Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Baby Showers & Birthing Plans.

Last week I had the privilege of being a part of the San Antonio Blogger Baby Shower at The Twig bookstore, it was wonderful! Baby was super thrilled to be showered with the gifts (and food!), we both appreciate all the spoiling from the bloggers who joined in and made this night possible for us. Plus, who doesn't love an event that's hosted at a bookstore?! I had to practice some serious self control.
The moms/moms-to-be got spoiled with awesome goodies! I've been using my Belly Balm daily.

Onesie decorating station!
Baby's cousin designed her this special little number.
I'm thinking she'll wear it whenever we go somewhere extra fancy.
This picture not only shows my loot from the evening,
but also showcases my amazing photography skills! Ha.
 

A huge thank you again to everyone for making this possible and for making me feel so welcomed! You ladies are too sweet! Also, I should thank whoever brought the ABC Zoo Born book (the book peeking out with the baby koala on the cover)...I seriously flipped through each page and got weepy. By the time Baby gets to enjoy it, the pages will be tear stained and worn. (Is there anything cuter than a picture of a newborn sloth yawning?!)  

The book I couldn't pass up!
My life has turned into a whirlwind of baby planning. The nursery has been painted, the crib has been assembled, there's a stroller sitting against the wall by our stairs and a carrier sitting in the middle of the living room (it's also been snapped into it's car base. Don't ask.)
 
On top of the things I've been using to distract myself from what's at the end of this tunnel (it's labor, by the way. That's what's coming around the corner. At the speed of light), I've arrived at the time in my pregnancy when I feel like it's appropriate to start thinking about birthing plans. That's an actual term, birthing plan. You're supposed to give this actual thought and prepare yourself for it, because apparently, "Just get it out of me as quickly as you can, while I endure as little pain as possible" doesn't count. 
 
So The Deputy and I have been having conversations about the birthing plan on a semi-daily basis. That's just how I function. If something bothers me, I have to think and talk about it constantly until I've either resolved it or come to terms with it. So we talk. And then we talk. And then I go inside my head and talk to myself. And then I talk out loud some more.
 
What I've discovered is this: I know absolutely nothing and was absolutely not thinking this through at the time we decided to make a person that I would be in charge of growing and expelling from my loins. I did, however, spend a lot of that time planning how I would tell everyone the exciting news. Which went out the window approximately 5 minutes after the double lines appeared on the stick and I sent out a mass text message. So much for all of that overanalyzing. This discovery has greatly disappointed me. Not that I believe any woman actually wants to give birth, but I do believe that it just doesn't bother some women the way it's bothering me.
 
For example, my mother. I was only present at one of her births (and my memory of it is very hazy, seeing as I was just focusing on breathing air for the first time), but I imagine her births being similar to the way Lois gives birth to Reese in Malcolm in the Middle. If you've never seen Reese's birth story, you should watch it and think of my mom. If I have one ounce of my mother in me I'll be able to grit my teeth and deliver this child with minimal whining/feeling sorry for myself. If I have two ounces of my mother in me, I'll be able to push the baby out in a predetermined number of pushes (because I said you're coming out in 3 pushes and that's all I'm going to give you!) and cut the umbilical cord with my teeth. Thankfully, my mother will be beside me the entire time, so even if I find out that I was adopted and am biologically zero ounces my mom, something about her being in the room will help me through this.
 
My birthing coach will-of course-be The Deputy. Currently known as 'the guy who did this to me'. The Deputy has an unfair advantage because he can't speak from experience in this matter and my answer to everything is seriously:
 
But while I silently resent him for not having a uterus so we could have at least flipped a coin to decide which one of us got to keep our underwear on in the delivery room I also know I can depend on him for anything and he's going to be amazing at all things birthing and fathering.
 
The Deputy my spoiler alert in life. Which I know sounds mean, if you enjoy surprises and being unprepared for life in general. I do not. I'm the person who watches Big Brother episodes only after I've already read the recap so I know what to expect. I read the last pages of books before I start reading. I don't watch a movie without going to IMDB and I don't walk through my house without turning the lights on before I enter each room. So I see spoiler alerts as friendly little hints. They help you cautiously decide what to do at every turn, minimizing fear and disappointment. (That's right, I experience those emotions when watching Big Brother). But I also find that same kind of comfort in The Deputy. From the very beginning I've  known that he could and would be able to always take care of me (that's what I get for being the baby of the family). I love the security I have in him and I know that no matter what happens in the delivery room, he's going to get me through it. At the end of the day, when it's all said and done, when I'm tired and worn out, when I've given everything I have and our baby is with us, I know he will wrap us up in his love and take us home.
 
