Monday, December 28, 2009

One day...

One day I will have my carpet professionally cleaned.
One day I will have someone clean my house.
One day I will miss the sleepless nights.
One day drinking will be fun again.
One day Santa Claus will bring joy to my kids' faces and I can't wait.
One day I will get a safety deposit box for all my papers.
One day I will get ahead of the credit cards.
One day I will like my job again...
One day I will look back fondly on the days I could wear the CFM boots and not have sore feet.
One day I will miss the pacifiers, bottles, and diapers.
One day I will be a small town girl again.
One day I will be the crying mother on the first day of kindergarten.
One day I will give up Diet Pepsi.
One day I will exercise and lose weight.
One day Reese will be my friend, but not before she hates me with a passion.
One day Mother Goose will be replaced by Junie B. Jones, who will be replaced by Harry Potter, who will be replaced by another character until a love of reading is solidified.
One day my hair will be it's natural color.
One day I will appreciate all the little things.
One day I will appreciate all the big things too.

Sunday, December 27, 2009

The First of Many

Last night was my first big scare on the journey of Mommyhood. It all started when Reese started fussing pretty bad at a party we were at. We were with Marsha and Eric so we decided to take the girl's home while the boys stayed and played cards. Reese screamed the whole way home so Marsha drove my car while I sat in the back trying to console her. It was snowing and very cold as well so we were all a little tense anyway with the roads being the way they were.

We finally got home, and since it was so cold, Marsha thought we should pull the car into the garage so we didn't have to get Reese out on the ice and stuff. The dogs were in the garage so I jumped out and let them pee while she pulled in and got out of the car. We went around to get Reese when we realized it was locked...LOCKED! Keys in it, spare in it, BABY IN IT!!!

We looked at each other and panicked. We had no idea what to do. So, we got on the phone and called the guys. We tried and tried and couldn't get them. We sent Maggie to the bedroom to change clothes and to stay calm, but that sure did not happen. We could hear her wailing from the kitchen and that's when I lost it. But that's also when Dustin called. This sounds like it would make a person feel better, but accidents are much different when it involves a baby. Everyone kind of loses it when it comes to that.

That's when we get the idea to call OnStar. We don't have the service but we are compatible and this IS an emergency so we thought surely they can do something. We would've paid anything at that point. But incidentally OnStar does not give a shit about babies being stuck in the freezing cold. (more on OnStar later) Reese is screaming her head off and we are all a mess and have no idea what to do.

About the time I wore a hole in my shoe from pacing, Dustin and Eric walk in. They start running after tools and hangers. They're screaming for us to call people to see which window would be cheapest to break. Dustin is now ready to rip the door right off the car and Maggie is scared that we are surely going to jail for breaking windows.

The guys got the door open and were pushing the button but of course the car went into theif mode and wouldn't open. Meanwhile Papa Steve is on the phone with OnStar. (He is a paying customer) They decided to stick to their guns and refuse to help us. He is a pretty level-headed guy but he called them every name in the book. I'm not even sure he will be allowed OnStar service anymore after the words he yelled at that woman. But, just as we are ready to bust out the window the guys got the door unlatched (manually, not with the button).

Dustin ran in to let us know and like Marsha said, I can run pretty fast for being a cheerleader. I yanked that door open and looked at my poor abandoned baby with so much joy it hurt. And you know that little stinker looked up at me like, "jeez Mom, what's all this commotion about?" It did my heart good to see she was clearly fine and a little befuddled by what was the problem.

We can all look back and laugh a little at this now. But we were all pretty scared there for a minute. It took Maggie a good long time to stop crying and she was the first to give Baby Reese a kiss. This was definitely one for the baby book and definitely a scare that I don't care to relive. Nothing like a panic-filled moment to make you appreciative of what you have.

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Silent Night

Each night with Reese gets a little easier. I know we have to remember she is a preemie so we are already ahead of the game. We have a schedule started and it's working well. Slowly but surely she is going to fall in to place and the night time will get easier and easier.

Part of me is so glad about that; I can't wait to get a semi-good night's sleep. But part of me is sad about that as well. 1 a.m. is a sweet time for us. The house is silent and she and I just snuggle on the couch with a bottle. Her face glows in the nightlight and she looks like a beautiful angel. She looks at me like I am the most wonderful part of this world but I know it's just the opposite. It is our time of bonding and by far the most lovely part of our day.

