I’m trying to get better at the internets

I feel incredibly limited (by skill, but also time and tools) in the creativity realm and the internet. (I’m constantly wishing I had more time to really edit and play with images online, etc.)  I love playing with images and making things…and I wish I could transfer my Cheerleader Bubble Letter Writing Skills to the technology world. I took an HTML class years ago and have created some very very beginner type websites- but as you can see here, I don’t have time to make this one look pretty. Maybe I do have time. Maybe I’m just tired and old.

Anyhow, one night I started screwing around with Picasa and made a slideshow for Gabe.  He liked it, but was embarrassed by it, so don’t tell him I posted it on the internet.

THERE IS A TYPO IN IT.

I KNOW THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN KNEW and NEW. I JUST….sigh whatever. I’m not fixing it.

Happy Valentine’s Day!

This morning we celebrated by handing out handmade Valentine’s to each other, promising each other things-to-come (a night out at a concert for Gabe and a “fancy homemade dinner” for me) and Simon got a pink monkey sippy cup and pink giraffe fork and spoon set (thank you Target). He watched Pocoyo two times this morning and then we rushed around in usual fashion.

Simon refused to wear red on the only day you’re really supposed to (like I care).  He did have a blueberry muffin with cream cheese frosting and sprinkles on it for breakfast, mostly because I don’t mind hyping him up on sugar if someone else is going to watch him go through the sugar high then crash afterwards.

I hope all of your valentine’s wishes come true.

OR

I hope you manage to get through this day without cussing (more likely? maybe not. Did you give up cussing for Lent? I’m so glad I”m not Catholic sometimes.)

Ok, two more days of work— wheeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee!

Then and now.

I remember being a little girl and drawing the dresses I wanted to wear at my wedding. They all had poofy sleeves. The bridesmaids’ dresses were teal, and they had slightly less poofy sleeves. I thought about how beautiful I would feel, and how that day I would look like a princess, and it would be a lovely party- dancing with my Prince Charming.

I had other visions of my life back then. Of course, they were loosely based off of the only life I knew close enough to want- my mom’s life. I would meet my husband in college. I would marry him, because he would be so madly in love with me he would throw himself at my feet and work very hard to provide me with only the nicest of things. Of course, I would stay home and take care of the kids. And I would play tennis. The college degree I received as a result of half-assed studying and learning how to balance binge-drinking and schoolwork would just be a means to an end. College would be where I would meet the “husband”. Husband would fix it all and life would look eerily similar to my parents’ life: 3-4 children birthed in my early/mid twenties. And then there would be a Happily Ever After.

Today I was thinking about this while on a break at work. I was thinking initially about the drawings I made of the dresses, because I was thinking: “Boy, I hope people aren’t disappointed in the way that I look at my wedding.”

First of all, that’s a weird (and obviously deeply self-conscious) thing to think, I know. Very quickly I thought to myself, “Who cares what other people think? And, I’m doing the best that I can throwing this thing together, don’t stress about how you’re going to LOOK. Just FEEL good about it.”

And I just thought about that, too. I mean, when I was a little girl, I didn’t focus on the way I would FEEL about getting married. When I did think about it, I thought about it like I would be “saved” by this person who would take care of me. I never thought of taking care of him, or entering into a mutually beneficial partnership. It’s funny how things change, is all.

Of course, everyone changes between the ages of 8 and 33. And I guess what I’m trying to say is, I’m so pleasantly surprised by the way my life is working out. I can’t picture myself ever NOT working outside the home. I just can’t picture it, not out of necessity- but because I’m passionate about the career I chose. And I dated plenty of people before meeting Gabe (wow those blog archives are lost for good- thankfully). The ones who had the capability to BE the type of Prince Charming I dreamt of as a girl, well frankly they sucked. And to be honest, I ended up being the type of person who always wanted to fix someone else, not be rescued myself. So that kind of worked itself out, too.

Since being with Gabe, I’ve learned more about myself, and the type of relationship that is best and easiest for me. It involves a lot of mutual respect for time, privacy, togetherness and touch. Remembering to stop and kiss him goodbye and hello. Reaching out under the covers to tap him goodnight before I pass out in front of the glow of my laptop and some random Hulu garbage. Coming home to a clean kitchen, a clean child, a child who has learned several new things from the man I’m choosing to marry.

