About Me


Whenever something sad happens, my gut instinct is to sit down and write out my feelings.  I’m not one to internalize.  I need to talk about them.  Go over details.  Sort out all my messy emotions.  I am here to do that today.

After work on Tuesday, as I was driving home, my mom called me to tell me that she and my dad had to put our lab Maui down.

Unless you have a pet it’s really hard to truly understand the pain that comes with losing one.  These furry friends are more than just love embodied in 60 pounds of tail-wag.  They’re members of the family.  Shoulders that have been cried on many times.  Nonspeaking, nonjudgmental listeners.  It doesn’t matter how many times you get back from work, they’ll be excited each and every time you do.

They don’t even care if you have a terrible singing voice.

Which is why losing a pet is so hard.  They’re the embodiment of kindness.  Of everything good in the world.  Of pure, unadulterated love.

We got Maui 12 years ago when I was a senior in high school.  She came as a package deal.  When Kyle, my dad and I finally convinced my mom that we needed a dog, she decided that, heck, we may as well get two.  So we waited eagerly to pick up our Maui and Ashbury from the breeder.

Maui has always had a special corner in my heart.  She was the underdog.  The one that would let our neurotic, little Ashbury have the spotlight.  She was just happy to have a little love and a good belly scratch.

Knowing she’s gone feels like a chapter has closed.  I was 18 when we got her.  I’ve graduated, gotten married and had a baby since then.  Yet it still feels like yesterday I snuggled with that tiny puppy on that first car ride home.

It’s sad, but like many things, time will heal the strength of grief and I’ll be able to remember her sweet, little mug without tearing up.  But for now I’ll let my heart ache in it for awhile and miss my dog.

Love you, Mau-pie.

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I am telling you this story only because I didn’t kill my family in a freak arctic winter accident.  You will understand what I mean in a minute.

I am a prompt person.  I pay my bills on time.  I’m always early for doctor appointments.  I cook chicken at the correct temperature for the correct time.  I’m pretty by the book.

Which means that when Fall Back Day comes around, all the clocks in my general vicinity are dutifully rewound an hour and life continues as normal in my happy little bubble.

My husband, on the other hand, isn’t quite such a freak of nature when it comes to being anal about the time.  In fact, he might be on the complete other end of the spectrum, as he still has yet to set the guest room clock back.  This is the very same room that he spends most nights sleeping (because someone has to get some sleep in this house, I guess…)  His clock in his man cave in the basement is set on some completely random time, possibly due to all the Fall Back days of the past decade being compounded together or something.  Who knows.  But the point remains – my husband is apparently on permanent vacation mode and has no use for this petty thing us common people call time.

So cue a few nights ago at 1:30 in the morning.  I just started a diaper change, which resulted in my discovering the contents of said diaper did not stay in said diaper.  So also cue a pajama change.  And then cue a feeding.  It’s now 2 in the morning and I’m slowly walking down the hall after putting Fox back in bed and discover that the thermostat time is an hour off.

And at 2 in the morning there is absolutely no possible way that I can let this be the case.  Que terrible!

So I start messing with the thermostat in the dimly lit hallway.  And after about 5 minutes of fumbling, the clock is now accurate and all is right in my world.  I permit myself to go to sleep and know the little OCD elf inside of me is pacified for the night.

Now cue to 6 o’clock in the morning.

I wake up to Fox crying, which is par for the course around here, and crawl out of bed to get him.  I realize I’m freezing cold, but decide it’s a result of only being in a tank top in the middle of November.  I walk into Fox’s room and realize it’s even colder in there.  My poor little fellow had chilly little fingers and cheeks and felt like a little Fox-sicle.

I scooped him up to bring him back to our bedroom and peered over at the sound monitor which shows the temperature.  His room was 60 degrees.  Holy! Shit!  Bad parenting alarms are going off all over the place.

I run to the thermostat which reads 64 degrees in the house.

My initial thought is that the furnace died.  It wouldn’t be completely unreasonable, as each time the furnace starts up it normally sounds like an old car engine on its last leg.

