Sunday, November 30, 2008

Thankful

It's a little late, but this is a short list of things I am thankful for:

Having a husband who I can't wait to see every day. He's everything I thought I would never find in one person and such a blessing in my life.

My beautiful, funny little girl, Zoe. I knew I wanted to be a mom, but I feel like I hit the parental jackpot with her. Every day is a learning experience and an adventure.

A healthy/happy pregnancy. It's hard to believe that in twenty-nine days or less our little boy will be here.

The roof over our head.

Friends and family, near and far.

Supportive parents on both sides... who get along splendidly. I cannot stress enough how nice this is.

Having people nearby who we can depend on and who treat us like family and vice versa.

Good health.

Somewhat well behaved dogs.

Creative outlets like photography and blogging. They keep me sane.

Cocoa Krispies, jalapenos, cheddar cheese and pie. Not all at once though. Although, cheddar cheese on apple pie is awesome.

Back and foot rubs.

Date nights.

The Internet.

Lazy days around the house.

Flannel pajamas.

Funny movies.

Music.

Completing all 30 days of NaBloPoMo! It was touch and go a couple days there, but I had my second successful go at it thanks to a somewhat well behave toddler and a husband who made sure I got some time every day to write. I'm not so sure I'll be blogging quite as frequently in December since Finn will be making his appearance shortly, but I'll definitely check in and keep you posted.

Saturday, November 29, 2008

Home

Daniel and I loaded up the dog children and Zoe and got on the road at 1pm today. In years passed, we've always stayed until Sunday morning, but decided that we needed to try to avoid the traffic and make sure we had a day of rest before we got into the week and it's demands.

It turns out there was a decent amount of traffic today, so we spent a lot of our time at a snails pace. Zoe was restless and a little cranky - she had a hard time napping. I was feeling especially anxious when my contractions got more painful and frequent - I knew they were just Braxton Hicks, but they can be absolutely unnerving when stuck in traffic with no clear path in sight. Let's face it, I have an active imagination and it tends to imagine worst case scenarios.

Somewhere around Inglewood, traffic came to a complete standstill on the 405. The two left lanes were closed, and eventually only the far right was open. Everyone was merging at once, trying to get ahead. I rolled my window down and tried to get peoples attention, tried to make eye contact since they were ignoring our signal and I felt people ignore me as well. I could see the determination on their faces. It seemed like they were focused on their task, where their final destination was without considering for a second any other vehicle on the road or why we were all in this situation. Some people looked at me without seeing me, like they were looking straight through me, actually. I know this is freeway driving, but I was frustrated. How can we be just two days after Thanksgiving where we celebrate all that we are thankful for: our families, health, etc and so close to the other holidays that celebrate goodwill, love, and new beginnings, but we can't take a moment to consider that other people matter? As we drove by the fire trucks, police, mangled car, the stretcher with an accident victim and the two ambulances I felt myself tear up. Maybe it was my hormones, but it made me incredibly sad that we can be celebrating the holidays one day and facing danger the next. I worried for the person on the stretcher. I worried about their family and friends. I thought about how jammed up traffic had been and how it got worse by people worrying about their own agenda instead of allowing some give and take on the road.

That accident brought things further into perspective for me. I wanted so much to be home safely with my little family, relaxing - but even now as I sit here after a five hour drive... all I can think about is that accident and wonder if everyone will make it home safely from it.

I hope you all had a very Happy Thanksgiving and that the meaning of it and this season stay with you throughout the year.

Friday, November 28, 2008

The Day After

7am shopping at an outlet = 50% baby clothes for Finn & Zoe
Lunch with Zoe, Daniel and my parents at Kings Fish House = some frustration that I couldn't eat the raw ahi poke.
Spending some time at a deserted park = Lots of crazy, running around time for our little monkey.
Turkey leftovers = Turkey tacos. YUM!
Busy Black Friday without crazy spending = Fullfillment, and exhaustion without a tapped out bank account.

We've had a lovely visit here. The last few days flew by.

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Gobble Gobble

I could be doing a real post right now, but that would take away time from the Thanksgiving Day Parade and the National Dog Show on television, the snacking, the playing with Zoe and the hanging out with my Dad and Daniel. Happy Thanksgiving, everyone. I hope you're all having a wonderful day with your friends and family.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Have Turkey, Will Travel

Well, we're in San Diego! Daniel and I dragged ourselves out of bed at 5am, and Zoe at 5:30. We'd loaded up our car last night with everything we think we might possibly need over the next few days (and more). We were on the road by my goal of 6am and I was quite impressed with all of us. It was no small feat - normally it's hard for us to get on our way by 10. My family, we enjoy our sleep. So, we got to my parents house around 11:30am, ate lunch, and then the three of us (and the dog children) all laid down for a nap. Kind of makes me laugh that we rushed to get here only to nap, but like I said - we value sleep.

