Monthly Archives: April 2012

Baby Party Tricks and Bad Dreams and When the Snooze Fails

Hey everyone. There is a live show going on in my belly, starring Baby Dub.

She’s got moves like Jagger.

I am so entertained by our daughter. I just want to pull up my shirt and show everybody her dance moves.

I realize this is not socially acceptable.

But it might be a cool party trick. I don’t know. You tell me. Is it going too far if I pull up my shirt at a party (stone sober) and show off my randomly animated belly?

Hmm. Probably.

The past few days, the Hubs has had to go to work at what most humans consider an ungodly hour. I can’t bear to send him off into the world without a full stomach, so I haul my tired pregnant butt out of bed at 4:15 am to make him an egg wrap and open up his requisite cans of tuna (so gross). Then I go back upstairs, turn on the alarm for 6 am, and slip back into my slumbers. Lovely.

The problem with this is that I do not get out of bed on my own. I will push the snooze for an hour plus. That’s not even quality sleep, but I want it.

Snooze sleep is brutal. Or I should say that pregnant snooze sleep is brutal. I am so tired that I hardly notice the interruption when the alarm goes off.

And it creates really vivid and awful, memorable dreams.

Over a series for 4-5 snooze-pushes, I dreamt we were robbed the other night. This was a vivid and horrific dream. Allow me to share.

It’s dark. The Hubs and I have just returned home from a trip to the TriCities. Our dogs are for what ever reason hanging out in the front yard, greeting us eagerly. Diesel wants untied. Stella is smiling her nervous, I might have pooped somewhere I shouldn’t have smile. Something is amiss. The front door is open.

“Huh. That’s not good.”

Walking through the front door, I try turning on the lights to get a grip on the situation. They don’t come on. Maybe the power’s out? I fumble my way to the back patio and try the outside light, which comes on. No other lights are coming on, though. So we grope in the dark trying to find lightbulbs. A childhood friend makes a guest appearance at this point, armed with lightbulbs.

Thank you, friend from the 3rd grade, for swinging by!

While we are putting in new lightbulbs, I peer towards where our TV is located, above the fireplace, trying to see if it’s missing. I think I can make it out.

“Looks like our TV is still here, so that’s a good sign.”

The first lightbulb gets screwed in and nope – the TV is gone. Our Wii is still there. The cable box, DVD player and all our speakers are present and accounted for. The TV is missing.

The Hubs is pissed. But baffled.

“They didn’t get that good of a deal. They left the remote and all the cords.”

Idiot robbers.

I scold the dogs.

“You guys were supposed to be guarding the house! You need to pick up your game, puppies.”

I decide if the TV is all that’s missing, we’re lucky. I better survey the scene upstairs though. I’m drawn to Baby Dub’s room, where all of the adorable outfits she’s already accumulating are laid out on the guest bed so that I can go in there and imagine putting her tiny baby arms and legs in these cute freaking ensembles. Yes. I do that.

Her room is trashed. The baby clothes are all gone. The shoes, the hats, the little socks, the onesies, even the baby cowboy boots that were tucked away in the closet – all missing.

At this, I begin to scream.

The dream scream is the worst.

Screaming so hard you hunch over, screaming like you’re in the movie Scream, but no sound is coming out. Why can’t anybody hear me screaming?! I’m up here all by myself in a room that should be full of magical tiny articles of clothing and instead is full of terror. Where is my husband to comfort me? Who steals baby clothes?!

And then I wake up.

Snooze! I shake my fist at you!

Worst. Dream. Ever.

So this morning, after sending the Hubs off to work with a fresh egg wrap and gross stinky tuna, I warily climbed back into bed. I turned on the alarm for 6 am. I closed my eyes and hoped against hope that I wouldn’t have a continuation of that horrible robbery dream.

I barely get settled, and Baby Dub begins to stir.

And by “begins to stir”, I mean, starts break-dancing on my bladder.

Whoa there, sister. Momma wants to get a little extra zzzs. Calm it down.

Karate CHOP! Judo CHOP! OOoooh RyuKen! Round house, kick jab combos.

Baby Dub is crumping like Lil John just told her to back… back… back it up.

Okay I get it, Baby Dub. You’re awake.

Turns out Baby Dub doesn’t like people stealing her crap.

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Life and Death

My grandpa passed away today.

It was a slow, hard fight with cancer that took him, so this wasn’t a surprise and we are all glad to see his suffering ending even when it makes us sad to lose him.

I’m sad that he won’t get to meet our daughter. That our daughter won’t get to know him.

