Monday, May 25, 2009

Memorial Day Weekend

We enjoyed a nice holiday weekend in town for a change.  A lot has happened in the past year.  A year ago today, we were on a plane headed for Tokyo, and then to Hawaii to celebrate our first anniversary.  Now, we are sticking much closer to home - saving money we'd spend on flights and vacations for our little pea pod and trying to nest as much as possible.  It still feels so early to start getting the nursery ready, but there is a lot of home organization that I need to take care of before the tiny infant arrives.  

Luckily, this weekend I was able to make some headway cleaning out my closets and our desk area.  Those that know me well know I am a bit of a pack rat, especially when it comes to sentimental items or clothes.  If it still fits, it's just hard to get rid of, but I am getting more ruthless lately and my "to donate" pile of clothes is growing everyday,  possibly thanks to the pregnancy nesting hormones.  

We wanted to make sure we had some fun this weekend, too.  On Sunday morning, we enjoyed brunch at Duke's in Malibu with our friends, Justin and Kelly.  We were so excited to learn that Kelly is actually pregnant with her first baby, too, and she is due about a month before me, so naturally we had tons to talk about Sunday morning.  Sitting by the water at Duke's, eating waffles and fresh fruit and trying to spot dolphins in the Pacific was a great way to spend the morning and made me appreciate living in Southern California.

Monday, May 18, 2009

Palm Springs for Jessica's Birthday

This photo was taken last weekend in Palm Springs.  Kiko and I ventured to Palm Springs on Saturday for our friend Jessica's 30th birthday celebration.  Some day we'll tell pea pod about the wild and crazy party it attended while in utero, but I think we'll save the full story until it's in college.  I actually managed to stay out until midnight which was amazing, and it was wonderful seeing some friends I hadn't seen in a while...and since I was one of the only sober ones, I can now fill them all in on everything that happened that they might not remember...

I think this picture makes me look more "pregnant" than I really am.  Kiko is urging me to take photos of my belly, but I haven't given in yet...I am sure by the time I really "pop," I'll regret not documenting what I looked like before...we'll see...


Today is the anniversary of my maternal Grandmother's death. We called her "Dado," (pronounced dad-oh) and even though the name sounds similar to "dad," she was 100% lady. My oldest brother, Robbie, named her that when he was about 2 years old and the name stuck. I never knew her as anything else. Even friends and neighbors that had known her for years referred to her as Dado.

I could write for days about her and what she meant to me, but for some reason, now that I have a little person growing inside of me, I find myself thinking about her more and more in a different way than ever before. She was so many things to so many different people, but at her core she was a true southern woman who just wanted to make those around her happy. She brought me so much joy as a child and always made me feel special. It was a gift to spend time with her because she showered me and her other grandchildren with attention. One of my favorite activities we did together was making doll hats out of Styrofoam cups. It was a simple, and probably highly toxic process: we'd melt the Styrofoam cups in the oven until the bottoms of the cups curled up like little hat brims, then we'd dig into her sewing box for scraps of ribbon, silk flowers, loose sequins, buttons, and other treasures. Each hat we'd make would be unique and I don't know what was more fun - making them with her or putting them on my dolls later to admire our handy work and creativity.

We also loved making mud-pies (out of dirt, not coffee ice cream), doing Shrinky-Dinks, playing the piano, watching "The Fall Guy," and taking outings to the 99-cent store, Fed Co, and Mc Donald's. She sewed doll clothes for all my dolls, got me hooked on cream cheese on raisin bread sandwiches and used to get mad at me when I'd say, "I have to pee."

Her pat response when I'd use a vulgar word like "pee," would be: "Tootie, that's not very lady-like. You should say 'I need to use the restroom.'"

We also had to refer to "farts" as "fanny burps," which in my opinion is way more tortuous to a little kid than just getting the short word "fart" out and over with. Fanny burp just seems to linger on the tongue. Yuck.

But now that I am going to give my own parents a grandchild of their own, I can't help but get excited over how they'll influence my own kids. I know their relationship will be special and I know they will share something far different than my relationship with them.

Grandparents are just special, and today especially I remember Dado with love and fondness. She is always a part of me and even though I wish I could have made her a great-grandmother, I know somewhere she will be looking down on me, making sure I teach my kids to speak like proper young ladies and gentlemen, and encouraging my own crafty activities with my kids. Her gentle-loving spirit calms me when I worry about the future. Somehow I just feel comforted knowing that she loved me and remembering what she was like.