We decided to have this baby (Simon) and give it a shot. We agreed to commit to the kid, and to each other (at the very least) for him. Having only been in a relationship for a year when finding out we were pregnant- it was definitely a roll of the dice. We rolled. I think we won.

This month we’re getting married. And sure I get a teensy bit stressed over the details that need ironed out beforehand. But moreso than stress, I’m feeling like everything is falling into place the way it was always supposed to- in the way that it was meant to be. Sometimes I tell other people that they should have a kid before getting married. I’m only halfway joking. I’m well aware of the potential negative repercussions if parents don’t see eye to eye. But when you both commit to a common goal, something, someONE that you both love more than anything else, well it just prioritizes everything for you. The focus is no longer on you and your relationship. It’s on the family. It’s on your new “team”.

So that’s been my experience so far. And the other night we were talking about how being married is going to be exactly like we’ve already been- only we might have some more kitchen appliances. I know that we’re making a lot of other people happy by making it all “legit”. After all 87 people “liked” my “I’m getting married this month” status on facebook. But for me, I’m just happy that this wedding we’re having is more about the marriage than the party. It’s more about the gathering of family and friends to celebrate than it is looking beautiful and perfect in poofy sleeves.

The foundation of our relationship will remain the same, unchanged. Other people will view us differently, and Gabe is slightly resentful of that. He’s always been committed to me and to us, regardless of the status of our relationship according to the law. So I guess what I mean to say is, this isn’t at all what I pictured when I was 8 years old laying on my stomach drawing pictures of myself in wedding dresses. But there is no way that my 8 year old self could comprehend how much better the future would be.

25 more days.

 

Gabe

So Gabe always says I “bad mouth him on the internet” which I don’t believe it entirely true. I say nice things about him now and again on here, right? Anyways, to back track a bit:

A few weeks ago our landlords approached us and told us they were selling our building, and offered it to us at a great price. This “great price” was competitive within the area, wouldn’t involve realtor fees for them, but would require us to become landlords and rent out the other side of the building, which I might mention, has sat empty for 3 months even though it’s slightly nicer than ours’. We seriously considered it. We thought maybe we’d move into the other side and rent out this side. We did mortgage calculators and found out if we could borrow money for a down payment. (Like we have thousands of dollars sitting around!? Pheesh.) We told them we were definitely interested, but would more than likely use an FHA loan. They didn’t want to work with an FHA loan. So that was that, it was over.

Then a few days later they called back and said they’d talked to some people in the business and found out that FHA loans weren’t nearly the PITA they used to be, so they were open to it if we were still interested. At this point we’d kinda gotten used to the fact that the place wasn’t meant to be ours’, so we politely declined after getting everything together to get pre-approved. Yea, it was bittersweet.

The next day a sign was out in the front yard accompanying the FOR RENT sign, only this one said For Sale. People came in and out of the building (on the other side) for a few days and now they think they have a potential buyer who supposedly would like us to stay here and be tenants. He will be moving into the other side of the place (hope he likes teething babies!) and today at 4pm an inspector and our potential landlord will be rummaging through our house while we’re at work.

What does this mean?

Well it makes me uncomfortable because we’re not going to be here. It also meant that we had some cleaning to do since they’d likely be moving furniture to reveal electrical outlets and furnace grates. With wood floors we have three times the dust that carpeted places have so it meant a total overhaul of the floors, reorganization (God how I hate this) of the basement, and overall cleaning up everywhere.

Guess who did 90% of the work + about 4 loads of laundry in preparation for this inspection?

Gabe.

He went around the house and did the kind of sweeping/dusting/organizing that I would love to do, if I weren’t constantly distracted by this baby of ours’. (haha) He did an amazing job, and I can open the blinds, let the sunshine in, and be only moderately dismayed by the dust that’s RE-settled on everything. (There’s only so much dusting a person can do in a house as old as ours’. For the most part it never is completely dust-free.)

