Monthly Archives: February 2012

On having a daughter… terror strikes

We are going to have a daughter.

I cried the whole way home from our ultrasound.

Allow me to clarify that these were not necessarily tears of sadness, or disappointment. If you’ve been following this blog, you all know that I knew I had it comin’.

But try to pretend you wouldn’t be a little scared at this thought:

Someday I will have a daughter in highschool.

Or how about this one:

At some point, our daughter will bring home a boyfriend. Or go on a date. 

Imagine The Hubs and how he’ll handle these scenarios.

If I panicked at the thought of not knowing how to french braid hair, these other, much more important and intimidating scenarios are enough to keep this expecting momma up all night.

Another reason for the tears? I thought to myself:

Poor Zeb. He’ll be out-numbered. Will he feel left out? Even scarier, will I feel left out?

But that fear was quickly laid to rest. We found out Baby Dub is of the female variety on February 13. On February 14, I was sent two dozen red roses for Valentine’s Day, along with a solitary pink rose, and a card that read:

Happy Valentine’s Day, to my two ladies.

That’s right, Baby Dub is already getting flowers. She’s gonna be a heart-breaker, folks.

If you know my husband, you probably have an inkling of this already.

He’s going to be the most incredible daddy to a little girl.

It’s going to make you wanna throw up.

And seriously, I can’t wait for it. The Hubs with Baby Dub in her Baby Bjorn. Maybe the matching sunglasses and twin goatees are out at this point, but the rest of that imaginary scene is so darn cute I could cry.

And I probably will, because lately I’ve been a little quicker to the waterworks than normal.

Even with the “family dynamic” fear somewhat put aside, I’ve still got to address a few other fears… being called “Mommy” by a little girl seems like a lot harder of a job, for some reason. Now, I would love for real live moms to interject and prove me wrong. Boys in my mind seem “easy” – girls are “Complicated.”

Boys? Feed ’em and make sure they get to baseball practice on time, right?**

Navigating the treacherous waters of a girl’s emotional make-up, insecurities, etc? I am not a trained professional. I have no idea where to begin.

There are so many expectations on how you should look/act/dress/eat to “fit in”, superficial concerns perhaps, but I can’t fool myself into believing that environment won’t still exist when my daughter gets to her pre-teen and teen years (and to be fair, it exists for boys too).

Or far bigger still, how to teach her to overcome gender barriers where and if they exist, be an achiever without being seen as a ball-buster, have high expectations for herself that extend beyond social expectations… ah, I’m definitely getting ahead of myself here. My husband will not be pleased that I’m already worrying about our unborn daughter’s career options.

But bottom line, the biggest reason this whole “having a daughter” thing can sometimes freak me out… I am a girl.

Or a woman. 16, going on 17 and all that jazz.

I’ve been through the ringer that is highschool. And college. And woman-dome in general. I’ve experienced this true fact first hand:

Girls can be b****es.

As a parent, how do you prepare yourself for what your child might be subjected to by others? Worse yet, what if my daughter is one of these b-words mentioned above?

Nonsense, she will of course be sugar and spice and only things nice.

These are all concerns I’ve expressed rather openly and with varying degrees of high-pitched voice to The Hubs.

After a day to let the news set in, I started to feel much better.

First of all, I’m not doing this by myself. I am blessed to have a pretty awesome partner in crime who is going to be able to simplify/wade through all the garbage in my head (while also treating it with some validity), and together, we will raise a young lady who values herself, dreams big, and treats everybody with respect.

Second of all, there are some pretty incredible women in the world, including Baby Dub’s grandmas and aunties and surrogate aunties. Women are inherently blessed with qualities that set them apart from men, and I hope to bring the best of these qualities out in my daughter while encouraging her to bring out the best in others… even me. Because I can be a b-word, too. Not often, and hopefully not to you. If so, I blame the hormones.

Finally, gender aside, worrying about parenting issues does about thismuch good.

Which is to say, none at all.

A good friend of mine gave me a solid tip. She told me that parenting doesn’t happen allatonce. You get each hurdle and challenge pretty much one thing at a time.

You don’t have to sleep train and potty train at the same time.

