Wednesday, December 26, 2007

All is not calm....

Here is my latest brush with terrible customer service in Nacogdoches...
The problem began on Sunday, November 24. We ordered 2 double deep dish pizzas, and when we went to pick them up, found they had given away one pizza. Not wanting to wait, we left unhappy, with one pizza. When we got home to eat it, we found that it was cold and not good. I called to speak to the manager, to tell them we were unahppy that they gave away the first pizza and that the second was cold. I asked him how he could make it right. He offered a free pizza at the time of our choosing. When I called to collect on the pizza this evening, he said no problem. When we went to pick it up, guess what? THEY HAD GIVEN IT AWAY! The manager said "guess I owe you two pizzas now..." Frustrated again, we left. I called back and asked to speak to the manager. I was placed on hold for 11 minutes. I left my house and returned to the store. The manager was away on a delivery. When he returned I asked him about the situation and he said that my mother had given HIM attitude. I told him that they had absolutely NO REGARD for customer service. We have been customers for 30 years and will NEVER return to the store. BEWARE... the Pizza Hut on University Drive is wonderful. Avoid the one on North Street

Monday, December 24, 2007

The Rules

A lot has been written about Rules..There are rules to live by, the Golden Rule, rules of the game. The baby and I have come up with our own rules for what I call "Baby Club".

Rule Number 1: You don't talk about baby club.
I've found myself in recent days waxing poetic about feeding the Snapper rice ceral, wondering aloud about the contents of her diaper (YIKES), and other things that absolutely NO ONE ELSE wants to discuss. I think Rule number 1 is very important.

Rule Number 2: Get on it and stay on it.
Now for the Snapper and me, this rule applies to feeding time. But I can see where this rule will be important later in her life too. Basically we've agreed to stick with things, to see them through.

Rule Number 3: Don't bite Mama.
This, dear friends, is becoming a big issue. I think old Snap-E-Tom herself is getting teeth. I've tried to convince her that I'm a lot like Harlon's barbeque (You don't need no teeth to eat my beef, the slogan goes) to absolutely no avail.

I'm sure we'll come up with more rules, but for now, three is pretty good, don't you think?s

Saturday, December 8, 2007

The Golden Casket

I just got home from the fabulous FOUND tour at Millard's Crossing. It was an exceptional way to spend the evening. Scott looked dashing in his M.C. outfit, I wore non-maternity jeans (whoo0hoo) and I got to see skads of my favorite people. The Snapper spent the evening with the grandparents. A wonderful time was had by all!

During Davy Rothbart's presentation, I got to thinking about this picture I took the other day. I was on University Drive, and I pulled up behind this truck that seemed to be hauling a Golden Casket. I've been wondering what the story was with this thing...any ideas??

Monday, November 19, 2007

Licking the Dog

Its been almost a month since I last posted anything. I was sitting at the computer tonight, reading my pals blogs, and thinking that I needed some non-academic writing time. The past few weeks have been pretty rough. While NOT blogging, I:
  • edited a textbook chapter that I had written a year ago. (what a ripoff, textbooks now have a lifespan of about 1 year)
  • Finished a poster presentation/paper on GIS and tourism
  • Completed a take home test in multivariate data analysis
  • Researched recreation specialization theory for my dissertation
  • put my pre-tenure review packet together
  • Wrote 2 tests for my travel and tourism class
  • and advised 20 students for spring 2008

I say all this because I'm pretty bummed that all this boring academic stuff has meant that my NaNoWriMo masterpiece pretty much got put on the back burner. One day, however, my fictional masterpiece about a disgruntled grad student/mom will be unleashed.

Speaking of leashes, I think maybe my maternal instincts are kicking into overload. Yesterday I found myself licking the dog's ear to determine whether or not he'd been pepper sprayed by the mailman. He had this reddish brown spot on his ear - wasn't pepper spray as it turns out - that looked suspicious.

I think I need a break - hooray for Turkey day!

Tuesday, October 30, 2007


I've got this dull headache that just won't go away. I guess it stems from my sadness over the sudden death of my dad's best friend and roommate, Olan Brewer. Thankfully, Dad talked with Olan on Friday evening, just hours before he ended up in the hospital. They had a really good conversation, which ended with Dad tentatively making plans to see him in Austin over the weekend. Unfortunately, that visit never happened, since Olan passed away on Saturday afternoon.

