Thursday, June 30, 2011

I Go Back

It was the best of times, it was the worst of - nope, really it was just the best of times.

I had the greatest time in college. From playing silly jokes on each other in Dorsey Hall freshman year, to running up and down between dorm rooms and getting ready, drinks in hand in Richard Hall sophomore year, to living like "adults" in our off-campus house junior and senior year, we had a blast. There were sorority dances and parties like Harley Party in pleather skirts, luaus in leis, and senior wills at Top Deck, late night munchies at La Bamba or Bagel and Deli, dancing the night away at the Delta Chi house or First Run, post-midnight talks with the best of girlfriends on our front porch, spring breaks in the Bahamas, Ft Lauderdale and Key West, ringing in the new millennium in Windsor, and walks along Slant Walk on crisp fall days - the memories are endless.

I was ready to move on my senior year. I was sick of being poor and growing a little tired of the stifled small town of Oxford, Ohio. I guess I was just ready to be a full-fledged adult and make my way in the world. Oh, the naivete!

What would I tell that naive, young college girl now with the wisdom I've gained in the last 10 years?
-I'd love to tell her to savor every moment of female friendship. There will never be a time to live in a small house with your very best friends in the world again. Jobs, distance, husbands and kids change everything and it's impossible to enjoy those same close bonds again with all the other priorities weighing on your life. Those late morning curled on the couches in pajamas together spent rehashing the wild fun had the night before will end and be replaced by too-early wakeups from a crying baby in the next room and bleary-eyed diaper changes. Savor those special moments of girl-time!
-I'd love to tell her that a good man WILL appear in her life and how silly she is for wasting time worrying about all those little flings along the way. Enjoy those flings and have fun and try different people on to see how they fit, but the one meant for you will come along when the time is right, and not one minute sooner.

-I'd tell her to learn for fun and actually to absorb what you learn, not just study for an exam to pass and then move onto the next class.
-I'd tell her to enjoy every single moment that college has to offer - go to more campus plays or concerts, cheer at more hockey games, wear your college gear and be a big dork at Saturday afternoon football games. There won't be opportunities for easily accessible hockey and football games after college.

-I'd encourage her to appreciate her parents more, who made the entire 4 years possible, through all their hard work and sacrifice and saving so she could have the fun and crazy life experience that is college. So she could backpack through Europe in the summer between sophomore and junio year and drink margaritas with her girlfriends on Saturday nights and dance in fraternity houses and, oh yeah, learn a little something educational along the way too.

But even if I could, I'm not sure I'd tell her any of this. Every tear shed, every lesson learned, every heartache and mistake will lead her to the life she's meant to have. To a wonderful husband, to the most amazing child any woman could dream of, and to a very loved life!

Well believe it or not, I have been out of college for 10 years now. I hadn't been back to campus in about 8, so I was really excited to heard back for the reunion and to show Barrett and Tim the sights of all Momma's old escapades. Unfortunately, Barrett came down with a fever right before the trip so the two of them stayed behind while I made the trip down. So B will have to wait a little while longer before he sees his future college. I was sad not to have the family with me, but then again, it did make it a lot easier to get around and stay out late.

me and Katie, college housemates
The house on 210 E Vine where we 4 girls lived for 2 years. Lots of silly arguments, laughter and fun times were had in this house. See the window on the upper left? That was mine and Katie's room senior year. And the lower right window? I had to climb through it one late night after getting locked out - I managed to lose a shoe in the process and never did find it. Mysterious...

Katie and Michele in front of our house

We were frequent patrons of a fine establishment called CJ's. You know it's a fine establishment when the doorway is in an alley and the bathroom floors are perpetually sticky. However, it was a 21+ bar so very exclusive. I was such a frequent patron that I earned the distinguished honor of having my name written on the wall. Which to this day, 10 years later, is still there. My parents are proud. We walked in there, held our noses and tried not to touch anything, admired my name, and left.

With the housemates at Stadium, another bar we used to frequent to hear live bands. I was gaga over one particular band and we'd crowd up to see them like groupies. A little different experience this time, with a big pregnant belly and sipping my Sprite!

Michele and I ate dinner Friday night at the restaurant formerly-known-as Attractions and behind us was a table filled with a group of women. I looked at them and thought they must be in the class 5 or 10 years older than ours. To my surprise, they showed up at our class's party at Stadium a few hours later. Doh! So that means either that I'm delusional with how young we look or that we just look really good for our age! I'd like to think it's the second one!

My biggest observations of the weekend are that
1) Oxford has cleaned up a lot since we were there! The bar bathrooms were a lot nicer and the town in general seemed less run-down (although the student houses and frat houses looked even worse, if that's possible!)
2) We paid too much in tuition 10 years ago because there are some gorgeous new buildings on campus. There's a new business building that is beautiful and would have made sitting in accounting or finance classes a little more enjoyable:

Loved seeing the parade of classes and the aging of both the alumni and their families! Our class was filled with people pushing strollers.
And to top it all off, the quote that strikes a pang in my heart of longing for Miami every time I hear it....