You don’t have to deal with highschool drama AND building your daughter’s moral fiber at the same time (although how highschool drama is handled can help build moral fiber).

Baby Dub is going to be surrounded by so many great examples of strong and fabulous people (male and female), she won’t have a choice but to be awesome. And gender aside, that’s my most important goal as a parent:

To create a world with as few barriers to awesomeness as possible for our Future Human.

** Also feel free to tell me I’ve WAY oversimplified parenting in this summary. I suspect I may have.

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The Best. Thing. Ever.

I only recently started to feel Baby Dub kick. What I used to think about with dread – the onset of The Quickening – has turned into one of my favorite parts of any day. It’s an awesome reminder that things are going on in there, cool things, Baby’s parts are getting stronger… and sometimes it also serves as a heads up that I probably should loosen up the waistband a touch.

Today I decided to see if I could feel her kicks from the outside. And you know what? I can.

This discovery came at a particularly active time for Baby Dub. She must have been getting her cardio in (takes after her momma).

And this discovery came at a time when The Hubs and I were relaxing on the couch watching a little Law & Order (always a good choice).

After a few failed attempts to put his hand in just the right spot so he could feel Baby Dub’s rockin’ uppercut jabs, I started to wonder if the only reason I could feel it from the outside was because I could feel it from the inside… you know, I know what to look for.

She was all over the place, too. She went low, she went high, she did a few side-kicks. It was like Tony Horton doing the kick portion of Kenpo-X in there.

But every time I’d grab the Big Guy’s hand so he could feel our daughter’s strength for himself, she’d take a breather.

And then she went for the roundhouse to the face… er, belly button. Right smack in the middle of the tummy, Baby Dub went all Chuck Norris on her Daddy’s hand.

The look on my husband’s face was the best. thing. ever.

So far.

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Cramping Baby Dub’s style

Today I felt it was necessary to wear my “pre-pregnancy jeans.” These are the last remaining pair of jeans I can squeeze myself into now that I’m officially bumplicious. I don’t know what possessed me.

The pants are fine for standing up. Sit down, bend over, move your torso at all… no bueno.

And I could tell Baby Dub wasn’t diggin’ it. At one point, I could feel her kick the same spot at my waist line, right where the button was probably digging in to her play-space. It was like tiny repeated baby switch kicks.

I couldn’t help but text The Hubs.

Baby Dub is kicking big time.

His response:

I can’t wait until I can feel that.

Me back:

Me neither!! It’s fun. It’s like she’s saying “Yo, your pants are too tight.”

Baby’s first outfit… and my baby attire obsession

Yep. Baby is already accumulating garb.

Baby Dub’s first outfit is an Oregon Ducks onesie, with cute little Baby size socks and a little Oregon Ducks beanie cap. Thanks Auntie Julie!!!

We all know where Baby Dub’s sports alliance will be.

Check this out.

Ducks onesie

Ducks onesies!! Tiny socks!! Baby caps!!

And check out what Auntie Kara got Baby Dub.

Ducks Shoes

Freakin' Adorable Baby Shoes

I am going to be in real trouble with the baby shoes. Look at what Momma Sue picked up.

More Baby Shoes

It's a freakin' Baby Shoe BONANZA!!!

I swear I haven’t bought any baby clothes yet. Not even one tempting pair of baby cowboy boots. But when I buy my first pair of baby shoes it will be like opening the flood gates.

Baby shoes are too glorious.

I realize they are a pain in the butt, and the baby hates them, and they get easily lost when baby kicks them off. I get it. They are totally impractical. Baby doesn’t need protective covers for her soles.

I don’t care.

I wear a size 10 shoe. I’m sure our daughter is destined to have gun boats like her momma. So we will be embracing the tiny baby shoes, impractical as they may be, for as long as I can squeeze her feet into them. Okay?

And P.S. You can never have too much tiny sports apparel.

 

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Our future patriot

Baby Dub is destined to be quite the patriot, folks. We’re due on the 4th of July, and in an election year, no less! I thought it would be appropriate today, President’s Day 2012, to share our patriotic gender reveal.

That’s right folks, it’s flavor reveal time.

