Monday, November 19, 2012

dear baby.

dear baby in my uterus:

you don't take well to stern lectures or alfredo sauce or noises in the night, so i thought i would try a simple note.  judging by the number of contractions i have been experiencing the past few days (in somewhat regular fashion), it seems like you are thinking of making an earlier debut than planned.  i would just like to share a few things with you about our family:

we are loud.

we like pasta.

we are always late.

i get it.  you heard the sounds of some christmas music that i started playing without even checking with your father for his opinion on that matter, and you started getting all excited to come out and do your thing.  you heard your big brother has successfully transitioned to a twin bed, so you figured it was time to come out and claim your throne crib. 

let me tell you this, my dear son.  i have a PINTEREST BOARD dedicated to you.  and on said board there are knitted LEPRECHAUN hats.  because you are supposed to come sometime in the early spring.  NOT before christmas.  NOT in january. 

now let me be clear, my precious little nugget: i/we could not be more excited to meet you.  i mean that.  we are OVERJOYED at the thought of all the wonderful moments and adventures that lie ahead... BUT let's start the journey in 2013... mmmmkay?!

i love you,
mom xo


Saturday, November 17, 2012

riddle me this...

what do the following items have in common?

a lamp shade
a 9 x 12 picture frame
a three strand beaded necklace and
a plastic christmas mixing bowl

if you guessed things-my-son-broke-this-week, then you're totally right.  yes, i'm being serious.

it's not that he's a holy terror (though sometimes yes, he can be).  it's just that he really, really, really wants to "HELP YOU, MOMMY!"   i am frightened at the thought of his assistance when the baby arrives.  i mean seriously, if i have to hear "UH OH, MOMMY, I BROKE IT" again ... for any reason... i swear, i am going to scream.

actually, no, i'm not.  you can't take it with you.  it is what it is.  one thing you can say about two-year-olds - they are FANTASTIC at teaching you to be less materialistic about... you know, anything.  i remember that when i was growing up, i often wondered why my mom didn't seem to care about her things.  i would closely guard my room from intruding younger siblings, i would insist that if my sister and i played with the ceramic teasets we both received from our aunt - we used hers (in case anything got broken) and i would meticulously inventory my book collection to make sure no one's grubby fingers had borrowed a treasure from my personal library.  all my mom could muster after yet another possession of hers was ruined by her brood?  an exasperated sigh or maybe a muttered "jesus, mary and joseph!" (my mom's choice "swear word") under her  breath.

i now understand that it wasn't that my mother didn't care about her china or her crystal or her new recliner or carpeting - it was just that she had resigned herself to the fact that her house wasn't hers (at least not for the immediate decade) and instead, it belonged to a ravenous pack of wolves hustling, bustling brood of six children for whom "oops, mom, i broke it!" was a regular, maybe even daily, utterance.  and so it is for me, too.  welcome to motherhood.

jack is a very contrite sinner.  yesterday after admiring a necklace i was wearing and then accidentally pulling it, resulting in beads EVERYWHERE, he promptly apologized and helped me and john pick up each one.  ("i sorry, mommy.  i sorry i break necklace.")  i couldn't even be mad.  at the end of a week where i've cried over too many ridiculous things (it's just that point in my pregnancy maybe?) and felt like i'm on the verge of an emotional breakdown for near on five days straight, i just couldn't even summon the strength for a "jesus, mary and joseph!" ala my mom.

anyway, the good news is that i feel NO compelling desire to purchase any expensive furniture or household decor for the next, you know, decade or so.  and THAT is a win.  or so says my husband.

other things two-year olds are good at?  helping you control pregnancy weight gain.  i had a craving for a vanilla milkshake this evening and we (jack and i) headed to the hardee's drive-through to satisfy it.  i had ONE sip of the thing, then jack decided "i try, too, mommy?"  the next thing i knew, he had devoured the entire thing, and i was just the fool holding the extra straw.  well, thanks for keeping me on the path away from gestational diabetes, my love.  i am thankful for your concern.

hope you all had a wonderful saturday - milkshakes or not.

