The Fuzz and Us

Thursday, July 31

Last night, I was awoken from a very deep sleep by the sound of Clark crying on the monitor around 12:30AM.  I laid there for awhile, hoping he would fall back asleep, but after about five minutes, his crying had turned into screaming, and Jared rolled over and asked me to please go "take care of the baby" because the crying was disturbing his sleep. (Ahem.)

So I got up and shuffled to his room, scooped him up, and I rocked him in his chair until he finally settled down, found his fingers, and started to close his eyes again.  Just as he fell asleep, as I was sitting there in near silence (I mean, we can't forget about the Sleep Sheep, of course), I suddenly heard our doorbell ring.  Except...Clark's door was shut so I wasn't entirely sure, and after I heard it, the dogs didn't bark or even come out of our room, so I thought I must have imagined it in my half-sleeping state.

Then, about ten seconds later, the doorbell rang again.  I was positive now that this WAS, IN FACT, the doorbell.  I sat there for a moment, suddenly terrified, because WHO could possibly be ringing our doorbell at 12:30 in the morning?  I was a little scared, but I thought maybe we left our garage door open again, and it was the neighbor?  I don't know.  So I quietly (and with shaking hands) laid Clark back in his crib, and walked to his door, except you guys...suddenly it was light in the hallway.  Like, not the hall light.  There was a flashlight beam in my freaking hallway.  I cracked his door a tiny bit and saw someone standing at our front window shining a light INTO MY HOUSE.  Which is good and bad I suppose because at least they aren't inside the house?  I guess?  Except about two seconds later, a flashlight beam came through Clark's window and I was paralyzed momentarily trying to decide what to do.

And THEN!  Then I suddenly realized that I still hadn't heard the dogs bark a single time.  And I didn't hear Jared walking around.  And suddenly I became very, very scared. Have you ever watched Criminal Minds?  If so, you know that when things like this happen, you suddenly remember every sick episode and you can imagine all the horrible scenarios that could be happening in your house RIGHT NOW.

Sidenote: When I first had Clark, I suddenly became very morbidly aware of all of the danger around me.  Anyone else?  I remember being completely overwhelmed by it.  Like...I couldn't walk on the top level of a mall because SOMEONE COULD THROW CLARK OVER.  I would drive down the road and worry that his car door would somehow open and he would be sucked out.  And I would often worry that someone would break into our house when I was in Clark's room, and then what would I do?  Well, my paranoid thoughts have subsided, thankfully, but maybe it's good I had them because one thing I remembered last night was my escape plan should a psychopathic maniac break in the house.  

When faced with the possibility that the dogs and Jared had all been murdered by a serial killer that was probably now trying to find and murder me too, I realized that my plan may have to come to fruition, and I began trying to figure out how to get Clark QUIETLY, and run out the garage door as quickly as possible while screaming to alert the neighbors.  I'm not kidding.  This is how my mind was working.  I have never been so scared in my life.

Except I suddenly realized that since the flashlights were still outside, maybe Jared was still alive?  So I decided to look out Clark's door, wait until the flashlight beam moved momentarily out of the window and away from me, and I sprinted across the house to our bedroom, jumped on Jared, and was yelling at him to WAKE UP THERE'S SOMEONE TRYING TO BREAK INTO THE HOUSE.

Jared eventually, after much confusion and much complaining about me waking him up (and me freaking the hell out and trying to decide if and when I should sprint back to Clark's room to enact our emergency survival plan) eventually got up out of bed.  Just as the flashlight beams were coming into our bedroom window, and as I was pressing SEND on my 911 call, Jared looked out the window and said, as though he was very bored, "There are cops in our backyard."

So here's what you should know, going forward, based on our experience last night.  I hope this can help you all avoid the emotional trauma that I was forced to endure.

IT IS POSSIBLE for a one year old baby to scream so loudly that he will set off the glass-break sensors on your alarm system.

IT IS POSSIBLE that if this happens, your alarm system won't actually sound, but will alert the police department anyway.

