Friday, April 30, 2010

You're Not my Mother...

Being a stepmother is hard.

I guess if you only see your bonus child every once in awhile, it might be somewhat easier. But in my experience it is hard.

I have had 3 stepchildren in my life.

I say “had” because my former husband was married before me and although his children were a part of my life, one of the sad things about divorce and stepchildren is, they can also be lost in that mess. That is the case in my life. His daughter is now 16 and his son is 13. I met them when they were 4 and 1. My son still sees them when he visits his dad and has always referred to them as his brother and sister. They are a part of HIS life and that is all that matters to me anymore. It is hard to believe that those little, little kids are teenagers now.

The relationship I had with the kids wasn’t hard.

At first, with their mother….it was. I was asked questions from this sweet, loving little girl at age 4 like, “Stephanie, do you know why my mom doesn’t like you?” Those types of questions were sad to me that a mother would put that on their child. After the initial control crap that women try to exhibit, eventually, the mother and I became friends and things were fine over the years. There is a lot more to that story, but she knew I loved her kids and the drama didn’t continue.

Fast forward to 4 years after the end of my marriage, a new man and child enter my life. This young girl is now 6. When I met her she was 3. We have a picture of us together from the day we met.

That very first day with her was really good. We celebrated Father’s Day with G, getting to know each other. She was a very chatty toddler and that day was no exception. At that time G only had her every other weekend and for some holidays, so that first time I met her was brief, but perfect. I was here in Pittsburgh visiting G and the day I met his daughter was the beginning of the visit. Shortly after their daughter had gone back to her mother, G received an email that she wouldn’t be flexible with him regarding time with their daughter again so that their daughter spent time with his “flavor of the month”. That was me. This took place in June 2007. This flavor turned out to be permanent.

In July, that same year, I came back to visit. This time with my son. G and I were both excited and nervous for all of us to meet.
Mind you at this point, I was super optimistic that his daughter’s mother would go through her initial control factor and then chill out eventually.

The first thing this 3 year old little girl said to me when I saw her again 3 weeks later was…”You’re not my mom.” Not hi. Not hello. Wow. So, you think she came up with that on her own or more accurately it was shoved down her throat? Kids just don’t come up with that on their own. I was a little shocked, but told her that it was ok, she had a mom and I cared about her. That was July 2007.

A and I moved to Pittsburgh that Fall.

From the very beginning, we’ve been dealing with drama. I could give a thousand different examples of things this little girl has said over the last 3 years that are shocking, would sicken most people, are saddening and bottom line just hurtful…to her.

One of the most significant things was right before her 4th birthday and her mom asked her if she liked me better or her mom better. Who does that? The answer was me. Which resulted in the mom packing some of her daughter’s stuff and putting her outside the door of their apartment telling her if she liked me so much, she could just live with us. Imagine being 3 years old and this happening. The little girl said she screamed and cried because she didn’t know which way to go. Funny thing is, her sharing this with us, came out of trying to teach her and my son a lesson about what to do if we got separated at a store. “Ya mean like when my mom put me out in the hall and I didn’t know which way to go?”

WHAT???? 2 ½ years later, she STILL talks about that sometimes.

So back to my original thought…being a stepmother is hard.

Aside from all the crap pumped into a kid’s head, there are things that are just frustrating because they’re not always raised the same way. The expectations I have for my son, he has known for his entire life. When there are huge differences in the way a child is being raised, it can cause a lot of frustration for everyone. Yes, kids are smart and know that different rules apply in different places and can follow them. They do it everyday when they go to school.

However, when some of the differences include speaking horribly about my family, “that baby isn’t your sister until your dad and Stephanie get married”, “My mom wants to beat you up, [step dad] wants to beat up my dad, and [stepbrother] wants to be up A”, “don’t let someone teach you how to play basketball right, just do it your way”, “this whole thing is my mom’s fault because she and my dad didn’t get married” and on and on and on, there are many other issues to deal with.

And since she KNOWS her mother hates me, as she’s never been protected and filtered from her mother’s feelings, there’s an obvious loyalty conflict that always occurs within her. In turn, she goes back each week and feeds her mom’s feelings to make her happy.

I read her mom’s blog online.

It’s comical most of the time. But, before there was shared custody, the internet was actually where we discovered some of the allegations levied against us, learned where their daughter went to preschool, saw pictures of events in her life, found out when she went to the doctor among other things, as none of that information was ever shared with her father.

Now, it’s solely for fodder.

