Monday, March 29, 2010

Enough About Me. What Do YOU Think About Me?

So, I was on my way to dinner Saturday night with our friends Ashley and David, when I received a voicemail from my dad. He says that he's in his car flipping through radio stations in search of the LSU baseball game, when he gets stuck on a station playing a song that reminds him of me. That statement right there may be a metaphor for our entire relationship...

I ponder for a brief moment what song may make my father think of me. I immediately think of songs with my name in the lyrics, like "Callin' Baton Rouge." Or songs that are about dancing, like "Tiny Dancer." Of course there are the favorite songs from my childhood we used to rock out to together...pretty much anything by The Bangles, Cyndi Lauper, Lionel Richie, Culture Club, Huey Lewis and the News (only because when I was little I used to call him "Hoowey Woowis"). Possibly Sheryl Crow's "All I Wanna Do", because we used to mock how ridiculous we thought the lyrics were. Seriously, the woman wasn't even singing. She was just speaking nonsense about Billy and peeling labels from his bottles of Bud. You call that a song? But no, this is not the song on the radio Saturday. The song that reminded him of me, prompting him to pick up the phone and tell me about it was...

Redneck Woman by Gretchen Wilson

For those of you who were in a coma in 2004, here is a verse of the song:

Well, I ain't never been the Barbie doll type
No, I can't swig that sweet Champagne, I'd rather drink beer all night
In a tavern or in a honky tonk or on a four-wheel drive tailgate
I've got posters on my wall of Skynyrd, Kid and Strait
Some people look down on me, but I don't give a rip
I'll stand barefooted in my own front yard with a baby on my hip

'cause I'm a redneck woman
I ain't no high class broad
I'm just a product of my raising
I say, 'hey y'all' and 'yee-haw'
And I keep my Christmas lights on
On my front porch all year long
And I know all the words to every Charlie Daniels song
So here's to all my sisters out there keeping it country
Let me get a big 'hell yeah' from the redneck girls like me, hell yeah

I found this all startling, but comical. I only know the words to one Charlie Daniels song. And I adore champagne. Is this how my father sees me? I am so confused! It always shakes me to my core when I discover that someone perceives me in a way that is completely unlike the way I perceive myself. In order to gain perspective (or validation) I instant messaged my mom and my brother and posed this question: "Dad called to say he heard a song that reminded him of me. Name that song."

Jarred: "Callin' Baton Rouge"
Mom: "Tiny Dancer"

Ok, so they know me. Or, more importantly, they know the version of me with whom my dad will most identify. So, how to react to the news that my dad hears a song about a woman with a "glorious absense of sophistication" (Jeff Foxworthy's definition of "redneck") and is immediately reminded of me?

Mom: "Uh, wasn't that song your ringtone about five years ago?

Eureka! Mom is on top of her game today. Thanks to my old pal Shena, "Redneck Woman" was the song that my phone played when a select group of girlfriends called or texted me during the fall of 2004 and winter of 2005 (approximately). Jeez, my dad is like a time capsule. I had forgotten all about that. Either way, I'm glad that's settled, so I can stop tripping over it.

I've had a couple of other conversations recently where my public perception came into play. Once was with my friends at dinner last Saturday, David and Ashley. David said there was a family member he thought I would hit it off with at his upcoming wedding, because she's "like me." He described her as "just very out there, just like, 'This is who I am!'" and as he's saying this he gestures his arms outward like he's about to give a hug or flash "jazz hands".

Then there was happy hour a few weeks ago with my pal Jenny. She described an event she attended recently where she "pulled a Samantha." I listened, intrigued to hear what "pulling a Samantha" would involve. It's sounds so interesting. Apparantly, it only involves wearing a low-cut top.

I sound very bawdy. I had no idea! I always thought self-awareness was one of my better qualities, and it seems I'm a bit off. I am sure my image will continue to evolve as I take on motherhood, but until then, is there a song that reminds you of me? If you were to "pull a Samantha", what would that involve?

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Nutso in the Buttso

I've recently discovered that crazy takes a new form in a man named..."Chad." I'm gonna call him "Chad" because he's so freakin' nuts I don't even want to flirt with danger by naming him specifically. I may also refer to him by his original pseudonym, "Crazy Coked-Out Lawyer Guy." Ya know what? I think I'll just call him that. It fits. Forget about "Chad". I am relieved to report that I am not the object of Crazy Coked-Out Lawyer Guy's obsession. He has one of my co-workers in his cross-hairs. If I were the one he wanted, I wouldn't be blogging right now. I'd be busy arming myself with a taser gun, pepper spray, and rape whistle. Continue reading with a healthy mixture of amusement and horror.