Dad's been pretty quiet about his feelings since we found out. We took him to Beall's last night to get something to wear for the funeral. He made a comment about not wanting to get too much, since " I might be playing dominos with Olan next week." I know that is just his way of dealing with his friend's death.

For 57 years they met at the State Fair for the Texas -OU game. They didn't talk much during the year, except in the last few years. I think that had something to do with them both having cell phones. They would talk for hours and reminesce about Austin in the 1950s. Olan told me once that he knew powerful politicians, influential sports figures, and wealthy men, but that my dad was his best friend in the whole world.

He called my dad Outhouse Mouse, (I never knew why and he didn't say). He told stories about my dad when they were college roommates (allnight poker games, double dates in convertibles). He loved Texas sports just as much as my Dad does. Dad told me once that Olan had been charged with babysitting his young kids one evening when the horns were playing basketball. He decided to bundle them up and take them to the game- unfortunately he was found out by his wife, when the TV camera zoomed in on them cheering at the game- in Pajamas!

When we saw him at the Fair several weeks ago, Scott commented that he didn't look good. He seemed weaker to me, but I was so happy to see him that I guess I didn't recognize how sick he must have been. He wanted to hold Rees, and he kissed her and said to me "This right here is what it is all about. This is the secret to life."

God Bless You, Olan Brewer. I know you'll be pulling for the Horns in Heaven.

Thursday, October 18, 2007

Have to Shout Above the Din of My Rice Krispies

Today I continued my quest for an elusive box of Count Chocula and Booberry cereals for the Red Menace and Dread Scott. Believe it or not, while Halloween decor is everywhere, these Halloween-esque cereals are absent from the supermarket shelves. After trying both the big and baby Krogers and Fresh Harvest with no success (and a little nervous-ness at Fresh Harvest when I observed grain moths on the cereal aisle), I headed out to the Big W.

Ahh the W, where the parking lot is teeming with humanity even at 3 p.m. It takes a lot for me to go there especially by myself. I grabbed my Eco-Friendly shopping bag and headed in, forgoing a shopping cart since I was only getting 2 boxes of cereal if I was lucky.

Silly girl, big box stores know how to pull me in...their end-caps filled with impulse buys (of course the BROWNIE mix belongs near the ice cream..) Maybe it was the hyper fluorescent lighting or the over-conditioned air. I spent an hour in the place and almost made it out without the 2 things I went there for. What, you may be asking yourself, captured my attention?

First it was the tidy stack of my new favorite hot cereal: Quaker Oats Simple Harvest Multigrain cereal. Let me tell you , this stuff is good. With real pecans and non-gluey grains, it is the perfect fall breakfast. The only problem is that this stuff costs $4.88 for 8 servings at most stores. Ahh.. but the W had to do it.. I found boxes for $1.50 each. Wow!

At this point I should mention that i was trying to navigate the clogged aisles with my eco-friendly bag but no cart (by now I was juggling lightbulbs, organic milk, six boxes of oatmeal and a pack of sponges). I gave up and went to the front to get a cart and then I saw it - the small sign advertising fresh sushi! I figured the sushi would be in pre-packed clear boxes and guessed correctly that it would be found near the fish counter. What I didn't expect was 3 impeccably dressed Asian men, jovially rolling sushi at a new counter near the lobster tank. They were so friendly and happy that I had to pick up a Dragon Roll. Yum! Darn You Wal-mart.. with all your organic food products now you have to go and add delicious FRESHLY MADE sushi to your offerings.

A call from Scott telling me the Snapper was ready for her afternoon tea broke the hold that the W had over me, and I remembered to go look for the Count Chocula and Boo Berry Cereal. Thankfully I found both and was able to get out of there before the impulse buys emptied my wallet. Apparently General Mills only releases the " Monster Cereal" line for Halloween. Who knew?

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

These folks ain't right..

Something must be terribly wrong with us. We have WAY too many pairs of shoes for two people. The honey and I spent a couple of hours tonight going through our closets and culling out shoes. It was easier for me than I thought it would be. If they didn't fit, were damaged beyond repair or desire to repair, or just didn't do it for me anymore, out they went.

It felt so good to get my closet into shape, that I moved on to another closet and discarded old t-shirts, worn out sweaters, and stuff that was just plain raggedy.