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

on customer service.

ironically enough (you will see why below), one of my colleagues remarked yesterday that the service industry is dying.  that there just seems to be a complete and utter lack of initiative and motivation when it comes to good customer service on a day-to-day basis.  and because it had taken me near on 12 minutes to get a cup of chicken soup to go from the restaurant in my building that shall remain nameless, i agreed with his observation.

later that night, jack became obsessed with the idea of making cupcakes.  i decided to indulge him and, because we had to pick up part of his new bed that had been shipped to the store, we decided to make the trek to gather the necessary liners and sprinkles for our late night dessert.  we quickly decided on blue frosting with sprinkles at the store, grabbed dora stickers for the well-behaved wee one, and were on our way to the site-to-store pick-up area.

they bring out the box and ask if i need assistance getting it to my car.  which i do - and they summon a man who appears homeless and who's name i didn't catch.  he walks very slowly, as he pushes the large dolly with the box.  after what seems like an eternity, we arrive at the back of our car and he looks at me.  "i can't lift this myself," he says in an exasperated tone, as if i was supposed to assume that the person they sent to assist me with this task would be incompetent.  so, i maneuver my THIRD TRIMESTER belly and bend over to help this man with the box, and i swear to you - he has one hand limply on the thing, guiding it into my trunk, while i am lifting the entire thing myself.  we get it in the trunk and while it fits width-wise, it becomes clear that i need to put the seats down, which i cannot do since MY SON NEEDS TO SIT THERE.  mr. genius himself wonders if "the baby can sit on the floor" or "up in the front with ya'all."  (not exactly sure who he was referring to - unless THE CHILD IN UTERO and myself - who were the only passengers on this strange and awful journey)

"no," i say firmly, "my son cannot sit on the floor or in the front.  he needs to be in his carseat.  i think we'll have to take this back inside and i can come back tomorrow to pick it up."  the man snorts.  "my job was to take this out to your car, i don't bring it back inside."  i really thought he was joking because... that sort of statement defies logic, in my opinion.  i just stare at him.  "do you live close by here?" he inquires.  "because you can just drive slow on the highway and it shouldn't fall out the back if you're careful."  the trunk of my car would have to have been more than halfway open and frankly, i wasn't even going to consider any more of this man's bright ideas.  i look him level in the eye and ask him very directly, "are you really not going to help me bring this back into the store?  it won't fit in my car without the seats down and i can't put them all the way down because i have my son here."  the man shakes his head, "i'm sorry, i wish i could help, but i can't bring it back in.  it's not my job."

i squint my eyes at him.  i am trying to be as respectful as i can be.  "ok, thank you very much," i reply in my most non-sarcastic tone.  "i will take it from here."  i call john and ask him to meet me so he can drive jack back in our other car while i transport this box home.  MEANWHILE, the man just hovers around my car, mumbling and asking if i'm okay.  he also offers other suggestions, like that i should turn the heat up in my car because it's going to get cold since the trunk is hanging open.  thanks for your help, sir, but if you really wanted to help me, we'd have this box back in the store by now.  finally, i can take his "assistance" no longer, and i tell him that i've got it all under control and he can leave now.

i will be sharing this story at the office upon my arrival this morning to confirm yesterday's hypothesis that customer service is, in fact, dead.

oh and yes, this happened at wal-mart.  which i ordered from because they were selling the exact bed i wanted for $50 cheaper than other stores.  well, last night, it wasn't worth the $50 to me to freeze in my car while i waited for my husband... so you know, you live and learn.  SERIOUSLY.