Let me preface by saying that I work for a corporation that owns salons and spas throughout North America, and during my pregnancy I have been assisting the Regional Director as she opens a couple of new locations in the Dallas area. Normally it's a lot of fun and I enjoy meeting new people. Unfortunately, I have had a bad spell of luck this week and have unearthed a treasure trove of crazy, the likes of which I've never seen before.

The Scene: Wednesday afternoon at the mall. Crazy Coked-Out Lawyer Guy paces back in forth in front of the salon for several minutes while loudly having what he must want known as "an important business call" on his mobile phone. You know, because he's an important business man. And don't all important business men conduct their business on their mobile phone at the mall in the middle of the afternoon? Bill Gates gets his best work done when he's standing between Forever 21 and Game Stop. I bet.

So, Crazy Coked-Out Lawyer Guy stops loitering in front of the salon and strolls in asking for a haircut, as if on a whim. I'm sure it's an impulsive decison and not a plot he's been formulating for the past 15 minutes while standing in front of the salon on an important business call. Because he's an important business man. I just can't emphasize this point enough. Because he so clearly wanted me to know he's an important business man. I want you to know it, too.

His look is a carefully crafted one. He's a man in his mid-thirties of above-average height and above-average looks. And an above-average amount of hair product in his carefully coifed 'do. His perfectly starched dress shirt and smartly tied red tie say what his body language and conversation's subtext have been screaming for the past 15 minutes: "I am an important business man!"

One of my stylists takes Crazy Coked-Out Lawyer Guy to her station, and the next 30 minutes pass without incident. As he's checking out, he gushes about what a terrific haircut he just got and how he'd happily pay double the price. He pays cash and tips generously, while conducting yet another important business call. He drops some impressive words and tidbits: clients, depositions, $30,000 checks. While he's discussing the $30,000 checks, he actually takes two checks out of his pocket totalling $30,000 and tosses them absent-mindedly onto the counter in front of me. Don't play it so casual, Crazy Coked-Out Lawyer Guy. I know you threw those checks out for my benefit, and believe me, I am so impressed with you right now!

We wait until he's safely out the door and around the corner before we begin making fun of him. Take note, all you men out there: if you act like a goober who tries too hard to impress, you will be mocked mercilessly behind your back. The stylist tells us that he never shut up the entire time he sat in her chair. We couldn't hear any of it, but you can probably guess what he talked about -- important business man things. Also, he tells her that he had noticed her much earlier in the day when walking in the mall and had no idea she actually worked in the mall and cut hair. How serendipitous for Crazy Coked-Out Lawyer Guy. He cushions this revelation with assurances that he is not a crazy stalker. We all share nervous, uneasy laughter. It's kinda funny, kinda not. He returns moments later, and because my face will betray me every time I try to conceal my thoughts, I know that all the color has drained from my face because I am certain he was lurking nearby and heard me laugh at what a crazy coke-head he acted like. And he certainly heard me question what an important business man is doing at the mall in the middle of the afternoon. Wouldn't someone of his stature have...I don't assistant who he could have sent to the Apple store to do his bidding for him? Now he has returned with a rebuttal to my statements. How will I proceed from here? With caution, I decide. I am relieved when he walks past me and approaches the stylist. They briefly exchange words that I am unable to overhear (you know I tried.)

Once Crazy Coked-Out Lawyer Guy is gone (for real this time) we learn that in his coked-out haze he has forgotten where he parked. But he remembers he followed our stylist into the mall, so if she would be so kind as to tell him where she parked, he may locate his car and get back to the office, where undoubtedly important business man duties await him.

At this point you're probably saying, "You're right, Sam, this guy is nutso in the buttso!© " And my reply to you would be, "You haven't heard the worst of it!" Fast forward to this morning: my stylist walks into the salon and slaps onto the counter a business card with a handwritten note scribbled on the back:
"Hey there just wanted to thank you for the talk enjoyed- I want to take you out soon just dinner, you can google me. I am not a crazy person but you are amazing"

"You can Google me?" Evidently, Crazy Coked-Out Lawyer guy is not a lawyer at all, but the President of his own company. And if that weren't impressive on it's own, he's also adept at breaking into cars, because this business card/love note/proposition was sitting in the driver's seat of her (locked) car!  ...and...cue the comparisons to famous psychos of American cinema. She asked me, "Do you think he'll come back again for a haircut?" and I replied, "Of course he'll be back, how else does he expect to make a lampshade out of you?" Too soon for a Silence of the Lambs joke? For answers to that question and more, I consulted my brother, Jarred, Three Mutts and a Baby's resident expert in appropriate humor and sensitivity training. He suggested that "she should get really drunk and help him move. That will end well for her."