We also value turkey. Man, I cannot wait to gobble up dinner tomorrow! But for now, I'm going to get myself ask Daniel to get me some peach pie a la mode. Between the Braxton Hicks and my sciatic nerve, I SERIOUSLY deserve it.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Letter of the Day: D

I saw this on Jen's blog and thought I'd join in the fun.

The rules: You leave a comment on this post, and I’ll assign you a letter. You write about ten things you love that begin with your assigned letter, and post it at your place. When people comment on your list, you give them a letter, and the chain continues on and on.

1. My amazing husband, Daniel. If I've said it once, I've said it a billion times: Meeting Daniel changed my life. With him I have found my best friend, my soul mate, my partner, and one great father to Zoe and soon Finnegan. I am so grateful that we both decided to do the show we met in and that despite neither of us wanting a relationship, that we took the time to discover we were meant to be together.
2. My daughter, Zoe. Zoe is the kind of kid that makes you want to have more. She is my sunshine, my monkey, my little performer extraordinaire and in having her I have discovered what it's like to see the world through a child's eyes. Life was good before she came into my world, but it's been even more amazing and fulfilling getting to share it with her.
3. My Dear Friends & Family. I'm totally stretching it with this one - but whatever. I've been lucky enough to meet some wonderful people in my life. Some of them are my family who I adore - and the rest are the people I have chosen - or they chose me - to be a part of my extended family. I've known some of them since the day I was born and some for only a couple of years - but they're all so special to me.
4. The Dog Children - Bailey & Max. Bailey was our first attempt at being "parents". We figured if we could handle her, a real kid wouldn't be that much more difficult. Um, yes. So anyway, with her we got an incredibly neurotic, loving, protective, little girl with some major separation anxiety. We loved her so much we decided to add to our family and ended up with Max who is precious, pushy and pudgy as can be. They were our first kids and I love them like they were my actual children. Shut up, I do.
5. I'm all about deliveries. Be it email, snail mail, or a package from Amazon left on my doorstep - I'm like a kid on Christmas. It brings me joy. Here is also where I sneak in how excited I am for a VERY special delivery coming at the end of December. I can barely contain my excitement for our son, Finn to arrive.
6. Drama. Not your run of the mill drama that makes life exhausting sometimes, oh no. I'm talking about theatre. I'm talking about getting to perform on stage and make people believe you are funny, horrible, mean, sexy, whatever. I miss getting to perform, but I have so many great memories of that time and hope I get to do it again someday soon. In the mean time, I love getting out to the theatre, movies or watching a good show on television.
7. My Digital Camera. I don't know what I would do if I didn't have the creative outlet that my camera has provided me. When I'm feeling down or bored all I need to do is pick it up and start taking pictures and those feelings melt away. I've become an avid recorder of our family and love getting out and taking pictures.
8. Decorating. I worked for years in furniture/home decor retail and still enjoy getting creative and making our home "just so". Truth is, I love a big old project that disrupts everything for a bit and then getting to sit back and enjoy the environment I've created once the project is complete. I'm chomping at the bit to have us own our own home someday so I can truly make it into our space.
9. Diabetes. I know it sounds a bit odd, but getting diabetes changed my life in a good way. Even if it is only gestational, it has instilled in me the importance of taking care of myself and has taught me a healthy way to do it. I'm looking forward to continuing to watch what I eat after Finn is born and becoming a healthier person.
10. Dining out. As much as I've grown to enjoy cooking at home, I still love a good meal out with Daniel. Taking Zoe with us isn't quite as fun or as easy as it used to be, but getting to go out just the two of us and just relax and enjoy each other's company and yummy food is one of my favorite things to do. I'm really hoping we'll get to do this before Finn arrives - I'm dying to go to the place where Daniel proposed to me: Mama Tosca's.

Monday, November 24, 2008

WHOA!

A few minutes after my parents had arrived Saturday afternoon my Mom sat on the couch with my Dad, looked at me and said: "You don't look nearly as big as your pictures you've posted make you look." I took this in and thought to myself that maybe the camera really does add more bulk than I realized. So I stood up for my parents and smoothed my shirt over my tummy and did the "pregnant pose" - you know hands on either side of my belly.

"WHOA! I guess you are that big!"
My parents laughed.
To really drive home the point, I lifted my shirt so they could see the belly and my pants barely stretched over it.
There was more nervous laughter. The general consensus is now: Yes. Keely has a big 'ol belly.

I've come to accept this and just embrace it. I'm making adjustments. My overalls are no longer an option because they make me look like the mayor of Munchkinland Tweedle Dum or Tweedle Dee (THAT'S what I should have been for Halloween!). My pants are working so hard to stretch across my belly that I might have to invest in some suspenders to assist them - this fight with gravity is becoming a losing battle. The good news is, there's not much time left. Finn will be here five weeks from today. I'm going to do the best I can to avoid having to buy more maternity wear.

Wish me luck!

Sunday, November 23, 2008

It's Beginning...

To Look A Lot Like Christmas!

