Two Become Three.

November 27, 2014 · 3 comments

Happy Thanksgiving, everyone! I am not a big Turkey Day person (the history is a little, ya know, iffy…) but I’m recently getting behind another day of the year where we focus on giving back, being grateful, and eating pie. Because pie.

And on the note of being grateful? I thought I ought to announce that the reason I’ve been a little caught up in life and not blogging is because… WE’RE BECOMING PARENTS! :)

It’s been a bit – say about 7.5 months – but I wanted to sum it all up so far really quick!

We’ve been planning this midget for what seems like forever. In fact, we’ve been planning it for so long that I am surprised no one has asked us if it was planned, since we’ve been married for seven years and folks have just assumed we were quietly sticking to the sans-kids-camp.

That means for the last year, after reading Dr. Shettles Method, I’d been faithfully tracking all the joyous TMI fertility things like basal temperature, cycle lengths, cervical mucus (did you just hurl?), and ovulation peaks. We knew we wanted to do a Disney trip one last time as non-parents, so we stuffed in a quick CA visit in May — and then were blessed to nab this baby thing on the first try.

Like, literally, only tried one time on the first try situation. Sorry, nephews, if you’re reading this – don’t get too grossed out, lol. I was so sure I timed it right but was a little bummed when the early tests came back negative. But I knew that it takes even fairly fertile ladies typically 3 cycles to get knocked up, and that was with them boinking like bunnies, so I tried to not get discouraged. Sean even took me out on a “That’s OK, kid, we’ll get it next time!” dinner… and then, when my period did not show up on it’s scheduled date, I decided to test one more time during work. And got a positive.

So, being logical, I tested 4 more times. Because, science.

And then spent my lunch break? Making a much anticipated, totally dorky but golf-themed-for-the-golf-obsessed-husband cake to announce it to him, which I set out on the kitchen island for when he arrived home:

Sean’s reaction? “Congrats on your…. ARE YOU SERIOUS?!?!?” ;) And without getting too braggy, that man has been incredible this entire pregnancy. All patience, assuming more domestic responsbilities (hello, new household cook!), rubbing my lower back, rubbing my feet, and anytime I felt like I wasn’t doing enough – he’d bluntly tell me to stop being ridiculous because I’m making a human and he couldn’t imagine how exhausting that is.

No, I can’t clone him, sorry. But if I could, you should know upfront he comes with several bins of Nerf guns, Lego boxes, and three full-sized arcades that won’t fit anywhere in your home. ;)

He’s found diaper deals, researched baby monitors, painted nursery stripes, assembled six hundred and forty-two baby things, spray painted decorations so I don’t have to go near chemicals, and been extremely selective about the name. Her name. Because, that’s right… We’re having a little girl!

The pregnancy: Honestly, it’s been pretty easy as far as what seems to be possible terrible things. I gained a bit more weight than I wanted to during the first trimester, due to constant snacking being the only thing helped that “I’m on a Boat” (in muh flippy floppies) feeling that never went away. It lasted from about Week 7-16. I only threw up twice, though, and only water and prenatals – of all things to upchuck. I went through your stereotypical phase of a week or so where nothing sounded good, not even my favorite pulled pork tacos, and chewing and swallowing was like torture. Then I went through a week where meat sounded awful and just hearing Sean suggest burgers made me want to vomit.

I also *severely* underestimated that first trimester fatigue. I maybe sorta thought that you ladies were being a little dramatic and capitalizing on it just a liiiiiittle bit over the top-style… until walking from my car to the office made me want to face-plant into my keyboard and nap, lol. HOLY TIRED.

I also passed out once, likely from blood pressure dropping too low getting out of bed too fast one night. And I have all the usual complaints: my nose is stuffy, I feel like a house, my hips hurt, I’m still not pretending these stretch marks are tiger stripes, etc. But according to Sean, zero hormonal swings or bad moods, and no cravings or anything like that. Pretty stinkin’ lucky pregnancy and I’m very grateful for it so far!