I do not know what the future holds for our stylist and Crazy Coked-Out Lawyer Guy, but I predict it ends in a restraining order.

*Nutso in the Buttso © copyright 2010 | Jarred

Monday, March 22, 2010

A Thoughtless Little Pig

I'm ripping off Alec Baldwins' nickname for his daughter for this post title. It describes how I (kinda) feel about myself today. I hesitate to report this tale of woe...because this is my blog. And since it is my blog, that means I have a platform to paint the loveliest, most flattering portrait of my life...and this story does not meet that criteria. But in the interest of full disclosure, I share with you.

People have asked me if I have pregnancy cravings, and the truth is, sometimes I do. Usually for breakfast cereal...Special K, Rice Krispies, Cocoa Krispies, Cheerios, Rice Chex. But on this morning, I saw a commercial on TV that made me want pizza. It wasn't a pizza commercial, but it had some kind of food and I thought I saw something that looked like fennel seed. Which made me think of Pizza Hut's sauce. Which made me want to go to the Double Dave's Pizza Works lunch buffet. I was just having a craving. It had been three weeks days since I last enjoyed a slice of pizza, so I figured that would be a great lunch on my day off right before I go to my massage appointment.

After my mid-morning nap, followed by some light housework, I headed out for lunch and a massage. I pulled up to Double Dave's and waltzed inside, where I was greeted by a friendly-faced, hippie-looking manboy standing in an empty restaurant. I smiled, reached into my wallet and ordered a "buffet for one". He smiled and told me that the buffet closed at 1:30. It was 1:45. I smiled sheepishly, and as I returned my debit card to my wallet I stammered, "Well then, I guess...I have no reason to be here." Then I turned and sulked all the way back to my car.

Let me tell you something: the only thing more embarrassing than being a fat pregnant lady going to a pizza buffet alone, is being a fat pregnant lady denied entry to the pizza buffet. I have vowed never to return to that establishment. And I don't mean that in an "I'm never eating carbs again!" kind of way. I actually mean this. Since nobody was there to capture the humiliation on film, here's my pal (and look-alike) Kirstie Alley re-enacting the scene:

To Put It Bluntly...

I spent some time with a old co-worker last week, and it was so great so see her and catch up! After exchanging the "so, what have you been up to?" and "have you talked to so-and-so lately?" stories, the conversation turned down this path:

Friend: Do you remember me telling you about my ex-boyfriend?
Me: Yeah, sure.
Friend: I you remember what I told you about my ex-boyfriend?
Me: Well yeah, I mean, I can't recall specifics...but...didn't you basically tell me how he's just a...steaming-hot bowl of crazy?
Friend: Yeah. We're back together.
Me: I'm so happy for you!

We had a good laugh at that one. At least she has a sense of humor. But seriously, what do you say to the girl whose ex-boyfriend (who stole her identity, went to jail, blah, blah, blah) waltzes back into her life and sweeps her off her feet? I think they're headed for a storybook ending.

Sunday, March 21, 2010

What's Your Fantasy?

So, Steve is in the middle of his first year participating in fantasy league. We realize he's a little late to the party, but he's jumped into it with gusto. He got his feet wet during football season, made people take notice during basketball season, and now he is poised for greatness as he embarks on baseball season. Since he has internet on his Google phone, he is able to obsessively monitor his score from anywhere. And he does. One of the highlights for him each season is the draft, and (more importantly) the choosing of the team name right before the draft. This is the part where I participate. I'm proud to say I have made the winning suggestion for each team name to date, and now it's time to reveal the name for baseball season! But first, a brief history and methodology on the fantasy team names:

For his football team, I reached into my memory bank and reminded him of a team name he had used once before -- for a group project in high school. His teacher thought that Fighting Syphilis was an inappropriate name for a team, but when a seventeen year-old Steve declared that "Van Gogh fought syphilis, and so will we!" just can't argue with that.

When preparing for fantasy basketball, I threw out a whimsical suggestion that I never thought he'd go for...Suspicious Mole. I thought the double entendre was just silly enough for him to like it, and I was right. But when the time came for him to sign up, he absent-mindedly submitted Curious Mole the mole inquisitive? I do not know, but regardless of this oversight, Curious Mole has dominated in the league and I could not be more proud.

With baseball season quickly approaching, I "stepped up to the plate" and offered up yet another suggestion. It's sure to be a winner! Only this time, I noticed a pattern forming and used that to create his baseball season team name:

Descriptor + Medical Condition = Fantasy Team Name

I'm generalizing here a bit, because I really couldn't say if a mole would be classified as a "medical condition" but you get the point. So, without futher delay, Steve's Fantasy Baseball team name is...