There is something special about that generation, so if you still have your grandparents alive and kicking, call them right now and ask them to tell you a story or teach you a life lesson or just tell them you love them, because they don’t make ’em like they used to, and that generation is a treasure trove of wisdom and entertainment and just good solid common sense.

Stop reading and call your grandparents.

I was lucky to be around my grandparents (on both sides) a fair amount growing up.

I remember my grandpa taking me to school one day in his Honda Prelude. I was wearing my favorite outfit (flowered jumper!) and I didn’t feel so hot. Peanut butter on toast with apple sauce is not so pleasant when you throw it up. In the back of Grandpa’s snazzy car. To say he was less than pleased would be… well, truthful. He was less than pleased, but he kindly helped me get to school in vomit-free attire and never mentioned the unspeakable things he had to do to clean up my mess.

Grandma and Grandpa lived in California during my pre-teen years, and boy was it a Shiz Family Adventure to take the Mark III van and drive the 20+ hours to visit them! We spent one vacation day at Knott’s Berry Farm and Grandpa somehow got stuck being the adult on the water raft ride. This isn’t one of those “rollercoasters that go through water”, people. This was a raft ride where people paid money to bomb you with water bombs and you were pretty much guaranteed a free shower with the price of admission. Nobody informed Grandpa of this. And again, the man was less than pleased.

After several uncouth characters targeted our raft, Grandpa had had enough. He was wearing pants he did not wish to get wet, so he unbuckled his seatbelt and stood up to avoid sitting in the puddle that was accumulating.

Imagine the scene if you will. A rogue rider in a raft full of 10 to 15-year-olds, teetering precariously and shaking his fists in rage at the bombers, as the raft careens along, dodging water bullets. Obviously this is not a safe situation and the enforcers at Knott’s Berry Farm would not sit idly by while the Rogue Rider tempts fate.

“Sir, you must remain seated with your seatbelt fastened for the entirety of the ride.”

The Rogue Rider ignores the order.

“Sir, you need to sit down, now!”

“Come down and make me!” retorts the Rogue Rider.

That was my grandpa. I’ll remember him always as the Rogue Rider, the kindly Cleaner-Upper, the man who sometimes talked on behalf of his dog.

Since Baby Dub was conceived, both the Hubs and I have lost a grandparent.

The Hubs’ Grandma R passed away before we had a chance to make our big announcement to his family. Fortunately, he’d gone to visit her the week before and spilled the beans so that she’d have a little good news to focus on. He told her to keep it a secret, and she kept her mouth shut later when one of her daughters came in to the room… but after she left, Grandma blabbed it without delay to the nurse who’d come to check on her. She was so proud of her grandson and adding a new great-grandchild to her tally… she just couldn’t help but share.

Grandma R was a spunky lady with an arsenal of quotables that I’m sad my daughter will never hear for herself. In my husband’s adolescence, Grandma R caught the Hubs in a particularly obvious lie, and admonished: “Son, you can feed me s*** in the dark, just don’t tell me it’s pie.”

Losing a family member is never fun, but it does force you to reflect on the lives they’d led, on the way they’ve impacted who you’ve become, and on how you want to impact the lives of those around you. Baby Dub won’t get to ride the raft with the Rogue Rider, or get caught lying to Grandma R, but she will be entirely surrounded by incredible people who can help teach her the lessons they would have taught, who can tell her stories about the family members that came before her, and who can create for her memories that stick with her like adventures at Knott’s Berry Farm or quotables from Grandma R.

As hard as it is to lose somebody, death, just like life, should be a celebration. Where a new life gives us reason to celebrate potential, memories to be made, dreams to be dreamed and anything that’s possible, death gives us reason to celebrate the contribution of one person to the world, to celebrate the things that would never have been the same without that person, and celebrate our remaining chance to be important and make a difference for those in our lives.

Either way, celebrate.

If nothing else, life deserves to be a celebration.

Now seriously. Go call your grandparents.

Birthdays

Today marks the last day of my 28th year of life. I start the last year of my 20s tomorrow.

EEK!

I love my birthday.

Somewhere in the Shiz Family Archives there is a video of me at maybe my 4th or 5th birthday. I am opening presents with glee. One particular item has me really jazzed, but I can’t quite place what it is…

“It’s… it’s… it’s…”

My mother helps me out from behind the camera:

“It’s rainbow pony.”

Me, shrieking:

“It’s RAINBOW PONY!… What I ALWAYS WANTED!!”

This level of enthusiasm hasn’t changed much as I get older. My parents always did a great job of giving us each a sufficient amount of fanfare surrounding each year’s passing, and my poor husband is learning that I expect the same in my adulthood.

I celebrate for weeks.