Some shoes were either never worn or barely worn, and I've got a few pairs up for grabs, so if you are interested and wear a size 8 let me know. Otherwise they'll be out the door to the women's shelter on Friday. I will hand deliver any shoes you may be interested in (within the Naconowhere city limits). For your viewing pleasure:

Worn once.. Slightly worn Never Worn

Posted by Picasa
Hoochie Mama Shoes

Friday, October 12, 2007

Bed's too big without you

When I got to work this morning, still thinking about how much fun I had a CRAFT NIGHT last night, the first thing in my e-mail inbox was a message with the subject "Find Someone to Sleep With Tonight"

I get a lot of these Spam messages. I'm sure you do too. Usually I just delete them and go about my happy way. Which is what I did with this one. Except the subject line continues to intrigue me.

It's true - Sleeping alone isn't much fun. I've only ever slept alone for a brief time in college and post college when I returned to live in my parents house. Growing up I shared a bedroom with my little sister, before that I shared a bed with my parents. Now my bed seems to feature more characters than a one act play. Pre-Snapper it held me, Scott, Pogo, and three cats. (well, actually just two unless it was a chilly night). Now that the Snapper is here, the bed is off limits to the cats, and Pogo seems to have jumped ship, preferring his bed on the floor. The Snapper finds her way into the bed, usually around 4 am (her new wakeup time). And last night because is was slightly cool, Pogo joined in too.

All of these bed partners make for an unseemly mattress cover. Scott has suggested documenting what stains are what.. baby, Pogo, Cat. I'm not sold on the idea.

I do know one thing- the spammer who sent the "Find Someone to Sleep With" Email is barking up the wrong tree.

Tuesday, October 9, 2007

Fried Guacamole and Root Beer to Drown my Sorrows

The bad news: Texas lost.
The good news: I watched the game with the Snapper, Red Menace, and my Mom in the cool comfort of the Women's Museum. They have this awesome fundraiser every year where they sell memberships in exchange for yummy snack, beer and cookies, plus a great place to watch the Texas-OU football game. The museum itself is worthy of a post dedicated only to it. What an incredible place.

The bad news: Olan looked frail and his declining health really upset my dad
The good news: He made it to the fair to celebrate his 61st Texas - OU game with my dad. His daughter (ex-wife of a Dellionare ) hooked him up with a room at the Mansion on Turtle Creek, plus a limo ride right to the fairgrounds. I was really glad for him, because it would have been hard otherwise. He seems reluctant to admit that he could benefit from an electric wheelchair and insisted upon sitting in his seat in the stands at the Cotton Bowl instead of sitting with my dad in the wheelchair area.

The bad news: I spent way too much money..Way Way too much. With admission costing $44 for 2 people for two days, $20 on parking, $100 on a football ticket and who-knows how much spent on fair food and midway rides, the State Fair was not a cheap endeavor.
The good news: I tried fried guacamole (Yum), Fried banana pudding (yum) and had root beer, fresh squeezed lemonade and a couple of Fletcher's Corny Dogs. I also replenished my supply of Quick N Brite. The wonderful non-toxic miracle cleaner, not sold in stores. If anyone wants to try some of it, I'm happy to give you a sample. It cleans anything and everything, and is great for tough laundry stains.

The bad news: The Snapper had a minor melt down as we left the fair late Sunday evening. The day had been too hot and stimulating for her (and me too)
The good news: There were lovely tents available with rocking chairs, changing tables and fans especially for nursing moms, so that made things easier. Plus, she stole the show everywhere she went.

A Fantastic time was had by all!

Thursday, October 4, 2007

Brother can you spare a dime (or 140 dimes)?

While I'm thinking about food - I was reminded today that it is cookie dough fundraiser time at the Red Menace's school. I have to admit I haven't done a good job pushing the dough this year. Its not because it isn't good. It is actually delicious. In addition to the standard Choco chip, they are selling white chocolate macadamia, Oatmeal Raisin, Pans of turtle brownies, cranberry oatmeal, peanut butter, chocolate chocolate chunk, and my favorite - soft ready to bake pretzels.

The dough comes in 3 pound tubs of pre-shaped nuggets. All you do is bake the desired number that you want. I think each tub makes 3 dozen. Now I know that $14 bucks for 3 dozen cookies seems like a lot, but the proceeds go to updating the playground equipment at the school. A very worthy cause indeed. Unfortunately, they don't offer vegan dough - too bad!

The best news is that the dough will arrive Nov 5, just in time for the holiday swirl of drop in guests and holiday crafting parties.

