Saturday, February 26, 2011

Keep It Movin'

About 50 times every day, I say to Miss Paige, "Keep it movin'. Just keep it movin'." She knows this means that it's time for her to move onto the next thing because she's about to get in trouble for what she is doing at the moment. Eventually she figures out she needs to "keep it movin'" past certain obstacles - like Lenni's dog bowls, potted plants, the TV. Unless she wants to get in trouble, she needs to keep on her way towards more appropriate toys and activities that will result in positive outcomes.

I've realized that over the past few years since becoming mama (with baby in belly, and then in arms), this has become my personal mantra - "Keep it movin'. Just keep it movin'." I don't have the time or patience for negativity, stupidity, drama, etc. Gone are the days of worrying if someone is mad at me, judging me, let down by the things I have or haven't done. I'm no longer concerned with people who want to stand still in their confines of anger, resentment, judgment, fear... I just keep it movin' right past them. I used to be overly concerned about pleasing people and meeting up to their expectations of me. Now? I still strive to do my personal best and live up to my potential as a Child of God. But I don't do it to please other people. I do it to please myself, God and for the benefit of my family and friends. I live the best life I can, making sure not to take a single minute for granted. Negativity and the like can only slow me down... and I've got too many good things going on to get tied down in that nonsense. Interested is being a part of the positivity? Join in! Not interested in change and letting go of the nonsense of life? Sorry, but I'm just gonna "keep it movin'" right by ya.

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

One Hot Mama

That's right. I'm hot. Very hot. And no, I'm not referencing my hot body which includes multiplying stretch marks, cankles and enough gray hairs - that, if plucked - could be loomed and woven into a sizeable silver blanket. I'm referring to my internal temperature, which at the moment, feels like a teakettle about to boil over. If this is a preview of what hot flashes during menopause might be like, God help us all. I usually walk around the house in a tank top and shorts, because honestly, any more clothing and I might erupt. So when I boarded the plane yesterday morning to fly to NY with a squirmy Miss Paige in tow, I knew it was going to be a sweat fest. First of all, it was one of those smaller "commuter" planes... because for some reason Delta must think commuters don't have legs, arms or butts that would call for regular sized seats with leg room and arm rests. And, to top it off, the air vents didn't seem to be pumping enough air. On a plane, I want to feel the cool breeze blowing through my hair... not what feels like hot dog breath huffing down my neck. So there I was, prego body smushed into an anorexic seat, bear hugging Paige to keep her from grabbing the french fries my seat mate was eating. Along with Paige, I was swathed in her heavy, furry blankie in hopes she would forget she was on a plane and fall asleep... no such luck my friends. Up, down, up, down. At one point Paige thought it would be funny to try and poke my eyes out. And the next "game" was putting Mommy's head under the blankie and playing peek-a-boo. I guess she didn't notice the beads of sweat running down my forehead. By the time we landed, I looked as though I had spent the 2 hours in a sauna... hair frizzed out, make-up running down my red-cheeked face, sweaty pits - basically, I could have been a spokes-model for abstinence : ) The best part of the trip was stepping out onto the tarmac and being greeted by 19 degree temperatures. Hallelujah! On my return trip next week, I'm thinking of packing my undergarmets with ice packs. Think I could make it through security? : )

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

I've Got 99 Problems... and My Placenta is One!

Because being pregnant isn't hard enough or complicated enough on it's own, I was informed at my last Perinatologist appointment that my placenta may be covering my cervix. Yes, that's right... I might just have placenta previa. And I was told this during my bi-weekly appointment to monitor my Protein S/Factor V Thrombosis condition (that's what caused the mini-strokes last times around). Becasue really - I don't have enough going on to worry about?

Reading this, you are probably thinking that I'm a hot mess. And in many areas of my life, I really am : ) But not usually when it comes to my health! I've always been super healthy (minus my constant weight battle) with no issues to speak of until I became pregnant. Now it's like a new condition pops up every week. Since I got the news about my less-than-perfect placenta, I've pretty much blocked it out of my consciousness. I'm thinking I can will it away if I just don't think about it. Of course I know it's not that simple, but there is actually a really good chance the sucker will move on it's own and all will be well in my womb again. According to the #1 medical resource - Google, of course - it moves to a better position (basically, anywhere but over the cervix) in the majority of people. So that is what I'm praying for. I have an ultrasound on Thursday morning, and I'm hoping the placenta moved so far away from my cervix that it is like it was never even there.