The anticipation of what “flavor” Baby Dub would be was truly over the top. Not only did we have to wait a whole two weeks longer than we’d anticipated, but once we DID find out what we were having, we had to keep it a secret for an extra week so that we could tell some friends and family in person.

The extra prep time left Momma Sue with ample time to scheme and dream of the perfect gender reveal tactics.

A little back story. I didn’t even know there was such a thing as a “gender reveal”. I had to discover this wonderful little event thanks to my beautiful, classy cousin whose entire pregnancy was like a page outta Pinterest. Her gender reveal involved a whole afternoon of fun with family and friends, tiny snacks and treats, little boy or girl hints, I mean, this thing would boggle your mind with the cuteness. The reveal? The grandma’s got to cut the decorated cake… pink inside = girl!

Cut it out, Cuz. You’re too adorable.

Anyway, we weren’t going to be able to throw a party. We can’t go that big.

For those lovely friends and family that we weren’t able to tell in person, we prepared these little numbers.

We even included the penny to scratch with...

That’s right. Momma Sue figured out how to make the scratch off stuff for lottery tickets. And because she didn’t know what we were having before she made all these cards, she made 20 some boy stars and 20 some girl stars.

Because Momma Sue likes to be prepared. The text (for those of you who can’t read the note because I took a crappy iPhone picture) reads:

“Our new little firecracker is due July 4! Use the attached penny, scratch off the center of the last star, and discover if our future president is a boy or a girl!”

We got to send these lovelies off to our remote friends (and gave a few as keepsakes to family, too).

For the people we could tell in person, we went with cake pops. Sorry, Cuz, I had to tear a page outta your book, because it was too freakin’ cute.

Again, Momma Sue got a little excited. I swear I had 80 cake pops in my house. Blue inside and pink inside, because she didn’t know the gender when she made them.

I love my mother. Extra cake is never something to complain about.

Patriotic Cake

Patriotic Gender Reveal Cake Pops

Cute right? Tiny adorable useful cake.

Anybody want to place bets on what flavor that cake is?

Seriously, this is one of the last surprises you’ll get on this blog. We’re fresh outta surprises for a while. You might want to stop reading. Or looking. I’m about to lift the curtain on the gender. You sure you wanna know?

You do.

You would have left long ago. I’ve been doddling and dancing around the point for a while now. You wouldn’t have stuck it out this long if you weren’t hungry for the goods.

Baby Dub is…

What's inside?

a…

Pink Cake Pop

I freakin' knew it...

OMG.

Girl Reveal Card

Are you freakin' out yet?

I was right.

Maternal instincts are spot on.

Booya.

I hope all of you are prepared for a female president.

Babies are getting way less scary

This weekend I held the smallest baby I’ve held so far.

My dear friend Lisa gave birth Friday to a gorgeous baby boy, and I got to meet him and hold him as he crossed the threshold into his 1 day birthday.

Two years ago, the smallest baby I had held was 3 weeks old or so. A year ago, I held a 5 day old. And now, Brand New New Borns aren’t even that scary! It is likely that the next youngest baby I’ll ever hold is my own. How’s that for having your mind blown?

People know I’m not a baby person. I don’t reach for the newborn (normally). I don’t volunteer to hold your baby. I’ve always felt very strongly that babies are the best judges of character, and that they begin judging you the moment they are in your arms. And I’ve always felt that the babies are thinking “You’re going to be a mediocre parent” when I am holding them. Likely because I’m so tense I can barely relax my shoulders after I surrender the baby back to its mother or the next volunteer.

But lately, I’m much less intimidated by babies. Their judging eyes are not going to phase me, because whether they think I’ll be a marginal parent is inconsequential. I’m going to be the best parent, and the only person who needs to think that is Baby Dub (and maybe The Hubs).

I held this Brand New New Born for a while, in varying positions, while moving around. I passed the BNNB off to various other parties in varying degrees of standing/sitting. I watched with delight as one of my oldest friends made the transition to parenthood and I got very, very excited about the journey I get to take with my husband and Baby Dub.

When you know you’re getting your own baby soon, you become more observant too. I spent several hours with Lisa, her husband and their amazing newborn, and while I was there, I was taking in some serious details, because I need to be prepared for this.