IT IS POSSIBLE that the alarm system company will try to call you, but you will miss the call because you are in the other room rocking the baby, and your husband won't answer his call because he "doesn't recognize the number."

IT IS POSSIBLE that the police will then come to your house and ring your doorbell and start flashing their lights into your house to make sure a murder isn't happening.

IT IS POSSIBLE, that even though your dogs bark at the mail lady and every single friendly jogger as though they are all serial killers threatening our pack, they will completely ignore multiple doorbell rings in the middle of the night, and pretend not to notice strangers in the yard, because apparently their beauty sleep can't be disturbed.

IT IS POSSIBLE, that when you go outside in your nightie to tell the police that you are actually fine and are really confused about why they are there, they will ask to see your husband, probably to make sure that there isn't a hostage situation going on, except your husband will never come out because he's already back in bed.

IT IS POSSIBLE that the police will then get a call about a robbery nearby and will run to their cars and leave, even though they have still never verified that there is not a killer in your house.

NOW YOU ALL KNOW.

PS: Forget whatever that stupid doctor said. After all that was over, I sat in my kitchen and ate a massive bowl of Peanut Butter Toast Crunch at 1:00AM.  It was either that or whisky and, well, the baby...you know.

The kindness of strangers

Tuesday, July 22

As I sat in the doctors office for my last OB appointment about two weeks ago, a girl walked in and as she made her way to the front desk to sign in, I couldn't help but notice her gorgeous hair. It was long and dark and perfectly wavy. I kept looking at her hair and I just kept thinking how beautiful it was. Then I looked around the waiting room and continued to survey each woman there. One woman had such a cute outfit on. I kept thinking how fashionable she looked. Like one of those women who just exudes style without even trying, you know? Another woman sitting next to me had absolutely flawless skin and makeup. She was so beautiful. Just so, so pretty. 

You see, if you are a people watcher like me, the OB office is a prime location to hone your craft. So many people! So many things to see! So many things to guess about each person! How far along is she? Is this her first baby? What is she having? That one looks nervous! That one dragged her poor husband along. I just love making up stories about each person. I love pretending I know all about their lives. It's fuuuuun!

But back to my point. I was looking around and noticing all of these fantastic features in all of these women, when all at once I had an epiphany. I looked around again with a much more critical eye, and this time noticed that each woman who I had just generously admired was either my size or a little bigger than me. And before you think I'm a terrible person, please let me explain that this has everything to do with this moment of clarity of mine. 

You see, when I look in the mirror (and most especially while pregnant), all I notice is my weight gain. I notice that my thighs are a little fuller. My face looks a bit plumper. My arms seem to have a little extra flab. I stand in front of my mirror and I critique my pregnancy self so harshly. And I realized in that moment that those women may or may not do the same. I don't know, but none of them was smaller than me if I'm being really honest. And yet...what I perceive as my own biggest flaw was something that I NEVER would have noticed on any of them, and I definitely wouldn't ever call their sizes flaws. They all looked beautiful. All I noticed on them was the most beautiful aspects of their physical being. I sat there thinking about how beautiful or stylish they all were, while I continued to feel frumpy and fat.

Why is it so easy for us to see the beautiful parts of strangers, and never even notice what they may consider flaws, while doing the exact opposite to ourselves? Why can't I look in the mirror and, instead of noticing that my thighs look bigger, notice my cute new haircut? Or notice my clear skin? Or notice any one of the things about me that others may see? Why can't we be as kind and generous to ourselves as we are to strangers? 

Or maybe I should ask this...why can't we all view ourselves as objectively as we do each other? Because frankly, those women really were beautiful and stylish. Maybe the problem is our skewed thoughts of ourselves.

Or maybe it's just me. 

Making the case to BE SURPRISED

Thursday, July 3

Yesterday I had an OB appointment, and this one included my ultrasound. You know...THE ultrasound. The one where they check the baby's heart chambers and brain and all kinds of medical stuff, and they can also tell you what you are having. And so, without further delay, I should now tell you that we are having a......

baby. 