I read the other day on her blog that the honeymoon was over in my relationship. Yes, I made the assumption it was us as the details fall into place, but my gut instinct has always been right regarding this woman. (I even predicted her sexual abuse allegations when I still lived in Arizona.)

The funniest part for me, about reading that, was the thought that she thinks because G and I have arguments in our relationship, the honeymoon is over. People who say they never disagree in their relationship are not honest. I bet this little girl didn’t tell her mom about a billion other things that are great and that she gets to experience because when she does, they're either shot down or criticized. Especially since for a long time she wasn’t even supposed to speak her dad’s name with her mom and stepdad. Talk about screwing a kid up.

The saddest part about reading that about us was the pleasure the mom took from it.
For argument’s sake, imagine it was true --G and I fought and ended our relationship. Not once, did the mom consider that HER daughter’s life would have upheaval again. Instead pleasure derived from “juicy gossip about a couple we can’t stand.” Honestly, it’s disgusting.

For the record, G and I argue. We love each other. We disagree. We’re both stubborn. I’m pregnant and sometimes reactive which is unlike myself. I didn’t bite my tongue that day. I was pissed.

Funny though, when one grows up in an unhealthy family and then has toxic relationships, their perception of right and wrong is probably slightly skewed. So, I guess I should feel sorry for her.

I don’t because it’s important enough to me that her own daughter doesn’t grow up with those same patterns.

Which brings me back to being a stepmother is hard.

Half the time, I don’t just have to work on my relationship with this child, I have to counteract the damage done to the child. She’s a great kid and it’s so very sad that she exhibits many of the same negative patterns and behaviors. We’re hopeful that counseling will really help.

What brought a lot of this to make me want to write about it was last weekend when she picked up her daughter, my son and I were leaving at the same time and passed by their car walking to mine. 3 ½ days later back comes the child to tell me “My mom said, ‘Is that A?’ and I said yes. Then my mom said ‘He’s fat just like his mom.’”

Yeah, I was 24 weeks pregnant and don’t care if she or anyone else calls me fat.

My 10 year old child is not fat and it simply shows the mentality she has. But, when you continually hurt your OWN child, why would you care about hurting any other child in this world.

Seems to me even in prison people who hurt children are seen and treated in a different way than general population…

Children are off limits.

Attacking my child is off limits. I can’t control the damage she continually does to her own, but mine is off limits.

All I can do is love this little girl and guide her in the time she is with us each week…half her life.

The movie Stepmom hits on a lot of these experiences --without the evil element, of course. I saw it at the theater in 1999.

The part that has always stuck with me was in the restaurant scene…

“The truth is she can have us both. Love us both. And she will be a better person because of me and because of you.”

Being a stepmother is a really hard job.

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Red Alert! Red Alert!

I have been very reflective lately as a result of being pregnant and I have been observing my son as he grows into a young man...the things he likes, dislikes, what makes him laugh ---how he is becoming the person he is.

(Written October 6, 2009...)

I walked into A's room this morning to put some laundry away after he had gone to school and came across this army scene in his room. I put his clothes away and left the room to grab my camera...

I took the pictures because they made me smile and I have been reflecting on his life a lot lately as his 10th birthday is rapidly approaching.... is he really almost 10???? He lost a tooth yesterday, he plays hockey, he's in beginning band learning to play the saxophone, he's mouthy, he's really good at math, loves science, needs to work on reading comprehension...i.e. slowing down, he is in a robotics clubs at school learning to build robots from legos, he still loves cheeseburgers like he has since he was 1, he loves to play videogames, still believes in the tooth fairy and Santa, he still walks into a room JUST to hug me and randomly hollers out "Mom, I love you!" I am so very blessed to be his mom. ♥

There actually is a specific reason I took pictures of those army men today...

When I lived in Nashville, before I was married or A was even a glimmer in my life, I was invited to and attended a songwriter's seminar with some of the best writer's in Nashville. What I love about country music is the story...

A songwriter, Gary Burr, wrote this song after reading the paper or hearing a story on the news (I can't remember which. :) ) about this child who was hit by a car in front of his own house and when the mom came back inside there was a half eaten sandwich and toys strewn all around just like the boy had left it. When she was interviewed she said, "He can't really be gone" as she talked about walking back into her house...