And… that’s about it!

3 Folks Left Love Notes

, Life

So, you probably know by now that I have a soft spot in my heart for pets with disabilities. I was born into a family that already had a pet with a special need — my mom had a doxie named Pepper who had 3 legs but 4 paws. If you’re trying to work that all out, I’ll explain: One of his legs had two paws formed on it.

When I was about 6, we adopted a shepherd named Bo from our city. His story was he’d begun being trained for police work, but didn’t make the cut. That worked for me because this dog was my soul. I took him everywhere.

When I was in 4th grade, he developed what we assumed was hip dysplasia – though he wasn’t that old. Several fancy tests actually found he had a genetic condition that caused nerve degeneration in his back end and that he would not be a candidate for hip replacement surgery. This was back in the early 1990′s, before wheelchairs and all sorts of canine PT were popular. My dad threw himself into trying to make his own — and Bo tried every single prototype with the patience and enthusiasm only a dog can muster, but none really fit the bill. Thankfully, we ran into someone who knew someone whose chihuahua had a wheelchair — and we were able to MAIL AWAY AN ORDER FORM (remember that, before the INTERWEBS?) and wait patiently for 14 days while they made him one.

The JOY on Bo’s face when he was able to high tail it through the dog park at the same speed as his BFF, our lab/pit/rott mix Hammer, is permanently etched in my brain.

Since then, we’ve adopted a dog with terminal cancer (Ferris), and currently own a 100% deaf spaniel with spine issues (Bailey), another spaniel with joint issues who is currently losing her hearing (Emmie – and her surgery from last year was SO worth it!), and… well, Gizmo. ;) Bless his heart, but we’ll just call him emotionally handicapped, LOL.

So every year, we’ve donated to A wonderful organization. And then, about two years ago, one of Sean’s childhood friends started their own grassroots adoption/rescue for handicapped pets. They adopted a dog who turned out to have large special needs and she changed their lives — and now, with the help of volunteers and donors like me/you, they’ve grown and are helping do amazing things for animals with special needs all over the globe. Just this little husband and wife team in a small town in the Pacific Northwest — Heath’s Haven Dog Rescue.

And this year, Sean and I were VERY EXCITED to cover the costs of two wheelchairs for two of their dogs who didn’t have their own – and were stuck sharing with another dog, who was currently on bed rest. Somehow making it full circle and gifting mobility to two pups really made my soul sore – and I can’t believe I forgot to blog it so I could spread the word about their wonderful group!

This is Kiwi – a charming, loves-everything, pittie – in her OWN wheelchair! She arrived at HH’s with a broken back and permanent damage to her back end and ability to relive herself:

And Misty – the gorgeous two-tone eyed Husky, third from the left. She was given a second chance at a good life when she arrived all the way from Canada:


2 Folks Left Love Notes

, , , Heart

Be a Good Human.

May 22, 2014 · 3 comments

I had a moment in Target the other day.

Just one of those weird little moments where the universe reaches out and reminds you to get off your high horse and slow down, breathe, and be a tolerable human.

You ever get those?

Last Friday, one of our cats went missing.

I’d been a hot mess. As I should be. It put me on edge and drowning in worry and being frustrated that it was one of those “out of my hands” situations. I had all the worst thoughts (I’ve watched a lot of serial killer beginnings type shows, mmkay?) and it was eating me alive that all I could do was obsessively notify everyone on this half of the planet to be sure if they found him, they’d know to call me — but that I had zero control over whether someone WOULD find him or that zero harm had befallen him.

So my daily mission was endless flyers, endless emails to postings and shelters and rescues and vets, and endless papering of neighborhoods.

I was on such a mission on Monday. All I wanted in the world was to get home so we could assemble giant, laminated, BRING HIM HOME yard signs and then plaster the entire neighborhood with them. But I needed to get gas first. And then I needed to go to Target because we were out of tape for more signs. And I left work behind schedule.