When they first told me about the position of the placenta, I thought - Who cares? I'm having another C-section anyway! (Placenta Previa would make a vaginal birth near impossible). But it's not as simple as that. I guess having Placenta Previa can cause excessive pre-term bleeding, enough to put both mother and baby at risk. And combined with my twice-daily Heparin (blood thinner) injections, that could mean a lot of blood exiting my body very quickly. I got a paper cut the other day and it bled as though I had cut my finger off. Heparin is no joke. But, like I said before, I'm really trying not to think about it because I'm confident it will resolve on it's own.

Anyway... another day, another bump in the road. But I'm feeling good that this one is just a little pothole, rather than a full on red light. I'll keep you posted!

Saturday, February 12, 2011

Grand Theft of the Worst Kind

The one thing every mama dreams of as soon as she sees the telltale + sign on the pregnancy test - what will we name him or her? It's usually a deeply personal process, one that takes much research, discussion and compromise to come to the PERFECT name. It's also one of the first things people ask you - "What are you going to name the baby?" I've always told people freely, because I didn't know many people that were prego at the same time I was so there wasn't a big fear that the name would be swiped.

I recently read an article on titled, "Someone Stole My Baby Name" that made me start to think about what I would do if someone did indeed steal my baby name. The article discusses the different ways baby names are "stolen" - either purposefully or inadvertently - and how to deal with the situation. The bottom line is this - if someone steals your baby name, there is really squat you can do about it. The article suggests telling the person that you are upset, but honestly - what good is that going to do besides make things super awkward? I guess it's a risk every mama takes when she starts sharing the names she has chosen.

But I do know a few slick mamas who knew their prego friends had sticky fingers when it came to names, and lied about what the baby's name would be : ) That's pretty hilarious, IMO. My sister didn't reveal her baby's name to anyone (even me!) until he was born just a few days ago. She didn't do it because she was afraid of someone stealing it, but rather that she wanted to make it a big surprise. For the same reason, I didn't reveal Miss Paige's name on the blog until she was born - I was excited to surprise everyone! I think I'll do the same for this baby - although I will tell you that his name will start with "D". : )

I do think there are some occasions when Grand Theft of the Naming Kind is acceptable - like if you are a third-party connection to a name (i..e. a friend of a friend of a friend). I came up with Paige's name after being on a conference call with a woman who I rarely worked with, whose name was Paige. Celebrity baby names are also up for grabs - although it might be kind of obvious if you choose one of the wacky ones like Apple or Scout. Some mamas-to-be throw out multiple name options before they decide on "the one." I say any of the names she didn't use are also up for grabs. All is fair in love and baby naming!

So with this said, I'll go ahead and share the two names we were deciding between had this baby been a Girl instead of a Boy... feel free to steal : ) It's kind of like I'm putting them out by the curb with a "Free" sign on them, in hopes someone else can benefit for something I can no longer use. The two names (first and middle) were: Stella Quinn OR Naomi Danielle. We liked Stella Quinn right of the bat, but Naomi Danielle was definitely rising up the ranks in the weeks prior to finding out the gender. Maybe these will help inspire your name!

Have you ever had a baby name stolen? If so, tell us all about it in the comment section below!! It'll be a good place to vent, minus the awkward confrontation.


Saturday, February 5, 2011

UPDATE: What's Up With Co-Sleeping

I know many of you weren't able to sleep after my riveting post - "What's Up with Co-Sleeping" - wondering what the conclusion would be of getting Lenni LuLu out of the bed  ;  )  So, I've decided to give you all an update...

Just like the VanDerPlump's finally had to give "permanent houseguest" Cedric the boot on the season finale of The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills (and if you have no idea what I'm talking about, let's pretend I don't watch/DVR/re-watch the show either...) good old Lenni LuLu was about to get the heave-ho back to her kennel. Now, I'm not sure if she read my blog post or someone broke the news to her, but the same night I decided she was going into her kennel, she wasn't in the bed when I went upstairs. At first I thought she was burrowed under the blankets, but lo-and-behold... no Lenni. I figured she must still be downstairs and I just didn't see her before I came up. So I went to sleep without giving it a second though. At about 2 a.m. - the time of night when my husband's snoring mysteriously moves from the sound of a freight train to that of a rocket ship about to blast off - I decided the bed in the Guest Room was calling my name. As I walked in, I turned on the light to get the bed situated. And that's when I saw it - Lenni LuLu was there, lying on her back, paws in the air, head on the pillow, snoring away. You wouldn't believe the scene unless you saw it with your own two eyes. As I crawled into the bed, she didn't wake up... just rolled onto her side (snout and warm doggy breath right in my face) as if this was completely normal. And since that night, that is where she sleeps. Yes - that's right - my 2 year old German Shepard/Yellow Lab/"Who Knows What" mix has taken up residence in the guest room. Nice.