I start yelling to Tony (very much in the same fashion as I did when the bathroom was leaking water into our basement and I thought the house was on fire).  I don’t hear a peep so I’m forced to be an independent woman and figure this shit out, damnit!

That’s when I realize that the thermostat is SET at 64 degrees.  What the what?

And then THAT’S when I realize that sleep-deprived Katie from 2 o’clock in the morning was that fool who accidentally set the furnace to 64 when she was fumbling around with the clock.  Damn that stupid, 2 o’clock Katie.

So all turned out well in the end.  Fox was wrapped in a fleece blanket, then buried underneath mounds of comforters while we nursed that morning.  I threw on a sweatshirt.  Tony kept sleeping and being the top-notch concerned husband and homeowner that he’s proven to be time and again.

The next night Fox went to bed with an extra layer on.  Just in case mom got more brilliant ideas at 2 o’clock in the morning.

 

 

 

Dear Fox,

Today is my last day of maternity leave and as I’m sitting here typing this, you’re on the floor playing under your play-gym toy with all the fun dangley things for you to grab at.  And you keep coo-ing really loud and batting at the orange monkey because he’s your favorite.  Sometimes I think you two hold some pretty intense conversations.  You both are over there talking about the state of the economy and then my big head butts in and says “Poop?  Did you poop, my little punkin?  Ooooh, yes, yes, yes, mumma’s little baby pooped.”

No wonder you look at me like, “Woman!  Stop talking about my bodily functions in front of my new monkey friend, here.  Isn’t it bad enough you gave me the name Fox?  I’m already going to get beat up on the playground, I don’t need extra help from you.”

As you can see, this maternity leave might have given me a little too much time on my hands, as I’m now making up entire imaginary conversations with my 2-month-old in my head.

What was I saying?

Oh right.  Last day.

And while I tend to take the humorous approach to most things in my life on this blog, today I’m not feeling so lighthearted.  As evident by my far-from-comical introduction above.  I mean, really.  Poop humor?  It’s totally not even funny.

Nope.  Today I feel this sick pit in my stomach.  Like sadness.  And worry.

Sadness because this has been the most incredible two months.  They’ve been challenging, as living with most newborns can be.  But they’ve  been so full of joyous moments, it makes me tear up when I write about it.  I was the first to hold you in my arms and feel you curl up on my chest.  How strange to feel you on the outside instead of the inside after 9 months.  I witnessed your first smile.  I watched your thought process as you learned (and are still learning) to reach for things.  I laughed with the doctor when you rolled over on the exam table and started flirting with the nurse.  I’ve even watched your daddy fall madly, deeply in love with you.

And starting tomorrow I won’t get to be a part of that for 8 hours each day.

And here’s where the worry (albeit irrational) sets in.  What if you don’t get the same attention every day?  What if you’re stuck in your swing for hours and everyone just keeps popping a Nuk back in your mouth when you cry?  What if you forget who your mom is?

Holy irrational Toledo, yeah?

I know you will be well-loved and well-cared for when I’m not around during the day.  But is it wrong that I wish it could be me continuing the love and caring for?  Is it wrong that I don’t look forward to going back to the daily grind of a 40 hour work week?

I know things might have an extra level of difficulty as we struggle to work out a schedule from here.  There might be later evenings and earlier mornings.  But.  I’m so thankful for the time I was able to spend with you every day during leave.  On days when I didn’t think I could pull myself out of sleep after a particularly rough night, I’d look over at you sharing our bed and you’d give me that signature Fox smile and I’d bust out laughing.  You’ve been a little light in our lives.

I’m going to miss you during the day, Bud, but it will make it so much sweeter at 4 o’clock when I’ll look forward to returning home to you.

Love,

Your Mom

 

 

 

So get this.

I come to post Fox’s 2 month photos and realize what a terrible blogger I have been when I noticed the last post I made was his 1 month photo.

Bad blogger, blah blah blah, fill in random excuses here.