Target was PACKED. My frustration rose. I popped into the only feasible line, the 10 Items or Less lane. There was only a mom and her teenage son in front of me and they were being handed their receipt. I WAS IN LUCK.

Except the cashier, a kid in his mid-20s whose lines I have avoided whenever possible because he will talk to each person for six hours and you will literally stand there for 5-10 minutes after someone gets their receipt, waiting for him to shut up long enough so that they can leave and you can buy your tampons and GTFO.

So he’s asking the kid about his big college plans and the kid is answering, and they’re yammering on, and it’s all I can do to not tap my foot and roll my eyes and sigh loudly and BE THAT PERSON that I never am. I am usually an angel. But CAN YOU HURRY THIS UP BECAUSE OMG MY CAT IS OUT IN THE BIG WORLD WITHOUT ME AND I HAVE SIGNS TO MAKE AND NO ONE CARES. When I hear the cashier say he’ll be moving to another city to attend classes at this one college, because they offer the “best classes for my autism.”

PUNCH to the Be-A-Human-Face.

So this kid, in all his awkward social glory and over-chatting weirdness, is autistic. And, likely, these elongated sort of one-sided weird interactions he has with people and all his stuttering stem from that.

And then I felt like an asshole. And my entire mood shifted to grateful, pleasant, understanding. Just this weird physical lightness and a mental reminder that we’re all human, we all talk too much, and that even without the autism, we should all just calm down a bit and let the little stuff slide.

So I put my stuff on the belt and he grins. I grin. And he goes, “How, how, how is your (makes lengthening motions with his hands and I have no idea where he is going with this), your TALL husband?”

Well knock me over.

He REMEMBERS me. AND Sean. Taken aback, I said Sean was good, and he grinned and nodded and followed it with, “I haven’t seen you guys in FOREVER!”

He rang up my tape, and we talked about his anxiety about his upcoming move to the college 4 hours away – it’s his first time away from home and his uncertainty was palatable — and I hoped the lady behind us would let it slide as well.

And then I told him he’d BE FINE, and wished him luck, and headed home feeling just a little bit better about everything.

(And in case you’re wondering, Runaway Cat is now home and grounded for life!)

3 Folks Left Love Notes

Balance > Heart

Remember that time, two years ago, when I was all … LOOK AT ALL THE THINGS I’M GONNA DO BEFORE I GET KNOCKED UP? Yeah, me neither. I pretty much wrote it and then maybe thought about it two more times.

For funsies, I thought I would revisit the list to see where I’ve ended up, though!

The Before Baby List

  1. Ditch any credit card debt completely. - This is one we actually did, much to our own disbelief and how counterproductive having an Amazon Prime account was. ;)  
  2. Get to a healthy weight – complete with healthy habits. – AHAHAHAHAHAAHAHAHAHAHAHA.
  3. Get Gizmo to the point he comes when called and is generally not shut down by the presence of a small human. - You know, thanks to luring all the neighborhood kiddos over with promises of petting the other dogs, he’s pretty much at this point – again, to our own disbelief!
  4. Finish lingering home projects. - See response to # 2 above. We have finished many, but Pinterest has created many, many, MANY more.
  5. Save for pre-baby needs - Doneso!
  6. Save for pre-natal and delivery cost - Doneso! 
  7. Visit CA to see family, friends and Disneyland pre-parenthood.  - WE ACTUALLY DID THIS. I assumed this wouldn’t happen but it did earlier this month. 
  8. Visit WA for at least one last pre-baby lake adventure. - We did this in August 2013, go team us!
  9. Have a honeymoon do-over – you know, one where Sean doesn’t get the flu and spend it hurling all over, preferably where we need to use a passport. (est. $3,000) - Not really, unless you let me count the trip to Disneyland… which I do. 
  10. Develop and maintain better time management/organizational skills. - I bought several fancy planners I do not use and endless office supplies, does this count? 
  11. Boost savings - Yes.
  12. Set aside for maternity leave - Yes.
  13. Put more effort into discovering who I am and who I want to be – passions, hobbies, routines – and developing that person. - Um… sure, why not? Does obsessively watching the birds in my backyard count as a hobby?
  14. Expand my local support network – aka invest in friendships. - I’m going to totally do this… soon. Honest. #LifeOfAnIntrovert 
  15. Tuck away for first year of daycare costs - Yes.
  16. Finish my allergy immunotherapy  - NO. I was on year # 2 and doing fantastic when our allergist pulled out of my physician’s office and to continue, I’d have to shell out again for the testing at her new clinic and start alloveragain. I said screw it.
  17. Install Cat Fence In  - We own this. It is not installed.
  18. Better establish date night. – Kind of. If you let eating popcorn and discussing Game of Thrones like a religion count.
  19. Take a dance class with Sean. – Does “in the kitchen” count?
  20. Learn about, and better embrace, both our German & Italian heritages. - In progress, actually! :)  
  21. Make an effort to learn our DSLR. – OR sell it on eBay. 
  22. Take a gun safety course with Sean (I grew up shooting guns and yes we own one, but wow could we use a refresher). - Scheduled!
  23. Obtain an additional work certificate (i.e. project mgmt, resource development, etc). – I was going to do this but I took naps instead.