That story led to the Tim McGraw song,

"Can't Really Be Gone".
Her hat is hanging by the door
The one she bought in Mexico
It blocked the wind,
It stopped the rain
She'd never leave that one
So, she can't be really gone

The shoes she bought on Christmas Eve
She laughed and said they called her name
It's like they're waiting in the hall
For her slip them on
So, she can't be really gone

I don't when she'll come back
She must intend to come back
And I've seen the error of my ways
Don't waste the tears on me
What more proof to you need
Just look around the room
So much of her remains

Her book is lying on the bed
The two of hearts to mark her page
Now, who could ever walk away
At chapter twenty-one
So, she can't be really gone

Just look around this room
So much of her remains
Her book is lying on the bed
The two of hearts to mark her page
Now, who could ever walk away
With so much left undone
So, she can't be really gone
No, she can't be really gone

That story really impacted me back then and obviously still today...

So sometimes in the still of my house, I take a moment not to get frustrated that there are toys all over the floor that didn't get put away or the backpacks are thrown by the door instead of picked up, and simply grab my camera and be grateful for the life and love I have.

Click on the box above to link up at Shell's for this bloghop and connection...

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

It's a Great Day for Hockey!

We're a hockey lovin' family...hence the name of the blog. :)

In the NHL, the Penguins have made it to the 2nd round of the playoffs, the Coyotes are fighting to stay alive, as are the Nashville Predators.  These are the 3 teams I like...all 3 places I've lived. Once I understood the game learned the rules, I was hooked!

I'm not just a professional hockey fan. I LOVE hockey!

A started playing deck hockey (on a hockey deck, played with a ball as the puck --no skating) when we moved to Pittsburgh in the Fall of 2007. This was a kid who had never picked up a hockey stick before, as it's not a big sport in Arizona for kids to start playing. :)

He's been playing ever since--Fall, Winter, Spring each year. He loves it and has really taken to it.  This season that just ended was his 1st time in the 10-12 year old league.

A was nervous to start this past season as it was bigger and older boys, but once it started and he was able to show he could score goals and knew what he was doing, he was fine.

Last Thursday night, his team won their championship series! They won 5 to 3 and he scored the 1st goal of the game!
He's #6 on the black team...
Getting himself set in front of the net...just like a good wing should...

Getting his championship trophy!

G and A
a very proud dad...
And just as quickly as a season ends, another begins...practice started for a new league 2 days after the win...

Proud Hockey Mom,

Monday, April 26, 2010

24 weeks

How far along are you?
~24 weeks, 2 days
According to Babycenter: "Your baby has caught up with an ear of corn in size and gained about 1/4 pound since last week. (Length: almost a foot.)"

What symptoms are you experiencing?

~Horrible pregnancy-induced carpal tunnel
~General uncomfortableness --you know the near inability to tie my shoes

How are you feeling?
~My hand hurts so badly in the morning, it takes hours before it BEGINS to feel better! I got a nighttime wrist stabilizer and it has helped so much!!! No more falling asleep in the middle of the night, just stiff in the morning now, but not so painful. I'll take that!

Any Midwife/Doctor appointments/ultrasounds/tests this past week and how did they go?
~I did have one last Monday...
All is well and Lily looks great!! Yippee!
I did forget to add to the post about Lily that she weighs 1 pound, 3 oz. ♥

Anything big happening in your personal life (moving, work related, family, etc.)?
~Got into an argument with G this week -- I have more reactiveness due to hormones. :) No biggie, really and no, the honeymoon's not over. We argue. Shocking, I know. *sarcasm*
~My mom's coming to visit soon! More cleaning, unpacking and organizing to accomplish!

Any fears or hopes you want to get off your chest?
~I truly am enjoying this pregnancy finally after our ultrasounds and doctor visits...I feel like we can breathe a little bit easier.  In all honesty, it makes the weird annoying hormonal symptoms tolerable.

Any belly pics or ultrasound photos from this week?

Ultrasound pics: Lily's pics

Any food cravings?
~Peanut butter & strawberry jelly sandwiches
~Reese's Peanut Butter Cup Blizzards
~Italian dressing (I normally eat ranch)

Tell us your favorite thing about your pregnancy this week.
~I've had a couple moments this week where I've had to stop and think, "Did I feel her move today?" Then as if to let me know...there she goes! It's amazing to me.

What has been the most surprising thing about this pregnancy?
~I'm amazed that we only have 16 Saturdays until her due date!!!! I'm finally enjoying being pregnant without constant fear and I feel like it's flying by! So excited to meet her....

Baby brain moment of the week?
~I'm terrible at keeping track of this and recording the information.
Honestly, it's probably because I forget and that is SOOOOO frustrating to me in the first place. I have a phenomenal memory normally. Oh! Here's one thing I did....A's hockey practice for his new team was moved from Sunday to Saturday due to weather and it was "moved to Saturday from 1:00pm to 2:00pm".  Apparently, this means the practice is from 1 to 2pm. We showed up for it to begin at 2pm.  Woops.  Baby brain, yes, but I think that's confusing too.