Listen.  I have a small child.  A wee, tiny human that on paper would seem fairly easy – eat, sleep, poo.  But in reality, those three things happen quite often throughout the day, so as I find myself finishing one, we’re on to the next.  I’m lucky if I finally sit down to breakfast at 1 in the afternoon.

Here’s Fox’s 2 month photos.  I couldn’t resist the Halloween theme, seeing as though he’ll be 2 months tomorrow, the 30th.  Just too close to the holiday to resist.

We had a ton of outtakes.

A ton.

Who would have thought a hungry, floppy-necked 2-month-old in an itchy wool cap, propped next to an insanely cold pumpkin would be such a crabass about the whole thing?  But ours was.

Listen kid – if you’re serious about this 5 year plan that involves becoming the Gerber baby and making your parents millions, you’ll have to buck up just a little.  That IS your 5 year plan, yeah Fox?

Anyway, here’s a peek at some of the outtakes along with Baby Fox’s very own commentary.

(And another reason for me to post some delicious pictures of those baby thigh rolls.  Are any of you ever worried you will actually eat your own child because he’s so cute?  I am.)

Baby Fox says, “Get me a chair for some back support, you jerky, first-time parents!”

Baby Fox says, “Don’t get all crazy and excited about that smile.  That was just some serious gas.”

Mom says “Fox is right.  This photography sesh was peppered with lots of gas leaks.”

Baby Fox says, “Way to push the photography limits by switching which side the pumpkin is on, Mom and Dad.  In exchange for your genius, I will now act disinterested in the pumpkin from this point forward.”

Baby Fox says, “A baby can only take so much paparazzi.  I get it.  You people need 25 photos of the same pose for the baby album.  But the longer you make me wait, the more I will take out my angry hunger on your boobs later, Mom.  Just so we’re clear.”

 Baby Fox says, “Is this the last picture?  Yeah?  No?  Did you hear what I said about your boobs earlier, Mom?”

This is the look of a baby who has given up.  Fox decided he had no comment on this one.

So there you have it.  I distracted you with some photos to ease the pain of a month without update.  Maternity leave is over for me in a week and a half, and if you think I had little time to update now, I’ll make no promises for the month ahead.  But I will try my darndest.  Because I can’t deny you all juicy baby thighs.  I’ll try not to gobble them up before then.

Aw shucks, everyone – being Freshly Pressed is pretty awesome, but getting to meet new people and check out lots of new blogs is pretty awesome-er.  Just sayin’.

Thanks to everyone who commented so sweetly on my last post.  In exchange, I will speak very sternly to the tater tot still freeloading in my uterus tonight and let him know there are a lot of people who are waiting for his arrival.

The whole internet would like you to come out now, Son!  Because everyone loves pictures of wrinkly old-man-looking newborns, duh!

We’ll see what we can do over here.  But in the meantime, thanks again my peeps!

We closed on our house Friday night.  Then we drove over there, where I proceeded to freak out about pretty much everything I missed during the first showing.  The second showing.  The home inspection.  And the walk-through.  How did I not notice how dirty the sides of the dishwasher were the first time?  For the love of God, why did I not check the freaking dishwasher?!

Because I was not at level-10, freak-out capacity when I first walked through the house.  I was actually sane, not some batshit crazy, first time homeowner who is peeling contact paper out of her new kitchen cabinets at 10 at night.

You could probably say my stress level is a little high at the moment.

But here’s why.

Moving boxes

I am living out of these.  And no sooner will you pack your Flinstones vitamins in a box that you have your husband move to the new place, you will realize you forgot to take your Flinstones vitamin for the day and have a slight internal meltdown that you are not enjoying the delicious generic red flavor of Barney Rubble.

Side note: XBox controller spotted!  (It’s like the Where’s Waldo of the nerdy, gamer world)

Because this first picture doesn’t give you a clear enough view of the nightmare that has become our apartment, let me show you the other lazy picture I took from the couch where my big butt has been planted while stressing out about the rest of the packing that needs to be done.

Moving

If we camp out somewhere between the couch and the desk tonight, we might be able to reach summit, or the laundry room in the back, by morning.

I also decided to take the following picture.

