Sunday, January 27, 2013

Ch-ch-ch-ch-CHANGES...

Holy cats, I haven't written in what seems like decades! And once you hear what ALLLLLL I've been up to, you're going to think it's been decades, too.

Soooooo.... where do we begin???

Last time I posted I was 37 weeks pregnant with my sweet little Baby Super Girl. Yeah... She is now nearly 21-months old. :) What can I say about my daughter? She is... everything. She is wild and lovely. She is me. From her sassy, stubborn little personality to the wary look in her eyes. From her scrawny little peanut body to her voracious appetite. From her love of movies and books to her love of girly-girl things. She is 2000% my child. And I adore her, from her adorably sweet mop of fine corkscrew curls down to her delicate little painted toes.

And my gorgeous little Super Boy is no longer quite so little! My little man will be 10 on his next birthday in May, which makes me want to cry sometimes when I think that I gave birth to this child A DECADE AGO. He is... amazing. He's smart and sensitive, intuitive and wise beyond his years. He is already the boy that the girls love, and he has the perfect mix of shyness and outrageousness. He's got a quirky sense of humor, a knack for all subjects, he's a great artist, incredibly creative, and just a very, very cool kid. The older he gets, the less he is willing to let me hold his hand and give him hugs and kisses anywhere outside of our house (with the blinds drawn), but when he does allow those rare bits of displayed affection, he embraces them fully. I am madly in love with this boy, and I always will be.

As for me... Well!

Just as the whole baby thing was coming together and I was preparing to welcome Baby Super Girl into the world, something else was falling apart, and that something was my marriage. It's funny because - at the time - I had no idea that it was happening. In that bizarre phase of shock and bewilderment that immediately followed awareness (which came hot on the heels of Baby Super Girl's arrival), the pieces slowly came together and then it was more surprising that I HADN'T known it was happening while it was happening. I guess we see what we want to see. Either that or we hope that it's just one of the "downs" in the oft-referenced "ups and downs" of marriage and we believe that another "up" will be arriving imminently. Sadly, that's not how it went in this case.

Three months into that whole nightmare, in August of 2011, I experienced another life-altering blow when my father died unexpectedly, in a motorcycle accident. He was only 62 years old, and hadn't met Baby Super Girl yet. I was devastated. I was certain there was NO WAY I could endure all of that grief and sadness and loss at once. I needed my dad more than ever just then, and he was gone, gone, gone forever. It was easily the darkest period of my entire life. Had it not been for my very best friends and my family, I literally do not know how I'd have survived the loss of my dad, the destruction of my marriage and the beginning of the rebuilding of my life. He's been gone a year and a half already and I can honestly say that I still don't think I've fully processed his death, that I've fully grieved the loss. I think I've had to defer it emotionally and psychologically because I simply couldn't/haven't been able to go there 100% yet, not with everything else that was and has been going on simultaneously. I know that when it REALLY hits me, it's going to level me. Until then, I just miss my dad, like crazy.

Three months after my father's passing and six months into counseling that clearly wasn't bringing us any closer together, the plug was pulled on the whole "trying to work it out" thing. It was simply declared one day, right before Thanksgiving: "I don't think 'we' can be happy together going forward." So - okay. We faked our way through the holidays so as not to spoil them for the kids, continued in counseling to figure out how to tell the kids, and finally told them in mid-January of 2012, the day after we filed papers.

I should mention that up to that point, I was still a stay-at-home mom. I was terrified at the prospect of re-entering the job market after 4-1/2 years as a stay-at-home mom, considering the economy and the job market were both in the toilet and my life was in shambles. Somehow, by the grace of God, I landed a phenomenal job with a great company just three weeks into my job search. What was even better was that I re-entered the job force at the same pay level as I had left it at 4-1/2 years earlier. To say I was happy with my offer is an understatement; I was ecstatic. That was the first piece of the puzzle that was My New Life to fall into place, and the piece around which all the others could be added. Knowing I was going to be financially okay on my own, able to support myself and my kids, made all the difference in the world. I was back, baby!!

