little or calling her a baby. He is looking forward to showing his new baby brother the ropes.



I love seeing where his imagination takes him. Read him a page in a book, show him a picture, and he's off, creating his own adventures. Maybe he'll be a writer - if he ever learns to read!

I wish I could take credit for him, but I think he's all David. He's even-keeled, sometimes to a fault. He gets along with everyone and is really a happy, social guy. Good-looking, too. I unfortunately must claim his Spawn of Satan sister, who is stubborn, opinionated and independent.

I feel very fortunate and honored to be Sawyer's Mommy. He's not perfect, but he's perfect for our family.

Love you, Buns. Thanks for still letting me hug and kiss you even though you're now Five.

Thursday, December 04, 2008

Panini Power!


You'll have to pardon me. I'm still in the midst of my happy dance - and I haven't even peed myself, which is a big victory for us preggo-with-third-child gals, let me tell you.

So, as you know, I abstained from Black Friday and instead went to Target on Sallow Sunday. I was hoping to find a panini press I saw advertised. After much searching, I found it was sold out. Shocker.

I don't know if you've ever tried to get a rain check before, but you actually have to write down the barcode and then bring it to the register. I guess this is their way of ensuring they never have to give a rain check, because who 1) knows they have to do this and 2) carries around a pen and piece of paper with them at the store and 3) has time, after waiting in line to pay, to then go back down the aisles to find the barcode.

But I was not to be thwarted. I wanted this panini maker. I mean, I REALLY wanted it. It was originally $39.99 and was on sale for $24. Much more reasonable price to pay for something that might spend more time in the cupboard than in use, but people, when a pregnant woman wants something food-related, I suggest you get it for her. Otherwise, she may chew off your arm.

I rummaged around in my purse. No pen. But hey - I'm a mom! Of COURSE I had a battered old red crayon in there. Actually, I think it's magenta. I also managed to uncrumple a raggedy old receipt on which to write.

I scrawled every number I saw on the product label that was stuck into the shelf. I triumphantly presented my tattered receipt at checkout. I got my rain check.

Today I went back to Target, only to find they were still out. Upon closer inspection of the rain check I saw that it's an item that "may not be replenished."

NOOOOO!

You will be astonished to hear that there is another Target less than 10 miles away - and right near Sage's preschool. So I decided to go before picking her up.

And there.

On the shelf.

Was my Precious. In all its shiny, silver glory. At least the picture on the box showed that it is, indeed, siny, silver and glorious.

I snatched it up.

The thrill of victory still sings through me. I slapped that rain check down at checkout and watched that beautiful sale price show up on the register.

And this, internets, is what my life has come to.

Excitement over toast. But at least it will be yummy, chewy toast!

Monday, December 01, 2008

'Tis the Season

To, you know, kill people over big screen TVs and play shoot 'em up at Toys R Us.

Black Friday took on a whole new meaning this year, when a 34 year-old temp worker was trampled to death as he unlocked the doors at 5 a.m. in a Walmart on Long Island. Not that the sight of paramedics working to revive him was enough to slow down those bargain hunters, no sirree. They just stepped over and around and continued on their merry way to the electronics department.

I'm surprised there wasn't a riot when it was announced the store was closing because of the death, but you know, some did complain that THEY'D WAITED IN LINE ALL NIGHT. ALL NIGHT!!!

Now the authorities are looking at surveillance video to see if they can indentify anyone culpable. And yeah, there were apparently A LOT of people Behaving Badly. But clearly, the ultimate guilty party is WalMart.

You have 2,000 people in line, many who arrived there at 9 p.m. the night before. Extra police were called in at 3:30 a.m. because of an unruly crowd, according to the New York Times. The mob was pumped up on adrenaline and who knows what else, ready to be the first to grab that 50" plasma TV WalMart was dangling in front of them.

Where was the extra security, or a wrist-band system, or something other than complete and utter chaos.

Ready. Set. Kill.

For a TV.

The whole idea of Black Friday is a set up for this anyway, right? I mean, it's survival of the fittest and fastest, and those willing to stay up all night. It is, in theory, supposed to be fun. You get to battle the crowds, pick up some bargains, then go home and laugh about it over leftover turkey.

Ha. Ha.

Check out my girlfriend's blog. She made the mistake of ever setting foot in a Toys R Us and got the fright of a lifetime as gunfire broke out in the next aisle - when she was separated from her husband and two kids!

The argument was not over a Star Wars Transformer; apparently two women - who eyewitnesses said had children with them - went at it over something. The men with the women started shooting - because you're always packin' when you go to a toy store - and both guys ended up dead.

By some miracle, no one else was injured in the crowded store, including my friend and her family. Thankfully.

It's a sad thing when you're happy you survived - literally - Black Friday.

That's why I'm all for Cybermonday today. I can avoid the hassle/possible loss of life at the mall. And it's just a kinder, gentler world sitting here at my computer. Until my kids try pull each other's arms off.

Tis the season!
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