So this year for Christmas, I am asking for just a few more of our silent nights. A few more opportunities to hang on to our special bonding moments before I hear myself saying, "oh they grow up so fast." A few more nights of the cute little "o" her lips make when she's still sucking down the bottle even though it's not there. Or the way they pucker up for what I believe is a kiss. I few more times of watching her heavy eyes droop closed or her sigh of sleep. My silent night is all about the calm of mother and child this year.

Monday, December 14, 2009

Celebration Barbie

After looking through Hallmark after Hallmark, I finally found the ornament I'd been looking for all season long; Celebration Barbie. Why did I need a Celebration Barbie ornament you ask? Because of the tradition it inspires within me. As a kid, each year my grandma bought my sister and I a Precious Moment ornament. Now that we are grown we each have 25+ ornaments for our tree and they are just lovely. Not many people may know that they have a small hole in the bottom in which we insert a white Christmas light and they glow beautifully. We have enough to decorate most of a tree with them and I love each one. Every year we open the box and look at all of them and say, "I know this one is mine because..." or we remember the occassions that happened the year we got a certain ornament. Only one belongs to my mom, and she treasures it because she gets to keep part of the tradition for herself.

I have adored Hallmark products since I worked at a Hallmark store in college. I loved going to work there so much and when Christmas rolled around I fell in love with the magic of their ornaments. The year I worked there was a Barbie anniversary. She came out with a shoe tree, several collector edition ornaments, and Barbie home decor. I just couldn't resist. I now own that shoe tree, a Barbie doll ornament, and a Barbie Bunco game that has never been played. I still can't believe the money I poured into those Hallmark ornaments that year but I have been hooked ever since and I knew from then on that one day I would be buying a Barbie ornament one day for my daughter.

When I began my own small little family, I was determined that we would have a tradition of Hallmark ornaments all our own. Last year I bought a beautiful snowflake that reads "Our first Christmas Together" to start our collection. This year I instantly fell in love with the Baby Booties from the commercial. It's formal name is "B is for Baby (and Booties)!" I mean, how cute is that?! But by the time I had Reese and was able to make it to a Hallmark Store they were sold out. (I guess everyone loved the commercial as much as me) Along with the Celebration Barbie I had dreamed about for so many years. I was crushed, because once an ornament is sold out, it's gone and no one is getting their hands on one unless they're willing to pay the big bucks on ebay.

But, this weekend, I found them! Both of them! One tiny little store had them and I was thrilled. I almost hugged the lady working when I saw them. I snatched them off the shelf and probably would've fought someone if they'd tried to take it away but luckily, I didn't have to. I went home that night with a grin from ear to ear, those sought-after ornaments were mine at last.

So as I open the box to put it on my Christmas garland (our house is overflowing this year so we don't have room for a tree) I can't help but feel a little nostalgic. Each year my daughter will open her Barbie ornament and hang it on a tree branch. Each year she will look at them and remember some small story about one of the dolls and even if it's for a tiny minute she will have a warm fuzzy about her collection. And when she is my age, she will hunt down a special ornament for her child and think about how much she loves her Barbies and the stories that go with it. She will have tears in her eyes when she puts them on her tree and when she wraps the gift for her child. It will make her happy to know that someone cared enough about her to do something so special and she will want to pay that forward to someone she loves as much. And that is part of the magic of Christmas.

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

This too shall pass

Today I logged on to facebook and saw that Halee had commented on a photo of Reese. It was one from her first day of life, she was somewhat jaundiced and had an IV in her head. It is a sad looking picture because here is this tiny precious thing all banged up looking. Halee's comment was that she loved that picture or something similar. At first I thought she was crazy, why would anyone want to be reminded of that terrible IV? But the more I looked at it, the more beautiful the picture became. Reese came into this world in a little bit of a blaze of glory, in my opinion. I'm sure everyone who has been though childbirth would agree with how I felt, but it was just such a whirlwind of emotions that night and the day after. I think my first instinct was to forget about it or put it out of my mind. But taking a good look back at the picture reminded me that even the hardest things get better. That part of Reese's life was so scary to me but the saying, 'this too shall pass' came true. It was hard, scary hard, but it passed. And regardless of how bad it was it was still a part of her beautiful beginning and I don't want to forget a minute of this little girl's journey, that's for sure. And like I told Halee, it kind of makes me think that just because a person is banged up doesn't mean she can't still be beautiful!