I started my new job at the end of March 2012. It was strange and exhausting at first, trying to get back into the groove of full-time work while still caring for a baby and a busy 9-year old who were both thrust into daycare again, going through the emotional drama of the divorce (all the while still living together), still coping with the loss of my dad, and trying to get all the other bits of My New Life together, like figuring out where the kids and I were going to live when it was all over. The first week of work, I fell exhausted into bed at the end of each day at the same time the kids went to bed. I couldn't imagine how I was ever going to be able to function normally and have an actual life at that point, I'll be honest. But I am delighted to say that things DID improve as the weeks went by, and now I DO function normally and I HAVE an actual life. Well, kind of, anyway.

The summer passed with us trying to sell our house and wrap up the divorce. It was strange, living together through the whole thing, but neither of us wanted to add the expense of a separate living space, and with as much as NSSuper Man worked and traveled for work, we weren't in each other's faces all the time so it wasn't as AWFUL as it could've been if he were an 8-5 worker. As soon as we filed for divorce, we started taking turns being gone every other weekend from Noon Saturday to Noon Sunday, to get the kids used to the new routine and so that we didn't have to be around each other EVERY day. Which was nice except that NSSuper Man felt justified in paying to stay at hotels on his weekends and I felt too guilty to spend the money and, thus, stayed with my best friends most of the time. It was nice to spend more time with them and their kids, but it's also not a normal way to live for any of us, and as the months wore on, we were all looking for the light at the end of the tunnel a bit.

In the end, with our house not selling, NSSuper Man bought me out of my half and stayed there, which freed me up to look for a great new nest for myself and the kids, which I found and had an offer accepted for on September 1st. Which was excellent timing, because our final divorce hearing was September 18th. I couldn't CLOSE on the new house until October 31st, however, because we needed to wait for NSSuper Man to close on the refi on our mortgage first to get my name off of it. If we thought it was tough living together DURING the divorce, it was much tougher to do it for those six weeks AFTER the divorce! I say that mostly in jest, really - I give us credit for doing our divorce rather amicably, all things considered, and we remained civil and friendly through the entire thing. NSSuper Man even helped me move when the time came, and although we are much less involved in each other's lives now, we are still civil and friendly when we need to interact. It's of course weird after you've been married to someone for more than a decade, but it's better for the kids this way, without a doubt.

So, the new house: I love it! The kids love it! It's about 1,000 square feet smaller than the old house, but it's been fully updated, it's perfect for me and the two kids, it's in a nice, quiet neighborhood, it's more affordable than a 3-bedroom apartment would've been, and it's only 1.5 miles from the old house and 1 mile from Super Boy's school. The only blemish on the whole "new house" experience was that we were broken into and robbed, in broad daylight, three weeks in to living here. Thank God no one was home at the time, because it was only "stuff" that was taken and "stuff" can be replaced, unlike lives. And as much as I freaked out at the beginning, both the police and my neighbors have assured me that this hasn't happened in AGES in this neighborhood, so it's not like it's crime-ridden and I need to fear that I've just moved to the 'hood. Needless to say, however, security was stepped up following that experience and we are gradually returning to regularly scheduled programming! The hardest was staying in the house the night of the break-in, which I chose to do because I knew it wouldn't get any easier to come back the next day if we left for the night. I also figured that the house was no LESS secure than it had been the night before - and, in fact, was likely MORE secure because (a) the window that was broken into was now boarded up, and (b) we no longer had much of value to take! From there, it only got easier. I still have moments of freaked-outedness, mostly when the kids are gone and I'm alone in the house, but those get fewer and farther between with time, too.

We had our first Christmas in our house; that was lovely. We went fake with the tree for the first time EVER (Super Boy's suggestion), and it was a good choice. With Baby Super Girl being so mischievous, I can only imagine how many times a real tree would've toppled over from her yanking branches, or how many pine needles I'd have found in her diaper... eek! No, a fake tree was TOTALLY the way to go this year. We spent Christmas Eve and Christmas morning in our new nest, and it was different, but sweet.

I can honestly say that the only time I was ever happier to see a year end was December 2011. It is simply a statement of fact that the past two years have SUCKED. My mom nearly wet herself laughing when I told her that after the prior two years, I'd best have rainbows shooting out of my ass EVERY DAY in 2013. No lie, my friends. No lie.