For instance: It appears that everybody in the medical professional makes the assumption that you know nothing about babies when they come in to talk to you. If you are my beautiful friend, you handle this very gracefully. I envision myself being much less graceful.**

Another thing you notice. Nobody knows exactly what they are doing, and it doesn’t matter. You might not know the best way to swaddle a baby yet, but neither does the old woman who comes in to give the baby a hearing test. So you laugh at her a little bit (silently, of course) as she struggles to find the light switch in the room, “Because the baby needs more darkness to fall asleep, and he can’t have his hands by his face, either.”

And you hold the BNNB until he falls asleep and you feel as though you’ve conquered the world, because this particular baby must know that you’re going to be okay at this if he’s going to trust you enough to fall asleep in your arms. VICTORY!

Brand new babies, I have conquered the fear. You no longer intimidate me. I know I can handle you. And what you think doesn’t matter to me as much as what the little fetus I’m brewing up at the moment thinks (although I am glad that I have bonded with Lisa’s baby, because he’ll likely be around for many of Baby Dub’s life events…). And I’ve got a few more months to prepare for Baby Dub’s arrival. Come July, I’m going to be like a modern day Baby Mamma Grace Kelly.

Bring it on.

**In comparison to Lisa, it is likely that most of my pregnancy and “giving birth” experience will be handled with less grace. Alas.

The best piece of maternity garb ever

I need this shirt. Thanks to Auntie Dub for the suggestion.

Awesome shirt

I must own this and wear it.

 

Getting groped by strangers

The whole “Strange people walking up to rub the belly” thing is going to be extremely off-putting.

The Hubs has already promised that if somebody attempts this in his presence, he’ll have difficulty not using explicit language in asking this person what is wrong with them.

What is proper etiquette in this situation? I don’t think I’m confrontational enough to go the same defensive route as The Hubs. I could do the strategic turn to the side (“Hey what’s this to my left?”), or a karate chop block. I could just give the stank eye if anybody approaches with a hand out (This is the method my sister in law claims worked well for her. As she put it, “I must have just put out a don’t-touch-my-belly vibe” but let’s face it, there was probably stank eye involved.). Something tells me that when the moment of truth arrives I’ll just panic and stand there with my mouth open while a total stranger gropes me in public.

So far we aren’t obvious enough to invite the belly-touchers. I’m still rocking pretty flowy garb but pretty soon I’m going to get loud and proud with this bump… it really is getting awfully cute. Or at least that’s what my husband tells me when I’m pouting in the bathroom rubbing cocoa butter on it.

Some women don’t mind the belly-rub. They see it as a special blessing from a stranger.

I see it as inappropriate touching. No touchy.

Any advice here? I have a feeling my time is coming. And I don’t want to go all judo chop on some poor unsuspecting stranger.

Falling in love

On today of all days, I feel it is appropriate to talk a little bit about falling in love.

You can have a love at first sight situation. Kind of like me and The Hubs.

I’ll pause while you all vomit.

Or you can have the gradual fall in love situation.

The surprise, snuck up on you, “Weren’t you just my best friend and now all of a sudden I want to make out with you?” fall in love.

Yesterday I fell in love, and it was the “Watching my baby move around on the ultrasound screen” kind of falling in love, where you watch Baby move, hiccup, wave, touch its toes, and be (as the ultrasound lady put it) “A little stinker”, and you think “That’s my baby, I made all of those parts, and that baby has a rad personality already.”

I made a promise when I started this blog, that I would never, ever ever ever post an ultrasound picture here. And I will hold true to my promise. But I have to say that I understand now why expecting mommies do it. There are cool things to see in these! Like the bottoms of our baby’s feet! Or what we think could be an overbite (fingers crossed it comes out without one!). Or crazy skeletor faces. I get it now, people.

I still won’t be posting any ultrasound pics. I’m a Mom of my word.

Also, due to the insistence of The Hubs we won’t be revealing what flavor Baby Dub is here until after we’ve had a chance to unleash the news on a few out of town friends. So… stay tuned.

I’m going to go write a love letter or something. After all, it is Valentine’s Day.

Butterflies in your stomach

… Are lovely.

Unless you really have to pee.

The moral of the story?

Ultrasounds are modern torture. With sweet rewards, we hope!