If you're interested, let me know. I'll personally deliver the dough directly to your door. Now that's service!

Get me to the Fair on time..

It's that time of year again.. The Great State Fair of Texas is officially open and yours truly is headed to the Big D this weekend. For our family, the annual pilgrimage to the State Fair and the Texas-OU game is more sacrosanct than Christmas or Easter. Perhaps it is because my dad hasn't missed one since 1950 (seriously.. this is his 57th TX-OU weekend).

Dad has been meeting a group of his college roomates at the same place on the fairgrounds for as long as I can remember. They only see each other once a year, but they have an incredibly strong bond. Over the years, the group has dwindled. In the last few years, it has just been my dad and his best friend from college - Olan. Dad has been in a wheelchair for 11 years now, but his buddy has resisted. This year is different. His friend is not well at all, and I think it is taking a toll on dad too. For over a week, they've been plotting and figuring how Olan will get to the fair.
"Can he rent a wheelchair there?" "Where could he park?" all of these questions have been up in the air this week. I think we finally got it all figured out. The weekend is as important to Olan as it is to dad. He's been going to the game for 61 years, and I think he's worried that this might be his last. I think dad is worried too.

So think of us this weekend, dear readers, as the old and the young hit the fairgrounds. This will be the Snapper's first taste of the fair. She's too young for fair food, but I'm not. I've already set my sights on the fried banana pudding and fried mac n' cheese.

Monday, September 17, 2007

Wide open spaces

This is my new favorite place in my house. Note that you can actually SEE the countertop. I've caught myself just staring at this space several times tonight. The large jars next to the recipe box contain rare candy collected on vacation, and a brandied fruit mixture that has been fermenting for about 2 years now. I make a killer brandied fruitcake (recipe courtesy Scott's grandmother) from this stuff. Next to that jar is the two- count 'em- two, boxes of pills, vitamins, supplements, and assorted potions that are helping me through this post-partum stuff.

Clothes Horse part II

I've spent the better part of this weekend messing around with Rees' wardrobe. Early Saturday morning, I got a call from Mom saying that some of our good friends were having a garage sale featuring baby items. Mom and I both hot-footed it over there to find a baby paradise. There were so many cool things I was a bit overwhelmed.

This is the BEFORE shot.. thank God for Mom.

I picked out a super cool pram and stroller for Rees, plus some awesome vintage clothes. I also made sure to call my mother in law, who purchased $50 in clothes for Rees too. Later that afternoon, our friends called to say they had put aside "some things that didn't sell" for us. I was not expecting 4 huge garbage bags full of clothes ranging in sizes from newborn to 6. Needless to say, I was a bit overwhelmed. Ruby and I spent an entire afternoon before Rees was born, going through mounds and mounds of clothes, and here were even more!

The problem with this most generous gift was that the clothes were pretty much all AWESOME. It would have been so much easier to toss some. As it is, I won't have to buy much until 2011.

My mom and I spent 3 hours sorting, and then I made a trip to the big W for additional storage boxes. Of course I came home with 4 boxes and only 2 lids that fit, so that means another trip to the store tomorrow. Ughh...

Oh well, at least I'll have the best dressed baby on the block.
Here is the after shot.. I have another huge box of just size 3 months in our room, plus an enormous bag for the women's shelter..

Friday, September 14, 2007

Keeping Up with the Jetsons

Our lives got a little more technologically savvy this week with the arrival of Scott's new laptop. I had fussed all summer over the darn thing. Comparing weekly ad circulars, doing internet searches, asking advice and soliciting opinions. When I finally was ready to buy, I found that the laptop of my dreams was NO LONGER available anywhere. (I blame the back to school crowd for the deficit in laptops this month)

So I had to start my search all over. We ended up getting a computer that has a little more horsepower than we actually need. Well, at least it has more bells and whistles than we actually need. Supposedly it can be used for kareoke, but I'm not sure. Also, we are supposed to be able to watch live television and record it too, but I can't figure that feature out either.

I'm a far cry from my 18 year-old self - the one who subscribed to the inaugural issue of Wired magazine, was on the internet before it had any images, and talked to folks in IRC chat rooms. I'm not sure what happened to me, but I definitely did not keep up with the changing technology.

When I met Scott, he was just a little better than a luddite. His telephone was a vintage 1930s rotary dial, and he was somewhat skeptical of the internet. Of course all that has changed somewhat, but we are still behind the technology curve. We don't have ipods or mp3 players, although I am mighty intrigued by them.