Normally, I have a rule: No Christmas decorations or songs until the day after Thanksgiving. After years of retail, anything sooner puts me in a Scrooge like mood. I just like being able to focus on Halloween and Thanksgiving as their own special days and find that retail establishments pushing Christmas at us negates those days.

The thing is, I'm tired. As I get closer and closer to being full term, I find my energy waning. Between this huge belly (that measured 38 weeks* last Friday - I'm only 34 as of today) and Zo-Zo monkey I feel less and less motivation to take on big projects like decorating - and decorating for Christmas is always a big, fun project for me. I wanted to make sure I had the time to do it right, to make the first Christmas that Zoe is really aware of the festivities special for her. So, our tree is up now. My parents have decided to scale down so we traded them our 6 foot tree for their 9 foot tree, we did the trade this weekend. Our new tree is tall and stunning and warms our home with it's bright lights. Zoe is in absolute awe of it - which is a joy to see since last year she was indifferent to the fake tree in our living room. I still need to put our holiday knick knacks in their special homes around the house and implement some quick projects that I've been daydreaming about, but the bulk of the task is done just having things down from the attic and the tree decorated. I feel a sense of accomplishment (now I just need to finish Finn's nursery area of our room!) but I promise to keep photos of the Christmas cheer off of Flickr and this blog until after Thanksgiving. Oh, and just because the tree is up does not mean I'll be playing any Christmas music until next weekend - I have my rules!

* - My doctor assures me that measuring 38 weeks at my appointment is not a big deal. It doesn't mean I'm having Finn any sooner. What is far more likely is that Finn was just higher up at 10:30 am Friday morning. I don't know... the doc said something about my uterus being a swimming pool and my son doing laps. I'm not sure if that makes me feel better or not, but I've been told that my son is NOT huge and that everything is OK. OOOOOK. *Deep breath!*

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Phoning one in

It's been a busy Saturday - getting ready for our trip to San Diego this Wednesday, cleaning the house since my parents came into town this afternoon. Tomorrow we'll do more cleaning and I do believe we'll decorate the Christmas tree, too. It's usually something we save for the day or weekend after Thanksgiving, but I want to get it done while I'm still somewhat mobile. The mobility is rapidly lessening with this sciatic nerve issue and general discomfort - but it doesn't stop me from trying to push my limits whenever possible.

Friday, November 21, 2008

Being a Parent is Easy

So, the other night we're wrapping up dinner and getting ready to get Zoe out of her highchair. Daniel is clearing up her "dessert" and getting ready to put the remains of it back in the refrigerator for another day.

General freak out/fussy/woe is me/how dare you try to end a meal! noises come from Zoe. If she had it her way, certain meals would go on and on and on.

Daniel pauses and looks at me as I look back and forth between him and our daughter. I'm exhausted, lounging on our couch and completely letting him run the show, but I offer this:

Me: She wants more, honey.
Him: Should I give her more?
Me: Well it is apples, not.... CRACK!* (I had paused as I tried hard to think of something we shouldn't give her too much of. Didn't want to say something boring like cookies or ice cream.)
Him: You need to blog this.

So - she got more apples and she was thrilled - like we'd given her the best thing in all the world. What can I say, sometimes she's easy to please.

* - And for the record: I know to not ever give my kids crack. Just in case you were worried. Also, I'm slightly snarky at this stage in my pregnancy, my apologies.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Look how young I was!

High School version of Keely


As I was scanning photos in, I would show them to Zoe.

"Look at mama, Zoe!"

She'd stare very closely at the photo and then look at me for a moment. "Nooooooo!" giggle,giggle.

Like I had just told her a silly, silly lie and I wasn't fooling her. I know, kiddo. I barely recognize me either.

It sure was fun going down memory lane though!

1. High School Me's, 2. High School Me's, 3. High School Me's, 4. High School Me's, 5. High School Me's, 6. The gang - Senior Prom, 7. Me w/ my Sharon., 8. 15? With Ramsey..., 9. At a school show, 10. BFF from high school and me, 11. Silly Girls, 12. With one of my good pals

Created with fd's Flickr Toys.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Pictures of Me

A couple days ago I told one of my high school friends that I was going to bust out some photos of us from our younger years and post them on Facebook so we could relive the memories. I had to search them out. They were stuffed in a box on the top shelf of our guest room closet and it was no easy feat to pull them down to sort through. But when I found them I was struck by our silliness, our innocence, our youth. As I looked at photos of me from as many as seventeen years ago, I barely recognized the girl smiling back at me. Sure, the blonde hair had something to do with it as did the svelte figure. The adult me is wanting to kick myself for all the times I called myself fat, all the nights I spent crying because I thought I was so ugly and that's why I never got asked to the dances. Maybe it's with my adult eyes that I'm able to see that I was perfect the way I was. I just hadn't reached my full potential - despite how I looked, I hadn't accepted myself for who I was and maybe that insecurity is what made me feel so distanced.

