Wednesday, February 15, 2017

Woke up with this feeling...

I miss playing soccer.  I played throughout my youth, and I had natural talent.  I was a good player on a good team and I didn't have to try.  I went to practice but I never did extra conditioning and only went to soccer camp if our coach required it.  I never remember thinking about how to be better at soccer, or having much anxiety about how I should work really hard to succeed at it.  My body just worked that way.  I wanted it to do something, and it did it.
I know a lot of women have never shared my experience in sports or even felt athletic, but many of these women have felt the same careless ease with their bodies in their experiences with pregnancy and childbirth.  They get pregnant, and their bodies just work!  And 9 months later, a beautiful, moving, crying, warm and living baby who fits just right in their arms arrives, and they are mothers for the first, second, even fifth and sixth time.  I rejoice for these women.  But I am afraid I am not one of them.  My body just failed to carry a third baby to full term.  My sweet little Luella was born at 19 weeks 4 days one month ago today. She was so sweet, and so healthy, and nothing was wrong with her, but my body failed to do its part by keeping her inside, nourished, and safe from harm.  Instead, I started laboring at 3am, on January 13th for no known reason.  My reproductive system just shut down, and betrayed my sweet, perfect  baby.  This same thing happened on May 29th, 2016, when I was 20 weeks 2 days pregnant with my darling Cora Iris.  I also had a 12 weeks loss in October of 2014.  Tests results have revealed no answers. 
I vacillate between resenting my body and feeling sorry for it and its inability to succeed. In the meantime, the desire that God has planted in my heart to nurture and love these little babies motivates me to eat healthy, exercise, obtain any necessary operation and treatment, and follow every doctor's order, but my body still has not functioned the way so many other women's do without any intervention at all.  And while they tell me I still have hope, they cannot yet articulate a path to success.
I was taught that my body is a temple, something to be grateful for, proud of, and protected, even though it was inevitably flawed.  I think I still believe that.  But I miss the feeling of having my body work without trying.  I miss playing soccer.

Monday, October 21, 2013

Anti-cooking blog entry #3: Wherein I Try My Mother's Famous Brownie Recipe and Learn to Use a Chisel

It's been a long time since I've posted about my cooking skills, so I thought I would give you an update.  Why? Well, so you can all feel good about yourselves, by comparison.  I think that's one of my talents: making others feel better in certain areas, specifically anything homemake-y, by giving them an inferior example to compare themselves to.  I'm like the anti-Pinterest.   

My mom makes the best brownies.  They are.....SO.  Amazing.  This week I kept bragging about them to Toby, and then he started craving brownies, so I made them (isn't that the strategy women used to use on their husbands: make it seem like it's his idea, and then you get to eat the brownies too?).  I got the recipe from my sister, who said she can never get them to turn out just right.  I figured it must be the difference in altitude, and I live at the same altitude as my mom, not my sister.  Plus there's only 5 ingredients and 3 instructions.  What could go wrong?
Lots.  Flash forward:

"Do you mind?  I'm chiseling brownies here!"

But it was bad even before this.  I don't know what happened, but you could not taste the chocolate- only caramelly butter.  They were butteries, if you will.  (If you think that sounds good, it wasn't).  Toby says maybe they needed another 10 minutes or so in the oven, so I turned the oven on, stuck them back in, went upstairs and fell asleep.  I woke up to burn smell an hour or so later, and a sleepy question from my husband,  "Um, did you turn the oven off?"

So sad.  No brownies for Toby.  Just charcoal and butteries.  He very kindly lent me his new chisel though. Worked like a charm.

And that's my cooking update.  Still trying, still can't do it.

You may be asking yourself, "But Andrea, didn't you get married at 28, giving you plenty of time to learn to cook?  Aren't you childless 11 months out of the year, which gives you even more time to learn to cook?  Didn't your mother at least teach you the basics when you were a kid?"  The answer to all of these queries is yes.  
Now don't you feel better- about YOURself?  You're welcome.

Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Picture fun part III

I just finished our family calendar for the rest of 2013 through Dec 2014.  It was super fun.  I love my awesome parents, siblings and all of their progeny.  Anyway, it took a lot of time and I feel like I need to culminate it with a blog post, as well as share some highlights before everyone receives their calendar in the mail, so I am giving awards to one or two people from each household (it just worked out that way actually. Convenient.)

Congratulations go, for being:

In The Most Group Photos:

Most Likely To Be Doing Something Weird: 

Runner Up


Messing Up The Most Pictures With Random Expressions:

Most Likely To Be Doing Something Hilariously Naughty:

Biggest Poser:

Worst Poser/Best At Avoiding Having Her Picture Taken:

(not pictured)

Best At Looking Nicely At The Camera When Nobody Else Notices I'm Taking A Picture, Even When It's Supposed To Be A Candid Shot: 

Best At Not Looking At The Camera, No Matter What, Even When It's NOT Supposed To Be A Candid Shot: 

Good work everybody!!

*Family: if you feel like these will hurt your kids' feelings don't tell them.  I just thought the kids were all so funny/cute.  :)

Saturday, January 12, 2013

A formal, public apology for my January birthdate

I had the best Christmas ever, but in order to properly document it, I will need to upload some pictures from my husband's camera.  I don't know how to do that, so for now we'll move on to my birthday, so I can apologize for it.

People always used to say they were sorry for me because I had a January birthday, and I never fully understood why until pretty recently.  I always figured it was because it's so close to Christmas, but that didn't bother me at all because whatever I didn't get for Christmas I could politely remind my parents about for my birthday.  Also, if something was maybe a little too big for me to appropriately ask for for Christmas, I could always use the selling point, "Well, I could get it for a combined birthday and Christmas present."  And then my parents would forget by January 18th and I would get another birthday present anyway.  Also, I got to bring treats to school on my birthday.  Kids with summer birthdays didn't get to do that, and once my mom made cupcakes out of coffee filters.  H.U.G.E. cupcakes!!!  And we each got a whole one, all to ourselves.  Plus I was older than all those summer birthday kids, which is SUPER important when you're 7.
Now that I'm older and my birthday is not as exciting, particularly this year because I'll be almost-thirty (when my sister Janessa turned 29 and I told her Happy Birthday, she replied, defiantly, "29 is nothing but almost thirty."  That's what I call it now.) I'm a little more aware of what other people are feeling in January, and it's not pleasant- which is why they feel sorry for me for my birth month.  I actually first noticed it in college, around the time I started asking for laundry detergent and underwear for my birthday: sadness, caused by SAD, caused by 4-season climates, would set in. Another school semester, after a paltry 3 week break, would begin.  Christmas decorations, and all the joy and festivity associated with them, would come down, gradually and tortuously, because nobody had the energy to put them all away at once.  The next holiday to look forward to was Valentine's Day, a terrible holiday for almost everyone, and you don't even get a day off work for suffering through it.  
I didn't fully appreciate the universality of the January problem until 30 Rock, Season 4 Episode 11, "Winter Madness".  Watch it, you'll understand.  

Now I feel bad telling January People, with their holiday weight, dry skin, froofy, snow-ruined hair, and dark, depressing, shapeless wardrobe, "Oh, it's my birthday this week," because I know they're thinking, "Yeah?  So what?  Do you want me to pretend to be excited?  Because it's snowy and miserable and the new year means we're one year closer to death and Christmas is over so.... Happy Birthday- or whatever."

So this year I'm apologizing, to soften the blow:
Everyone, it's my birthday this week.  I'm sorry.

Saturday, December 15, 2012

Weight loss plan

I lost 10 lbs this semester, and I'll give you my secret for great results, free of charge (you're welcome and Happy Holidays):

Exercise and eating right, of course! 
Oh, and massive, massive anxiety.  That's an essential element.*  Sorry to all those calm, well-balanced  individuals trying to shed some extra pounds.  I hear Weight Watchers is an excellent program.  Plus you should wear vertical stripes, heels, and lots of black.