In any event, the tone of my blog is likely to change from here on out, for what should by now be obvious reasons. My life is completely different than it was when I started this blog, but for the fact that I am still essentially me (although 20 pounds lighter thanks to stress) and I still have my children (all but every other weekend and one night per week, anyway). I am back to work. I am a solo homeowner. I am without a dog for the first time in 11-1/2 years. I am SINGLE. I am dating - or hope to be soon, anyway.

That last bit alone is enough to make me want to crawl back into bed with a GALLON of Ben & Jerry's and NEVER resurface again. It's not that I don't want to find someone fabulous to spend time with and share my life with; it's that I've caught a glimpse of what's out there - and it's insanely depressing. It's the idea of the whole process of just meeting someone at this point in my life that is exhausting. That said, I am CERTAIN that it will provide plenty of fodder for this blog, and I hope it will be something others in my shoes can relate to (and something that those who can't relate to can laugh about).

Along those lines, I will say this: the smartphone, as indispensable as it is to me in ALL other respects in my life, is pretty much the tool of the devil in the present day dating world. TOOL OF THE DEVIL, PEOPLE. Texting should just be banned among single men and women, period. It's SO much easier for guys to commit fuckwittage when they can avoid actual voice or face-to-face contact, regardless of the existence of email. At least the last time I was single - 15 years ago - we had to wait until the end of the day when we returned home to our empty apartments and our silent, unblinking answering machines to feel utterly rejected and hopeless. Now we get to experience it INSTANTANEOUSLY when a text doesn't get answered forever (if at all) when you KNOW the other person has their phone on them 24/7, just like you do. It's all a big game - one I loathe - and I still don't know all the rules.

Anyway - stay tuned. There will be rainbows shooting out of my ass ANY DAY NOW. ;)

I've missed you guys - thanks for reading!

SW

Thursday, March 3, 2011

so unbelievably funny

Some girlfriends and I went and saw one of the funniest movies I've seen in a long time this past weekend, a little flick called "Just Go With It," starring Adam Sandler and Jennifer Aniston. You might've heard of it, yes?

Anyhoo, the movie was hysterical. HYSTERICAL. I was laughing so hard I was crying. So hard, in fact, that I was a little nervous about triggering preterm labor. Suffice it to say that the film is F-U-N-N-Y.

As I tried to quell the post-movie giggles, I spent some time thinking about what exactly made the movie so hilarious. Of course, Adam Sandler is always a riot. His timing and delivery are exquisite, and much like his pal and fellow comedian Will Ferrell, sometimes you just have to LOOK at him to laugh in a scene. So naturally part of the humor can be credited directly to him.

That said, I think the scene-stealer of the film is a far lesser known actor who has appeared in bit parts in several comedic movies over the past 10 or so years. The one I remember him from specifically is "Blades of Glory," starring Will Ferrell and Jon Heder, in which he played the stalker of Heder's character, Jimmy MacElroy. This actor is a guy from the Midwest by the name of Nick Swardson. His character in "Just Go With it," Adam Sandler's character's best friend Eddie, was perfectly played, even the character-within-a-character scenes, by Swardson. And he's got it all: that slightly dopey & geeky look, the less-than-stellar physique, and one of those voices that can either be really funny or really annoying. But he was PERFECTLY cast in this film and had some of the funniest scenes of all. Kudos to whoever cast him!'

Jen Aniston had some great lines, some great scenes, but was sadly typecast as she is in most of her films. Still, as part of the ensemble, she hit it out of the park. Other actors with smaller roles in the film like Nicole Kidman and my favorite music artist Dave Matthews gave brilliant turns in their roles, which again added to the great ensemble performance. (Side note: I really REALLY hope to see Dave in more movies!) The only real dud in the film was Brooklyn Decker. Obviously she was cast for her body and sex appeal as the potential love interest of Adam Sandler's character, but her acting needs some SERIOUS work.

Anyway, if you're looking for a great laugh and you have 2 hours to spare, just go see "Just Go With It." You'll thank me for it.

Saturday, January 29, 2011

37



So... Happy (belated) birthday to me!

Yes, peeps, I am 37 years old as of Saturday 1.29. Hooray!

My day started off sweetly: Super Boy stumbled to my room to wake me up as soon as he woke up and serenaded me with a beautiful, sleepy version of "Happy Birthday," followed by a big hug and an "I love you, Mom." Really, people: It doesn't get any better than that right there!