So my official birthing plan currently consists of: #1. Let's try this thing with no drugs, #2. Please let me be my mother's biological daughter and #3. For my coach: do not let this baby kill me.
 
I think it sounds pretty legitimate. We'll see how it turns out in 18 1/2 weeks. In the meantime you can find me hiding in my bed, reading my the baby's ABC Zoo Born book and crying myself to sleep. (Don't worry, the tears are mostly from the baby animals. Did I mention the baby sloth picture?!)
 

Monday, August 18, 2014

Cinnamon Rolls & Baby Girls.

I'm exactly halfway through this pregnancy and instead of having something profound to write about the experience so far, all I can think about is that I have never in my entire life thought about cinnamon rolls as much as I think about them now. I'm always in the mood for a cinnamon roll. Thankfully, I have zero desire to try to bake any from scratch and never remember to pick up any when I'm out. That's probably the only thing saving me from eating seven a day.
 
Other than that golden nugget of priceless Amanda-information, at 20 weeks, my morning sickness has mostly subsided. The constant vomiting is gone, I don't even know where I left my Zofran and I'm able to get through an entire grocery shopping trip. So things are on the mend!
 
I also started feeling the baby move last week and it's the coolest-yet weirdest-thing I've ever felt! At first it was pure joy and entertainment for me. Now, it's still cool, but for some reason my child has decided that my bedtime is her playtime. She's pretty chill most of the day but as soon as I lay down to sleep, she wakes up and does what I can only imagine is her doing a dance combination of a jig and the Charleston. All I know is that girl likes to move. ALL. NIGHT. LONG.
 
But I have no complaints, other than the fact that while I'm trying to enjoy my last few months as a free bird, I really wish she was already here! When other moms tried to warn me about the fierceness of the baby love that was coming around the corner, they weren't exaggerating. With every kick, every passing day, every pair of pink ballerina socks, I find myself falling harder and harder in love with this daughter of mine. Just when I think I can't fit anymore love inside my heart without it exploding into a million pieces, I somehow just do. If I manage to even make it through motherhood without completely unwinding, I'll be amazed.
 
It's only been 5 months and I already cannot picture my life without her.


Thursday, July 3, 2014

On Anniversaries and Whatnot.

I'm a little late on this post, my 2 year wedding anniversary was actually on Monday, June 30th. But that day was actually spent curled up in the fetal position on the couch, puking and feeling sorry for myself. I really know to celebrate!

Luckily, The Deputy and I were able to spend the weekend away, for the first time in a long time. I managed to feel great (Zofran free!) for Friday night and most of Saturday. Saturday evening we made reservations at a fancy pants restaurant, but wound up spending the evening eating Pizza Hut straight from the box in our hotel room.

But love is love, right? And either way, we accomplished another fantastic year of marriage, so I'll just make up for the lost anniversary weekend next year.

I find myself desperately nostalgic these days, I blame it on the sickness. But with this past weekend being our wedding anniversary, it brought me back to our first 4th of July as a married couple. If you know me, you know I'm a holiday nut...everyone in my family (the ladies, at least) are crazy excited about any and every holiday we get the chance to celebrate. So combine my love for holidays with my love for 'Merica and you get start to sense how excited I get about the 4th of July. Which will help me sound slightly less pathetic when I openly admit that spending our first 4th of July away from home seriously bummed me out.

We weren't even in the country. Instead, we were at a beautiful resort, on a beautiful beach in Cozumel. Normal people were excited to be there. They were partying, getting their hair braided with seashells (please, let's come back to that) and happily doing the limbo. I, on the other hand, was mourning for my beloved America. All alone on her birthday.

The Deputy and I had gone out earlier that day to hit up the local shops and to get hustled into buying 'genuine' jeweled Mason rings and $700 bamboo sheets (Don't worry, we only bought a set of hand painted bowls). We came back to the resort and found a glorious U-S-A celebration in the making! (My heart began to immediately chant and fist pump. No joke.) Red, white and blue balloons, table cloths, party hats, chairs, streamers, everywhere! I was ecstatic and ready to ease my aching heart with the only true blooded, American, 4th of July remedy: A hot dog.