At least now we have Red Menace and the Snapper to keep us up to date. Some of the current baby toys employ so much technology that its scary. And RM is entering into the age when Christmas lists go from action figues and board games to cell phones and ipods. I'm not complaining mind you, I fully intend to get him to help me figure out the features on this #&@!* laptop.

Wednesday, September 5, 2007

No sharing drinks or kissing in the floral dept

Check out the bottom of this ad (that was in today's paper).
I'm not sure what a shocking Mono bouquet is. I don't think you'd wanted delivered to Hospitals, Nursing Homes or Funeral Homes. Heck, you probably wouldn't want it delivered to your worst enemy's home.
I'm trying to get a handle on what this bouquet could possibly look like. What makes it shocking?
I'm not brave enought to find out.

Nitty Gritty

I have a confession to make. Until very recently, I never washed my face. I'm not exactly sure why. Over the years I accumulated face washing products: foaming washes, toners, creams, scrubs, masks that heated up, strips that guaranteed removal of blackheads and 7 layers of skin. I was fascinated by these pricy potions, but not enough to stick with anything very long.

When I was in middle and high school, I joined the ranks of most teenagers and used those stridex pads or Bonnie Bell toner. But I gave up on those too. I just couldn't get behind the whole face washing ritual. I think part of the deal was that since I didn't use makeup very often, I didn't think about my face too much. Since the Snapper got here, I've changed my tune a bit.

Why this change? Well, for one, my little sister introduced me to this line of non-animal tested, hypo-allergenic, mostly organic, plant based face products called Arbonne. The system is a five step deal that takes about 5 minutes to do. I gotta tell you, I'm hooked. My face feels as soft as the Ol Snapper's cheeks.

The other reason I'm hooked is because I've come to appreciate something as small as washing one's face as an indulgence. Since my world is a little chaotic right now, (see my next post soon on my recent trip to Austin) taking 5 minutes to apply these products gives me a little order and control over my day. A friend recently told me that the secret to baby-ing is EASY.

Not Easy as in the opposite of hard, but Easy meaning that the baby should:
Activity (changing a diaper, play, walk around the house)
then the caregiver should spend some
You time.

Right now, about all the You time I'm getting right now is washing my face once a day. I dream of getting a lot of stuff done, of returning to my crazy Pre-Snapper lifestyle. I don't think it is going to happen any time soon. So I'll settle for face washing. I'm sure my skin is thanking me.

Thursday, August 30, 2007

State of Denial

One of the joys of post-pregnancy is navigating the bureaucracy of the Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA). While this law was put into place to ensure that people can take care of family business without being penalized, it has its downside. In my case, I have to exhaust my sick leave while on maternity leave, then I can elect to stay on leave without pay for up to 3 months.

Leave without pay???! Yeah, right. I've been with my current employer 2 years, and have accrued only 3 weeks of sick time. Lucky for me, the ol' Snapper was born a week early and healthy. In the meantime, my health insurance was up for summer enrollment, meaning I could make changes to coverage etc. I decided that it would be a smart move to enroll in short term disability, in case, Heaven forbid, one of us gets sick in the next year.

I had to fill out a handy dandy Evidence of Insurability form, and send it off to Dallas. Apparently, being honest on your form gets you absolutely NOWHERE, because today I found out that I was DENIED coverage.

I have to admit, I'm not used to being denied. And who wants to be denied anyway? I've been pretty lucky when it comes to jobs - I've gotten all I've applied for. So denial is something that I'm not really used to. Of course I've been denied credit before, but I can get over that. The last time I was truly denied was when I first applied to graduate school. That was a hard pill to swallow. (They failed to tell me that they denied everyone who applied to the program that year, since the director's position was vacant). I spent a year feeling sorry for myself.

Being denied insurance coverage makes you feel pretty low too. When I called the company to find out exactly WHY I'd been denied, I found out it was because I was pregnant when I applied.
"But I'm not pregnant now..." I told the person on the phone.
"I'm sorry - we can't insure you until you go back to work, and we can't guarantee that we'll insure you then." said the very unhelpful person.

So, I've been denied. One more thing they DON'T tell you about AFTER you have a baby.