Temporary Paralysis

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Conversations with My Boo

Don't you just love it when you and a friend or loved one are just so in synch that a knowing glance or a brief exchange of words can communicate volumes in a way that others wouldn't understand? In honor of our fourth wedding anniversary, here's a transcript of a little convo I had with Steve the other day:

Me: Guess what?!
Steve: There is no telling with you.
Me: This news is sure to rock your world.
Steve: I have no doubt.
Me: Your 2nd favorite actor is starring in a remake of a film that originally starred your 1st favorite actor.
Steve: (pause) Russell Crow is starring in a remake of a Kevin Costner movie?
Me: Ding, ding, ding, we have a winner! Am I good or what?
Steve: You're pretty pleased with yourself, aren't you?
Me: I am!
Steve: So what movie is it? It's not Dances with Wolves?
Me: No, no. Don't worry. Your precious Wolves remain untampered with for now.
Steve: You better watch your mouth. Dances with Wolves is The Best.
Me: Yeah, yeah, you've mentioned that. Let me be more accurate: He's not so much remaking the film as he is reprising a role made famous by Costner. And Cary Elwes. And an animated fox.
Steve: Robin Hood? What?! That's greatness.
Me: Yeah, it's sure to be an instant classic. But I will always maintain that Disney did it best.
Steve: Of course. You're a ginger kid.

Who's your favorite Robin Hood?

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

I Want My Baby Bag, Baby Bag, Baby Bag...

I've made my first official "baby" purchase--a baby bag! I realize the baby won't get much use out of it, but it sure does make Mama happy! It's by Timi and Leslie, and I bought mine in the baby department of Neiman Marcus, but found this picture along with a fabulous selection of bags at

I know what you're thinking, it's way too cute for a diaper bag, right? Steve said, "It's a purse. Just call it a purse. I explained that it was a baby bag and proceeded to prove it by showing him the wipes holder and insulated bottle holder contained inside. "Fair enough," he said, "but admit that you bought it because it looks like a purse." Know what else I fell in love with on the way to the baby department?

The Glittered Platform Pump by Christian Louboutin. Dorothy wishes her shoes were this fabulous...and that Glenda the Good Witch would give her $775 to purchase these bad boys. Seriously, the pictures don't do them justice. The light dances off these shoes.  I wanted to just stand in the shoe department and hold them for a while, but I have a feeling the sales people don't like it when people try to cradle the Louboutins. [sigh] I'll just have to find a way to carry on, content with my sensible ballet flats.

Where Da Gold At?!

St. Patrick's Day is my 2nd favorite heritage-themed, beer-drinking holiday. Probably because I look great in green and my hair is red, so I pass for an Irish girl. Or maybe I am an Irish girl? I'm really out-of-touch with my own heritage, but that never stopped me from celebrating the heritage of others. I have to say, it really hasn't been the same for me since I graduated college...and got pregnant. Walking to Bodega after class and drinking green beer with my girlfriends before the St. Patrick's Day social was always sooo fun. It's position smack between Mardi Gras and Cinco de Mayo (my 1st favorite heritage-themed, beer-drinking holiday) makes it a highlight of the spring semester.

Since little Robinson requires me to put down my frosty mug this year, I need another way to remember this special day. So, for our entertainement, here's the news package from a few years back in Mobile, Alabama, when the local residents claimed to have spotted a REAL LIVE LEPRECHAUN! Enjoy!

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Million Dollar Mama

I have a confession to make. I'm high maintenance. Always have been.

Don't roll your eyes at me.

I know you know this, but it bears repeating. I'm high maintenance. Not because I want to be, it's just that I always seem to require more than what is reasonably expected by normal people. Braces? I had them twice. Drug store beauty products? They agitate my delicate skin. I've purchased jeans for less than $150, but they just didn't fit right.  I don't wish to be this complicated, but I've come to accept it. For this reason, I was not at all surprised as events unfolded over the past couple months and my pregnancy became more complicated. These complications had nothing to do with the baby, of was all Mama.

To fully understand my latest High Maintenance Melodrama, you'll need a brief history lesson:

I spent much of 1997-2004 baking myself in one of these:

"But Samantha, you're a ginger kid," you say. "Wouldn't you spark like a fork in a microwave if you set one pasty, freckled toe in a tanning bed?" The answer is, "No, I wouldn't. And don't stereotype me." Not all redheads are incapable of tanning, and I am one of the lucky few who can. I can actually achieve a golden glow that Miss Hawaiian Tropic would envy. (This claim may be slightly exaggerated, but I think I made my point.)  Regardless of my tanning ability, I did pay a price. After many freckled, sun-damaged winters that followed those gloriously tan summers of my youth, I finally hung up my tanning bed goggles the summer after my college graduation. It was time to find a new dream. A dream that involved not looking like this...