If I could go back in time, I'd tell that girl to be patient. I'd tell her that as insecure as she feels now, someday she is going to know true happiness. She's going to have the love and support of her friends and family and her soul mate. Someday, she will know that she is an amazing and good person and that the people in her life are there because she is beautiful inside and out. I would tell her that she is more than the clothes she wears and the weight on her body and that one very special man is going to see that and help her realize that every single day that they are together. I'd tell her to believe in herself and not worry so much about what everyone thinks.

I don't think that girl would listen to, or believe me... but I do hope that Zoe believes me when I tell her all these things someday.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Scenes From a Pregnancy

Act III


(The Act opens in KEELY and DANIEL'S room. KEELY is stretched out across their queen sized bed and there seems to be no room at all for DANIEL. A lamp R. of the bed lights the stage dimly. KEELY has a look of amusement on her face as she observes her belly. DANIEL has just finished brushing his teeth offstage and is trying to assess if there is any room on the bed for him to lay down.)

KEELY. Look. (Lights fade up slightly. There is a spot on KEELY and her protruding, bare belly. It is almost ominous.)
DANIEL. Heh. He's moving, huh. (sits on the tiny open space R. of KEELY on the bed.)
KEELY. Yes. But look. This is my pregnant belly. (Beat.) This is me sucking it in. (KEELY takes a deep breath in, looks at her belly and then at her tired husband.)
DANIEL. Huh. (He sees no real difference.)
KEELY. Pregnant belly. Sucking it in. Pregnant belly. Sucking it in. (There is actually, no real difference but she is clearly amused and still has not budged from the center of the bed.)
DANIEL. Yep. (He attempts to squeeze his entire body onto the edge of the bed and lay his head on the sliver of his pillow that his wife is also monopolizing.)
KEELY. Pregnant belly. Sucking it in. There's no difference. I'm trying as hard as I can and there's this slight difference and then it pops right back out. (They both laugh. DANIEL sighs.)
DANIEL. I love you, honey. (They kiss.)
KEELY. I love you. (She beams at her sweet, patient husband who pats her belly and kisses it.)
DANIEL. Goodnight, Finn.

(DANIEL turns out the lamp. As the spot begins to fade down we see KEELY making her slow move from C. to L. of the bed. DANIEL helps her with her large pregnancy pillows and covers her with the blankets as he begins to shift/claim his side of the bed. We see KEELY throw the covers off of herself.)

KEELY. Its so hot in here! (DANIEL sits up abrupty.)
DANIEL. Do you need the fan?
KEELY. No, thank you.

(DANIEL sighs, lays his head on his pillow and closes his eyes. As the spot begins to fade even more we hear the commotion of KEELY getting comfortable. There are many audible grunts and moans from her as she adjusts and tries in vain to get as comfortable as she can at 33 weeks. We see flailing and general movement and confusion. This lasts a couple minutes and then there is silence.)

(Pause.)

KEELY. I love you, Daniel.
DANIEL. (Muffled, half asleep already.) Love you.

(Blackout.)

Monday, November 17, 2008

Proud Moment

So, apparently - I've been managing this gestational diabetes thing so well that it looks like I won't have to depend on insulin injections at all for this pregnancy. I'm thrilled because, hello! Insulin injections in a full, pregnant belly is no fun... and also, I'm managing it. I'm eating healthy and taking care of myself and I've learned from my last pregnancy - even if I did pretty darn good with that one too. I'm relieved because whenever I thought of giving myself injections this time, I imagined Finn kicking with such strength I could not get the needle to go in. The force is strong with this one. I am such a geek.

Anyway...The lady who counsels me has really gotten off easy with me because I'm so low maintenance. I go every couple months and she weighs me and looks at my blood sugar log - which takes five minutes - and then I have to sit there and make small talk so she feels like I'm getting my money's worth. If I didn't live on the other side of town from where my appointment is and I wasn't so darn uncomfortable lately, I wouldn't mind going but I thought I might lose it today when she said she'd see me in 4 or 5 weeks. Something tells me I'm not going to be wanting to make the trek across town to meet with her for five minutes when I'm just a week shy of having Finn extracted. So, she looked at my face and said "Why don't you just call me if you need me?" And then she proceeded in making sure I knew the difference between Braxton Hicks and real contractions. I know, lady, I know!

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Sunday Quickie

Between not feeling like myself physically with this damn cold/flu/whatever and not feeling like I have anything more important to say than what I said yesterday... I'm going to just ask that you read the 2 posts below this one. I find myself complaining about my discomfort or stress sometimes and that all seems to pale in comparison to losing ones home in a fire. Clearly there are people out there worse off than me and I feel like I have so much to be thankful for.

Mmm. Future blog post that I'm NOT going to wait until Thanksgiving to post. Stay tuned.

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Lend a Hand

Some family of my friend Missy lost their home and everything in it yesterday in the Santa Barbara fires. They have a 3 year old son and another son who is just a week old. Luckily, they are all ok - but they sure could use some help. Let me know via comment or email if you have any baby supplies or anything you'd like to donate to help them. I know they would appreciate it.