Random Question of the Week:
Have you been feeling a lot of movement? Feel any kicks from the outside yet?
~Lily's an active little monkey! I feel her a lot and it just makes me so happy! G and A have been able to feel her so far too!! A being the 10 year old boy he is, thinks it's strange and G smiles. :)  ♥

Lovin' Lily...

Sunday, April 25, 2010

Getting to Know You...Holy Saucers!

Click on the cutie button below to link up with Keely for my favorite weekly bloghop and make some new friends!

1. If you could star in any movie genre..what would it be..romance..horror..comedy..suspense or action?
It would be romantic comedy for me all the way. Gotta have the laughter and the silly parts of life along with the sappy love story that I adore. My life is a romantic comedy with someone else wanting to change it to a drama. We keep it as romantic comedy so that it's not turned into an action or horror flick.

2. Do you recycle?
I know, I know, for as trendy as it is to "go green" (which that BUGS me...the trendiness of it) it's horrible that my answer is some. We now have a specific recycle bin for garbage pickup day which I'm loving and it makes it 1000 times easier than before we moved to our new house. I miss my big blue recycle bin in Mesa, AZ. Piece of cake there.

p.s. People are so judgemental about this subject. Not a fan of that. :(

3. Have you ever been to a strip club?
I actually have not and I'm ok with not having that experience. Oh, I take that back....

Of course, first thing that comes to mind with "strip club" is women. That I have not. When I moved to Nashville, my friend and I drove from AZ to TN and went through Texas, down to New Orleans on our way on our road trip... In New Orleans, we went into a strip club...we did not stay long. The guy looked like he had just been pulled off the street outside and was making his debut. We downed our 2 drink minimum and out the door we went laughing our heads off. 1996.

4. Do you have a nickname?
Lots actually. Family nicknames, online nicknames, G has some names for me hahaha
Faith is probably my longest online name.

5. What's a name you can't stand to be called?
Wow, this could get ugly.
Honestly, for you to call me a yucky name and it to bother me, I have to care about you.

As far as generally, I don't like when I first introduce myself and someone assumes they can call me "Steph". If I don't introduce myself as such, don't make the assumption we're close enough for you to do that. There are 4 people who call me or have called me "Stephie".  Only 2 of them are still living. It just fits for them to do it. Anyone else = no way.

6. What are your Summer staples?
Sweet Tea Vodka!!!  (I am counting down until I give birth until I can enjoy this staple this summer)
flip flops, popsicles, picnics, bbqs, lemonade, fishing...

This summer will be the pool and air conditioning as I finish up my pregnancy in the horribly humid months of Pittsburgh.

7. What was the last thing you bought for yourself?
My diaper bag!

8. Are you happy with your boob size?
They're growing because of this pregnancy and some days still super sore, so yes and no. And seriously why is it that the nipple area is ENORMOUS during pregnancy?!?! Holy saucers!

Like y'all needed that visual Sunday morning. Time for church.

Saturday, April 24, 2010

What's Up, Doc?

This past Monday, I had a doctor appointment and a growth scan ultrasound for Lily.  Often times when we go, the ultrasound part of the hospital is behind...this was one of those days. An hour and a half.  My appointment was at 10am and my regular OB visit was at 11am.  Y'all can do the math. 

Fortunately, they like me and I get along wonderfully with all the nurses in my doctor's office, so they told me to come to my appointment early so I wouldn't have to be there all day! Yay! I love it that they're also considerate of MY time.

Headed to the doctor. This was my first visit where I was getting measured. Seems really old school to essentially tape measure the belly, but I measured between 22-23 weeks with this super hi-tech tape measure method. haha I was 23 weeks, 2 days. The doctor laughed at me saying how hi-tech it is.  We listened to Lily's awesome little beating heart and she pumped away at 150 bpm. It just makes me smile and so thankful each time. ♥  I asked about my hands falling asleep and waking up in the morning almost unable to use them and was told it was "normal". Pregnancy-induced carpal tunnel syndrome. OH. MY. GOD.

I wish I could explain how painful this is. I wake up with practically a claw some mornings. I wake G up at random times in the middle of the night to rub my hand and my arm. I have never experienced anything like this and I told my poor mom the other night that I feel badly for giving her a hard time when she'd just drop something out of her hand or saying "Oh my wrist."  My dad and I used to joke with "oh my wrist" all the time.  Mom, I apologize again.  Because, OH MY WRIST!!! This sucks!