Friday, February 4, 2011

David vs. Goliath: My Battle with Babies R Us

Let's be honest... Babies R Us isn't worried about little old me not shopping there anymore. The $100 +/-  I spend there each month (or will no longer spend there each month) isn't making a big dent in their bottom line. I acknowledge that 100%. That's why it feels like my personal battle with Babies R Us is pretty much a lost cause... except for the fact that I know they've treated other customers just as poorly. I'm not calling for a full on boycott against Babies R Us or anything that extreme - I'm just asking them for a little respect... on behalf of ALL the mamas! Here's what happened most recently... I bet you can all relate.

Between Miss Paige's birthday and Christmas, she received a TON of presents - all of which were much appreciated! One outfit was a size too small... so I had to bring it back to Babies R Us. I didn't have the gift receipt, so I knew going in I wasn't going to get the full value for it. And even when they told me they could only give me $4.23 for the outfit (which I knew originally cost so much more), I didn't get upset. You win some, you lose some, right? Well - as I continued to shop around for some necessities - I decided to look on the clearance racks to see if I could find anything for next season. As I flipped though, I saw about 25 of the same outfits I just returned. No big deal. EXCEPT... they were being sold at the marked clearance price of $21.00!! Yes - that's right. The same outfit they said they would only give me $4.23 for was being sold for nearly 5 times that price - $21.00! At first I thought it was mismarked... but all 25 f these particular outfits were marked with a big pink sticker at $21.00.

So I took one and brought it up to the register to show that they shortchanged me about $15 on my return. And this is the response I got: "Sorry, but what the computer says is right. It  must have been on sale for $4.23 over the last 30 days. That is all that we can give you." I'm sure the look on my face said it all... ARE YOU FLIPPIN' KIDDING ME?! I didn't even say a word. I just looked at her like she was crazy because I was literally speechless. She turned around to another cashier and explained what had happened. The other cashier nodded her head and said, "Yup! Those are the rules!"

Now, for some I know $15 may not be a lot of money... but for a single-income family, $15 is Paige's milk for the week. And their reluctance to take my issue seriously and just blame the computer when common sense SHOULD have taken over got my blood boiling. And honestly, I was having one of "those days" and they were messing with the wrong mama. I'm not one to mince my words when provoked by sheer stupidity. Here is my response to the cashier, still pointing at the computer...

"Are you KIDDING ME? After thousands of dollars I have spent here over the last two years, you are going to lose my business over $15? I don't giving a flying fuzzball what the computer says - you know as well as I do that it is plain wrong to turn around and sell something for 5 times as much as you are willing to give me. And the fact that you are making money off this item TWICE is absolute thievery. Absolutely disgusting."

And the cashier - realizing at this point I wasn't messing around - said she would be back in a moment with the manager. While she was gone, the other cashier (the one who had chimed in earlier and witnessed the entire exchange), walked over and asked if she could ring up my other purchases. To which I said, "No. Unless this is made right, I'm walking out and leaving this full cart right here, and never coming back again."

When the manager finally appeared, I explained the situation again. I figured - He's got to see the stupidity behind what is going on, right?! WRONG! He pointed at the cash register/computer and said the same thing, "Sorry... but we go by what the computer says. There is nothing we can do for you unless you have a receipt." WRONG ANSWER, BUCCO! I gave him the same spiel. He went off somewhere, and a few moments later, the original cashier came back and said, "Alright. We'll give you the full refund." And that was that...

So in the end, they made it right. But - should a person have to raise their voice and fight over something that a two-year-old can see doesn't make sense? It's dishonest to make money off of something twice. It's bad business to treat your customers as if YOU (the store) are doing THEM (the customer) a favor by letting them shop in your store. It truly is disgraceful, in my opinion.

This experience, combined with a few others I've had or friends of mine have had (i.e. only allowing 3 returns in a certain time period, not honoring gift cards), has brought me to the conclusion that I will no longer be shopping at Babies R Us. Good riddance BRU!