Monday, August 27, 2007

Night and Day

They say that one of the worst things that can happen is to have a baby get her nights and days mixed up. Fortunately, that hasn't happened much with the Snapper. (I'm knocking on wood right now.) Of course, I consider 5 am to be the middle of the night, but she doesn't. I think she's going to be a night owl like her daddy. She stays up and has a midnight snack then usually hits the sack until 5 or so.

Just so you know, there isn't much on T. V. at 5 am. TV land shows reruns of Star Trek and there are some infomercials. I usually just turn on the early morning news and listen to the traffic reports for deep East Texas.

When I was a kid, there was always one person you could count on for early morning news- Horace McQueen. Old Horace hit the air waves promptly at 6 am for the Farm and Ranch report. Being a city girl and all, I didn't much care about the price of alfalfa, but somehow his gravely East Texas twang made me feel like all was right with the world. Must have had an impact on others too (Check out the link above).

Speaking of night and day, I was commenting to Scott about my desire to have breakfast for dinner, and poof! I got my wish. (See photo above). My poor sleep deprived husband - who is the only one actually having to get dressed each day and go to a job - made me a fabulous dinner of french toast and veggie omelet. YUM YUM. I am one lucky girl.

Tonight is a lunar eclipse. According to the early morning news, it should begin about 4 a.m. I am secretly hoping that the baby and I get to see it. I can't believe that I would hope for such an early wake up call- I guess having nights and days a little mixed up can be a good thing sometimes after all.

Sunday, August 26, 2007

Clothes Horse

I was never much of a clothes horse growing up. My parents might think otherwise, but I was way more into accessories -earrings, bracelets, shoes, hats - than clothes. I think back on my high school wardrobe and after going through the "black period", I pretty much limited my wardrobe to t-shirts and jeans.

In college, I decided to dress only in neutrals. Drab army green, brown, various shades of gray and black was the palette I chose. I bought a pair of converse chuck taylor low tops in army green and spent several hours "aging" them until they were the perfect faded shade.

When I hit graduate school, I gave up jeans for dresses. I wore dresses almost exclusively ( I think that might have helped me snag Scott). After I got married and put on a few extra pounds, I traded dresses for capri pants. Now that I've had the baby, I see another clothing era in my future. I used to hate empire waist shirts, and shirts with v-necks. Now, because that's what I've worn for the past 9 months, I'm actually okay with showing a little cleavage. I'm in that awkward, inbetween period right now, due to the fact that I've lost 30 pounds in 2.5 weeks. My body is totally different than it ever was, so I'm not sure what is going to look right once I venture out of the safety of too big maternity clothes.

I started thinking about all of this as I changed Rees out of her 3rd onesie of the day. A crusty baby with bad milk breath is too much to bear, so I find myself changing her pretty often. Thankfully, she has A LOT of options for clothes right now. Smack Bauer and I spent about 4 hours going through this glamour girls new wardrobe. The thing about baby clothes is that they grow so fast, sometimes they only wear something once or twice. Thankfully, I have some super good friends who have given me some fabulous clothes and a lot of great hand me downs for her.

Motherhood, I think has made me pretty introspective. I read an article on slate about the state of little girl clothes. It's pretty crazy what they are selling for kids these days. Girls, especially, are being over-sexualized at a very tender age. Its a far cry from the Garanimals, Underoos, and keds I wore when I was in grade school. I'm hoping that I can maybe the pendulum of fashion will swing the other way by the time Rees in in school. I'm pretty sure that won't happen, but I can hope. In the meantime, I'll be trying to figure out my next fashion move, and plotting how to keep Rees in appropriately sweet little girl clothes forever.

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Conspiracy Theory

I have admit, I've never been much of a conspiracy theorist. I'm not a big fan of sci-fi either When we added Roswell to our summer vacation itinerary, I was skeptical.

Since the baby came I've become a believer. Not in aliens, presidential assassination plots or Bigfoot, but the conspiracy theory to suppress information about what happens AFTER the hospital.

It could be that I've been staying up (or finding myself up) bleary eyed, trying to stuff a giant bosom in the mouth of a squalling babe. At 2 a.m. my television choices are somewhat limited, and after I've had my fill of The Andy Griffith Show, I've found that I've landed on back to back episodes of the Twilight Zone, followed by the X-files. Now, I'll admit that being sleep deprived adds to the surrealness of the situation, but I do think that the truth about postpartum is out there - I just am beginning to find it.

Myth Number 1:
As soon as the baby is placed on your tummy you'll forget the pain of labor and instantly be happy happy.