It seems so strange to me, being 37, because on the inside I still feel like I'm 17 most of the time. Of course, my body says otherwise, but my brain is still stuck in a permanent state of 1991-ness. And that's mostly a GOOD thing.

But, really, being 37 isn't so bad. In fact, it's not bad at all. I think this is going to be a GREAT year for me, because so much of what I've waited and longed for is finally coming to pass.

For starters, I'm pregnant! With a girl! And she's joining us in May! That right there makes this a spectacular year. I waited for her to come to me for so long, it sometimes felt like it was never going to happen. Now, we're just 15 short weeks away from meeting our daughter. It's a miracle, and a very happy one at that.

And then, related to that, there's the fact that the rest my life is no longer in limbo. Now we KNOW we are having a second child together, and I KNOW that I want to be home with her for a certain period of time, and when that time is over, I will be able to move forward with other aspects of my own life, at long last. For example, my career. I have no regrets about leaving the workforce to be at home with Super Boy, and I fully intend to be home with Super Baby Girl for a time, and then I will be able to focus more clearly and positively on what comes next for me professionally. Sure, I worry a little about what the impact will be of my multi-year absence from the workforce (particularly in the face of this soul-crushingly bad job market). But I still believe I've been where I needed to be and I'm okay with that. What really makes me happy is just knowing that my train is back on the tracks and heading in a clear direction once again rather than continuing to meander aimlessly on a wing and a prayer.

It's going to be a great year, too, because my sweet Super Boy is just such a HUGE helper to me at 7-going-on-8, and he makes my life so much richer, sweeter and simpler. He's going to be an awesome big brother, and is going to be my little right-hand man around the house. It's great having a child that age with a new little one entering the picture. He's really come into his own as a person and is just the bomb!

So, here's to 37, and to 365 days of happiness, blessings, joy and good health for us all. Happy Birthday to me!

SW

Monday, January 3, 2011

a few of my favorite things TWENTYELEVEN

I enjoyed putting together last year's list SO much that I had to do it again! I love it when I come across wonderful new products that make my and my family's lives easier, promote healthier, cleaner living, and come at a steal of a price. And I also love it when the simplest things in life can put a huge grin on my face and fill my heart with joy.

So, without further ado, here goes!

* I know this one is a little cheesy, but I can't resist listing it because it's true: being pregnant. :) I know some women will vehemently disagree with me on this, but I truly do enjoy being pregnant. I'm sure part of it is because we tried so arduously and waited so long for this that my sheer gratitude to be in my shoes right now makes me happy -- but I loved being pregnant with Super Boy, too. Other than the "morning" sickness of the early weeks with both pregnancies and my less-than-ideal long-ass labor with Super Boy, the rest is all good with me. I'm grateful to have the opportunity to experience pregnancy this one last time, and it truly is my most favorite thing on the list this year.

* Super Boy! He is the light of my life. I enjoy being his mom more than I can ever possibly put into words, and I get such joy and delight from watching him grow up and sharing each day with him. He is an exceptional kid, a beautiful human being, and I love him with all my heart & soul.

* Walgreen's Sinus Wash Squeeze Bottle Kit. This handy-dandy little kit is sort of miraculous, I have to say. Between me and Super Boy and our chronic congestion/sinus issues of the past several months, this is just about the ONLY thing that has given us any real relief. Which is a major godsend, both because I hate giving Super Boy medicine if he doesn't absolutely NEED it and because I am loathe to take medicines myself while pregnant unless absolutely necessary. And - bonus! - it's on sale right now for $6.99, down from it's regular low price of $9.99.

* Refinished wood floors (and having a super-handy husband!). We've lived in our circa 1895 house since June of 2001, and while Super Man refinished all the wood floors upstairs, the staircase and the office on the first floor several years ago, he never did the living and dining rooms, as those were in much worse shape and constitute a MAJOR part of our daily living space. Well, Super Man had the week off between Christmas and New Years and decided it was time to finish the floor refinishing. It took him a good 2-1/2 days of hard work, but the floors look spectacular. Way to go, baby - you're awesome!