Thursday, November 26, 2009

I am Thankful For...

I am thankful for so many things in my life right now. After a great day with family it reminds me even more of why I should stop and remember to give thanks. Here are a few of my favorite things:

My Family- First and foremost I am so thankful for my beautiful healthy, Reese. I am so glad she is here and no longer inside me, although I wish she would've waited a little longer, I am so glad she is here now so that I can enjoy every minute of her. I am thankful for her cute little lips and her "o" mouth that she has when she strains. For her brown eyes and beautiful lashes. For her sweet coo's and her soft fuzzy hair. I am thankful that, despite her prematurity, she is healthy and mostly happy. Secondly, I am thankful for my husband. He is so loving and caring that I cannot even describe what he means to me. I love that he high 5's me when I win at games even though I just beat him, that he does the dishes after dinner, and that he still comes over to sneak a kiss when no one is looking. Above all those things, I love the father he is. Even when we're up all night and running on empty, he grabs that baby and holds her close to tell her how beautiful she is and how happy he is to see her. My cup runneth over....

My Extended Family- I love all of my family so much. I love that I still have my grandparents, on both mine and Dustin's side. They do so much for us, each call us often and make sure to say I love you before getting off the phone. We are so lucky to have them. Our parents are both great examples of what marriage should be and we are lucky to see people who genuinely love each other and are great role models for us. Our sisters, they are fun, funny, and loving. They are loving aunts and will each bring a new personality for Reese to see and grow by. And of course, Mags. The cutest little 6 year old who loves her new baby Reese more than anything in the entire world. She even bought her Llama Llama Red Pajama just because she wants Reese to love it as much as she does.

My job- I'm thankful I get 8 weeks off for maternity leave. I'm thankful I get paid every month, I'm thankful I have amazing retirement. Right now I have an amazing class full of respectful, kind hearted children who are so loving and sweet. I work with some of the best people I know and I am so thankful for a career that is rewarding and that I love every day.

My friends- Now more than ever I am thankful for my friends. Each friend brings a new "mommy" voice to my life. I can call each of them for advice and each will tell me some anecdote of what to do when or solve the problems of life. Talking to my friends has kept me sane and helped me in so many ways. I always have loved the phrase, "I get by with a little help from my friends" by John Lennon. Today I believe it is true more than it was 10 years ago. The older I get the wiser I get and I know that friends are there to bring casserole when your life is turned upside down. I think that's the best way to sum it up too, if you have a friend who loves you enough to bring you food than you have a friend for life.

I have so many other big and little things that I am thankful for; my house, my dogs, my TV that keeps Dustin occupied, my cooking ability, my car, I could go on and on. But the point is, I appreciate the life I have. I love each day whether it be good or bad because I know I have the kind of life that people dream of having.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Thanksgiving Eve

For as long as I can remember Thanksgiving Eve has been the night to party. Everyone comes home and goes out and it is an absolute blast. I always look forward to Thanksgiving because I get to see so many people who I miss other times when I go home and because it is usually the drunkest night of the year. Thinking back I can remember not being able to get up and eat turkey the next day. I have puked in my grandma's bathroom minutes before sitting down to eat dinner. And yet, each year I look forward to this night more than any other night of the year.

This year however, I am spending my Thanksgiving Eve in a slightly different manner. Right now I am watching an NCIS marathon and thinking about painting over my nails that got smudged. I gave my daughter a bath in her whale tub only to take her out and watch her pee all over me. I had a bowl of ice cream and am in my sweats dreaming of bed time. Not quite the festivity of the past.

I wish I could say that I don't miss it, that this is so much more fun than getting drunk with all my BHS friends. But that's not entirely true. I log on to facebook and see all the posts of people getting ready to head out and I feel very envious. I would love to go see everyone and catch up. I would love to have a few beers, I would love to pass out and not get up until 10:00 tomorrow.

Gosh it sounds like fun, but for this year anyway, I think I'll pass. And right now, jealous though I may be, it really was fun to give Reese a bath. When she peed all over me, I laughed and really enjoyed cleaning her up. I loved cuddling her and reading "Who's In the Jungle" and I don't want to give that up to anyone just yet. So, there's always next year, but if you went out tonight and took part in the holiday season, I hope you thought of me as you drank your beer and caught up with old friends. Happy Thanksgiving, Everyone!!