'Tis the season!

Thanks everyone!

Lend a Hand - Part 2

Missy posted a blog about her family who lost their home and everything in it in the Santa Barbara fires. You can read it HERE. Anything you can do to help would certainly be appreciated.

Friday, November 14, 2008

3076!

3076. That's how many photos I have taken of my daughter since she was born nearly eighteen months ago. Let's do the math: My little one has been on the planet for 548 days, so that works out to being about 5 pics a day. Except, I didn't take 5 pics every day - which somehow seems more reasonable. Instead, I would go days and days without taking a picture and then all of a sudden I was uploading 100 pics of her in the same outfit , each photo nearly the same except she might have changed expression/position a little. And while we're being completely honest here, I've deleted tons of pictures of her. There were the ones that just weren't flattering at all - why save those? And then there were the ones where the lighting was bad and nothing could be done to salvage them. What has become evident though is this:

1. I am clearly obsessed with my child.
2. There is no way I'm going to be able to keep this up. Finn, I'm sorry. There just will not be as many photos of you. I don't think.
3. I'm pretty sure that all this photographing of my child has made me a better photographer. If I can capture her cuteness with all her running around, than I think I'm doing pretty good. So, I will chalk this up as training not obsession.

Yesterday afternoon I organized all my albums in iphoto and then tackled my flickr account. I got rid of quite a few "Sets" and then added a few for organizational purposes. It was my way of taking on a big project without leaving the confines of my bed/or recliner. The sickness is still strong with me and I am miserable. Daniel is demanding much rest and I am obliging... but slowly going mad from not being able to run around and do all the things I want to do around here. I hate being sick.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

I love Mix Tapes*

Thanks to ExEverything, I have found a new time suck/fascination: Creating online mix tapes! For my first go at it, I just chose the songs we had on the Mixed CD we gave guests at our wedding a few years ago. Some of the songs weren't available so I had to choose different versions or omit them completely, but you get the idea. Love, yada, yada, yada! :)

So here you go:


MixwitMixwit make a mixtapeMixwit mixtapes


Now go make your own and let me know when you do. Fun, fun, fun! Come on, people. Entertain me. I'm wallowing in sickness over here and music makes me happy.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Whiiiinez

A couple nights ago it hit me hard. I went from feeling fine to instantly having a sore throat and sinus pressure. Almost as if a switch had been turned on to bring all the symptoms rushing at me full force. I was laughing with Daniel and Zoe one moment and then all of a sudden, "I'm sick. Really sick."

Now, instead of giving you a long whiney post about how horrible it is to be SWP - Sick While Pregnant - I'm going to show you something that makes me smile:

Surveying her "kingdom"

That's my munchkin playing dress up at her Cheryl's house. If the photo doesn't make you smile just a little bit, you are even sicker than I am and you should get yourself to a doctor, stat.

Alright. Back to sleep I go.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Keith Olbermann Speaks Out On Prop 8

Some of you aren't going to enjoy watching this video because you disagree with the points he is making. I felt like I needed to post this though, to continue to stand up for what I believe in:



The closing plea for mercy by Clarence Darrow in a murder trial:

"I was reading last night of the aspiration of the old Persian poet, Omar-Khayyam," he told the judge. It appealed to me as the highest that I can vision. I wish it was in my heart, and I wish it was in the hearts of all: So I be written in the Book of Love; I do not care about that Book above. Erase my name, or write it as you will, So I be written in the Book of Love."

Monday, November 10, 2008

All About Me: A Photo Meme

Meme

1. What is your first name? Keely
2. What is your favorite food? Sushi
3. What high school did you go to? Palm Desert High School
4. What is your favorite color? Red
5. Who is your celebrity crush? Jack Black. And just so you know, this was the hardest question for me to answer. I almost went with this guy.
6. What is your favorite drink? Shiner
7. What is your dream vacation? New York.
8. What is your favorite dessert? Today, Red Velvet Cupcakes. (Tomorrow it will be different.)
9. What do you want to do when you grow up? Travel.
10. Who/ what do you love most in life? My family.
11. Choose one word that describes you? Thoughtful.
12. What is your Flickr name? KeelyE.

I saw this on Sarcomical and Jayesel, and just had to join in the fun. I know, I know - I JUST did one of these. Give a pregnant lady a break people. I've got actual posts floating around in my head, but I seem to lack the motivation to sit down and write them.

Anyway, the rules are the same as the last time:
Type your answer to the questions into Flickr search.
Using only the first page of results, pick an image.
Copy and paste each of the URLs in the Mosaic Maker.
( I suggest using tabs so you can go back and forth with ease.)
Let me know in my comments if you're choosing to participate!