* Friends. The true ones: those who are with you no matter what, through the good & the bad, the happy & the sad, the funny and the not-so-funny. Those who don't judge you, who have your back even when you do something incredibly stupid, whose loyalty is unwavering, whose caring support is there whether you ask for it or not. Friends that you can share your deepest, darkest secrets with and know they're safe. Friends that you can truly be yourself around and know you're still loved. While 2010 ended on a really sweet note for me, the first half of the year was pretty tumultuous, and I don't know how I'd have gotten through it without the good friends who stood by me through all of it.

* These fabulous, super-comfy and well-priced Emma Short Boots from Bearpaw. Seriously, they are so incredibly comfy that it's like wearing slippers while out and about. And they keep my feet toasty warm, even in really cold temps. (Note: You should treat them with waterproofing spray to help keep them looking great and performing well.) Although they look and feel like their higher-priced peers (i.e. Ugg boots), I bought them a few days after Christmas for $64 at The Shoe Box in Black Earth, Wisconsin, and I'm so glad I did. Go and treat your tootsies to these!

* Knitting. Oh, knitting, how I love thee! Great stress-reliever. Something that can be done while watching your favorite show in the evening, or listening to your favorite music, or sitting in a waiting room, or sitting in your car waiting for the kids to get out of school. And the added bonus is that you get a great sense of accomplishment and a handmade object when you're done with each project. In the past year, I expanded my repertoire to include felted bags, and I've really enjoyed tackling that challenge. I'm going to try some new bag patterns this year - can't wait!

* The Infiniti by Conair You Curl. This little styling tool is THE BOMB, baby. I wanted it all year long, and thankfully Santa brought it for me on Christmas morning (after picking it up on sale at ULTA). It seems to retail between $35 and $45 depending on the store and special sales, but it's worth every penny. I have very fine hair and used to have to resort to hot rollers to get a decent curl that would even sort of hold, and even then it was a long, arduous process to get them to produce decent curls. With this fabulous styling tool, I can get gorgeous curl in a fraction of the time thanks to the ceramic clamp-less wand and high-heat settings. I love, love, love this. Santa done me good!

* The nook eReader by Barnes & Noble. This was another post-holiday purchase I made with money I received from my wonderful mom and stepdad for Christmas, but better late than never! I purchased the basic WiFi-only model ($149), because it has all the features I wanted without any of the bells & whistles I DON'T need, and I am absolutely happy with it. With baby on the way in May, I will have one fewer hand available at any given time, not to mention all the middle-of-the-night feedings in my future, so this little lovely will be sure to come in extremely handy (pun intended).

* Summer, sweet summer! My entire life, summer has been my favorite season, hands-down. I had lost some of my enthusiasm for it all the years I worked full-time and missed out on so much of it, but the past few years of being a stay-at-home mom have renewed my love for summer all the more. I have my boy home with me from early June to the beginning of September, and our days are wide open, ready and waiting for new experiences & adventures. And this summer we'll have a tiny new adventurer with us, which will be even more wonderful!

* Groupon.com! If you haven't checked this site out yet, do it. Done. (Note that the link is for the Milwaukee area Groupon deals; you'll need to see if your location is Groupon-ready. I hope it is!)

* The Natural La Campagne Bakery's delicious granolas. I discovered this at my local Outpost Natural Foods store and fell in love instantly. My favorites are the Chocolate Cherry and White Chocolate Peppermint granolas. If you can't find them in your local stores, you can order online. Mmmm, mmmm. Get yourself some.

* Emerald Cocoa Roast Almonds, a perfect - and healthy - snack to ring in the new year! I discovered these in the past year and it was love at first taste. I often have one to-go canister in my van and one in the pantry, and it's one snack I don't mind giving Super Boy close to mealtimes. Almonds contain good fats, fiber and loads of Vitamin E - things we can all benefit from.

* An absolutely adorable 2011 desktop calendar by Delightfully Noted on etsy.com. Unfortunately, the calendar is sold out, so I can't share a link to it, but trust me when I say it is fun, colorful, whimsical and just right. This shop also carries sweet stationary, invitations, gift tags and more. Check it out!

* Honeycrisp apples. So juicy. So big. So delicious. If you haven't tried them before, try them now. You won't regret it.

