Wednesday, October 31, 2007

When You Send C to Target...

Yesterday J discovered that we were almost out of diapers, so he asked me to run to Target sometime today to pick some up. He really should have known what he was getting himself into at that point, but alas he didn't remember the Cardinal Rule of Target. Namely, Do Not Send C There By Herself Or You Will Live To Regret It.

But I get ahead of myself.

So, there I was, Luke by my side, and the entirety of Target in front of me. I like Target. In fact, I'll go as far as to say that I love Target just a little bit. So much stuff! Such reasonable prices!

Diapers, right. I needed diapers. Oh, and Stage 2 nipples for Luke's bottles since we're hoping that a faster flow will help end Bottle Strike: 2007.

(is it me or am I giving a lot of things proper names in this post?)

Diapers and bottle nipples, check!

But the baby section was tantalizingly close to the Halloween section, and it wouldn't hurt to check out the deals, would it? No, indeed it would not. And, in fact, I found some great ones!

This t-shirt--only $5!

This wreath, 50% off!

CANDY! It's Halloween and we need CANDY!

Oh, and a festive felt bucket to put the candy in!

But really, I shouldn't buy anything else.

Or should I???

"The Office" stuff! They have I (heart) Jim notepads! Magnets! Just fifty cents!

(And yes, I do plan to use the I (heart) Jim notepads for my hall passes when I go back. So there, boring post-it note people!)

MOVIES! J was just saying the other day that he wanted Transformers and the latest season of "Scrubs"!

(please note, I was a cool wife and bought the version of Transformers with a box that actually is a Transformer. Best Wife Ever.)

Needless to say, by the time I was done there was barely any room for the baby in my cart, much less any other random Target merchandise. Thus I checked out, crammed everything into my trunk somehow, and ended up at home on Halloween night taking pictures of my Target purchases.

Luke is not impressed by Target, but Daddy is pretty happy about his movies.

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Wow. Mommy guilt really sucks.

We're not having a good week. Luke started a bottle strike over the weekend (he'll reluctantly take one from me, but not from anyone else) and I found out yesterday that our daycare center won't be able to take him in December after all. Add this to the stress I was already feeling about going back to work, and I'm kind of a wreck at the moment. The guilt I'm feeling about this--about knowing that he won't eat if I'm not around and that we're now having to make some tough decisions about who will care for him in just a month--is tremendous. I've never felt like this before, and there's a rising sense of panic thrown in with the bone-crushing guilt because at least the bottle issue has to be resolved quickly. Quickly, as in tonight or tomorrow because I'm going to parent/teacher conferences Thursday night and Luke will be staying with a sitter and Juan. I don't know how I'm going to sit there and make small talk with parents and kids I've never met before if I know that my baby is probably hungry and crying at home because he doesn't realize that people who aren't Mama can give him the food he needs.

Aaaaand now I'm crying.

Motherhood is hard in ways I never imagined, and these issues are just two examples of the problems I couldn't have dreamed of only 11 short weeks ago. I honestly don't know what to do.

Sunday, October 28, 2007

Yeah, it's worth it

I have had it up to here with my sub. He's a moron who hasn't taken his job seriously from Day 1, and now we could both get in serious trouble because of his attitude.


Every time I get angry about this situation, I try to remind myself of why I have a sub in the first place.

To have Luke, to have had the chance to spend the last 11 weeks doing nothing but caring for this precious little boy, I'd do it all over again a million times.

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Unreasonable anxiety

The coverage of the horrible wildfires in California has me on edge. Fire is one of the few things I'm truly phobic of. I still have nightmares about the day a 4 alarm fire broke out in the building across the street from our condo back in Maryland. I left for the grocery store and everything was fine, came back and there were fire trucks and visible flames in my neighborhood. Thankfully that fire didn't spread beyond the original building, but it was still the closest I've ever come to a destructive fire.

Now, watching news coverage of what's happening in San Diego and L.A., I'm seized with anxiety and "what if it happened here"s. After feeling horrified when I read that some people only got a few minutes notice before the fires hit their streets, I started to wonder what I would do in that situation. I know I could get Luke into the car quickly--he's never more than a few paces away from me at this point--but Jasper and the cats are a different story. The truth is that I probably couldn't corral both Codi and Arcadia without at least half an hour lead time. That terrifies me. I can't even think about the fact that my car is too small for me, the baby, the dog, and the cats to all really fit without feeling panicked.