...without having to resort to this...

That Aussie can deny she uses Botox all she wants, but lemme tell you something. See those peculiar-looking wrinkles above her brows in the terrifying photo above? Well, I'm no stranger to "The 'tox", (my own nickname for Botox, feel free to borrow it) and that forehead has all the earmarks of Botox Gone Bad. Girlfriend needs to own it. No shame in trying to stop the hands of time. But find someone new to inject you, because the person who currently does it obviously hates you and wants to make you look like a fool.  But I digress.

So, for the five years that have followed since my tanning retirement, I have slathered on the SPF, vacationed under umbrellas, and splurged on high-priced, anti-aging beauty products intended for a much older demographic. As the saying goes, "an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure." So, I armed myself with many, many ounces of prevention. I was going to outsmart the aging process. Bwaahahahaha!

Note: in addition to being high maintenance, I'm also a procrastinator. That tidbit ties in with what comes next:

As a fair complected woman of a certain age, I thought it would be prudent to see a dermatologist for one of those "skin checks" I've heard so much about. I "keep up" with those Kardashians, and on one episode, Khloe had a skin check. I decided right then and there, if that Armenian Amazon is doing it, then by golly, I should too! I had been carrying in my wallet the business card of a fantastic dermatologist since the fall of 2008, and I was very eager to schedule an appointment for a skin check right away.

Late January 2010: 14 months later, I visit my dermatologist. She biopsies three suspicious moles. I just love that term, suspicious mole. It makes me think of a villain in a 1940s film noir. (Note: Steve's fantasy basketball team name is "Curious Mole". Did I mention he is 17-2?)

Early February 2010: Biopsy results are back, and two out of the three moles have got to go. They are dysplastic nevi, so they aren't cancer...but they have cancerous aspirations. I'm told these excisions are no picnic, and it is recommended I remove them one at a time. I start with the one that is located on my lower back. Good thing I never got around to getting that tattoo I always wanted. (Note: In addition to being a high maintenance procrastinator, I am also indecisive.) Doc sends me to a Mohs Surgery specialist to remove the other mole. Apparantly it was even more suspicious than the one on the back; and shockingly, I never even knew it was there. The pathologist said it was just this close to being melanoma. Hidden danger is everywhere, it turns out. So, after having both moles excised, which hurt like hell, involved removing a surprising amount of skin ("margins" for those in the know) and living for a couple weeks with dozens of stitches, I felt confident the worst was behind me and grateful to have taken care of this so swiftly. I pat myself on the back for being so proactive.

Mid-February 2010: Like a horror movie villain  thought to be long-dead, that suspicious mole wasn't done with me yet. The first mole, the one located where my tramp stamp should have been, the one nobody suspected of wrongdoing, turned out to be melanoma. I was told not to be alarmed, but that the oncological surgeon wants to see me. Now. So, to the oncological surgeon I went, I was scheduled to have surgery a mere 36-hours later.

The details of my ordeal were enough to make my head spin, and since I was assured I was being treated by experts in the field, I was comfortable getting my information on a "need to know" basis and leaving the rest to the professionals. Here's the scenario, to the best of my understanding: melanoma is the most serious of skin cancers, it's rare to find it in someone my age, and pregnancy is an immunosuppressed other words, it's the perfect storm.  The Doc hatched an action plan, and it became clear to me (as I sit, wearing a paper gown, in his exam room filled with an impressive collection of Simpsons memorabilia) that this is no ordinary doctor, and his take-no-prisoners approach to my treatment would be agressive but thorough.

Surgery Day: I relax in my room at Medical City Hospital as I await my procedures, laughing at reruns of Roseanne, blissfully unaware of the house of horrors that awaited me. Now I know how George must have felt the day I said "Let's go for a ride" and that ride ended with him getting his manhood snipped. I'm so sorry, little buddy. The first procedure was a lymphoscintigraphy, which is where they inject a small amount of radioactive dye into the skin near the tumor (this was shockingly painful -- lethal injection painful because mama couldn't have any numbing), and after 30-40 minutes (lying alone in a cold, silent room on a narrow, uncomfortable, hard table similar to an MRI machine), this machine takes pictures my insides, and the nodes that receive lymph from the area of the tumor are illuminated in blue. That's how the Doc knows which lymph nodes to take. I asked the doctor who performed this procedure what sort of risk this lymphoscintigraphy posed to my unborn child. He stared at me expressionless for a moment, before shrugging his shoulders, half-heartedly throwing his big hands in the air and replying, " is what it is." I suppose it's this bedside manner that led him to nuclear medicine. After this procedure, it is determined that three lymph nodes from my groin will have to go, and I'm anxious to just get on with it.