Photo Credits:
1. Untitled, 2. Flickr Loves Sushi. Mmm., 3. Reflections, 4. Red blooded woman, 5. Tenacious D_5064, 6. after hard days of work......... have some shiner bock, 7. Misty NYC - Gotham City, 8. the little things that make me smile, 9. You travel far to discover home., 10. Daniel & Zoe dress up, 11. The Thoughtful Chimp, 12. Self Portrait | Keely has a Cold By KeelyE - Pixel Pimped by Zeon7

Sunday, November 09, 2008

Success!

Well, my little family was up and out the door this morning at 10AM for Zoe's first movie theater experience. The showing was at 10:30 and I thought getting there at 10:15 would be ample time to get seated and situated. It was, but Wow! I was so surprised to see the theater full! Silly me thought we'd be the only ones willing to drag our family out to the movies so early. We got seats in the last row on the floor instead of the stadium seating and I think that was probably best. There was no one behind us to be bothered by Zoe standing up in her seat and we were far enough from the people closest to us that she couldn't reach out and touch someone.

Zoe really enjoyed Madagascar 2. She's a big fan of animals in general and when they're singing and dancing - that is even more awesome for her. She was in awe of the large images and color and didn't seem bothered by how loud the movie was - which has always been a concern for me. We made sure to bring snacks and drinks for her and that helped immensely when she got a little restless and more interested in the newborn that was right behind us. Anyway, she laughed. She danced. There might have been some head banging.

Afterwards we took her to lunch at Johnny Rockets and that was fun too. We wanted Zoe to have a fun "date" with her parents as something special before Finn gets here and I think that's exactly what we got. I hope to do some more special outings before he arrives, but we might not to the movie thing because it's not cheap. $7 for a one year old's movie ticket seems so extravagant to me - but it was an experience we'll look back at with fond memories, I'm sure.

Saturday, November 08, 2008

Saturday

I've noticed it's harder for me to blog on Saturday's and Sunday's. Those are the days where I have Daniel with me and where I don't feel like I'm missing out on adult interaction. I feel less of a need to connect when I've got my favorite conversationalist here with me. Today I felt this even more because after a friend helped Daniel move Zoe's brand new and very heavy dresser into her room, we sat in our living room catching up with him and one of my favorite people - his fiance. We talked about weddings, theatre, Prop 8, politics, the environment, etc. and I felt happy to have them in our lives and friends who we can just sit back with and relax. I couldn't help but observe I am making lots of headway in my needing to have my house perfect when guests are over because I didn't even blink at the messy kitchen or the carpet that needs vacuuming. I mean, I'm freaking out a little about those things now, but for a time they were less important than getting to visit.

We'll be putting aside cleaning for important family events tomorrow:

We're taking Z out for her first movie theater experience. I think she's going to love Madagascar 2.

Happy Saturday, everyone!

Friday, November 07, 2008

Talk About It

Early on in our relationship, Daniel and I had a disagreement that basically arose from us not communicating. I can’t remember the specific details now, but the situation became uncomfortable because we didn’t talk about it. I do remember sitting with him on the couch and telling him, “Wow! This is a bigger deal than it needed to be. All you had to do was tell me.” We talked about whatever that issue was – I can’t for the life of me remember - and Daniel immediately felt better. We agreed that for us to work, we had to have an open line of communication even if it meant we were momentarily uncomfortable getting “it” out there on the table.

As a manager I used to have all these catch phrases I ran my store by:

“You can’t find the answer unless you ask questions.”
“You can’t move forward unless you understand where you’ve been.”

I’ve adjusted those ideals to my personal relationships:

“You cannot expect to be understood unless you make an effort to understand the other side.”

Two days ago I did a post about something that is very important to me. It was a personal observation about my marriage, about my friends who had that right taken away from them, and what I plan to teach my children. I was absolutely delighted to see that my words had touched people and inspired them to join the dialogue about this issue. I’ve found the comments left to be very thoughtful and thought provoking and I invite you to join in.

I try very hard to be an open-minded person. I’m a good listener and someone who prefers peace to confrontation. I don’t feel like we get anywhere by pointing fingers, raising voices, or judging. I think that the only way to move forward, to create change and reach understanding is to sit down and listen to each other. We all come from different walks of life. Different circumstances and values have shaped who we are as people. We all want what is best for our families. We all think we are right. Sometimes I wonder if we forget that it is entirely possible that we can also be wrong.

I think communication and recognizing where we are the same and/or agree is a step in the right direction. Start on common ground and work from there. Is that just naïve or idealistic of me? Maybe.

Thursday, November 06, 2008

Food Meme

I'm having a not feeling so good kind of day, so I thought this would be the perfect opportunity to do this Food Meme I found over at Imelda's blog. Right about now, I could totally eat some of my comfort food: Chili Spaghetti. Check out all my answers below and if you decide to participate, let me know in the comments. I love talking food!