I really should turn off the TV and stop reading online stories about the fires. First, though, I'm going to make a donation to the Red Cross to help with relief efforts and read up on wildfire preparedness. Just in case.

Thursday, October 18, 2007

Three Things

Amalah posted this challenge today and since I'm in a meme-y mood (and since it's a very good question) I thought I'd tackle it. To wit:

What are the three things you wish for your kids to experience in their lives?

1) To always feel safe and loved at home.

I've always had a very strong connection to my parents and "home". It made moving away after college really hard and is the main reason why I talk to them at least twice a week. I always knew that no matter what I could go home if I needed to feel safe and loved. Even though Luke will live in a number of different houses and cities as he grows up, I dearly hope he always feels that he can come "home" to me and Juan whenever he needs unconditional love and protection.

2) To make a difference in someone else's life

Few things are more significant, in my opinion, than making the world a better place for another person. There's really not much more I can say than that.

3) To have lifelong friendships

I thought long and hard about this third one because experiencing love is certainly something I want for Luke. Friendship is an important kind of love, more important than romantic love in many ways, and I know that I wouldn't be where I am today if it wasn't for my friends. You need people to turn to when things are bad, when you're unhappy, and when you need to talk problems over with someone outside of your family. I want Luke to know what that feels like, and I certainly want to send him out into the world knowing that he has people he can turn to no matter what happens. Everyone needs those kinds of friends.

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Eight Things About My Marriage

The lovely M has tagged me for this meme and I confess to having sat on it for a couple of days just to think about my answers.

1) Where did you meet your husband?

Juan and I first met at a Golden Key Honor Society regional meeting that our university's chapter was hosting. I got roped into volunteering by two friends who wanted me to join and Juan was already a member. We worked the registration table together and I don't think he said more than a couple of words to me the whole night. Anyone who knows Juan knows just how absorbed he can get when a laptop is in front of him, so I can't blame him for completely ignoring the future love of his life that particular night. ;-P

We re-met at the start of the 2001-2002 school year when I joined GK and we started eating lunch together with our mutual friends. That's when we actually got to know one another.

Incidentally, two of my good friends also met/started dating their future husbands because they were involved in GK, so at one point we had a semi-serious discussion with Headquarters about marketing the society as a dating service. Oh, the eyes that must have rolled in Atlanta during THAT phone call...

2) What was the first thing you said to your husband?

Oh geez, I have no idea. Probably, "Hi, I'm Carolyn." I assume he grunted something in return. He's a man of few words.

3) Where was your first kiss? First date?

First kiss is easy--on the couch in his room while watching "The Simpsons"..

First date...that's a bit harder. See, we have different ideas about what our first date actually was since we hung out as friends a few times before what I consider to be our first real romantic date. Juan disagrees and says that those friend outings were also dates, so I'm going to tell my version of the story and then let him tell his.

Carolyn's story: After I discovered that Juan hadn't seen the movie "Shrek" yet (remember that this was early November, 2001) I proposed a trip to the dollar theater near our university to see it. We went, we ate Reese's Pieces, and midway through the movie he reached over and held my hand. It was the first time he'd worked up the courage to let me know in an explicit way that he liked me as more than a friend, which is why it was CLEARLY our real first date.

Juan's story: Okay, so he won't guest blog for me, but in a nutshell he came to my work one night (Halloween, actually) to ask me if I'd go to an Air Force ROTC Dining Out (for those unfamiliar with bizarre military traditions, it's essentially a roast/fancy dinner) the following night since he had to attend as an Army ROTC representative. I recall him saying that he "needed" a date, so I assumed that he was asking me because we were friends and he was asking me to do him a favor. The fact that he gave me 24 hours notice also contributed to this impression. He believed (and still believes to this day) that I should have somehow known, given this setup, that he was asking me out on an actual date-date. Anyway, I had to get my prom dress cleaned overnight since it was the only thing I owned that was fancy enough, we went, had a good time, and really started dating a little over a week later.

4) Did you have a long or short courtship/engagement?

We dated for 18 months (long by Utah standards) and were engaged for less than a month before eloping. The reasons for the elopement were far less interesting than most people probably assume. Basically, we realized that given Juan's medical school schedule there was no way for us to get a marriage license in Utah (where we both agreed the wedding had to be) without literally camping out in front of the County Clerk's office less than an hour before our Monday morning ceremony. We couldn't change the date or convince the clerk to waive a rule about how long a license could be issued before the marriage took place, so we were legally married in Maryland 8 months before our family ceremony in Utah.