The Recovery: Oh. My. God. I was not at all prepared for what this was going to feel like. Seriously, I asked for one day off of work to recover, and instead I lay flat on my back for the next five days. Apparantly Vicodin is safe during pregnancy, and while I had an ample supply, it did little for my pain other than make me drowsy enough to sleep round-the-clock. I'm fortunate to not have experienced a whole lot of pain in my life (I suppose), but this was by far the most painful experience of my life. So painful, I'm convinced that it isn't possible for child birth to be more painful. I may be wrong about this assertion, but I suspect that one day of painful labor cannot possibly stand up to five days of constant, uncontrollable agony followed by another 10 days of persistant pain and discomfort. And the scars, oh the scars. To remove the margins of a tumor that is .33 millimeters, along with three lymph nodes the size of almonds, and the suspicious mole on my leg from earlier, I am left looking like I entered a knife fight -- and lost. I don't mind it from a vanity standpoint. I have no plans for swimsuit modeling in my future, but I was just surprised by the extent of my incisions.

This entire experience has been eye-opening to say the least. I have been fortunate to live in good health for my 28-years. This latest event, although serious, was found and treated early. It's over, and I'm lucky. When I retire to The French Riviera Geneva, Alabama and write my memoirs, this will be just a footnote. Certainly others, even in my own family, have faced greater tribulations. Which makes this final tidbit all the more surprising. The bill came. Now, it isn't the bill. Blue Cross paid it and this was just the statement breaking down what was charged to and paid for by Blue Cross. We Steve paid a $200 deductible (I didn't bring my wallet to the hospital!) Ready for the grand total for this little surgery?


Can you believe that? It cost $149 just for the one Vicodin that was given to me while in recovery. This was about 4 times more than I would have predicted. I really don't have a point here, other than to say...can you believe that? So once again, I am -- by no fault of my own -- the most high maintenance mama in the land. I mean come on, how many other people do you know who are diagnosed with a tumor that is one-third of one-tenth of one inch in size and run up a $41,000 bill?

Friday, March 12, 2010

About a Boy

Ever since the news broke that our wolf pack will increase by one, friends and family have naturally been curious to know more. So with that in mind, I thought I would take a moment to share some baby facts. I don't know all that much about the little tyke, but I'm happy to share what I do know:

  • It's a BOY

  • He is due to arrive July 17, 2010

  • He is currently the size of a papaya and is able to hear noises outside the womb. Also, he has nipples.
There's a little papaya graphic for all you visual-types out there, courtesy of The Bump. He is progressing steadily through the produce section of Kroger, but apparantly he's hovering at papaya for the next few weeks. I'll keep you posted on his progress.

Folks have asked if we plan to have one of those really cool 4D photos taken before he is born. The answer is, in a word, "no". While I was super anxious to learn whether to buy dresses or overalls and paint the nursery pink or blue, I prefer to be surprised as to what he's gonna look like. I like to imagine that he looks like a miniature Steve, but I have also prepared myself for other outcomes:
Take a moment, allow that image to sink in. Now practice your very most sincere "Oh my goodness! He's just darlin!" What are the odds of me giving birth to my very own ginger kid? 50/50, according to that Punnett Square I learned about in 10th grade biology. Thanks, Mrs. Harmon!

I've noticed that every pregnant lady I know has just the sweetest little nicknames for their unborn babies. And I realized that I had assigned each of those my dogs. Want to know the latest on my precious little nugget, monkey, peanut, punkin, munchkin, boo boo, sunshine, honey, sweet pea? No you don't. Those are all nicknames for George (my wittle man), and you've heard enough about him. (I call the girls "sis" and "little britches".)  It's as if I never planned to have children. I also gave all my baby names to my dogs over the years, which made name selection all the more challenging. I did not rule out naming my baby after one of my dogs. Luckily, it didn't come to that, and with no adorable nickname handy, The Baby has been called by name since the day we learned "It's a boy!"

Robinson Reid

Named for Lester Robinson "Bob" Reid (1931-1992), my maternal grandfather, it's a name that Steve and I both loved, it has all kinds of nickname potential, and it's a lovely way to honor a family member. (This is the point in the Q&A where people typically ask, "What are you going to call him? "Robinson" certainly ranks high, but Steve also calls him "Robbie", I call him "Rob", and the guys at Steve's shop call him "Robbie Ram Jet". Don't ask.)

