TBT: Five years ago… the final days of the ‘Pre-Bobby’ Era

Monday, February 23, 2009

It’s GO TIME … well, close enough

So, the weeks have turned into months, and the months have turned into, well… almost 9. It’s just about time for this little creature (or “alien” as he’s often called in our “Sci-Fi-loving” household) to make his debut. Prior to last Thursday, we had decided on March 14 as the C-S date. I have to admit, as a writer, I tend to shun anything math-related — but I thought it was funny to have the baby on 3.14, thus calling him our little “Pi Baby.” Then the OB weighed in on the situation last week, airing some valid concerns (nothing life-threatening or otherwise dramatic, but concerns nonetheless) saying “waiting until the 14th is unrealistic.”

What?! What was that loud rushing noise? That would be all the air being sucked from the room.

We were turned loose from the appointment with an assignment to look at our calendars and find a new date that will work. An earlier date. A date much sooner than 3.14. Not that it’s all about OUR convenience, but having the “luxury” of planning a birth date for the baby allowed Jeff to juggle his work schedule and arrange vacation/personal days in such a way that I’d have him around to help for several weeks after surgery. Now, with the date moved up, there was an alarming gap of time — say, two weeks or so — where he is scheduled to work, THEN have a few weeks off. That’s nice and all, but having help immediately after surgery is way better than after the fact. You know, when you feel like you’ve just been sawed in half and had the equivalent of a bowling ball removed from your mid-section.

I think we’ve managed to work things around, but now the new date is March 1. As in six days from now. Six SHORT days from now. This has launched me into a fierce prep mode, which a few friends have perceived as “nesting.” I’ve always seen “nesting” as a cute, maternal rite of passage where the expectant mom waddles around the house, washing onesies, folding and putting them away with a light, loving touch.

Me? Not so much. Oh, I waddled around the house,… but it was more high-speed. Like someone was chasing me with a chainsaw. I spent a majority of Saturday evening doing laundry, while Jeff was at work. But that was just to catch up on what we normally have lying around in a (current) family of seven. If we fall behind at this point, someone is going to be going naked next week. Yesterday afternoon and evening my pet project was two-fold: 1.) pull all the boys’ outgrown, summer clothes and get them boxed for the consignment store; 2.) pull entire maternity wardrobe and box up a majority of clothing I will no longer need after Sunday. (Oh, I’m no fool… I kept out all those loose, roomy jeans/sweats.) I have to admit, though, I was practically giddy with anticipation at being able to wear at least a few pieces from my pre-pregnancy wardrobe. For the better part of eight hours, I sorted, folded, boxed or hung clothing. And it wasn’t as if anyone else could help with this project — it was all up to my discretion and I knew which consignment stores were getting which articles of clothing. But now, however, I have a few distinct piles of clothing nearly ready to get the hell out of the house. 🙂

The next few days will be filled with tending to last-minute details, and I even have another baby shower to look forward to on Saturday (talk about getting THAT in under the wire!). But, if all goes well (i.e., providing I don’t go into actual labor before then!) come Sunday morning we will welcome a beautiful, healthy baby boy to our family. Still a bit hard to fully grasp the concept, and we haven’t decided 100 percent on a name (it’s down to two), but he will be warmly-welcomed and much-loved.

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Cry Uncle, Wave the White Flag,… Whatever

General consensus these days is that we’ve all had just about enough.

Enough winter. Enough sub-zero cold. Enough snow. Holy hell, enough snow.

Enough school cancellations. Enough delays. Enough with the kids hanging around the house because it’s too dangerously cold to go sledding or just have any fun outside. Enough of the same kids eating every last crumb in the pantry because they are simply so bored that the act of eating seems like an entertaining activity.

Enough, winter. It’s enough already.We give up.

My Facebook feed is positively brimming with friends lamenting the same and other cries of exhaustion as this winter has kicked our collective asses. But today? Today we got a glimpse of what will come — spring. The temperature climbed only as high as the low 40s, but as far as everyone was concerned, it may just as well have been 70. I have to admit… it was really nice to walk outside and not instantly feel assaulted by air.

According to the news tonight, we’re in for a Thursday in the 50s, highlighted by thunderstorms, high winds and severe weather in some areas. In Indiana, that is quickly translated into “possible tornadoes.” Of course, right on the heels of this spring-like weather is yet another round of frigid temps and … (dare I even say it) …snow.

Go home, Winter. You are drunk.

Throwback Thursday: The Birthday Blog

I’m throwing it back six whole weeks here, with a blog that I’d been unable to post on the old site. Enjoy!

 

Yesterday was my birthday. My 45th birthday, to be precise.