And this year, I’m particularly excited both about all the accomplishments of the big 28 and about all the exciting things to come in the year 29. At 29, I will become a mother. Can it get any better?

I expect that it only will.

As we gear up to celebrate my birth, I can’t help but think about the upcoming birth of our daughter. Her birthday will be in the next few months. Hard to believe. If the years behind me are any indication of what Baby Dub can expect, she’s going to have a lot of fanfare and fireworks and joy and celebration and general hubbub surrounding the celebration of her existence.

I secretly hope she thinks that the 4th of July holiday, fireworks, etc. are all about her.

If she’s anything like her mother, she will.

Here’s to you, Baby Dub. Tomorrow may be all about me, but this year is going to be all about you.

And I’m cool with that.

Team work

My husband and I have two excellent examples of parenting as a team to look at. And it sounds like we are going to need to team up a lot during this whole journey called “parenting”.

I am a fairly competitive person. In high school, I worked at Sam Goody and made it a point to sell the crap out of Replay cards. In college you did not want to play Dutch Blitz with me.

I boxed out.

In my adult years, I have to say the competitive streak has not died down much. But I have to also say that I have met my match.

My husband is also competitive, equally or more so than I. We might have a competition later over who is more competitive.

But together we are pretty unstoppable. When we aren’t trying to beat each other at something, we are actually working together, and we are just as good at that as we are at trying to be better than the other at something.

There will be plenty to get competitive over as parents.

Who changes a faster diaper.

Who puts the baby to sleep the quickest.

Who figures out how to swaddle first.

There will be things each of us just owns, with no need or room for competition.

For instance, food supply will likely be my territory.

Building baby furniture is likely The Hub’s department.

But the whole shebang of creating this little life form was a team effort, and we both know we have to keep working together to ensure she has as few barriers to awesomeness as humanly possible.

If I were picking parenting teams, my husband would absolutely be my first pick. And you know how I like to win.

What happens in Fenway should not stay in Fenway

I have stories and pictures to share. The babymoon is over.

But I’ve been tasked with finishing or at least adding more than 5 things to Baby Dub’s registry.

Registering for baby things is completely, totally, frustratingly overwhelming.

So until I’ve completed this task, the Baby Dub blog lies dormant.

Anybody got recommendations for must-have baby gear? I don’t trust Target or Baby’s R Us right now. I need real mom advice.

GO!

Baby Dub does Fenway

Our Baby is already a Red Sox fan.

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1st Day. 3rd Trimester.

Okay, I am now firmly in the third trimester. Twelve weeks to go. Eighty-four days.

Kicking off the third trimester by getting my hair did and my toes done was a good way to start. If you’re going to be a hot mess, you might as well do it without weeks of grow-out and tree-climbers for toe nails.

Its pretty unbelievable that in just three short months, we will likely have a newborn on our hands. I don’t know about other expecting moms, but I honestly feel like the time can’t go fast enough. I can’t wait to meet this baby.

I have dreams about her, and she’s awesome.

But.

In all my dreams about Baby Dub, somehow I get to have her without actually having to HAVE her… you know, without pushing her out. In one dream, she came very early, and I was at school, and my parents just brought her to me from the hospital. In another dream, my cousin was the one who pushed her out… dream MAGIC!

You might jump to the conclusion that I’m blocking the labor experience from my dreams because I’m afraid of it.

But when I think about labor, I’m not really scared, or nervous, or worried about my pain tolerance.

Five years ago, I broke my neck in a car accident. I’ve felt some pain. I’m not stressin’ about pain tolerance.

And I’m not really afraid of what kind of animal will emerge when I experience the pain of labor. In the emergency room after my accident, I smiled on the stretcher so my sister could take a picture of me and send it to my parents so they wouldn’t worry. I’m more of an entertainer than a filter-free screaming swearing b**** pregnant person.

And I’m not afraid to take the pain meds. Epidural it up. Ooo-OOOOOH!

Bring it on, Third Trimester. I am about to own the final stages of brewing up this baby.

Belly comments and gender confusion.

Today, I wore a particularly bump-emphasizing ensemble. I thought I was getting my hair done, so I was excited about looking cute and pregnant and newly coiffed.

As it turns out, my hair appointment is tomorrow. I refuse to acknowledge baby brain on this one.

I went into the local Starbucks for a little mid-morning snack and was greeted with “Hey preggers!”

Yes. I suppose now there’s no mistaking this bump for too many beers and evenings on the couch. This is a baby bump. I’ll take Preggers over “Beer Gut” any day.

The barista then informed me that the other store manager had seen me walking down the street the day before, and had mentioned to him that “She’s really pregnant.”

As in, I’m pregnant in actuality? Or I’m visibly, noticeably pregnant?