Evolution of the Reverse Mullet

So...yesterday the blogs were aflutter with news and photos of Kate Gosselin's new haircut. I'm somewhere in between caring and not caring, but I feel I have to weigh-in on the hair that has intrigued a nation. (I'm overstating this, but it's my blog so I can spin it however I see fit.) I could simply post a picture or two with a little snarky commentary, but I'm a history buff, so let's travel back in time and trace the "roots" (pun originally unintended, but I'm going with it) of the most scrutinized hair in America.

Here we have a high school yearbook photo showing that the mullet is not foreign territory to this Pennsylvania girl, but otherwise we see no red flags of what's to come.

That school girl grew up and discovered the magic of foil highlights in time to wed future Ed Hardy dreamboat Jon.
I can't get mad at her for this look. This photo is taken just a day or so after the birth of the sextuplets, and she's looking about as good as I would expect for someone who just did what she did.

Now we have the Reverse Mullet, the look that launched a thousand Halloween wigs and (allegedly) a lot of copy cats. I know of two myself. One was a 6-year-old girl (Moms: when it's your ex-husband's weekend with your daughter and he says he's taking her to beauty shop, think twice before consenting.) The other was a woman on a local TV commercial giving testimony about how Lap Band surgery changed her life.  You just know that Girlfriend spent years in a plus-size sweatsuit watching movies and television, dreaming of the day when she would be as thin and beautiful as the women on the screen. Now she's finally getting her moment, and she's rocking the most bizarre haircut of my lifetime [shaking head in disbelief.] To me this is like the haircut equivalent of Mad Libs. And this spray tan? I think she stole my self tanner. I ain't mad atcha, Kate. It looks better on you.
Just like the "Farrah" and the "Rachel" before, we knew that some day the Reverse Mullet would meet its end. I thought it would culminate in an awkward growing out phase, followed by simple but stylish shoulder-length layers. But clearly I am not Nostradamus. Alas, that squirrely broad has to keep us on our toes, and so she went in the complete opposite direction and appeared on the cover of People wearing Britney Spears' broke-ass weave and Paris Hilton's wonky eye. Seriously, it looks like that old Conan O'Brien segment where he predicts what the child of two celebrities would look like.

This look was so unfortunate, and because it couldn't have happened to a nicer person (read that last part with dripping sarcasm) she was the subject of endless mockery by everyone from the entertainment news outlets to her twin daughters. So, she hatched a plan for hair redemption. The weave went through a series of prunings so tedious and yawn-inducing, I don't even care to catalog it. But what we ended with yesterday was this:

Look familiar? My first reaction was "Jane Jetson", but then I remembered that Jane's bob had fabulous wings on top:

It was then I realized that Kate was channeling Velma from Scooby Doo:
Here's Velma bringing the sexy as we've never seen her before! Way to give Daphne a run for her money. Thanks, Cartoon Brew. I guess Kate's bob looks pretty good. Compared to the rat's nest it had been. It doesn't really look suitable for Dancing with the Stars, though, so I predict the weave or its cousin, the wig, will make a stunning return.

R.I.P. Reverse Mullet (2008 - 2010) Today, I pour out my hair gel for you.

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Griddle Me This, Batman

Brinner. It's "breakfast for dinner" and it's this expectant mama's favorite meal. Steve teased me when I unwrapped this Cuisinart Griddler from our wedding gifts. He also mocked my waffle iron. Martha Stewart I am not, but on the eve of our fourth wedding anniversary I am dusting off this griddler and showing off my mad pancake-making skills. Who's laughing now, punk?

Even Laney is getting in on the brinner action. This is how she likes to relax after a meal:


This griddler is also a panini press, which my brother characterizes as a "gay toast sandwich". While you should not expect the men in your life to allow you to make them a panini (believe me, I've tried) I still recommend you pick up one of these bad boys.

While we're on the subject of my man, I'd like to take the opportunity to dedicate this post to Steve. He took a moment to glance at my "cute" blog last night and concluded that I must not love him very much if all I've blogged about are the let's make this post about HIM!

Isn't he handsome?! He's been told he looks like Noah Wyle! What do you think? Also, he's 15-2 17-2 in his fantasy baskeball league, he's a really good golfer, and he makes the best grilled cheese sandwich ever. What more can I say? He's a catch!

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

My Pregnancy Education

We've reached the halfway point in this pregnancy, and I've shared very little about it. Fortunately, there's not much to tell. It's a healthy pregnancy, and frankly, why would I go into detail telling a boring pregnancy story, when movies like Baby Mama do it so much better?

"Holy shit! There's a baby in there?!"
"How the hell did it get in there?"
"It's a MIRACLE."
That's basically what my ultrasounds during the first trimester seemed like. I was fortunate to be spared most of the unpleasant and typical pregnancy symptoms we are all familiar with, like debilitating nausea, food aversions, food cravings, smell these ultrasounds were what grounded me in the reality that there was in fact a baby on board.