That's all I wanted. A hot dog. On the birthday of my precious country.

We found a place to sit, grabbed our plates and made our way over to the buffet table.....to find the same exact food they had been serving at every dinner, every night before. Some sort of pork/beef, some sort of rice/potatoes, some sort of fruit and a giant watermelon carved into something spectacular (I don't say that sarcastically either. I'm impressed by anyone who can even manage to cut a watermelon into slices. So you can imagine my level of impression when you've formed the fruit into Abraham Lincoln's face without accidentally slicing off a body part).

So a part of my soul died.

Then I realized I could salvage the night with a brownie! Brownies fix everything. Brownies + ice cream on top are actually the only reason I get out of bed in the mornings. So I sent The Deputy over to the snack bar to get me a brownie. And I decided that I would survive this holiday.

He came back with a vanilla brownie. Maybe it was some sort of white chocolate, maybe it was some sort of special exotic kind of dessert, maybe it was made with unicorn wishes. I didn't care. All I knew is that it wasn't brown. I didn't ask questions after that, I just silently wept inside.

The party got going and when I realized there would be nothing there that night to even closely resemble America's birthday bash that was taking place back home, we called it quits and went back to our room. Where I cried (on the outside) for the very first time that trip. Mostly because I was homesick for a place where SpongeBob spoke a language I fully understood, partly because I was exhausted from being out in the sun so much, but really, because I was missing the 4th of July.

So Happy 4th of July, ya'll. Enjoy your holiday weekend, see some fireworks, grill something and please, please don't forget to eat a hot dog.

Thursday, June 19, 2014

Eleven Things.

Sometime this past week I entered my eleventh week of pregnancy. According to my Ovia Pregnancy app it was last Thursday. According to my most recent baby measurement from the doctor, it was this past Monday. Either way, eleven weeks it is. It's been a breeze!

Just kidding.

If you ask me, I feel very much like that time (yes, singular, the one time) I tried to use one of those stair climbing machines at the gym. I hopped on with great enthusiasm, full of hopes and dreams of lasting an entire work out. About 5 minutes in I felt like I was experiencing the beginning of what I imagine it would feel like to be suffering from an asthma attack and stroke combined. But there were people around me. So I couldn't quit, I had to just.....keep....climbing. One painful step at a time. No end in sight, just step after step after step. With the horrifying image in my brain of what my rear end must look like to the row of happy treadmillers directly behind me.

I find the only difference between that and pregnancy is at the gym, all I really have to do is swallow my pride, shut off the machine and quickly make a bee line to the door. Or to the bowl of Tootsie Rolls at the front counter. That's right, my gym rewards failure with candy.

I say that to say pregnancy has taught me a lot about life and myself. So far, it ain't pretty. But in honor of my eleventh week, I'm posting a list!

Eleven Things I Know About Pregnancy:

1. Your body will do absolutely whatever it wants to, when it wants to. I'm pretty sure I don't need to elaborate on this.

2. Pregnancy is the cure to any deep rooted fears you have of throwing up. In fact, you become quite good at it. I've practiced different angles, breathing techniques, motivational messages to chant (You will not die, you will not die, you will not die!), so on. Because in case you're one of the lucky people like me, vomit will spew from your nose. (Hence, #1 on this list).

3. People will ask the most inappropriate questions, including (and I wish I was exaggerating): "Was this baby 'planned'?" I have no words.

4. People will also believe all of your pregnancy problems can be cured with some sort of food. And they'll list and suggest these food items all day long. To the lady who's just trying to not think about food, in hopes of just keeping last night's dinner down.

5. Buying things for the baby does help! Especially when you have no belly yet and are too far out to feel movement, you tend to forget you're growing a human and start to feel like you've just had the flu for the past 8 weeks. My last baby purchase actually came from The Deputy, which made it even more special--I didn't have to leave the house!
Me and my Vera Wang baby backpack! It gets bigger than it looks and I get to be hands free. Sweaty? Probably. But hands free. This mama is happy.
 