Ahh the belly comments.

Later, I went to what I thought was my hair appointment. Someone at the salon took one look at my belly and said “Are you having a boy?”

“Nope. It’s a girl.”

“Your belly looks like a boy.”

Say wha?! My daughter is not even out of the womb, and already we are having gender confusion issues?

A while back, I might have jumped at this type of comment. I really wanted a boy first. Could the ultrasound be wrong?

But today, this comment almost offended me.

I can’t wait to meet our daughter. And maybe round two will be a boy. But I’m attached to the pictures I’ve already created of our little family and can’t imagine things going any other way.

Funny how fast things can change.

Surprise, surprise

My favorite grown-up-ish birthday happened in college. My bestie took me to the movies and we saw The Sweetest Thing, which turns out to be one of my favorite girlie movies of all time. Don’t judge me.

After the movie, Bestie L drove me back to the dorm, but took a wrong turn.

“What, where could we be going?”

There’s a park right by the girls’ dorms at Walla Walla University, and there waiting for me was a gang, a posse, a crowd of my friends.

Bestie L had thrown me a surprise party at the park!! What I always wanted!!

I love surprises.

This year we’ve had a lot of fun surprises. Getting pregnant was a surprise. An awesome one.

I like surprises so much that I like to surprise other people. I especially enjoy surprising my husband. Not just by getting pregnant. But with other things too.

This year is a particular landmark birthday for the Hubs, and in celebration, I decided to do one of the things we’ve always talked about doing on his birthday.

No, we didn’t go to The Masters.

We don’t have Masters money.

Fenway ParkI surprised the Hubs with tickets to opening weekend at Fenway Park in Boston, MA.

HEYO!

I finally got to give the tickets to The Big Guy this weekend, at his birthday bbq. I have had the hardest time keeping this trip a secret… it was like a birthday present for me just to get the news off my chest.

It’s like our Babymoon and The Hubs’ birthday all wrapped in to one. And one less epic trip on the bucket list. And one awesome thing to look forward to. Once Baby Dub arrives, surprise trips to far away locales will be much less frequent. So I had to get one last shot in.

The joy of the surprise has me thinking about all the fun surprises we have in store for us this year.

Like how much hair Baby Dub will come out with. My mom said I had hair from my eyebrows to my buttcrack.

Or which parent Baby Dub is going to look most like. If she’s hairy like I was, I hope she looks more like The Hubs too. “Yes, this is my monkey child. She’s shedding rapidly.”

Or when Baby Dub is going to arrive. The family pools are just beginning. She’s due July 4. Does she come early, late, right on time? My money is on early – our daughter is an overachiever.

How huge Baby Dub’s head will be! Oh what a delightful surprise that is sure to be. I wear the same size hat as my husband. And I had the largest head in my high school graduating class.

I know this because I saw the orders for the graduation caps. I compared my size to everybody else’s. I now realize that was not a competition I should have been so proud to win. 

What else?

Surprise! Our baby sleeps through the night!

Surprise! Your own baby’s poop really DOESN’T stink!

Surprise! Marriage is easier with a baby on board!

I can’t wait for all the surprises our daughter will bring.

Surprise! I learned how to walk while you weren’t looking! Where could I be?

Surprise! I’m not potty trained quite yet.

Surprise! My first word is a four-letter gem, and grandma and grandpa are visiting!

She’s going to be the BEST surprise. Every day.

Catching up with old friends

It becomes much harder when you’re pregnant.

I’m not talking about “keeping tabs on old friends”, which is what you do on Facebook.

I’m talking real conversations on the phone with your mouths.

Unfortunately, many of my friends live far, far away. And phone conversations are hard to come by.

Tonight, I got the chance to chat with a good, dear, old friend.

She’s not old. But she’s one of my longest-tenured close friends.

It has been months since we talked, and I was so excited to finally be up late enough to talk to her.

When you’re pregnant, you crave your girl friend time. But it’s awfully hard to come by when you go to bed at 7:30, and long car rides are painful on your body and your psyche.

So a good phone call will suffice, and even though it wasn’t an hour long gab fest, it was lovely and refreshing.

Pregnant friends be ware. You have to work a little harder when you’re pregnant to get in your girl time. And after the baby comes I have a pretty good idea that the only “girl time” I’ll be getting is late night feedings with Baby Dub.

My dear friend put it best during our chat tonight.

“It’s been forever!”

“I know! But you work until 8:30, and I go to bed at 8, so our schedules are just not conducive to catching up!”

“It’s like we’re on different time zones.”

Pregnancy is its own time zone. And I feel big enough to have my own time zone.

So there’s that.