* The Pioneer Woman's website. This woman is a dynamo: She is a ranch wife with four busy children (whom she homeschools) who cooks like an angel, has a knack for decorating and gift-buying, is a fantastic photographer, and still found time to build this spectacular blog from nothing. This is one blog I check religiously, every single day so long as I have internet access. I have tried countless of her recipes, all of which are easy to follow and turn out wonderfully, much to my family's delight. She's got a sparkling sense of humor, a huge heart, and a wonderful self-deprecating personality. Read and enjoy.

* Attending church. I'm not a hyper-religious freak or anything like that (trust me), but for as tough a time as we have getting our family up and out of bed and ready for church in a reasonable timeframe, when we finally get to church, I find myself really enjoying the service and feeling a great sense of peace and calm when it's over. It's not everyone's cup of tea, but for some reason, it just makes me feel better to go and commune with God for that hour each week. I only hope that - unlike our huge lapse in church attendance after Super Boy was born - we will stick with going most weeks once our new baby girl joins us.

My very best wishes to all my AESW readers for a blessed, wonderful, safe, healthy and Happy New Year!

Super Woman


**Disclaimer: I received none of the items above from their respective manufacturers; all were purchased by me over the past twelve months for my own personal use. In other words, this is not a paid advertisement for anything -- it is literally just a list of some of my favorite things. **

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

fa-fa-fa-freeeeeeezing!

It is SO. FLIPPING. COLD.

Brrrrr!!!

Seriously, my teeth are chattering right now. And I'm sitting in my kitchen fully dressed with the thermostat set at 70 degrees.

Southeastern Wisconsin - and much of the rest of the country - is in the grips of a major deep freeze, making spending ANY time outdoors nothing short of painful. I dread every single trip out the door, no matter what it's for -- taking Super Boy to or picking him up from school, running to the store, taking trash to the bin. You name it, it sucks. It involves wearing no fewer than 2 layers of clothing, and that's not counting outerwear. And hats - don't get me started. It's not even worth doing one's hair when you have to jam your head into a hat every time you so much as run the garbage out to the bin.

And we live in one of those charming old houses (circa 1895) that has a regrettably detached garage, so even just to warm up the car requires getting full-on decked out in outerwear to trudge out to the garage, back the van out of the garage so it's right by the back door, and then letting it sit for a good 10 minutes to get toasty.

I'm not gonna lie: IT SUCKS.

And I've lived in Wisconsin - aka: The Frozen Tundra - my entire 36 years, so you'd think I'd be hardened to the frigid cold winters that last a solid five to six months by now.

Yeah. Not so much.

In fact, my greatest fantasy these days is moving away somewhere warm. I think back to when Super Man was laid off and interviewing with a Georgia-based company for awhile, and how STUPID STUPID STUPID I was not to encourage him to LEAP at the chance to relocate to the south! Of course, at the time, it was July. We were in the midst of a beautiful Wisconsin summer, and the thing I kept coming back to and that scared the bejeezus out of me as I pondered what life would be like in the southern U.S. was the presence of venomous snakes & spiders. All I could think of was that Super Boy and Super Dog would be dead within 6 months once exposed to completely foreign and deadly wildlife that we don't have here in Wisconsin.

As I sit here freezing my arse off, all I can think is ARE YOU KIDDING ME?!? Given the choice between snowy, -10 degree winter days and poisonous snakes in my backyard, OF COURSE I'll take the poisonous snakes! Hell, I'll even keep one as a pet! This shit is ridiculous!

Perhaps I'd feel differently about winter if I was a big winter sports fanatic. However, in case it wasn't blatantly apparent, I'm NOT. The only thing I enjoy doing in the winter is ice skating, and frankly, we have the Pettit National Ice Center 10 minutes from our house, so if I want to ice skate, I can do it when it's 90 degrees out and I want to cool off in July. Wretched winter weather is not required for me to experience the joys of ice skating. So really, as far as I'm concerned, winter is not required. EVER.

The only time - ONLY time - I tolerate winter is Christmas Eve and Christmas Day. See, I'm one of those poor saps who is totally enamored with the whole notion of a white Christmas, having experienced a white Christmas pretty much every one of my 36 years. But up until 12/24 and from 12/26 on, I'm DONE with the cold and snow and ready to move straight into summer.