6. No matter how much you love your baby name choices, you're bound to get this reaction when you tell people:
 
 
 7. So you have to get tough and take on a new attitude:
 
The same attitude that will also get you through the fact that you're noisily vomiting in the crowded bathroom at work. And through the time you were too tired to make it through an entire shower so you skipped shaving your legs. For two weeks....and still wore skirts. There's the time you wore wrinkled clothes. The time you thought your husband's shower would last long enough for you to let 'one' slip, because your stomach was killing you, but wound up turning the entire bedroom into a bio-hazard zone just as he was stepping into the room. The time you leaned back in your chair at work and accidentally fell asleep. The time you forgot to screw the lid on a bottle of apple juice before shaking it. The time you jokingly referred to your pregnancy as "a feeling of death" and people judged you. Basically, your entire new life.
 
8. Pregnancy will give you a new found love and respect for yourself. Sure, sometimes I'm gross and sometimes I cry uncontrollably over nothing. But I'm also growing a person. This, coming from the lady who could probably kill a plastic plant. A person. I still can't get over it.
 
9. Pregnancy also teaches you resourcefulness. It's more of a desperate attempt to keep the body as happy as possible, at all times, to avoid the repercussion of upsetting it. Which is, of course, vomiting. This means planning everything ahead of time. Going outside? That used to mean I'd need some sunscreen and bug spray. If I remembered. Now it means: A lawn chair. With an umbrella. A portable fan. A cooler with water. Frozen washcloths. Sunscreen. Sunglasses. Lightweight clothing. Oh, and actually just staying inside. And if it's unavoidable and I'm forced to venture out into the Texas summer, I'll be stealing this from The Deputy:


They should really market these towards pregnant ladies. (http://coolcop.com)
 
10. Other people's birth stories are NOT helpful, unless they're pleasant. Trust me, no pregnant lady wants to hear about the time your baby got stuck and you had to have your bones broken (without anesthesia, of course) and you lost so much blood you had to have a transfusion, but they accidentally gave you the blood of a diseased horse and you couldn't walk on two legs for six months. Even if the story ends well and your  baby is perfect. Even if-although you momentarily died and had to be revived-you swear you forgot it all. Even if I'm mildly impressed and believe you would hold up well under torture should you ever be taken prisoner of some horrendous war. Keep it to yourself. Labor is already daunting enough as it is, I don't need any additional fears. Once I'm on the other side of this, give me a call and we can hash out all the gory details of your labor. Just let me live in peace for the next 7 months. Beautiful, blissfully ignorant, peace.
 
11. When I wake up one day and magically feel wonderful, it should be reason for celebration. But every time, I'll instantly worry. What makes this day more special than the past two months? Why do I feel okay? Why am I able to actually get dressed for work and not have to sit down every five minutes?! No worries though, when the next day rolls around and I'm on the floor with my face in the toilet, I'm reassured that life is exactly how it should be. And that I really need to clean the toilet.
 
 
To all my pregnant ladies out there, I love you. I think you're super cool and if you find yourself crying into your food because you managed to drive yourself to get take out, only to get home and realize that your tastes have changed in the last 15 minutes and you can no longer stomach it, I feel your pain.
 
To all my already-mamas out there, I'm jealous of you. I want to hug your kids because they're already on the 'outside'. But I won't, because it's impolite to hug a stranger's child.
 
To all my non-mama, non-pregnant ladies, please go eat something delicious for me today. Then take a few hours out for roller skating, pole vaulting and doing that thing we used to as kids where we'd pull our legs inside of our shirts and roll down hills. (Am I the only one who did that?)
 
 
 
 
Love love. 
 
 

 



Friday, June 13, 2014

Follow me!

Because I can't seem to find anyone on here, I've decided to be a grown-up and use the handy dandy services of Blog Lovin' to keep all my blog love in one place!

<a href="http://www.bloglovin.com/blog/6574819/?claim=ec64b3qn73s">Follow my blog with Bloglovin</a>

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

In the middle of the night.

I feel like throughout life we spent long stretches of time just being. We make small changes here and there but overall we know what to expect from our day to day lives. Then suddenly, we wake up and one day everything is completely new. There's no going back, there's no "give me five more minutes", sometimes there's no warning.

I've had a few of these moments. Some caused by the choices of others, some choices I made voluntarily (and gladly) with eyes wide open. Except, even with your eyes open, its hard to really know what's coming around the corner. Sure, we see the bend in road coming so we brace ourselves for the shift, but can we every really prepare ourselves for the outcome?