Other than that, the doctor visit was uneventful...normal blood pressure check, weight check...I've gained 5 pounds since my last visit for a grand total of 8.  I'm ok with that. :)  Honestly, all that's important to me is Lily growing and being healthy and I'm going to do my part.  I gained 50 pounds with A and lost 40 after he was born and then well, divorce and other things made it fluctuate over the years.  Like I've said previously, I had a moment of "oh my gosh I'm going to be 40 when Lily's three". So G and I have our weight loss/management plan in place after she's born so that we can be around for a long time. :)

We finished up, scheduled the next visit which includes the dreaded glucose test...dun dun dun. I've already done one in this pregnancy and inevitably I don't pass the one hour test. I hope that I do this time because that 3 hour one is no funaroosky. Blech. Also scheduled my next growth scan ultrasound. I was able to schedule the ultrasound when my mom is here, so she can see Lily in action too!! I'm sooooo excited about that!!

Next up: Ultrasound.

I headed back up to ultrasound, told them I was back and got called within 5 minutes. Perfect.  The ultrasound tech was a sweet young girl who was very good about explaining what she was measuring with this type of scan. Checking her head, kidneys, heart, stomach, spine, leg bones etc. making sure they're growing appropriately.  Hearing the words: "She looks perfect," makes me more happy than I can possibly say. We're finally truly enjoying this pregnancy and those words are like music. ♥  

Lily was pretty active with her arms and legs kicking, but not really moving her body around. She was breech with her head up under my left rib and sitting on my cervix. Which made perfect sense to me because she was literally kicking me down low the previous day all day. G and A were both able to feel her that day! G was excited, but A said, "This is really weird, Mom, to feel something moving inside you!"

Anywho, Lily waved once then covered her face really quickly like she was shy! It was super cute and made me laugh. She was moving her mouth a lot and playing with her tongue. She kept putting her hands across her face. We were able to see her fingers very clearly---which looked like Skeletor---all bony and awesome to see that she's growing and developing. I'm so amazed and infatuated with seeing her in ultrasound and I know how truly miraculous pregnancy really is.

I was happy to see all 4 chambers of her heart pumping away, still cracking up that she has big feet like G, and truly, truly just more and more in love with my baby girl...

I love this picture! ♥ She put her right hand --palm up--against her forehead after all her waving and covering her face, as if to sigh and say, "Oh my life is so hard!" hahahah

This pic was one of the times she covered her face *in same position as above pic* and her bony fingers were across her face. Skeletor:

This was actually RIGHT after she waved and then while she was covering her face...Her arms are on either side of her head. In the pic, she's looking towards us and you can make out her eye (sockets). I'm SOOOO amazed by all of this, but I figured the text describing what you're looking at is helpful too. :)

I love love love this baby and I'm so thrilled and relieved she'd growing on time!

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Sympathy Pregnant

Anyone buy into the man being sympathetically pregnant? 

Um, I do.

This is my man:

(We were actually laughing really hard when I took this picture and just looking at it makes me laugh again.)

He is very a broad shouldered, 6'3", strong manly man in every way that matters to me. He would lay down his life for me...

When we found out we were pregnant last May (with the baby we miscarried at 11 weeks), he didn't experience any sympathetic pregnancy symptoms...maybe it was early still or who knows. I was definitely emotional and moody during those early weeks. 

When we found out in December we were pregnant with this baby, it was almost immediately that he was pregnant too! One night about 10pm, he was on his way home and called me to say, "I'm stopping at the grocery store to get tomato soup. I'm craving tomato soup."  He doesn't like tomato soup. 

Came home, fixed his beloved tomato soup, ate about 5 spoonfuls and was done. Craving over. I just laughed at him. I had yet to experience any real food cravings at that early point.

His food cravings have continued.

When I have told him at doctor appointments how much weight I have gained each time---has been very minimal this pregnancy--sometimes 1 lb. to 3 total lbs the entire pregnancy. Well, I know where our pregnancy weight has gone. :) He's sharing it too. God love him. He's funny about it ... jokes and tells everybody, "She's gained 5 pounds, I've gained 20." 

Recently, I have had trouble with my hands falling asleep in the middle of the night...unfortunately this is "normal" during pregnancy too, I've learned. Due to swelling, it's essentially carpal tunnel that occurs during pregnancy.  It's awful though. Some mornings I can barely make a fist. The only time it really falls asleep during the day is when I'm blow drying my hair.