Either a girl or a boy. We will find out when it arrives!

Everyone has been asking me so now you all know: YES, we are going to be surprised again. Being surprised was the most fun, exciting thing I've ever done in my life and we can't wait to do it again.  I know that almost no one is surprised anymore, but I'm here today to make a case for doing it. 

When I was pregnant with Clark (and now again), and we would tell people that we didn't know the baby's sex, without a doubt the number one response was: I could never do that. I'm too much of a planner.  It's annoying and it grates on my nerves. I'm sure no one means anything by it, but it implies that I'm NOT a planner, and it implies that you cannot plan for a baby unless you know it's sex, which makes no sense whatsoever. Of COURSE we planned for a baby. With Clark we read books. We learned all we could. We bought a car seat and a stroller and furniture and a co-sleeper. We bought onesies and jammies and a going home from the hospital outfit. We planned for either sex, and so now, thankfully, everything we own, all of those big ticket items, we can re-use for this next baby. I never got suckered into a pink car seat or a blue stroller. We have all we need. When you don't know your baby's sex, the ONLY think you can't buy is clothing. 

And now let me tell you what. People would often ask me what I would do about baby clothes. By the time I left the hospital with Clark, he had more clothes than he could ever wear. When he was born, our friends and family all showered us with cute little outfits- many of them telling us that they had been so excited to finally shop for the baby. And in the year 2014, guess what? You can hop on the internet from your hospital room and have a Baby Gap box waiting for you when you get home. The clothing is a non-issue and we were sort of glad that we couldn't stock up ahead of time. I know sometimes it's easy to go overboard with the clothes and many moms have told me that they never wore half of what they bought. We were forced to sort of spend our money more wisely, and because of that, we could afford a nicer stroller, nicer bedding, nicer of the "bigger" items.

I get it. It was hard to not buy cute little baby outfits when I was pregnant. (Although it's really fun to take your new baby out and go to town shopping for clothes, guilt-free I might add, since you haven't yet spent money on clothes!) And it's hard not knowing what you are having...until you get past that ultrasound. Once you've made the decision, it's done and I promise it feels SO GOOD. Whatever you lose by not being able to buy clothing you MORE than make up for in other ways.

When you don't find out what you are having, I think there is a special part of pregnancy that most women don't experience. The build up to your delivery day just gets more and more intense. And fun. You spend your days wondering...guessing what you are having. Every day it changes because of a dream, or some heartburn, or something an old lady at the grocery store said. Other people love to make guesses. They look at your belly, ask questions, dangle rings over your stomach with string, tell you all the wives tales. It's SPECIAL to have that surprise.  And it builds and builds and builds...

I know that delivery day is exciting for everyone, but man...after spending nine months not knowing what you are having, the anticipation that day is unreal. I remember being in labor and Jared and I kept saying we finally get to find out!!! Even when I was PUSHING, I was thinking about how excited I was to finally know.  Up until the final push, Jared and I kept making last minute guesses. 

BOY! No wait, GIRL! No wait...OMG we will find out in like one minute! 

And then the baby comes. And you get that moment- the moment that most women don't get- where the doctor proclaims "IT'S A BOY!" or "IT'S A GIRL!" and...

IT. IS. THRILLING.

And then it's still special because everyone asks you if you knew and you sort of forget if you knew or not. It's all so blissfully confusing and surprising and overwhelming. And I think it took me a good five minutes to really digest, with Clark, that it was REALLY a boy, because you finally KNOW, and it's such a strange feeling. And I don't really remember if I was really surprised or not, because very quickly it just....IS. 

I don't know if I have the words to ever convey how special and how fun it is to be surprised, and my attempt at doing so is undoubtedly a poor one. But I will tell you this: when I told Jared that I was pregnant again, after his initial disbelief and excitement, his VERY FIRST WORDS were, "Can we be surprised again? That was so fun." 

And that's a true story.