Friday, May 15, 2009

It's Friday...I'm Pregnant

Oh, the many joys that come with being pregnant. Yes, it is a beautiful thing but there are so many things about making a little human that no one tells you. And luckily, I am not going to tell you either...because most of those details aren't fun to read or write about. But it is just amazing how my life is affected already by this unborn child.

For instance, the timing of popping my prenatal. Ask anyone who takes a multi-vitamin, and they will likely tell you that you should not take a vitamin on an empty stomach unless you are hoping to feel junky and you enjoy puking. Being pregnant only heightens this sensation of dizziness and nausea. And you are always hungry. So not only do I have to remember to eat my Wheaties, some fruit, AND yogurt before I swallow my pre-nate to keep from ralphing, but I have to keep continually eating throughout the day otherwise I start to feel sick. (not the vitamin's fault, I don't think...) If I don't eat every couple of hours, I start to feel dizzy, and it's like the little pea pod is sitting upright in my stomach, with a fork in one hand and a knife in the other, banging the utensils on the imaginary kitchen table in my uterus, chanting "Me want want food..." Okay, little guy. Tranquilo...1 Gala apple and some Sun Chips coming up.

Now I am not complaining, actually. I love food, but there are just so many things you have access to in a Century City high rise that sound good. Why isn't there an ice cream man in the vicinity of my office? Oh, to hear those bells chirping down the street.

Luckily, our office manager keeps a stash of Ritz Bits, Sun Chips, and granola bars on hand in our office, but when I really want a cup of mashed potatoes or a mini-pulled pork sandwich smothered in bbq sauce, what's a working pregnant girl to do?

I have been very fortunate with the nausea and have only up-chucked once so far, and I am positive it was because I took the vitamin on a mainly empty stomach, so I am not complaining. It's just that who knew someone could feel hungry ALL DAY LONG...and I still have 6 more months to go...

Too bad I work at A&E and not the Food Network...would write more but need a snack....

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Peapod / AKA Alien Baby

Foreword: Okay, first off please note the previous two posts were written in late February/early March, before I knew I was exepecting....

Here's our baby timeline:

3/13 - The day after I got back from being in NYC on a business trip, I found out I was expecting.

4/8 - First prenatal doctor's appointment where we saw the heartbeat & had the first ultrasound.

5/8 - We heard the heartbeat the first time, which sounded like a freight train. Crazy!

5/13 - Then today, we had our second ultrasound and Kiko and I were both in awe of the little dude or dudette as we watched it on the monitor. We saw the little peapod actually moving around, which just made it seem so much more real. For the most part, he/she was sleeping but the dr. kept moving the machine around trying to wake it up so he could see it from other angles. It really does look like an alien (but a cute alien!) because of the big, buggy eye sockets. Ah, the miracle of life...
Most of the time today, the doctor said it was sleeping. We saw its little legs which were crossed at the ankles, almost like it was in a meditation pose. A couple of times it waved its arms and the doctor said it was doing the Macarena. Lord, let's hope not! Ha!
The only bad thing from today was that the nurse told me I needed to stop wearing high heels...Hmm...I think NOT.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

I want an Oompa-loompa....NOW...

I want a baby. It’s hard not to obsess over something once you’ve decided you wanted it. Whether it’s a certain job, a man, or a new pair of shoes, I like to set my sights on a goal and then work hard till I achieve it. Maybe the same will be true with the process of trying for a baby. I know it’s not always easy and it doesn’t always happen right away (or ever, sometimes, I need to be realistic.) But it’s important to make the process of trying to conceive fun.

Side note: I like to get lost in thoughts of what my baby will look like. Will he have dark beautiful curls and smooth tan skin like my husband? Or will he inherit my family’s prominent nose and deep set eyes? What will his voice sound like when he cries, because I am sure occasionally he’ll cry….and what if he is actually a she?

While it is fun to daydream about what characteristics our love child will have, first we have to get him here. So what’s the best way to do that? Well, duh. I know how…but how often and when? Is there any truth to a special fertility diet? And positions? How do you get “to work” without actually making it feel like a job? I feel like it's something you just "let happen..." but we'll see...

My good girlfriend suggested getting my female parts checked out before we really get into it, like taking your car in for a tune-up before a cross-country drive…but do I just need to give it a try and then check our progress? I've never really been into to preventative autocare. I like to be more reactionary...