                For whatever reason, this one felt different – like a milestone. But, really… who considers 45 a milestone? I certainly hadn’t, but personal assessments aside, I couldn’t shake the feeling that this was a significant number. Still can’t quite put my finger on it, but since it felt big, I wanted to do something worthwhile. Enter the Internet, and it’s copious amount of general awareness. I’d heard of people marking their birthdays (usually 30th or 40th) by performing Random Acts of Kindness all day long. You know, 30 for your 30th birthday, 40 for your 40th. Last week I sat down and broke everything down: given an 18-hour day, I was looking at carrying out five RAKs per two-hour time period. OK. That sounded doable. Then I started listing said RAKs. Planning out 45 Random Acts of Kindness is a lot harder than it seemed. I figured out the five I could do first thing in the morning before leaving for work; then the five I could do on my way to work, and upon arriving. So it went, in two- or four-hour blocks, until I had the entire day planned out. Perfect.

                When my alarm went off yesterday, I was excited to get started. One of my RAKs was to make coffee for Jeff, so it would be ready when he woke up. Little did I know, he already had plans to get up and make ME a birthday breakfast (which was PHE-NOM-NOM-NOM-ENAL, by the way), so he actually beat me to making the coffee. Oh, well… I’d just find something to do later in the day to make up for it. On my way to work I paid for the coffee of the person behind me in the Starbuck’s drive through. I got into my office, and proceeded to leave boxes of homemade cookies in my department and one other. Later, I left coupons and freebie vouchers in the cafeteria, coffee bar and convenience store within our building. Near lunchtime, I walked over to the Fitness Center and left bottles of water at the check-in desk for people coming to work out. Then I went into the women’s locker room and put up a few small inspirational/motivational signs. Before I left for the day, I taped a dollar to a vending machine and a quarter to one of the parking meters. From work, I stopped at the bread store, where I left a $5 on the table with all the muffins and bagels. After that, it was off to the Red Cross to donate blood.

                When I finished there, I had to stop and pick up Jack, Charlie and Sam from a friend’s house. It was getting a bit later in the afternoon, and I was a little disappointed that I hadn’t had time to get to almost half of my list. Clearly, in my case, an entire day was necessary for all the RAK-ing. I got home to find Jeff had made the most awesome birthday cake, and was ready to leave with the boys for a quick trip to the store. I resigned myself to accept that completing half my list of Random Acts was going to have to be good enough. I realized, as I sat snuggled up with Bobby for a little while, that simply doing that – spending time with him – was an act of kindness. And sincerely thanking Jeff for his great efforts in the kitchen was an act of kindness. Accepting and squeezing extra tight when the boys gave me unexpected birthday hugs was an act of kindness. For the rest of the evening, I realized that while half of my list had gone un-highlighted, my acts of kindness – both given and received – hadn’t stopped.

                The perk of having a birthday right before the start of a new year is that you have two prompts to start anew. In addition to my personal and professional goals, (hello running and writing… I’m looking at you!) I think another goal will be to continue the kindness. And when I celebrate my 46th birthday in a year’s time, I hope that performing acts of kindness, both random and expected, will be a part of my everyday life. But I’m still going to take the day off work and plow through a new list of 46 Random Acts of Kindness.

New Digs

Over the past year or so, I’ve struggled with posting to my blog. Part of it has been a struggle with time — trying to carve out a few minutes in a day to sit down and write a post. The other part has been a struggle with my laptop’s compatability with Blogspot. Both scenarios were extremely frustrating, especially since I seem to be constantly writing a post in my head.

I finally found a pocket of time to address my blog issues last week, when I was planted on the sofa recovering from gallbladder surgery. I knew of a few people who post with WordPress, so I’m giving it a whirl. Welcome to my new digs, folks!

I toyed with the idea of just starting an entirely new blog, but the Vicodin jammed up my creative thoughts and I couldn’t come up with a new name. Plus I kept falling asleep before I could think of something good, so I’m sticking with SquareOneMom. Besides, it never ceases to amaze me that no matter what’s going on with me or my family, I always find things coming full-circle and I’m right back to square one time and time again. I guess I could go all “Lion King” about it and start singing “The Circle of Life,” but let’s not go there. It’s just a fact that life leads us through situations or “lessons,” and we find ourselves back where we started, only a bit more wise and aware. It’s the same with writing — at least for me, anyway. The beginning of a project, article, manuscript, etc. has me looking at an blank screen, fingers poised above “asdf” and”jkl;”… waiting for the thoughts to come. Then they do, and I pound everything out, edit and pound some more. When I’m finished, it’s a relief and I feel a little accomplished. And then the next project, article or manuscript on queue pops up, and there I am with the blank screen and fingers poised. Again.

Back to square one.

My short-term goal is to get back in the habit of posting regularly and keeping my mojo going. Writing is what I do; what I’m overwhelmingly passionate about, and I can’t ignore it or let everyday life steamroll over it. I am a writer. I seriously DO constantly write in my head — every minute, every hour, every day. Long term? Well, I’d love to have a grand, enthusiastic following of regular readers… who are so crazy about what I write that I simply MUST put my musings into book form and publish them.

For now, I’ll settle for a nice, new user-friendly place to let all the writing I do in my head roam free… and hope that at least a few people enjoy it enough to come back and read more.