I say all that to say The Deputy and I have done it again. And by "again", I'm referring to one of those times we have a conversation starting with something similar to "Hey, wouldn't it fun to......?"

The first time that happened we got married. Sure, the decision was thought out, talked about, planned and planned and planned for. And I mean planned. Homegirl doesn't do anything big without lists, sticky notes and color coding. But there I was, the morning of my very first day as a Mrs. thinking, "Holy cow. We actually went through with this!" It wasn't a sad thought, just a realization that we had done something that would change both of us forever.

Anyways, we did it then and we've done it now. This time, instead of having months and months of careful planning and time to prepare, we created a human being. Which, in case you weren't aware, is a moment that literally changes your life over night. I went to sleep on a Wednesday night as myself. I woke up on that Thursday morning as someone's mother. And still someone's mother 4 pregnancy tests later.

And that was it. What I thought I would have months to brace myself for has slammed into my life in a matter of weeks. I'd like to say that I'm #winning at pregnancy, but I'll admit, I'm still reeling. A little less every day--but reeling, nonetheless.

Being married to a law enforcement officer, I like to eliminate all elements of surprise, whenever I can. I tend to rely on the predictability--and maybe even false sense of security--to help me get through each work night, each SWAT call, each side job. I like to know things. I like to be warned, I like to over think and I like to plan for everything. But ironically, I find myself spending the majority of my life walking out in faith, having no other choice but to trust blindly.

So here comes my new life (again), making me feel more out of control than I ever have before. But I do know the end result will be worth every day of sickness, every frustrating moment, every doubt and every apprehension. Let's see what's coming around this turn! (And duh, I know it's a baby. The extent of my knowledge ends there.)

The first time we saw our Baby-Blob @ 6 weeks 6 days

Friday, February 21, 2014

We Pay Respects.

I'm VERY late in posting this, but I've finally been able to finish:
________________________________________________________________________________
I hate to say that December & January were 'uneventful' in our LEO/LEOW life. Because
events did take place, and they weren't all happy. So instead, I'll say they were quietly eventful. Events that made me stand still (in a manner of speaking) and just watch, listen and feel. The Deputy and I made our way to Austin a few weeks ago for a day of wandering around, eating barbecue and of course-visiting the state capitol. (I say 'of course' because growing up, a family vacation wasn't complete without stopping at museums, capitol buildings and presidential libraries. It's in my blood).

 
After seeing the giant Texas-sized Christmas tree in the House Chamber and locating our district's ornament (yeah, I'm the life of the party!) I felt like my journey to the capitol was complete. Minus our ill-fated hunt for the library. (I could see it from the 3rd floor, but no stairs, elevators or mysterious doors led to it!) So we called it a day and decided to go buy giant donuts, but The Deputy wanted to stop by the Texas Peace Officers' Memorial.



What was meant to be a few minutes turned into probably an hour of just looking. We read the names, looked at the structures and paid our respects. We were interrupted by some sort of city-wide scavenger hunt that actually led groups of people to the memorial to count squares and lights. Seriously. (My dad would have a had a stroke if we had ever dared to run across a memorial). So we finished up and headed home.


A few weekends after that, we attended the memorial service for a local police officer who was shot and killed in the line of duty. It's a sobering experience to stand at a gravesite and hear the officer's badge number retire over the radios.
 
I feel like this was the time for remembering. Remembering those who have given everything to serve. Those left behind who have graciously given their loved ones to protect the loved ones of strangers. Those kids who will grow up without the mothers and fathers who loved and cherished them every day, with nothing more than faint memories and a tiny, silver badge dangling from a chain to cling to.
 
In the moments we spent at the Memorial, I was reminded how blessed we were to be reading names together. In the time spent in a funeral procession, watching cars pulled over on the side of the freeway, men standing with their hats off, children waving flags, others covering their hearts with their hands, I was reminded of the cost of the calling.
 
But we will each push on. What other choice do we have? We will each say an extra "I love you" as we send our hearts away in a patrol car. We will be sure to send thoughts and prayers to our sister LEOWs. We will cry with those who bury their fallen, we will send encouragement through texts, social media, cards. We will be uplifting to each other when worry and doubt creeps into our veins.

We will be proud. We will carry one another in our thoughts. We will always remember.