I think being pregnant this year has made me even more sensitive to the cold. I literally can't stand it. I shiver constantly, deep wracking shivers from the inner core of my body. I can't help but fear that it's going to send me into premature labor one of these days. I find myself dreaming of inventing a microwavable snowsuit that I can ensconce my expanding body in before I venture outside. If only it were that easy!

Anyhoo. Winter. I hate it. I'm dreaming of summer - CONSTANTLY.

Your freezing friend,
SW

Thursday, December 2, 2010

he's growing up!

My sweet little Super Boy is growing up so fast, it's making my head spin. He's 7-1/2 years old, and it happened in the blink of an eye, I swear.

Being pregnant again is bringing back all sorts of forgotten memories of Super Boy when he was a baby, and a toddler, and a preschooler and a little kid. And then I look at him and see BIG KID standing before me, when it seems like just yesterday I was gazing upon him for the very first time. It does NOT seem possible that the last time I was pregnant pregnant was EIGHT years ago.

And yet, here we are. And my boy is magnificent. He is truly, genuinely magnificent.

So, so smart. We just had his first second grade parent-teacher conference 2 weeks ago and his teacher had all great things to say about his progress in second grade. He is reading at an end-of-second-grade level. He's doing 5th & 6th grade-level math. His writing and spelling is great for his age/grade. And socially he's been making me proud among his peers. He's been a good listener and a leader in class, and he works conscientiously and with focus during work times. I love to hear that. I hope he maintains that focus and love of learning for a very, very long time. And I can't say enough good things about his teacher, either. She is fantastic, and such a sweet, nurturing person. It's easy to see why Super Boy loves school so much! We've really been blessed to have great teachers all along the way so far, really.

And my boy is tender-hearted. He has such strong feelings, and really loves his family and his friends. I love watching him with his closest friends, seeing how much he enjoys their company. He's protective of those who aren't quite as strong, and he's not afraid to stand up to those who bully him or others. I admire that in him. He's genuine -- what you see with him is exactly what you get. There's no artifice in him at all. And the love he shows to his family is just so sweet. He can't wait to see Super Girl and keeps track of when she's coming again, counting down the days and hours until she gets here. And when Super Man is traveling for work, he takes being "the man of the house" very seriously, protecting me and helping around the house more. But he's always thrilled when Daddy comes home, and loves to hang out with him for "guy time." That's another thing I hope he never outgrows -- his love of our family.

His sense of humor is well-developed, and his laugh is infectious. He loves a good (or bad!) joke, and is all about laughing and being silly. Despite the fact that he's very emotionally intuitive and sensitive to the feelings of others and can appreciate a range of even deep emotions, he's got such a sunny disposition and a true zest for life and fun. Spending time with him makes it near impossible to be blue for long.

And then there are the obvious signs that he's growing up. He has gotten so long, so tall in the past 2 years. His limbs changed from the plumpish & noodle-like toddler arms and legs to the broader, longer & more defined arms and legs of a bigger kid. And they went from hairless to hairy seemingly overnight, at least as far as his legs are concerned. His torso looks more like his dad's by the day, broadening and becoming less concave. His face is losing the baby sweetness and starting to resemble the future young man he will be. And the faint little beginnings of peach fuzz are showing on his upper lip, bringing tears to my eyes! Granted, some of that could be the fact that he's 50% Italian and is guaranteed to have plenty of facial hair later on, but still - he seems to little to be showing the faintest signs of a mustache.

The very latest development has been stinky pits! I noticed it first over the summer, but didn't think much of it because the boy was constantly on the move, and it was a hot & humid summer in our area, so I think I'd have been hard-pressed to find anyone who WASN'T stinky by the end of the day! I know I reeked at the end of each day, personally (not pretty). Still, his armpits were really smelling ripe, and this was even with showering or bathing on a pretty much daily basis. When we got into fall and soccer season, I continued not to be too surprised by it, because he was sweating a lot in practices and games, and it was still pretty mild for much of the fall, so between gym class and recess, it seemed to make sense. But now, in the frigid temps of winter and showering every 2-3 days, I'm still smelling the armpit stink, so we finally talked about it yesterday and I told Super Boy I was thinking of getting him a natural deodorant to try. He was wary at first, but then when we picked out a Tom's natural deodorant together, he seemed to be sort of excited at the thought of using deodorant like Mom & Dad do. :)