Tuesday, May 05, 2009

Bitten by the Baby Bug

“Beautiful linen crib sheets…100% organic cotton bumper...Ooh, click for alternate images. Wow...” Repeat after me: I will not look at nursery bedding online. I will not look at nursery bedding online, while I am in my office and need to be working. I will not look at nursery bedding online…and fantasize about my dream nursery…My dream nursery with Wedgewood blue colored walls, hand-painted animal silhouettes on the wall above the white wooden crib painted in lead-free paint, and the cozy eco-friendly glider strategically placed by the window…I will not do any of this…before I am even PREGNANT.

My name is Susan. And I want a baby.

Let me back up. I wonder if there are other women like me: young(ish), professional women who have always dreamed of having a family but have never actually been certain about when the right time would be to take that next step. I always figured the steps would be fairly simple: I’d have a stimulating, fulfilling career, marry a handsome, hard-working and compassionate man, and eventually we’d just know when the time was right to begin having a family. (Side note: I was raised and married in the Catholic church, so technically the time to begin having a family was right after the honeymoon, but that was never our plan.)

In this moment, I am more concerned about my own decision as a woman to know when the time is right to become a mom. And I am beginning to think that, like other things in life, there is no predetermined “right time” ---it just happens and you feel it and it’s right. And I think that time might be now. The signs are everywhere. About a year ago, my doctor started gently nudging me as my 30th birthday approached, hinting that I should really start thinking about starting a family. I was aghast. Was she joking? I didn’t feel like I was in the right place professionally or financially to take on the responsibility of motherhood. Then, she looked at me with her warm brown eyes and poker-face medical professional facial expression and said “Susan, it will never be the right time financially or professionally to have a baby. You just have to go for it. It will always mean sacrifice and it will always mean juggling priorities, but it will always be worth it.” Her words stuck with me as I left her office, but it wasn’t until now, almost a year later, that I began to think that maybe I am starting to believe her.

The strangest thing now is that while my husband has been ready since about 2 months after we said our vows, I have been the hesitant one. Because it is my career that will be most affected. Because though I know he’ll be a wonderful, hands-on father, I also know that ultimately a bulk of the responsibility will fall to me. I’ll have to figure out how much time I can take off work. I’ll have to obsess over whether we let the baby cry it out. I’ll have to decide what to feed him (or her!), etc. There are just certain things I think always fall primarily on a mother’s shoulders.

So without a lot of forethought, suddenly, incredibly, I feel like Ally McBeal with that damned dancing baby…I am suddenly and completely obsessed with the idea of having a baby. It started off gradually when I would notice myself becoming inappropriately overly enthusiastic when I’d learn that an acquaintance was expecting. I’d want to know all the details – how long before they knew they were pregnant, what symptoms they were experiencing, were they going to find out the sex, what style did they want for the nursery décor, etc. Then this excitement evolved into longer stares at strangers’ babies at the mall or in restaurants, detours at the book store to the maternity aisle, quick browses through informational sites like and Gradually, I started positioning myself to be spending more and more time with my friends who had babies and I was growing ever more inquisitive and bold with each visit. When I stayed with a friend and her three month old for a week and I found myself pleading with her to let me change his diaper I knew something was going on…something that I hadn’t consciously thought about or something that I hadn’t really decided on, but it just happened.

Something awakened inside of me and I can’t put it to rest.

It manifests itself in the endless online searches for the perfect nursery bedding and the tireless research of how to chart my basal body temperature. And while a lot of my desires to be a mom seem to present themselves through the urge to spend money on material items like baby clothes, bedding, books, etc. what I really realize at the heart of everything is I just want a baby to snuggle. Some little creature who will be a part of me and my husband, who I will care for and raise into (I hope!) a creative and compassionate human being. When I dream of the perfect nursery it is only because I picture myself in it, rocking my little one to sleep, looking into his or her squinty eyes and hoping the kid knows just how loved and adored he or she really is. And when I picture those walls it’s not because I am obsessed with home décor, but it’s because I love the idea of a home filled with busy toddlers and dogs, bustling with energy and intrigue and just generally full of life.

So here’s to the realization that maybe my life is about to change, if I am so blessed. Maybe someday soon my online shopping sprees will shift from shoe sales at to burp cloth sales at Babies R Us. Either way, it feels good to acknowledge what is really going on and that somehow, slowly, I’ve been bitten by the bug…that pesky, persistent, want-to-be-a-mom bug. . .