Thursday, November 1, 2012

it's a bad DAY, not a bad LIFE... otherwise known as, "HALLOWEEN 2012"

happy day-after halloween to you!  i hope you feasted on as many airheads as your stomach could handle and reveled in the joy and wonder that the holiday brings to little munchkins hyped up on sugar.  

yesterday was... a day.  a very long day in a very long week of deadlines, stress, work and pressure.  i started the day hopeful that everything would go according to my plan and i'd be out of the office by 5:00 to squeeze my little ketchup packet (see below) and introduce him to trick-or-treating for the first time ever.  

in my head, it played out beautifully.  a wonderfully written motion for summary judgment followed by a flawlessly executed argument at a motion hearing, wrapped up with some productive preparation for the depositions i'll be taking this afternoon.  all finished by 5 p.m.  except when 6:30 rolled around, and i was still at work, i was on the verge of tears, feeling like the world's worst mother and wondering why i was the only person left at my office, still working on this, THE quintessential holiday for parents with young children.  i was slamming things around and getting more pissed off, more bitter with each passing minute.  john called to ask where i was and i heard jack squealing in the background and let me tell you, my entire body literally ached to leave.  i wanted nothing more than to be in my living room, with my son, getting ready to go trick-or-treating.  

but i diligently finished my work.  and packed up the two boxes worth of medical and employment records i still needed to review that evening (at some point?) and stacked them on the rolling cart.  i put my coat on and rode the elevator down to the first floor.  i felt like a failure, a shitty mom.  i could feel tears welling up in my eyes even as i opened them wider and told myself i'd be home in seven minutes and it wasn't worth crying over.

i rolled the cart with my overloaded boxes across the street, and in the middle of the intersection, OF COURSE, the boxes fell off the cart, scattering papers and records into the street.  and the light turned green.  and as i stopped to look into the face of oncoming traffic, i silently cursed the practice of law.  and specifically MY decision to practice law.  and at that point, i also probably was thinking something along the lines of - GO AHEAD AND HIT ME, RAPIDLY APPROACHING CAR.  maybe i can turn this into a kick-ass worker's compensation claim.  

but as one of the cars rolled closer, i could hear a song playing.  it was a song by one of my favorite bands, the avett brothers, and it just happened to be a song i love dearly and have quoted on my living room gallery wall. decide what to be and go be it.  i took a deep breath, gathered up my papers and thought to myself, THIS IS A BAD DAY, NOT A BAD LIFE.  i repeated this to myself a few times, slowly and dramatically.  i reminded myself that i wanted, more than anything, to be an attorney.  and i am one.  and i wanted to be a mother. and i am.  and i wanted, more than words can say, to add another child to our family.  and we are doing that.  and i have everything i want.  i have everything i need.  and it doesn't look the way that i want for it to look all the time, but it is happening.  and it's what i've chosen.

when i got into my car to drive home, i resolved to let all of this go so that the moment i walked in the door of the house, i would be in full scale halloween celebrating mode.  and i was.  i was greeted by an enthusiastic toddler who had been having a ball greeting trick-or-treaters and handing out candy with his dad.  i donned my costume, grabbed his hand, and took him out trick-or-treating, and he had an absolute blast.  his adorable commentary on the whole thing was cracking me up (upon seeing some kids up ahead... "hi kids!  what?  i can't hear you!  i like candy!  i like dogs!  ok, bye!")  he didn't want the night to end, and we let him stay up later than normal, as we all gorged ourselves on his halloween loot.

 my cheesy "preggo" costume.
 hot dog & ketchup ... an American classic!
happy halloween 2012!

long after my husband and son were asleep last night, i put the last medical records binder back into its box and thought about the day.  jack is not going to remember the fact that i wasn't home exactly at 5 to begin the holiday.  he's not going to think about how he "waited" for me to get home or that i was "late."  let's face it - john's probably already forgotten about it.  by the time my head hit the pillow, i had done everything i wanted to do that day, just not in the exact way i planned to do it.  i laid in bed for a little while before sheer exhaustion took over, my mind swirling with thoughts.  i've said on this blog before - i don't think everything happens for a reason.  i really don't.  BUT i do think some things happen in a way that makes you really take something from them.  and to the man/woman/teen-ager/person-with-really-good-taste-in-music-who-didn't-hit-me-in-the-crosswalk-last-night: thank you for your choice to listen to that song, at that moment.  it changed my whole day/night.