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Barrett - 18 months (wowza!)

Barrett is 18 months. As the title of this post says - wowza!

He is quite the expressive little boy. As my mom says, he keeps his emotions right at the surface. Happy, sad, they change from second to second. His laugh is infectious and he loves to play games. His latest is hiding in his closet and shutting the door and waiting for me to wonder where he is. Then he'll push open the door and laugh. I can't remember if I posted about this last month, but one day I was upstairs and Tim was in the kitchen and I came down and asked where he was. There were a few moments of panic as we searched everywhere for B. I knew he couldn't have gone anywhere, but where was he?? Tim saw a tiny blond figure out of the corner of his eye, hiding in the dining room corner between the wall and china cabinet. Just standing there, hiding from us, and laughing to himself. What a prankster!

He still happens to be a peanut. He is 31 1/4" tall (20%) and 22lbs, 10oz (10%). I can't believe how little he is. He is growing steadily though, so that's the main thing. The weight might be thrown off by last weekend's illness.

His new words in the last few months are:
duck (every bird and chicken is also considered a duck)
moo (every animal says moo)
boo-boo (accompanied by pointing at the spot where a wound was a week earlier)
I sit (as he's climbing into a chair)
and I know he knows more, but I just can't think of them right now!

We are working hard on please and thank you - his manners are a little lacking so far!

He's awesome at falling directions. We'll go tell him to get things and he will. Sometimes he even likes to bring us things unprompted - like he's constantly bringing us our shoes (he knows whose are whose) and we have to say thank you and sneak them back to the garage door). He is learning how to communicate with us, be it by going to his chair when he's hungry or going to the fridge when he wants his milk. In the last month or two it seems like he's really exploded in his understanding of what we're saying. He definitely comprehends a lot of what we say now when we talk to him and it is so cool to be able to see that!

His new favorites in the last month are: going down slides, going for walks, the book Goodnight Gorilla (has replaced Baby Talk and I Love You Through and Through as the most recent fave), cookies, cheese, and Momma. He is going through a big Momma-is-the-best phase, which I of course love! I wish this would last a few more decades, but I know I'll be lucky to get a few more weeks out of it. He's really into giving me hugs, holding my hand and leading me around, and wanting to be near me.

Sometimes I feel badly that he won't be getting 100% of our attention anymore. I know it's a great thing for him to be getting a new sister, but I worry about the upheaval in his life and how he'll adjust to not always being the star of the show. I will miss this precious time with just him - it has truly been a very special year and a half!

Vroom Vroom (a whole lot of car stuff)

I married a gear head. I knew this and knowingly made the decision to commit my life to him. A man who'd rather spend a Saturday in the garage than at the mall, who makes me help him bleed his breaks, who has taken over our entire garage with parts and tools and cars and who had an engine in the middle of his bachelor apartment kitchen. I never saw myself ending up with a car guy!

But sometimes I do indulge him his wildest fantasies - a museum full of classic and famous cars. Ooh yeah, baby! So for Father's Day, I surprised him with a trip to the Volo Auto Museum to check out over 300 classic cars and a bunch of cars that were in tv and movies. Don't tell him I said this, but it was pretty cool, even for me. The cars were for sale but I somehow got him out of there without buying a few.

Here are a few of the most notable cars we saw:

The car from the Flintstones movie

From the movie Cat in The Hat
Even Barrett got in on the action, climbing in Michael Andretti's Indy 500 race car. He refused to get out and cried when we pulled him out. Uh oh.
Dukes of Hazzard car
The car from the famous Chicago movie The Blues Brothers
And the Ghostbusters car
If you don't know what car this is, you obviously didn't grow up in the 1980s

and the flux capacitor!Batmobile
Kitt from Knight Rider (we did not hear it talk though)
And the car that corners like it's on rails...the Lotus Esprit. This is probably one car even the ladies know

Seeing all these cars got Barrett in the mood for 4 wheels of his own. Watch out pedestrians, Barrett's behind the wheel! Just kidding. I obviously won't let him behind the wheel until he's 46. You better get used to the passenger's seat, kiddo.

checking out his brand new car for the first time
he immediately knew what to do with the steering wheel and I love the intense expression on his face
okay, he *may* have gotten this particular driving move from me, but there's no way to prove it!
Do we have another happy little gearhead on our hands?? Will I lose another one to the lure of motor oil?

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

And it's a...


I am still in complete and total shock! I was definitely leaning towards thinking boy. I've probably given the poor girl gender identity issues by calling her "he/him" the entire time!