Gabe can rock. Most of the time he does. If I ever “bad mouth” him on here it’s always in jest, for fun. But honestly, I’m starting to think I should schedule an Inspector to come into our house once every month or so, so Gabe can show off his miraculous cleaning capabilities more often. Don’t get me wrong, he helps me out tremendously and I’m always thankful for how much work he does. He does a lot more than most husbands/boyfriends/roommates do. I recognize and appreciate that. However, this last cleaning spree has exceeded my expectations of him. I probably owe him something sweet now, huh.

my guy

Happy Birthday to Gabe

Today’s Gabe’s birthday. So far we celebrated by sleeping in until 9am and going out to breakfast at First Watch. I even gave him half of my blueberry pancake. Now that we’ve given him his gifts: some custom-made t-shirts from Skreened, some new toothbrushes, underpants, and tickets to see Andrew Bird (thanks Uncle Brett for agreeing to babysit that night!!)– we just have to figure out what we’re going to do with the rest of this beautiful day…the last day that Gabe has off before returning to work. booooo hissssss

Here’s to my main squeeze…

road trip pit stop

road trip pit stop

IMG_3452

Our first picture together. If we only knew...

Our first picture together. If we only knew...

I’m 31.

I am 31 years old today. And I definitely feel like it. Last year I said, “I don’t feel 30 at all!” and this year I’m saying, “I feel FORTY-ONE.” Of course, I’m uber pregnant so that’s going to make a person feel older, slower, bigger and dumber. So I suppose it comes with the territory.

Though I have pretty low expectations for a prego-friendly birthday being all that fun, so far I’ve been pleasantly surprised with what’s gone on….

Aside from the near complete lack of sleep last night due to discomfort in general:

  • I woke up to Gabe making me a special breakfast – blueberry pancakes and watermelon and he even bought healthy sausage..
  • He also got me a card that I swear was WRITTEN FOR ME and said a bunch of sweet things in it, too- including that I get to go out to fancy dinner tonight wherever I want to go…
  • And $60 in iTunes — that’s like 60 new songs to download!!!
  • And the movie Baby Mama, which I really love and am exicted to watch for the 4th time or something…
  • Then at work people made sweets for me too- coffee cake and chocolately cookie things and muffins and a veggie tray…
  • And I got an email gift confirmation that my dad got me subscriptions to both Cooking Light and Real Simple magazines (love that!)…
  • And I’ve been having odd long lasting though not painful contractions all morning- which I think may be directly correlated to all of the sugar I’ve ingested before noon…

I’ve also gotten some lovely gifts from Gabe’s family and my mom gave me some $$ that will likely go towards a new iPod…which I’ll need when I finally start running again…!? In like 2 months!

On a kind of bad-news-front, my Pap fell last night and is currently getting checked out at the hospital to make sure he didn’t break anything. The guy refuses to use a walker and will only use a cane. I am contemplating decorating a walker with conservative bumper stickers and other such nonsense and seeing if that would entice him to use it.

So I have to think of somewhere good to go for dinner tonight- even though I’m not hungry at all due to the constant snacking I’ve been doing all morning…

More later…

Well, for only having one real weekend day

We did cram a lot into it! Sunday the researchers came and that was a short but hilarious experience.  Gabe and I were taken by two separate researchers into different areas of the apartment (Gabe took his to his man-lair of course) and we were asked to go over our Time Diaries and do a few more exercises separately. We basically had to rate our investments in certain things like Social Life, Parenting, Spouse/Partner, Other, Work, etc. I had to do it for now, and how I imagine it will be after the baby. Then I had to guess what I think Gabe’s “investments” are now and later for the baby. That was kind of fun.