Anyway, so I said the other morning, "My right hand fell asleep last night and it hurts so badly this morning." He said, "That's really weird because MINE have been falling asleep too!" hahahahaha

The few days I felt nauseated, he did too, shortly after that.

I told him that if any man would be sympathetically pregnant, it would be him. ♥ He is a very passionate man who is very intuitive and in tune with me.

Yesterday while I was out, I got a text message from him that he had a really bad headache and wasn't feeling well. We sent a few messages back and forth and then he said, "Ok babe, I'm gonna go lay down. I'm ready to not be pregnant anymore."  It made me smile.  Not that he felt bad, but as his reference to himself being done being pregnant.

So, yeah I do believe in sympathetic pregnancy.

I'm in love with the father of my baby who is living proof. ♥

He won't watch 16 & Pregnant with me though. haha

Monday, April 19, 2010

Just Another Manic Monday...Woh Oh

Monday Minute

Click on the creepy face above to link up!

1 - Ever take a shit in the woods?
Yes, once while camping. Sometimes it is a necessity. All the times it is gross.

2 - If you won $1,000, what's the first thing you would do with it besides give me a cut?
I'd take G and me on a mini vaca. We deserve it.

3 - What's your favorite phrase?
I don't know what it would be really.... it used to be "Can I just tell you..." but that was years ago and the last one I remember.

4 - Fill in the blank - the world would be a better place if ______ left the planet.
I really don't need to answer this. If you've read my blog, you know.

5 - How do you take your coffee or tea?
~Not a coffee all. Ever. 

~Sweet tea vodka.  Firefly. Best.Invention.Ever.
I do love me some non-alcoholic sweet tea too and I have missed it since I've been pregnant. Too much sugar, so I don't even tempt myself, but oh I can't wait!
For both.

Time it goes so fast When you're having fun

Sunday, April 18, 2010

23 Weeks!

How far along are you?
~23 weeks, 1 day
Only 118 days left!!! How crazy does that seem? 
According to BabyCenter...Lily "weighs about as much as a large mango -- just over a pound. (Length: more than 11 inches.)"

What symptoms are you experiencing?
~some swelling on hot days
~back pain at the end of the day
~neverending tired

How are you feeling?
~Overall I feel great pregnancy wise. The end of the day is rough some days, but totally worth it!
~Wednesday this week, I could not eat enough...even when I was done eating, I was still hungry! Bbq chicken, peanut butter & jelly sandwich, orange, rice, apple, yogurt, ice get the idea.

Any Midwife/Doctor appointments/ultrasounds/tests this past week and how did they go?
~Monday, Monday,Monday! I can't wait to see this little monkey again!! Pictures tomorrow. :)

Anything big happening in your personal life (moving, work related, family, etc.)?
~We went to G's aunt's funeral this past Tuesday and I was very emotional...
~My mom is coming to visit in a couple weeks! Yay! I haven't seen her in a year!

Any fears or hopes you want to get off your chest?
~Still have a little anxiety about how Lily's growing...but feeling her move everyday helps so much to know she's ok. I'm excited about seeing her on Monday in the growth scan!

Any belly pics or ultrasound photos from this week?
This is my only Pittsburgh Penguins shirt! (obviously not maternity hahaha) It's the playoffs...

Any food cravings?
~peanut butter & jelly
~ice cream with chocolate syrup
~cheese pizza
~Harvest Cheddar Sun Chips

Tell us your favorite thing about your pregnancy this week.
~Still loving her moving so much and when I met a lot of G's extended family, they asked a lot about her. Super exciting to talk about her!

What has been the most surprising thing about this pregnancy?
~Aside from one time, no one has been able to feel her move on the outside.  Everytime she gets going, she stops when someone tries to feel.  Stubborn as a stone.

Baby brain moment of the week?
~Too many that I can't even remember. Next week, I'll try to write them down!

Random Question of the Week:
Are you making anything by hand for your baby? Keepsakes, blankets, books?
~I am keeping a handwritten pregnancy journal for her, my mom crocheted her a blanket and my grandmother has made two also.  She'll have a lot of sentimental treasures because I'm very much that way, but for now those are the few things that exist.

Loving this pregnancy,

Getting to Know You

Sunday, Sunday, Sunday!

Click on the cutie button below to link up with Keely for my favorite weekly bloghop and make some new friends!

1. Mens chests..hairy or hairless?
I don't like apes. But I don't like little boys masquerading as men.
So, I guess my answer is I like a little hair, but not so much that my hand will get caught in it when I'm rubbing his chest. My man is exactly that. Perfect for me!