Many thanks to law school, my husband's broken leg, two car accidents, adjusting to newly married life, a stolen credit card, vertigo, freshly diagnosed ADD, and, most of all, a heinous custody battle, for making this plan work.

I may have even lost an additional few lbs today!  The notorious Business Associations exam was at 1pm, so I'll weigh in tomorrow and let you know.  I was the last person to turn in my exam, at the last time slot on the last day of finals. Yeah, those front office people love me at the law school. Especially after all those times I forgot my exam number and they had to look it up for me. You love those you serve, right?
But even if I didn't lose more weight the day was not wasted because my mom and dad helped me calm down before the final by singing me lullabies: "Lullaby and Goodnight," and "Silent Night," respectively.  Sorry, Everyone Else, but my parents are the best ones. 
Also, Toby brought some cookies home from the baking contest his co workers had, and I was able to try to eat some until I realized they were all gross.  ALL of them, disgusting.  How can so many people so badly screw up so many different kinds of cookies?  And all concentrated in the same little region in Idaho?  It is mind boggling.  Maybe they were all gluten/dairy-free?  Organic...something?  That could have been the problem.  There are a lot of hippies at his work.  I'll do some further investigation.  Because it was remarkable.

Happy Break!!!!

*Following this weight loss plan may also cause hair loss, excessive wrinkles, nausea, and sleeplessness. Please don't tell your doctor (or anybody else really) that I endorsed this plan.

Friday, December 7, 2012

With love from, Insomnia

Dear Future/Never Me,

I know that during life-changing eras it is hard to remember the things that used to annoy you before your life-changing era, such as pregnancy/early motherhood, so I'm writing you a letter as a friendly reminder that:
1. Pictures on facebook of your positive home pregnancy test are gross.  There's pee on that thing and everyone knows it.
2. NOBODY cares about your baby's potty training but you.  And maybe your mom.  So please don't put updates about, and especially pictures of, your child's progress.  Don't talk about it unless you want to just say that it's been a challenge- no descriptions and don't call it "pee-pee" or "tinkle"- or "potty" for that matter.
3. None of those "this is what my baby looks like now" photos/apps.  They're gross.  We don't like to think that we used to look like tadpoles, or that you have a miniature alien growing inside of you.  Not even on your blog.  Not in a house, not with a mouse.
4. I don't want to see daily facebook posts about your morning sickness or your diet change or your stretch marks.  Gross, boring, and gross.
5. I hope you won't be one of those people that needs other people to see your belly's progression into disgusting gargantuity, but if you are, keep them tasteful, scarce, and keep the shirt DOWN.
6. No professional prenatal pics, with or without clothes.  ESPECIALLY without clothes, and especially not without clothes with your husband.
7. You probably won't be into this, but in case we go astray, no Anne Geddes-like pictures of your baby in a flower, clock, shoe, or anything else that a baby doesn't belong in, unless it's ironic.  And you have to be overtly ironic when you're going about it, because Anne Geddes is creep-y.
8. No mid-riffs, tight shirts, or too-small shirts that the pregnant belly can peek out under.  You can be proud of your body and think you're the most beautiful when you're pregnant and all that lovely stuff, but be considerate of those who see you who are not quite there yet;  stretched-out pregnant bellies make some people nauseous.

All the best,
Present/Past Me

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Picture Fun, part II

We had to order Tylee's school portraits via the internet, which is fine, except they don't let you preview the pictures.  We figured she takes good pictures so it's a low risk proposition, and ordered them anyway.  When we received them in the mail, they were, indeed, beautiful pictures...




...of an adorable first grade black boy.  Not our child.  Cute kid, but I'm pretty sure Tylee is neither boy, nor African American, nor in the first grade. Also she has a couple of missing teeth, so although I don't get to see her very often in person, I'm pretty sure there was a mix up.
I'll make some phone calls and let you know what I find out though.
P.S. I told my sister that having another child's photos was creepy, albeit hilarious.  She said there should be a word that means both.  We came up with "crelarious."  And we're making it happen.  Use it, love it.  Crelarious.