Obsessing Together is Way More Fun Than Obsessing Alone

Every year, I always want to jump the gun, and start decorating for Halloween in early September. I usually make myself wait until as close to October 1st as I can, because I don’t want to be the weird mom whose house appears to be calendar confused. I’ve appeased myself the past couple of weeks by placing a few “fall” decorations around the house, though I do confess that, if pregnancy wasn’t making trips up and down the attic stairs ill-advised, I may have already succumbed to my burning need for Halloween decorations. But alas, I’ve made do with pulling out the stash of random items I shoved in drawers last year.

As it turns out, I am not the only one in my house with a serious case of “ready-for-Fall-itus.” When my husband was driving us back to work from lunch today, we drove past a house that was already decked out in creepy Halloween goodness. My husband turned to me and said, “See?? We won’t be the first!!! Now we can get going on those Halloween decorations!!”

And that’s why I love him.

 

P.S.: Today’s your last day to enter my free pregnancy brain candle giveaway (see post below). Winner will be announced tomorrow!

The Baby May Be Eating My Brain

I have a confession to make.

In the past few days, my attention span has shrunk to the size of a pea. Except when it comes to food…I can obsess about food until I am in tears and begging my husband to please, dear God please, go get me a Kicking Coney from Sonic.

When it comes to everything else however, I find it difficult to concentrate on any given topic for longer than two minutes. At work, I alternate between wanting to sleep on my desk, scouring the internet for nursery ideas and reminding myself that two extra large Oatmeal Cream Pies is enough for one day.

Damn you Little Debbie, and your crack-laced snack cakes.

At home, I look apathetically toward my sentient laundry pile with the faint hope that I’ll feel like tackling it soon. I may cook, but usually forget something important. Who needs vegetables anyway? I tune out whoever is speaking to me after ten words or less, because I’m prone to easy distraction. I don’t mean to, but my poor kids have carried on quite a few one-sided conversations with me this week because my brain acts like easily runs out of gas.

I hope this complete mental degradation ends soon, because my stint as an amnesiac zombie is getting old.

Giveaway!

So, I was working on Christmas gifts yesterday, and pregnancy brain got the best of me. As you can see from the above photo, I poured my candle wax before it was cool enough, and it bubbled up on me. I also did not add enough color, so it is more pink than red. This cinnamon candle smells great, and will burn fine. It just looks…a little worse for wear.

Do you want a free cinnamon jar candle? Just leave a comment on this post, and I’ll select a response at random on Thursday.

For These Small Things, I Am Grateful

Bean has appendages! And a new due date. The new, really official due date is April 6th, and by all that is holy, I am grateful. I now feel marginally less embarrassed about my epic morning battles to squeeze into my pants. The sooner I hit 12 weeks, the sooner that I can procure some maternity pants without looking quite as pathetic. Yes, I am shallow enough to admit that I would rather suffer in my torture pants for the next two weeks than be the girl who needed preggo pants before she even hit the second trimester. It’s a mental thing.

Project of the Week: A’s Scarf

Now that we are within spitting distance of autumn, I’m ramping up my crafting into high gear. With Bean on the way and our budget going through the necessary, if drastic, adjustments, I’m falling back on creative, homemade gifts for the holidays. My project this week is a scrunchable scarf for my niece, A. I found the pattern on Ravelry, and using my weekly craft store coupons, I procured this funky, furry yarn for less than $7.00 for the whole project. A is a freshman in high school, and I thought the yarn was girly enough for her, but with a little bit of edgy coolness that was appropriate for a fourteen year-old. Though I have to admit, part of me thinks it looks like a Muppet on acid, but if you tell anyone I said that, I’ll call you a liar.

As a new-as-newbie-gets knitter, I’ve been tracking down patterns that are easy to understand, forgiving to a novice and won’t require a trip to my local knitting shop to beg for help. I’ve already got my next few projects planned out, and by shopping the craft store sales and using both printable and iPhone coupons, I’m well on my way to ensuring that this Christmas is truly about togetherness and joy, and not a gut-wrenching war between our hearts and our wallets.

9/11

The ten year anniversary of 9/11…it feels weird even writing that. And even as I write it, I have no idea how to finish that sentence.

Ten years ago, I had just found out I was pregnant with G-man. My husband was at work, making coffee and selling books at a small store in our college town. I was waking up in our decrepit garage apartment, getting ready for another day of class and trying to figure out how I was going to finish my senior year of college before giving birth. Not to mention, what exactly was I going to do with a baby anyway?

I hadn’t turned on the television that morning because I was already running late. As I hopped in the car, with the fond hope of at least hitting the cafeteria before class, I was dismayed to find that my favorite radio station was playing what sounded like news…and I was in the mood for some get-up-and-go music. I quickly flipped the station, only to find that every damn station was broadcasting news. When I finally stopped my frustrated channel surfing long enough to listen, what I heard sounded more like “War of the Worlds” than a real broadcast.

I turned my car away from the university and headed straight to my husband’s job. The only way I could deal with the most enormously frightening tragedy I had ever heard was with him next to me.