I haven't done a whole ton to prepare. In fact, if pregnancy were a job for which I was paid a salary, I'd probably get fired for not knowing what the hell is going on half the time! I just go with the flow. For someone who loves to talk, I find myself with surprisingly few questions on the subject of babies. I tell myself that the questions will come to me as they become applicable. Maybe I'm overwhelmed. Regardless of my lack of questions, I decided that a little information never hurt anybody, and so I did a little reading. Perhaps these books would give me answers to the questions I should be asking...if I had even the slightest element of curiosity. With so many books out there on the subject, here are the ones I chose:

What to Expect When You're Expecting: they should just issue this to expectant mothers when you arrive at your first OB visit. Is there a single mom in the last 20 years who hasn't read this? I won't lie, this is not a page-turner, but it is a pregnancy must-have. I do think Steve has gotten more out of it than I have.

The Girlfriends' Guide to Pregnancy: this book is supposed to share what your doctor won't tell you. I suppose if I had questions, or if I had started reading this book before my 5th month, I would find it more helpful. Don't get me wrong, it's a fine book, but at this point, I've already figured out most of what the "Girlfriends" are so graciously sharing with me. I can sum up what they've taught me in a couple of short phrases: you're gonna get fat and there's nothing you can do about it, and go buy a new bra.

Belly Laughs: Pregnancy has never been so...graphic. Or messy. Jenny McCarthy's humorous and lighthearted pregnancy memoir relives her pregnancy with all the slapstick humor of one of her boyfriend Jim Carrey's movies, and reassures us that every nasty little experience you're having is normal, and that pregnancy is disgusting.

Knocked Up: Confessions of a Hip Mother-to-Be: This is another memoir, this time by a columnist who I think fancies herself the Canadian Carrie Bradshaw. Her obvious contempt for the way her inconsiderate little fetus cramped her social life during her unplanned pregnancy made me feel uncomfortable.

That's all for now. Has anyone out there read another pregnancy book that they found helpful?

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Meet the Mutts

Hello! I'm starting this little blog so that I may update those interested in what's going on in our world! I hope you enjoy it, and feel free to leave comments! Under a post, click comments, type your message in the box to the right, then under "Chose an identity" mark the circle Name/URL, simply enter your name and click PUBLISH YOUR COMMENT. It would be nice to know somebody is actually reading this!
For my first post, I think I'll start by introducing the "Three Mutts" in the blog title, since the Baby has yet to make an appearance. Seems like a fun way to kick things off. And since everybody has not had the pleasure of meeting my little nuggets in person, I will introduce them by comparing them to pop culture figures you are familiar with. Isn't that clever?
+ =
Grace Kelly + Sandy from Grease = Laney

This is Laney, my oldest and most trusted dog. I adopted her in 2003 when I was a junior at Auburn. She had a fabulous time in college and was quite the popular little lady. Imagine if Princess Grace of Monaco came back to earth in the form of a pound puppy, and that's Laney. She prances around like a delicate ballerina, she flirts with every man who enters our home, from party guests to the cable guy, and she bristles at the indignity of eating out of a bowl on the floor and using the bathroom outside. A Capricorn, she loves car rides and long walks in the park and is great with children. Quirky but sweet, I believe she fully understands the English language.

Forrest Gump + Clarence from It's A Wonderful Life = George

Meet George. Like Forrest, he's not a smart man...but he knows what love is. And just as Clarence is described in the classic Christmas film: "he's got the mind of a rabbit, but the faith of a child." Named after our 43rd President, a sweeter boy never lived. He once ran away, only to reappear a week later with the name "Quixote". He has twice cheated death. The only AKC registered purebred of my three dogs (read: ridiculously overpriced), he is sure to be the last. This is not a recent photo of the little man. Nowadays he resembles a meatloaf. Or a fur-covered foot stool. He's my Super Chunk!
+ =
Punky Brewster + Pink = Libby

This is Libby. She was born in a barn and abandoned by her stray dog mother. Suffice to say, her breed is a mystery. I didn't really need a third dog (nobody needs a third dog) but George had run away and I was sure he was never coming back (it had been 5 whole days!) While searching for him in local shelters I found this little darling. She moved in and immediately established herself as the alpha dog. She's hell on wheels and can often be found doing all the typical messy-dog activities: digging, rolling in the mud, drinking out of the toilet, burying her face in an ant bed...she only did that once. A true survivor, she's not afraid to take matters into her own hands and get what she wants. She's like a bull in a china shop, but she sure does love her mama and papa!