XBox

Apparently we have our priorities straight around these parts because the XBox is the last thing that will be getting packed, and don’t even suggest that Tony might want to put it in the box or he will stare at you, choking back a disgusted snort that you would even think of such a crazy notion.  “Woman!  There are still hours in the day that can be spent playing Halo!  Good day to you!”

So naturally, with all the stress and chaos that has been surrounding me, I frequently go to my happy place.  Which just so happens to be an avocado BLT.  Listen.  I don’t judge your happy places.

Avocado BLTIf this writing “thang” doesn’t work out, I could probably make it in the sandwich industry.  I’m just sayin’.  That’s a pretty damn good-looking sandwich.

And because this post has mainly become an easy-peezy picture book (because I’m tired, so that’s what you get), why not post a few pregnancy-related 26 week bump photos, shall we?

My belly is getting huge and this little boy-part-adorned mini-critter I’ve been hauling around all day is starting to get some-sort of heavy.

26 Week Pregnant Belly

We’re moving around here, not cleaning mirrors.  I make no apologies.

26 Week Pregnant BellyOooh snap!  Things are a-popping.  This week especially has been a “week of growth,” which is code word for “all of a sudden even the UPS guy at work is congratulating you on your exciting news based on his observation of your freakishly large new ab region.”  It still takes me aback when people congratulate me or ask when I’m due without knowing for sure that I’m pregnant and a very small part of me (very small indeed) wants to look at them sideways with a confused look and ask what they’re talking about.  You’re commenting on my beer gut?  Thanks a lot, ya’ jags!

No, I won’t do that to anyone.  I promise.  Not even the UPS guy.

26 Week Pregnant BellyHere’s the attitude-model-glamour pose where Tyra Banks would probably yell at me for not smiling enough with my eyes.

We’re getting down to 14 weeks left and I’m starting to feel like I’m not sure how there will be room for my stomach AND a bladder AND a baby if things get any more cramped.  One needs to go.  And my gut instinct tells me the baby’s probably going to stick around for a little bit.  So.  Bladder it is, then.

We also find we’re calling him all kinds of incredibly ridiculous pet names that he’ll grow to hate us for down the line.  So far he’s Foxy, which is a given and something that is probably making my poor mother cringe as she reads it.  He’s also Foxy Locks, Foxtrot and the Fox-ness Monster.  It’s getting weird, I am aware of this.

On a side note, one of Tony’s friends calls him Squirrel.  Get your woodland creatures straight, man!

Anyway.

It’s getting late and we have quite a bit of painting ahead in our future tomorrow, but I hope to check back in with you folks after this week is up and my one big wish for this week is to not have strangled my poor husband over paint samples.  Warm Khaki Biscuit Buttermilk Pancake or Buttercream Sage Sand Dunebuggy Mermaid?!

Wait.  What aisle do I go down to just find the beige paint?

I am stressed.

We close on our house 1 week from today.

So far I’ve packed my Yankee candles, a few wind chimes and some random picture frames that keep moving with us from place to place, but always manage to find themselves in the back of the closet.  Anybody else feel guilty getting rid of picture frames?  Just my neuroses?  Ok then.

I also have a box for Fox’s nursery bedding, but it might be cheating a little because it arrived in a box and, well, technically I just didn’t take it out of the box.  But having it sit with the other boxes feels like an accomplishment to me, ok, so just go with it, would ya?

I am seriously debating hiring a maid after all is said and done because for some reason our apartment building managers seem to think we are all a bunch of free labor monkeys as they’ve left us with a full page list of “Things that Must Be Done While We Dangle Your Security Deposit Over Your Head, Suckeeeerrsss!”  One of the priorities?  Clean the ceiling fans.  Seriously?

I mean, I’m not planning to leave this place a mess, but I’d imagine they have some type of cleaning crew that comes in here after we’re gone and might be able to take 5 minutes to get up on a step stool and clean off the damn fans.  But instead this little preggo has to do it and I’m short.  And getting squatter by the second, I must add.

I’ve already made Tony promise to do the oven and my shower.

So maybe who’s the sucker now?

 

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