The rest of the morning was a blur, and the horror I felt then was nothing compared to the images I later saw broadcasting in the university cafeteria. I saw deep sorrow, panic and utter helplessness in the faces of everyone I met that day. I think the panic was the worst. My first OB appointment was scheduled for the next day, and I needed gas for the hour drive into the city. That night, I had to wait in a line of cars at the gas station for over two hours. It made me angry, this desperate panic that had infected our small college town. I was angry at the selfishness I saw in that line, especially when we were so very far from removed from the true victims.

Louisiana is a long way from New York. And our experiences are those of distant observers, who could only watch that terrible day unfold and keep those unknown souls in our hearts and prayers.

As I reflect on that day, now decade later, I still don’t have the words. Only the prayers.

The Point at Which Reality Sets In

The reality of adding another child to our family (and the possible loss of my income) is starting to set in. I desperately need to cut down our budget, because we’ve got some things to pay off, a lot of things to buy and then there’s that whole loss of my income issue.

Yeah, I’ll just get right on that.

Sweet, Sweet Relief

After three straight months of 100-plus degree days, our corner of Louisiana got rare break from the heat this weekend. Today was absolutely gorgeous, and we made the most of it. I think everyone felt a euphoric high from all the fresh air, as well as sunshine that finally did not feel like the burning fires of Hell. As I’m sure you’ve noticed, this summer had made me bitter about summer in general. The severe drought and the dangerous heat killed most of our lawn, landscaping and garden. The lake was so low, we were never able to swim or fish, and when we tried to swim at my sister’s pool, the water was so hot that it felt gross. The excessive heat has prevented the kids from playing outside, even during school recess. I’m sure you can imagine how infuriatingly stir-crazy two energetic boys can get when they are confined indoors. And, ooooh, the electric bill…how I would love not to cry when I open the electric bill.

A day of perfect weather could not come soon enough, and we practically threw the kids out the door as soon as they were dressed. Though we started the morning with a healthy dose of yard work, my husband and the heathens found time this afternoon to burn off some energy.

Boys + Trampoline= Happy Mom.

No, I’m not jumping. I’m growing a person. Though the boys seemed to think that was a lame excuse to skip out on the trampoline antics.

Don’t try this at home.

After nearly a full day outside, the boys are more sedate than they’ve been in months.

And I’m so happy, I could spit.

Airport Boredom

Things I’ve learned in the airport today:

  • People wear some pretty strange get-ups when they travel…it’s like watching a combination of Survivor and My Big Fat Gypsy Wedding, with a healthy dose of Jersey Shore thrown in the mix.
  • Many people forget that talking on their cell phones is not equivalent to being in a phone booth. The airport is a veritable hotbed of TMI.
  • You can always spot the asshole who will be an overhead bin hog later…his sense of pompous urgency radiates clearly in the boarding line. He’ll also be the guy to shove his way to the front of the plane on landing,  just so he can be first in line for his gate-checked bag.
  • People are fall into two camps: escalator or stairs. Oh, and those stair-climbing escalator rebels who get huffy when they want to walk up the escalator, and some stationary rider blocks their path to the top.
  • Even when you project your best “leave me alone aura,” some bored, lonely traveler will see your solitude as a ready excuse to strike up unsolicited conversation.

Not-So-Fun Travels

I’ve been out of town this week, in what I hope will be my last business trip for a while. Traveling while pregnant has been about the most miserable experience I’ve had recently. Why?

Well, I’m pregnant enough to be perpetually exhausted, which makes this work-trip a herculean effort. I’m also unable to drink away my anxiety of flying, which as you can imagine, has made me an oh-so-pleasant person. My pregnant nose was sensitive enough that the stinky guy next to me on the plane had me dry heaving. And I’m putting down enough food at each meal to have bystanders looking at me like I’ve got some binge-eating problems.

To add insult to injury I’m not pregnant enough to have the obvious belly, so I get no sympathy in bathroom lines or help with my luggage.

When I first started my job, I thought the travel component would be somewhat exciting. I’d get to explore new cities, see new sites and discover fabulous food. I planned on taking tons of pictures and collecting exotic souvenirs for the heathens. We travelled quite often when I was a kid, and my parents really spoiled us by using even the smallest road trip as an opportunity to explore anything and everything off the beaten path. I thought I’d find a way to at least experience something unique on my trips, even if it was just eating at some fabulous hole-in-the-wall restaurant.

I obviously did not grasp the “work” concept of a business trip; I’m often lucky to see anything but the airport, my hotel room and whatever conference venue I’m there to work. I usually end up eating at only the restaurants within walking distance to my hotel (rental cars are a luxury I don’t have), and souvenirs consist of whatever I can hunt down in the airport gift shop.

So, I’m headed back home tomorrow, where I will kiss my boys, relish in the comfort of my house and sleep in my own bed. Let me tell you, after five days on the road, that sounds better than a double margarita.

But, I’d better hit the airport gift shop first.