Truth: It hurts. A lot. After 12 hours of trying to squeeze a watermelon out of a toothpaste tube, you're tired, sweaty, hungry and gross. Don't get me wrong, I was very glad to meet the little snapper, but my main concern was that she was happy, healthy and had all of her parts. A lot of books browbeat women into breastfeeding in first hour after delivery, but in my opinion, that may not be an option for everyone. After the pictures and cell phone calls, I was glad that she was carried away into the hands of the VERY capable nursery staff. Especially since it took the doc another hour to sew me up down there.

Myth Number 2:
Real women do it without pain killers or episiotomies.

However it happens is the right way. I had to have some pain relief or I would have permanently injured Scott's hands. At one point I was squeezing them so hard he swore I was trying to hurt him. I've read in a lot of books that episiotomies aren't really necessary. I had two-
and I still tore in what they call a 4th degree . I had the massages, the controlled pushing, and it still happened.

Myth Number 3
Breastfeeding is the most natural thing in the world

Breast feeding sucks. Literally. But I think its the right think for the snapper, so we are going to stick with it. The first few days she was so out of it that it was difficult to wake her up enough to latch on. When she finally did wake up, she was mad as hell that she had been evicted from her comfy cozy apartment in my body. She let me know it by wanting to suck anything (my fingers, her fingers, the dog's leg) except what she needed to. We've gotten past some of those issues, but each feeding is still a new day for her and me. I've tried everything, cut out coffee after 4 pm, cut out ice cream and milk, drank beer, wine and popped pills.. nothing seems to make sense.

Myth Number 4
You only really need to stay in the hospital 3 days.

When my mom had me in the 1970s, a 10 day hospital stay was normal. As much as I hate hospitals, I think that would be amazing to have someone take care of me and the baby for 10 days. There is a lot of grossness that happens with having a baby...and it keeps spewing forth for a long time after you leave the hospital. Two days after we came home, I was back in the ER, unable to function down there. They drained out half a gallon of urine and I was begging for a take home catheter. The idea of going to the bathroom is still very scary - I had NO IDEA that it would be like that.

Now I thank God for sitz baths, fiber pills and maxi pads the size of place mats. One true girlfriend brought over a can of the "red stuff" - a cooling spray for down there that helps numb things. She stuck it through the cat door, with a note attached. It all seemed very covert to me, although I think she was just trying not to disturb us. Yet it smacks of spy tactics seen in conspiracies if you ask me.

So, nearly two weeks out what have I learned...I think that there is a conspiracy to keep all the yucky stuff quiet after a baby is born. If it wasn't kept quiet, folks might just stop doing it altogether and then where would society be? There aren't any books called "The Girlfriend's Guide to Bringing Home Baby" or "What to Expect Your Pain Level to Be, when You bring Home the Snapper". I have a sneaky suspicion that the same folks who aren't talking about menopause are the ones not talking about postpartum. Folks with moms who have gone through menopause know what I am talking about...

All I know is this.. the truth is out there - I just wish I wasn't up at 4 am looking for it!

Thursday, August 16, 2007

Make new friends...

Well, its been a week and a day, and I am just now getting into some sort of swing of things. I realize when I left you last, dear readers, that I was on the verge of the life changing experience of having a baby. I promise to blog all about that 12-hour blessed event soon, mainly because I don't want to forget it, but also because I want Rees to read what happened someday.

I just read Smack Bauer's blog, and she pretty much summed up how I've been feeling about facing the computer postpartum. However, I've had so many good things happen in the past few weeks that I decided to swallow hard and jump back in. So bear with me...

There was a song we learned the during my brief tenure as a Brownie.. I'm not sure exactly how it went, but I do know that it had the line "Make new friends, but keep the old. Some are silver and the others gold." (Hey I just found the song in its entirety... I don't think I ever knew all the verses) Anyway, that's how I've felt the last few months before this baby is born. I've learned a lot of new things in the last nine months, but the thing that's been the most important to me is that I am learning about the kind of friend I want to be.