Type your answer to the questions into Flickr search
Using only the first page of results, pick an image
Copy and paste each of the URLs in the Mosaic Maker

And, of course, the questions:

1. What is your favorite restaurant? El Mirador in San Antonio. It's a shame that my favorite restaurant is so far away!
2. What is your favorite type of cuisine? Sushi. If only I could have some now!
3. What is your favorite comfort food? Chili Spaghetti. I can't get enough of it lately.
4. What is your favorite childhood food? Pizza, of course!
5. What is your favorite dish to prepare for company? Guacamole is always easy and Daniel loves it.
6. What is your favorite wine? Pinot Noir, always.
7. Who is your favorite chef? I had no idea how to answer this one, so I copied Imelda and went with a Muppet.
8. What is your least favorite food? Hard boiled eggs, blech! I can only eat my eggs scrambled or in an omelette. With Ketchup, tabasco, or some salsa.
9. What is the most adventurous food you’ve eaten? Frog legs when I was a kid. Never. Again!

Food Meme

1. El Mirador, San Antonio, 2. Flickr Loves Sushi. Mmm., 3. Close Up Of My 5-Way, 4. Pepperoni Pizza, 5. guacamole, 6. Pinot Noir, 7. 100-0089-1, 8. The Hardboiled Wonderland, 9. Untitled

Created with fd's Flickr Toys.

Wednesday, November 05, 2008

"Marriage is what brings us together”

In 1996, I got married. I was nineteen. I was not as mature as I thought I was and despite what I said, I had no idea what a serious commitment I was making and to what type of person I was committing to. I got swept away in the idea of being married – I thought the wedding would be the beginning of my fairy tale and that all the doubts and problems I had would be erased with “I do.” I was young and naïve, and had no business making such a serious decision in my life when I didn’t even really know who I was yet.

But I had the right to get married.

I had the right to make my own decision and to do so without being judged. Well, I know I was judged because of how young I was and that plenty of people thought I was making a mistake but I was free to make that decision. It was my right. So before friends and family, I said my vows in a large Catholic church. I had the expensive dress with the long train and I looked like a princess all the while taking for granted my freedom to make my own decisions/mistakes.

When that marriage ended six long years later, I swore I would never do it again. I didn’t see why we needed marriage. My having been in such a horrible relationship for so long, had made me jaded and I lost my faith in those happily everafter’s… at least for me.

And then I met Daniel. We fell in love. We started to build a life together. We became a partnership. We committed ourselves to being there for each other for the rest of our lives and we didn’t make that decision lightly. Eventually, we decided that we wanted to share that decision, - our passion for our commitment and each other and our future - with our friends and family. So with great ease, we went to the Bexar County Courthouse in San Antonio, Texas and purchased a marriage license. A simple piece of paper that carried so much levity to us because it was a symbol of the bond we had made, of the future we would continue to build. It was not a religious decision. It was not something we went into wondering how we would affect the institution of marriage. We did not get married in a church. We did not recite the “traditional” vows; we spoke words we had written specifically for each other. A friend officiated the ceremony because that meant more to us than if anyone else had done it. It was not about church or state. It was all about our love, and our commitment to each other and wanting to share it with the people who loved and supported us. It was one of the most important days of our lives and I am grateful for that freedom.

It is with sadness that I write that some of my friends do not have that same freedom. People just like me who want to make that official commitment to their life partner had that right taken away from them yesterday and for that I am ashamed of 52% of Californians. Who are we to judge someone else’s love? Why does who we choose to commit to have to be about anything but the people forming that union? Who can say what is a perfect union when we have a 50% divorce rate in America? How can we claim to be an authority on what is right and wrong for other people? What are we afraid of?

I’m sad that my kids are going to be raised starting out their lives in a world where this is legally accepted. I am angered that we are taking away rights. But I will not be deterred. I am not afraid that they will learn this ignorance and accept discrimination of any people because we will have an open dialogue that promotes equality. My children will be raised to not judge, to love, to be the change they want to see in the world. They will know that their happiness is my only concern and that whomever they choose to commit to will be welcomed whole heartedly as long as they treat them with the integrity, love, and passion that they deserve. The schools and government don’t raise my family, we do… Daniel and I take responsibility.

My marriage is no more undermined by the people fighting for equality than it is by the people who go into it without thought and who are not ready for the commitment. If anything, marriage is tarnished by those who think they have the right to decide on others behalf what unions are valid or acceptable. As I said before, with America’s divorce rate such as it is, we would do better to worry about our own marriages and families than the people who are fighting for their rights.

Tuesday, November 04, 2008

Nurtured

I've had a relaxing day today. Zoe was kind enough to sleep in until 9:30 this morning so I was able to be lazy in bed for a while and then take a leisurely shower. When I did get Zoe up, we got her ready for the day and fed her breakfast. We played with the dogs and read books and cuddled. There were no tantrums, no freak-outs... just a lovely morning and early afternoon with my girl. And then shortly after Zoe's lunch, one of my best friends here in town came over with her seven month old and some salads. I put on Zoe's favorite movie: Annie while I got to sit back and relax while talking to a grown up and gushing over her precious little boy. Zoe, by the way, did fabulous with my friends' son. She gently pet his head and touched his arm and feet and you could see the glee in her eyes. She did not mind that I was giving him attention or that she was not the only child in the room. Frankly, she handled it all so much better than I thought she would. This gives me a great sense of relief. Besides just missing getting to talk to my girlfriends in person, this visit could not have come at a better time especially since I've been so concerned about how Zoe will be with a new baby brother. For the time being, my fears and concerns have vanished. I feel refreshed.