He showered last night before bed and put his deodorant on for the first time. He wasn't sure what to do with it, so I did it for him, and he was giggling and squirming like a worm, since his armpits are by far the most ticklish parts of his body! He said it felt wet & sticky, but it really smelled good! (We went with the apricot scent, which is nice and light.) All the way up until I tucked him in to bed, he was talking about how fresh and clean he smelled, and how he couldn't believe he was old enough to be wearing deodorant. It was super cute. I would bet anything he's sharing his big new news with his class today at school, with as much as he was bursting with pride over it! He even insisted that we call his dad (who is out of town for work ) this morning to tell him about it, since we forgot to tell Daddy about it last night on the phone.

I just can't believe he's at this point already though. I don't remember wearing deodorant until 4th or 5th grade, and he's only in 2nd. But he's a bigger kid than I was, and he sweats a lot in general, so I'm not inclined to be worried about it. I've heard of several other kids his age who are also using deodorant, girls and boys, so maybe it's becoming more common, too. But I felt better about using a natural deodorant for him than a run-of-the-mill commercial deodorant & antiperspirant; I'm not concerned about him sweating, I just don't want him to stink to the point where others can smell it.

Anyway, I know this is only the beginning. Pretty soon, he will be looking more and more like a tween. And that, too, will seem to happen in the blink of an eye. My baby is growing up.

Now, excuse me while I go enjoy a good cry... :)

Super Woman

Friday, November 5, 2010

tis the season

Guess who has a sinus infection now?

ME!

Are you kidding me, Universe??

It all began last week Wednesday when I started feeling a lot of post-nasal drip and had a really weird cough where the congestion was, like, not at the surface (if that makes any sense) so I had to keep deeply clearing my throat to get to it, which was beyond annoying. After about 2 days of that, it was to the point where I had to cough hard to get to the congestion, and my chest felt tighter and tighter with each passing day, like all that coughing was doing absolutely NOTHING. My voice got hoarse, my ears felt plugged, and although I was sneezing like a maniac, it wasn't like a cold where the congestion settled into my head/nose at all. Still, I assumed it was just a cold, and was prepared to power through it with hot tea, cough drops and Robitussin (after checking with my OB-GYN to make sure it was safe while pregnant, of course).

By Monday of this week, I knew something more was going on. The cough wasn't getting any better, and my chest and sinuses felt far worse. At night I'd have a hard time falling asleep because of the cough, and then I'd find myself waking frequently during the night because the back of my throat was dry from mouth-breathing, which would set of new rounds of coughing. I was waking up in the mornings feeling like I'd barely slept at all.

I called my OB-GYN's office Monday to see if I should come in. The nurse called me back and told me to give it a few more days, since it hadn't been a full week yet. I hung in there another two days, but by Wednesday, I knew things weren't on the upswing, so I called again and they squeezed me in in the afternoon.

Dr. F listened to my lungs and didn't hear any wheezing, but after describing the course the illness had taken and the massive pressure-pain in my sinuses, she wrote me a script for the Z-Pack on the assumption that I've got a sinus infection.

While I was bummed about the sinus infection, it was actually fortunate timing because Super Boy was with me and, since I'd hit the 12-week mark in the pregnancy that day, I asked Dr. F if she could check for a heartbeat while we were there. She got out her doppler, put a little gel on my belly, and within seconds she captured the heartbeat of our baby!! It was so wonderful to hear, all 164 beats per minute. :) Super Boy's eyes got big and a huge grin spread across his face as he heard the sound of his little brother or sister's heart, and I was just breathing a huge sigh of relief to hear that little heartbeat.

Funny thing, I thought back to when we heard Super Boy's heartbeat for the first time, and I remember being so nervous and excited that I kept giggling, and my doctor couldn't hear anything because of all the noise I was making laughing! It took a solid 5 minutes for me to calm down enough for her to get it with Super Boy. I was so embarrassed, but couldn't help it to save my life. At least this time I managed to hold it together with the nervous giggling, because I really wanted Super Boy to hear it!

So, already I'm feeling better on my antibiotic. I hate taking medication when I'm pregnant, but in this case, it was warranted. I'm just praying that the rest of the winter is a healthy one!

SW