Then they set up a few chairs and a video camera and gave us each a sheet of paper with “problems” on it that most people in relationships encounter. They included: money, work, in-laws, drugs/alcohol, pregnancy, sex, communication, etc. We had to rate them (separately without discussing) on a scale from 0-10 of “how big of a problem” each one was. Well…I didn’t like this to begin with because I don’t see this things as problems so much as issues and already I don’t like the terminology. I start writing my “issues” down…and Gabe does his. At the end we’re asked to write down/fill in two additional problems that we’ve most recently argued about…and I wrote in Videogames (as did he) and then we were asked to pick one and discuss it on camera for 10 minutes.  I mentioned that we don’t often get to discuss these things so it was probably good that they came over. We discussed the videogaming- “she gets mad cuz that’s all I do” and I said, “but I realize that he can’t do it later when the baby gets here so I feel bad about it but don’t understand how someone can spend that much time playing” and he said, “I do spend a lot of time playing and it is excessive but once the baby comes it won’t happen so…” so halfway through this discussion I peek at Gabe’s paper and all of his “problems” are listed as Moderate to Moderate-to severe. I laughed and said, “I wrote all of ours’ as slight problems”….so I finally filled in the second blank with Gabe’s Negative Attitude as being the second thing that I view as a Problem in our relationship (even though it’s only a slight problem).

All in all this exercise made me feel pretty good about our relationship. We laughed about it and I thought- boy we don’t have as many problems as I thought. That’s good news.

Then they (researchers) wanted us to role-play and Gabe was all- “Awesome!” until we realized that we’re supposed to play with a baby doll pretending that it’s the first time we’re seeing/bringing our baby home. The researcher pulls the baby out of the bag, puts it in a Moses basket and lays it in front of us….all still on camera mind you. The babydoll DOESN’T HAVE A FACE. I can’t pretend with this. I pick up the baby (trying to fake it) and look at Gabe and say, “It’s a bag of rice dressed up in pajamas without a face…” I couldn’t bring myself to pretend this was my baby. If my baby were born without a face I would probably have the same reaction.. Then it was Gabe’s turn to play with the baby and he was super awesome at faking it. I asked him, “How are you doing that? IT doesn’t have a face?!” and he said (smiling) “It’s because I’m just a better actor than you.” HA- not likely but whatever.

After that weirdness they had us sign a waiver and handed us $40 and left. Pretty awesome, right?

So after that we went to Target and got our extension cords and other random stuff that we needed around the house. And after THAT we went to the Jazz and Ribs festival downtown and had a really nice day down there. The weather was great, it wasn’t super crowded and it was the perfect little spot of downtown to have the festival- right near the water of the lovely (though filthy) river.

I am officially ugly-pregnant. Here are some pictures.

wow we got fat

wow we got fat

Perhpas this is why?

Perhpas this is why?

There's a riverfront in Columbus, kind of.

There's a riverfront in Columbus, kind of.

Gorgeous day and lemonade

Gorgeous day and lemonade

So that was that. We walked all over creation down at the Ribs fest, and took ribs home with us for leftovers. I swear we walked for miles. Then we got ice cream and walked around at Antrim Park. I’m trying to walk as much as possible. Walk walk walk. Even though I’m probably not walking as far or as long as I’d like to think, it certainly seems like I’m walking forever. With a baby head dangling between my legs. That’s what it feels like. But we continue to walk.

Last night we went to Babies R Us to pick up some things that we needed – Infant Gas Drops, strange but apparently necessary breastfeeding accessories I didn’t know existed, swaddler blankets, one of those baby-sack things, and a diaper changing caddy to keep downstairs so we don’t have to haul the baby and/or diaper stuff up and down the steps everytime he needs changed. It’s very cute. We also found (miraculously) this foot stool/foot warmer thing that easily fits under the crib and is PERFECT for our rocker in the baby room. It’s just a little mound of cushion to push off of, but it was on clearance and it has little pockets to put your feet in so they don’t get cold while you’re sitting there. It’s really neat. So that was fun.

And this morning, I got on a fellow pregnant friend Ria’s blog and realize — SHE HAD HER BABY!!! Hooray for Ria! He’s beautiful and I’m so happy for her. This made me realize, that holy shit I’m probably next. Wowza.

Monday is my birthday and it’s so un-fun-sounding this year. I mean, what am I going to do? Eat more? Awesome. No drinks, no fancy dinners, no looking cute and getting people to buy you drinks, etc.  But my friend Carie may be having a bon fire at her house Friday to celebrate our birthdays together  and fulfill my craving for S’MORES since we couldn’t go camping/cabrewing this year. Next year maybe…next year…

But oh yea I’ll probably have a freaking baby soon. Whoa….