2. How often do you run red lights?
Rarely. I actually can't think of the last time I did.  Too scary about accidents.
In AZ, most of the opposite lights are delayed so they don't change to green as soon as the other turns red. Here in Pittsburgh, they change at the same time and people are ALL about the "Pittsburgh left". Accident waiting to happen.

3. If you could raid any celebrity's closet..who's would you raid?
Sara Evans...I always love her comfortable style which is totally me and when she needs to dress up, she always looks gorgeous, but never stuffy! I love her!!

May 2006:

4. Would you rather have more followers/friends on Facebook, Twitter, or your Blog?
Can I say I don't really have an opinion? The people I'm friends with on Facebook are people in my life--past and present. Through Twitter, I have discovered a lot of  great people and the same goes for my blog. I'm grateful for that, but honestly do not care about the quantity. Like I told someone recently...I'm a well-kept secret. :) hahaha

5. What makes you feel sexy?
Right now in my life, honestly when my fiance looks at my 23 week pregnant body and still desires me in every way. He is still as attracted to me as ever and ensures that I know it. Because, let's be honest, it's not fun trying to find clothes that fit and the ones that do are mostly not sexy. :)

6. I get excited when...........?
The Penguins win in the playoffs, things go the way they're supposed to, I find a great bargain, hear a song I love, learn my mom is coming to visit, I won something, my kids do really well in school, I see my baby in ultrasounds...

**All of the above makes me jump up and down and clap very cheerleader-like. (I was never a cheerleader.)

7. Are you the "outdoorsy" type or more "indoorsy"?
I'm a mix of both! Love fishing and camping and being outside a lot. I realized after moving to Pittsburgh that it's not as easy to do all of those things without planning as it is in Arizona....I miss the AZ weather a lot. We never had a "plan B" if it rained. :)  I also love hanging out on my couch on a rainy day watching horrible Lifetime movies.

8. Would you rather have your dream home or a million dollars?
Million bucks baby! My dream home wouldn't cost a million dollars, so I'd end up with enough money to buy my house and still have money left for other stuff.

Until next time...Happy Sunday!

Friday, April 16, 2010

Goodbye Miss Fish

We bought the kids fish for Easter.
R named hers Smallie.

Smallie lasted 13 days with us.

G and I sitting on the back porch enjoying the afternoon sunshine before the rainstorm, talking and saving the world like we do on our porch...

From inside, a 6 year old voice...
R: "Hey guys? I think there's something wrong with my fish."
G: "Why?"
R: "Daddy, is she supposed to be laying on her side on the rocks?"
G looks at me and mouths, "oh no..."
G: "Come on honey, let's go upstairs and check it out."

We go into the girls' bedroom and sure enough it is Goodbye Miss Fish.

R started sobbing. We let her cry and tried to explain that sometimes that happens, she might have been sick when we got her, that we've had fish die too etc. doing our best to comfort her, of course.

R: "Why does this have to happen? First a dog in my life, now my fish?"  (We had to put one of our dogs to sleep on Christmas Eve.)

We talked with her about all of it and she cried --snot running out of her nose --crying. It was so sad and sweet. She is such a sensitive and caring little girl. 

She asked if we could get a new fish and we said yes, that would be fine, but she had to decide whether she would be ok if it happened again too...hopefully not this soon. Through her sobs, she said she could be ok.

I later told G this was a preview of puberty and the emotion that will come with girls. :) HAHAHAHAHAHA!

We headed to the bathroom with Smallie in the green net...G, R, and me. (What was going through my mind at this point was The Cosby Show when they had a funeral for Rudy's goldfish "Lamont"!)

Sad, sad R flushing Smallie... :(

Daddy headed to work while R and I headed to Petco...she liked this one because he followed her finger:

And a very happy girl with her new fish!
Meet Swimmy!

All is well again...

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

The House That Built Me

Yesterday, I spent a lot of time thinking about and discussing my dad (who died 15 years ago this May) with a new blogger friend. We talked about each of us losing a parent and how that has impacted our lives. It's funny when you meet someone who has lost a's like an instant understanding that you've longed to explain to people in your life...and at the same time, you wish no one really had to go through it either in order for them to understand.

When I heard the following song last September for the 1st time, I was instantly stopped in my tracks...
The imagery of the lyrics took me through so many pieces of my own life, I found myself having to pull over on the side of the road sobbing. I called G and told him that I found MY song...This is the song I want played at my funeral. One of them.  But I know for certain this is one.  I made sure that my best friend knows too, so someone will make sure it happens. Take a few minutes and listen.