5) Where did you get engaged?

In my parents' living room in front of my entire family. Not exactly what I had always dreamed of, but it was very sweet nonetheless.

6) Where did you get married?

Our legal ceremony was in downtown Bethesda, Maryland; but what we think of as our "real" wedding was at Red Butte Gardens in Salt Lake City.

7) How did the reception go?

I thought it was pretty fun. We had a light lunch for everyone, people talked and had a good time catching up (our wedding was small enough that most people knew almost all of the other guests), and there was a sword to cut the cake. Who could ask for more than that?

8) How was the honeymoon?

Aside from the fact that there's really not much to do in the Poconos in March and the fact that I had to spend one afternoon trying to manage a work crisis that erupted because a stupid Congressional staffer WHO SHALL REMAIN NAMELESS BECAUSE I AM A NICE PERSON decided to lose a map I hand delivered to his office and then lied about it to my boss, it was a lot of fun.

Hmmm... I think I'll tag Kathleen, Mama A, and Mama Emily to do this one next.

Monday, October 15, 2007

Pregnancy and Infant Loss Rememberance Day

I am woefully late in updating with this today (it's been quite a day) but I wanted to link to the Pregnancy and Infant Loss Rememberance Day site as today is their Day of Light. Please take a moment, light a candle, and send good thoughts to those in your life who have experienced a loss.

Tuesday, October 09, 2007

The Other Side of the Fence

I've spent a lot of time recently thinking about friendship. The friends I lost while going through infertility, the friends I gained, and the friendships I already had that grew stronger through shared heartache all occupy a significant portion of my thoughts these days.

Friendship is something I've always struggled with (I spent most of my childhood agonizing over why I didn't have friends and now that I'm an adult I've had to move away from the wonderful friends I made in Salt Lake and DC) so thinking about lost friends always saddens me. The combination of infertility and distance cost me one of the closest friendships I've ever had, and I know that's something I'll always be angry about. It also helped me grow closer to two friends I'd had for years, and if nothing else I'm grateful I had the chance to support them and get their support while we were still trying to conceive.

Now that I'm on the other side of the infertility "fence" though, I'm struggling with completely different issues. Namely, how do I stay a good friend to those who are still going through infertility hell? How do I know when to back off and give my friends space if that's what they need? How do I make sure not to say or do something that hurts them? You would think (hell, I would think) that it would be easy to know what to do since I've been there myself, but what's right for one person isn't necessarily right for another.

I've been very open about my infertility from day one. My parents and sister know about it--they even read this blog daily. All of my friends know what we went through; my in-laws know; and because I was a patient at J's hospital while we were searching for a diagnosis, many of his coworkers are aware of our problems as well. In spite of the intensely private nature of infertility, I had no problem with "going public". Talking about what was going on, sharing our story, and trying my best to de-stigmatize it helped me cope. I know that's not the case with everyone, though, which is one of the reasons why I think I'm having such a hard time knowing how to "be there" for my infertile friends now. Most of them aren't as open about their struggles as I was (and am) so the things I wanted people to do when I was in their shoes such as e-mails asking how I was doing, phone calls to check up on me after another failed cycle, etc... likely aren't what they want from me now. There's also the issue of Luke--I know that seeing or hearing about a new baby while you're infertile can be incredibly difficult. I never want to cause my friends the pain I felt when someone insensitively sent me unsolicited baby photos or wouldn't stop talking about their children while we spent time together.

I want to be a good friend. I know those I care about who are still battling infertility need good friends. I just need to know how to be what they need me to be.

Sunday, October 07, 2007

Sunday at the Patch

I've been a little obsessed with pumpkins lately. Specifically, with pumpkin patches. We never went to one when I was little, so my first exposure to a "real" patch (as opposed to the piles of pumpkins at the grocery store around Halloween) was in college. After visiting Thanksgiving Point I decided that when I had kids we'd go to the pumpkin patch every year to buy our jack-o-lanterns. So, last weekend I started researching patches in El Paso and today we packed up the boy and drove to New Mexico to the La Union Pumpkin Patch. Luke was...unimpressed. We had a great time, though, and got some really nice pictures of the three of us.

Tuesday, October 02, 2007

Top Chef!

Anyone else see a resemblance here?

Top Chef's Dale


I think this seals the deal--we're rooting for Team Dale during tomorrow night's finale. Mohawk wearers unite!

Monday, October 01, 2007