Days like this certainly do not go unappreciated. First of all, I am fully aware that my daughter's sleep behavior is out of the ordinary and that I am one lucky, lucky woman. Just getting to relax a little and have some alone time in the morning and in the shower is enough to make a normal day feel extravagant. Most days feel like they are focused on Zoe's happiness and I end up being happy because she is - but today I feel like we were both being taken care of/nurtured... and it was so damn easy I wonder why we don't make this happen more often.

Monday, November 03, 2008

I'm so Emo

For the past few days I've had complete emotional breakdowns where I just cry and cry and nearly hyperventilate from trying to stop the waterworks. It's not pretty. And it's annoying. When the waterworks start it's normal enough... I'm usually talking about my list of things to do before Finn gets here and freaking out about how fast the time is going. And then I start worrying about this big transition our family is about to go through and how it will affect our little ones.

Now, if you remember from last time - this isn't new for me. The day our doctor told us we could start inducing Zoe's birth, I had a mini-breakdown because I hadn't given Max and Bailey "kisses" and explained to them that we'd be coming home with a baby in a few days. In fact, on the way out the door I'd accidentally stepped on Max's front paw and made him yelp. All I could think was I'd hurt my dog and that was going to be his last memory of me before we brought Zoe home and his life would be forever changed. This time around I'm worried about who will take care of them. I don't want to send them away to a boarders - which they hate - and then have them come home a few days later to a new baby. I worry they won't understand. I know this is irrational and they will be fine, but still.

And then there is Zoe. I am freaking out about being away from her while Daniel and I are in the hospital. Even though I know she will be in good hands and I know she'll get to come visit, it is almost unbearable to imagine being separated from her for a few days. She has been so cute about my belly and loves babies so I know that she'll be fine with having a baby brother, but I can't help but worry. What if she feels like she's being replaced? What if she misses us as much as I miss her? She has been the center of our world and soon she will have to share that - will she be OK? And again, rationally speaking - I know that she will be.

I know that Daniel and I have enough love in us for Zoe and Finn and the dog children. I know that this will be an adjustment/transitional time but that we can do it just like all the other families in the world who do it. I think one of the most stressful things about my breakdowns is that I know I'm over thinking and worrying about things that are either out of my control or not even a real issue.

Sunday, November 02, 2008

Supply & Demand

Last Tuesday I purchased a great big bag of Halloween candy. It was the good kind: Reese's Peanut Butter cups, Hershey's bars, Mounds, Milk Duds. It stayed sealed for about 24 hours while it was in our home, and then the baby in my belly told me I needed to rip it open and have some. Just a few, I told myself - nothing that would make a big difference in our supply. But my demand was very, very high and the candy tasted so good... so I kept going and going and going.

What's kind of funny about this is generally speaking, I'm not a candy person. I'm not a sweets person, really. Sure, I'll partake in a dessert now and then but my snack of choice is generally spicy or salty or both. I'm all over potato chips and dip and nachos with extra jalapenos. If given the opportunity I would go carb wild if it weren't for the gestational diabetes. Well, actually I did sort of go carb wild with the candy. It was a moment of weakness.

And I felt really bad about it and pretty much refrained from over the top candy eating on Thursday and Friday. But I worried that the precious little angel* neighborhood kids would not have enough candy when they came trick-or-treating Friday night so I got Daniel to buy some more candy. Daniel grabbed a two pound bag of candy to supplement our depleted supply.

And then Friday night came along and we spent most of the evening with friends, giving candy to their neighborhood kids while our candy was sitting safely inside our house. When we got home around 8:30, we realized that we'd left the candy on our entrance table within view of all the trick-or-treaters. I felt bad for a second, until I realized I'd had us buy so much candy because I was afraid the kids across the street were gong to pull another prank if they didn't like the candy we'd purchased.

We ended up not having a single kid come to our house while we were home and as I write this I'm feeling a little bad about that. But I'm also slightly amused by the plethora of candy we now have in our house that I'm no longer craving - at all.

* - Um, this is sarcasm. My neighborhood kids are not precious, little, or angelic. Hellions, they are!

P.S - It looks like I might participate in NaBloPoMo this year. Wish me luck!

Saturday, November 01, 2008

Photo time

I'm not sure if you noticed I'm back to not posting pics of Zoe again. No biggie, just a privacy issue.... I do have photos available to friends and family on Flickr. What I did decide to do was post pics of Zoe where he face isn't so visable... and I thought these were pretty cute:

Halloween Collage


Getting into character?