3 Folks Left Love Notes

, , Balance > Life

Then Make it Small.

November 22, 2013 · 5 comments

Have you seen Man of Steel?

No? Go see it.

If you have, you’ll probably remember this scene that wasn’t that vital to the overall plot – yet some resonated with me on a level that is nearly embarrassing. SPOILER ALERT.

It’s the one where little Clark becomes completely overwhelmed and shuts himself into the hall closet at school. When his mother shows up to address the situation, Clark explains, “The world’s too big, Mom.” Her solution? “Then make it small.”

I’ve been feeling a giant desire to make life simpler lately. I yearn to live in a time that I’ve never even existed, before the interwebs and cellphones and this mass push to pay for more things and keep up with the Jones’ – but if we’re being honest, I equally have no desire to ditch my connectivity to the world and go live off the land somewhere in Nowhereville. Sorry, ya’ll, this girl has a smart phone addiction and would probably keel over and die without Google. ;)

But it has manifested in my remembering that this is the only life I get, so I better start building and living the one I want. None of that over-the-top LIVE WITH INTENT and BE AUTHENTIC buzzword stuff here, but just a general reminder that there’s little point wasting energy to maintain negative or flat relationships, put more energy in building positive ones that help me grow into the person I want to be, making time for hobbies that suit my general personality as an introvert without apology or concern for who I might offend with my anti-socialness, to stop spending so much time mentally at war with myself, so on and so forth.

To find ways to worry less – which, if you’ve met me and come face to face with my Over Planner Personality, might be impossible, LOL. I am very much so one of those “All Work and No Play” fools and I’m not even sure why. I don’t like work. I do, however, have a Gold Star Sticker mentality and love the kudos I get for it (and thus, Le Problem). Maybe I measure myself against my productivity, or I feel like I have to somehow make up for all the years I was set on “ALL PLAY” or something, who knows. Either way, I need to remember to HAVE. FUN. IN. LIFE. Because no surprise here, this is all I’ve got and I won’t get to be 30 again tomorrow (well, technically, I will – I’m 30 for 70 more days, but now you’re ruining my clever sentence THAT WAS SO DEEP, damnnit). You get the idea, here, kids. Carpe Diem and all that jazz.

I am slowly trying to just be. Find a calmness in a world of endless rules, ideas, and status quo. A world that pushes for us to do more, be more, have more, MOOOOAR. It’s exhausting, isn’t it?

And, so perfectly timed, the lovely Kerri posted this blog post. My general theme of making my world smaller, so that I can in turn do more of what I want (and be bigger in the areas I actually appreciate), isn’t just blog related — but it is a shockingly fantastic post nonetheless and I uuuuuuurge you to read it.


5 Folks Left Love Notes

Balance > Life

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