I immediately teared up from total happiness when she told us we would have a daughter. I would have been just as happy to hear we were having another son. Another Barrett - that would be amazing too and I was picturing another little blondie with curls toddling around grasping his trucks. But a daughter - wow! I still can't believe we are going to have a little baby girl in this house. Most importantly, she had 2 arms, 2 legs, a beating heart, spine and seemed to look okay. We'll await a doctor's call to confirm the results of course.

We are so blessed!

Will it be trucks or dolls?

Well today is the big day! I am approaching this so differently than the last time As a typical first-time mom last time, my one big thought for the ultrasound was to check the baby's sex. As if that was the most important thing to see! This time I am definitely more ocncerned about the baby's health than anything. The sex will be great to know but is definitely secondary to making sure there's a healthy little baby in there!

But don't get me wrong, I'm still anxious and excited to know the sex and be able to know definitively if there's a little brother or sister on the way!

For fun, here are the ways the old wives tales lean and if they are the same or different to pregnancy #1:

-My skin is totally broken out - is a girl stealing my beauty? Different - I didn't have this with B and I can't say I'm loving this pregnancy symptom
-Heartbeat above 140. Same - B's was usually in the same range. It did drop gradually throughout the pregnancy though
-Carrying high. Similar - I carried high with B
-Nausea. Different - had no nausea with B
-Hair not growing fast on legs. Different - I do think it grew slightly faster with B
-Chinese gender chart - but then this was wrong with B

-Heartbeat sounds like galloping horses. Same
-Craving salt. Different - I craved sweets with B
-Headaches. Same - I did horrible headaches around weeks 13-15 again, similar to what I had with B, but much longer

-Ring test (swinging in circle = girl, back and forth = boy - or maybe it was vice versa) - the ring didn't move much but when it did, it was both in a circle and back and forth. A hermaphrodite, perhaps??
-Mother's intuition - I was so far off with B, I'm not even trying to guess.

I had a feeling at our 13 week ultrasound that the doctor would say boy and I've been calling it "he" the entire time, but I'm not sure if that's really what I think or if I'm just assuming that because #1 was a boy.

So in conclusion, I guess the OWTs lean toward girl, but who knows? I will know in just a few hours and I'm so excited to be able to see this little creature again and know more about who will be in our family for the rest of our lives!

Monday, June 13, 2011

Everyday changes

As a working mom, I can tell you that one of the best and worst things of having your child in daycare is watching them learn and experience new things that you don't teach them. It's great to see their little minds absorbing new things that they're learning from the other kids and the teachers and what they surprise you with.

The best: This weekend I learned that Barrett can say "moo" when I say cow. How cute is that? I do practice all the animal noises with him, but I'm thinking he also got that from daycare too. Tim was also showing him a picture book with a lot of different animals in it and there was a chimp in it and he said B started flapping his arms like a monkey. Seriously? Okay, just enroll this kid in Yale now.

The worst: While Barrett's perennial favorite words are bubbles and bye, his latest favorite is... MINE. Oh yeah, he's a toddler. What a joy. Lately if we take a toy away from him or are holding something he wants, he'll whine "MINE!" Yesterday he was playing with one of Payton's toys and Payton snatched it away and B runs after him yelling "Mine!" Now, believe it or not, Tim and I don't run around yelling Mine! at each other, so I'm assuming this is something he picked up from the other toddlers at daycare - probably one with an older sibling! So much fun (eyeroll)!

We had a great weekend, enjoying lots of family time and summer sunshine. I have to post some pictures of our latest activities, since I know I'm a little behind here. I'll try to update more with some pictures later. Oh, and a belly picture too! This baby is growing, growing, growing, and my belly is growing with it!

Friday, June 10, 2011

17 weeks

How far along? 17 weeks
Total weight gain/loss: around 6lbs I think
Maternity clothes? Yes, I'm starting to wear maternity shirts pretty regularly this week. I'm stillin regular jeans, but they're rubberbanded at the waistband now. I'm in no hurry to get back in those maternity jeans that I wore for entirely too long last time!
Stretch marks? None and hopefully they stay away!
Sleep: awesome. The fatigue finally went away around week 16, but I'm still falling asleep easily
Movement: Yes, I started feeling movements in the last few weeks. It's still hard to tell what I feel that I can attribute to the baby, but I'm pretty sure that I've been feeling him/her and it makes me so happy!
Food cravings: fruits and veggies. Although I went to the grocery store this week and for some reason, stocked up on meat, so it must have looked good to me too!
Gender: not known yet. I call it "he" almost exclusively. We have the appt in less than 2 weeks now
Belly button in or out? In
What I miss: clear skin! I am not looking my finest these days and it's driving me crazy!
What I'm looking forward to: our anatomy scan and seeing the baby again. I have another appointment on Monday so it'll be fun to hear the baby again too!
Milestones: feeling the baby, wearing mostly maternity shirts