Dear Thumbkin,

Well, you’re getting enormous. My co-workers can see you through my shirt at work as you wiggle around in there and try to make extra room. It really grosses out my friend Mandy, but most things relating to human reproduction do so that’s not a problem.

It has been perhaps the most beautiful summer I’ve ever experienced in Ohio. It’s reminded me of the summer I spent in London 3 years ago- with big fluffy white clouds, a nice breeze and we haven’t had to turn on the air but for 2 weeks all summer. It makes me think that the weather being this nice is for me for some reason…since you’re coming and all- a celebration or “favor” from the Universe or God or Whoeveryouthinkcontrolstheweather.

Everything is a go- meaning, we have everything ready for you. Carseat, swing, bedding’s washed, diapers, everything is DONE. I have a sneaking suspicion you’re Done cooking in there too, because you’re spending an awful lot of time playing around in there- dawdling. No dawdling! Come out and meet us! We have so much to do- like get ready for football season and then halloween (we’re going to dress you up) and then Thanksgiving and Christmas….and showing you off and staring at your face for hours on end and taking endless amounts of digital photographs and forgetting to print them and wondering what you’ll be “into” someday, if it’s dinosaurs or pirates or outer space or dolls. It can be dolls- I don’t care. I just want to know who you are so get here already!!!

I love you but am firmly asking you to please LISTEN TO MY WORDS and come out. We’ll have much more fun, I swear. Your dad’s even getting anxious to meet you- though I think he’s going to be disappointed by the dieting that comes along with it.

I can’t wait to meet you. Remember, my birthday’s next week…..

love you,

Mom

Research

We are participating in a research project that Ohio State is doing. It’s called the New Parents Project. I saw something about it in the newspaper, and then heard about it on the local news. I called them and we fit their criteria for New Parents who will both be returning to work after the baby. So far, we had to fill out a long survey online about parenting- our expectations. There were also some weird questions that I think were trying to determine whether or not we were sexist people. We also had to answer questions about our relationship and whatnot. We weren’t supposed to discuss our answers (Gabe and I filled out the surveys separately). We also had to log Time Diaries: one for a “work day” and one for a “non-work day”. For the time diaries we had to write down all the stuff we did in a given day. I laughed when Gabe was going to fill his out on his “non-work day” because I figured it would read a lot like this:

8:30am: woke up

8:35am: bathroom

8:40am: played videogames

6:30pm: said hello to girlfriend

6:45pm: played videogames

3:30am: went to bed

BUT INSTEAD on the day he filled out his Time Diary, he did all sorts of things like swept the upstairs, put together a baby swing, etc. It was probably the most productive day he’s had in a long time. I was kind of pissed because that’s definitely not “typical” but I didn’t want to complain about all the chores he did that day. It was nice to have all that help! At least I know he’s aware of what he SHOULD be doing to help out, and instead he chooses to play videogames….most of the time.

Anyways, today the OSU people are coming to the house to interview us and observe us in our natural habitat. I’m wondering what they’ll ask us or what they will think. Gabe thinks they asked us all those questions about each other so we could see how incredibly wrong our expectations were later on. haha! He might be right, I don’t know.

After they (researchers) leave, we’re going to go to target to buy an extension cord. Woo hoo! Other than that I haven’t really gotten much planned.

I think the baby gains all of his muscle mass and weight overnight because each morning it’s getting harder to get out of bed- and I mean remarkably harder. Last night we went out to “fancy dinner” because I was in the mood for GOOD food- namely fish. People were staring at me at the restaurant and it was embarrassing. I think it was because I’m ginormous and Gabe thinks it’s because my shirley temple looked a lot like a mixed-vodka-drink (don’t I wish). Either way, I had an awesome dinner of Parmesan crusted tilapia with zuchini and strawberry shortcake for dessert. It seems to me that the Fish Market has actually lowered their prices. They always offer three different options for a “special dish” that has a salad, meal and then a dessert for only $19.95 which is always delicious. So I had that and Gabe had the shrimp…it was awesome. Gabe ate two loaves of their sour dough bread and is still full today. haha.

I should go now since the researchers will be here any moment. 🙂