Today, G and I went to a funeral...his aunt. After much conversation yesterday about my dad and let's face it, pregnancy hormones, I was pretty emotional to start with. I have never met this aunt, yet the moment I saw her son and daughter --who are in their 30s --I began crying. Almost to the point where I was going to get up and leave the room because I was extremely emotional. Fortunately, following the service, I had the opportunity to explain that to G's cousins. And also fortunately, I have a man in my life who knows this is who I am and loves me for it.

All the emotions I have felt today are still swimming in my head and I will probably write about my dad more as he's been on my mind a relation to my past as well as to my pregnancy, my children and the legacy I will leave for them...

(this just plays the music to listen...I love the imagery of my own life.)

(I met Miranda Lambert in March 2005 in the Nashville airport. A month later we saw each other again in Arizona and she remembered our meeting in Nashville. We spent the afternoon together at a festival, exchanged information and kept in touch until life simply got busier for both of us. Since that first meeting, we've seen each other over the last 5 years at different shows. She AND her dad always remember and we catch up which is awesome. I last saw her last April in California before this record had been released, so I've yet to tell her how impactful it is. I look forward to seeing her again and being able to tell her just how much.)

Won't take nothin' but a memory...

Click on the box above to link up at Shell's for this bloghop and connection...

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

22 weeks!

How far along are you?
~22 weeks!
According to BabyCenter, Lily is as big as a spaghetti squash this week:


What symptoms are you experiencing?
~My hands keep falling asleep at night while I'm trying to sleep!
~Lots of peeing...still.
~Uncomfortable--especially trying to sleep and/or tying my shoes--you know that bending in half isn't as easy as it used to be.

How are you feeling?

~I haven't been sleeping very well and my hands have been falling asleep at night when I do sleep. :(
~Super emotional...weepy.

Any Midwife/Doctor appointments/ultrasounds/tests this past week and how did they go?
~Not this week. Next Monday for next appointment and ultrasound! Can't wait to see her again!

Anything big happening in your personal life (moving, work related, family, etc.)?
~Slowly but surely getting settled and unpacked into our new house
~G's aunt died, so we're headed to a funeral this week. This makes me extremely reflective about my family and I have cried a lot.

Any fears or hopes you want to get off your chest?
~For the most part, I feel great about my pregnancy now. I do have some moments of worrying about her growth scans here or there and ensuring everything continues positively.

Any belly pics or ultrasound photos from this week?
22 weeks, 3 days:

Any food cravings?
~peanut butter
~ice cream...reese's peanut butter cup Blizzards specifically

Tell us your favorite thing about your pregnancy this week.
~Recognizing Lily's times of day when she is more active. Little monkey!

What has been the most surprising thing about this pregnancy?
~How truly different it is compared to being pregnant at 26.

Baby brain moment of the week?
~I went to Target to buy conditioner for my hair. I bought shampoo. They're totally different shaped bottles. A couple days later, I went back for the originally sought conditioner and light bulbs. I got the conditioner. I forgot the lightbulbs. 

Random Question of the Week:
Do you have any family traditions you are excited to share with your child and? Do you have ideas for new traditions you want to start?
Most of our traditions are around holidays...some specifics at Christmas time that we love. Primarily, I'm excited about the Fall. I lovelovelove everything Fall...going to the pumpkin farm, carving pumpkins, fall festivals, roasting pumpkin seeds, trick-or-treating, caramel apples. I'm excited for Lily to be a part of our family on the outside!

Happy 22 weeks for me!!

Monday, April 12, 2010

Monday Minute...Let's Talk About Sex, Baby

So I decided to join my newest favorite blog that I've discovered and his weekly bloghop! Of course, I just sent my mom a link to my blog LAST night...and of course this week's "Monday Minute" is all about sex. Oh well...this pregnancy blog couldn't have happened without sex, so it all fits.

Monday Minute

Click on the creepy face to link up!

At what age did you lose your virginity?
~18. (not a made up answer for my mother's sake)

Any good sex tips or advice?
~Be a good giver and receiver. Proactive. Especially after having kids...make time, find time, cultivate your relationship. 30's are awesome!

Lights on or off when you have sex?
~Who cares. Both.

Have you ever been caught in the act of having sex?
~Nope. Thank God.

Ever catch your parents (or kids) having sex?
 I have NEVER not knocked on a closed door ever again.

Happy Monday! (sorry Mom)