Everyone's overwhelming kindness, concern, friendship and camaraderie has blown me away. I used to think that I was a pretty good friend most of the time, but I've realized that I only touched the tip of the friend iceberg. So now, thanks to many of my friends, both new and old, the bar has been raised. Forgive me for being sappy, but I need to share a few of the things that have shown me the kind of friend I want to be and the kind of friend I want my tiny little baby to be:
  • two childhood friends waited for over 5 hours to meet Rees Landry Runnels at the hospital. They weren't in the delivery room, but had their ear to the door nearly the entire time. Of course I didn't get to see this, but the image is priceless. Apparently they shocked the nurse as she left my room and they went tumbling away from the door.
  • Another friend, spent several hours helping me sort through mountains of hand me down baby clothes, making decisions on what to keep and what to donate. When we found a box that needed to be washed, she whisked it away, bought baby detergent and laundered and folded the clothes for me. This same friend lent me nearly all my maternity clothes and even gave me the shoes out of her closet to accommodate my very swollen feet. All the while she was dealing with her own health issues.
  • Some new friends, somehow psychically sensing that I didn't feel like cooking, brought over a super yummy and comforting home-made casserole today. I was truly moved that they would think of us, especially since they too have a LOT going on.

Those are just a few of the acts of kindness that our friends have shown over the past weeks. We've received so many thoughtful, touching gifts that it really is overwhelming. I can't believe the tremendous effort so many people have put into giving us things to feather our new nest. Just to name a few:

  • We received a darling handmade outfit for Rees in the mail from a far away friend. The outfit was made of vintage fabric and buttons, but the best part was that it was hand made with such care.
  • Another indispensable gift we received was a teddy bear that has a "heartbeat" that helps get Rees (and me) to sleep each night. We couldn't live without teddy right now.
  • Some of our hip friends spend a lot of time seeking out the coolest of the cool gifts and gave Rees a set of baby board books that will make her the envy of the neighborhood. Those, coupled with the most fun little froggy slippers I have ever seen, remind me that giving a great gift is truly an art form.

There are so many more acts of kindness and care - Belgian chocolates and flowers in the hospital, grape snow cones on hot days when I've been stuck in the house, phone calls, emails and so much more.

But the best gift of all, by far, is the learning the kind of friend I want to be.

Tuesday, August 7, 2007

Twas the night before

Do you remember the night before the first day of school? If you were like me, you'd have your clothes laid out, your lunch packed and you were already to go.. except for one thing...

You laid in bed nervous with anticipation about what the next day would bring, your eyes wide open with sleep being an illusive concept.

That's how tonight feels. Dad wanted all of us (meaning mom, him, Scott, my sister, my brother in law and my niece, Annabelle) to go out to dinner. He was pretty persistent about it, even though I didn't exactly feel hungry. I think he was trying to mark today as a special occasion. He missed out on the events leading up to my sister's delivery - he was in ICU.

So, tomorrow is the first day of the rest of my life so to speak. I'm giddy with anticipation and nervous and fighting sleep. I've done all the cleaning and preparing and packing one gal can do.

I'll keep you posted on what happens next...

Monday, August 6, 2007

On pins and needles

I'm on pins and needles, waiting for this baby thing to happen. Every time I do something - run to the store, go to the post office - I think this may be the last time I do this without a baby. I've been nesting for sure, doing weird deep cleaning stuff like rearranging junk drawers. I need to do some vacuuming too, but that will have to wait until tomorrow.

Today I had my first round of acupuncture that is supposed to move the baby along. It had been a long time since I had been "stuck", so it was a new sensation. Unfortunately, the acupuncture room was also the only room in the doctor's office with a bathroom, so a calvalcade of folks paraded by me. Most pretended not to see me - How can you miss a nearly 200 pound woman with needles sticking out of her legs? One curious girl, about 5 years old, asked what was happening to me. She didn't stick around for an answer.

I'm in for more pins and needles tonight as the dreaded carpal tunnel sets in and my hands go numb. One good thing- at least that will end when the baby gets here, and I'm able to reclaim my body.

Oh well, it will all be worth it. I'm just ready to trade these pins and needles for some diaper pins!

Sunday, August 5, 2007

You put your left foot in....

Since this is my first foray into the wonderful world of blogging, I feel a little tentative. It may be because this summer I've become addicted to the blogs of my friends and some strangers too that now seem like old friends. Questions like: Can I be that witty? and Why would anyone want to read anything I have to say? abound.

The best answer I've been able to come up with is this...the summer is almost over and my new little one is almost here and I have a lot I want to remember. So, I figure I should put some of these thoughts down before I become completely sleep deprived and bleary eyed.

So here goes.. I sort of imagine the opening scene of the Mary Tyler Moore Show running in the back ground...except instead of the original theme song playing, I'd have this version by Husker Du.