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Reese Kamry Neal

Here are a few pictures of Reese's first few days!!


Finally, my beautiful daughter got to come home!

Having a child premature scared the ever-loving life out of me. No buts about it, it scared me to a place I don't think I knew existed within myself. Going through the night she was born, I feel lucky to have survived that kind of fear and the days afterwards did not do much to help me otherwise. What if God gave me this perfect little gift and then took it away? Well, it was too much for me to imagine.

Now, I said no buts of course but there is usually a light at the end of the tunnel. Eventually, she got better. One day her light bulb came on and the little girl took off. She began slugging down ounce after ounce of formula and she ended up gaining back her birth weight. God doesn't really give you anything you can't handle, and about the time I got to my breaking point, here we came around the bend.

So now, Reese Kamry Neal has finally blessed our lives, our home, and whether they think so or not, our dogs. We just couldn't be happier to have her here. I thought Dustin might start shaking yesterday he was so excited. We had no grand pomp and circumstance, no special outfit (nothing fits anyway) no door decorations, just a small little family walking in to our life. It was a really special day for us.

We didn't sleep much last night, she has to be woken up every 3-3 1/2 hours to eat and since we are new to this we had flip lights on to get the bottle room temperature and to find the snaps on the sleeper but we did it. We sat and debated about the habits we wanted to start so we made sure we didn't put her in our bed or hold her in our arms through a whole nap but we did it and she is no worse for the wear.

I never thought I'd really think about where I could find a hand held mirror so I can check for breath, or that I'd ever forget to read a book to my child before bed(I am a teacher, I know better than that!) but I do know now that the color of the sky is so much bluer and the first snow of the season is a little more special. When you wake up one day and become a mother, the world just looks a little different and I am so glad it does.

Saturday, November 14, 2009

The first one out

I did it, I had my first beer! And let me tell you, it was everything I hoped it would be. Earlier in the day as I contemplated whether or not I would be a horrible mom and have a beer or if I should just do without, I talked about it with a friend. The conversation went something like this;
Me: "I'm kind of thinking about having a couple of beers tonight."
Kelly: "I hope they still taste good for you, after I was pregnant they tasted funny."
Me: "Oh dear, what if I lose my love of beer?"
Kelly: "Wait, I forgot who I was talking to, you're an Olinger, it's just in you, isn't it?"
Me: "Oh yeah, I forgot, you're right, I'll be fine."

And, I was. It still tasted like beer, and lucky for us we had a few frosty mugs in the freezer. I was actually pretty surprised too because I had 2 and I figured I'd have a little buzz, but I didn't. I do have to say though, it felt surprisingly normal. As if 9 months hadn't gone by, like every weekend for most of my life I've been having a few beers with Dustin, and pregnancy never happened. It's weird to me how fast the crapiness of pregnancy fades away...

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

I'm Ready

It's been nearly a week, oh my!, and I have yet to blog about my experiences of labor and new motherhood. Earlier I had so many words and no place to start, and a little later I had so many tears and no way to channel them....but now, I'm ready. So here goes, my journey of motherhood, week 1.

All during pregnancy I had the fear of being "that mom." I hated to call the doctor because I didn't want to harp on them constantly with silly questions. So, in some ways I ignored my instincts, telling myself that I was being silly and that all this was normal, pregnant behavior. Now looking back I wish I'd been more assertive about what I was feeling because, in all honesty, I had the premonition that something was going to happen, and by golly, it did.

Halloween weekend I finished up Christmas shopping, I made soup and froze it, I did piles of Reese's laundry in an effort to keep up with things...can you say nesting? I didn't sleep all week, I was in pain, I was waddling and to be honest I felt 40 weeks not 34, I should've spoken up. I went to the doctor on Thursday and tried to express without sounding hokey, that I was in fact miserable and please understand that all this doesn't feel "right."

I went to the store and people stared at me, I even got a "whoa" from a little boy. I got home and lost my mucus plug. Hmmmm, my body was crying out for me to listen. I called the doc and he gave me his condescending, "well, lots of people think they've lost it." I KNOW my body, I am a smart girl, I lost the damn mucus plug and I was only 34 weeks, listen to me damn it! But I went about my night thinking, "I am not making it to the shower this weekend, something is not right."

We packed our bag for the weekend and laid on the bed to have some snuggle time, I scratched Dustin's back and felt a gigantic kick. I even commented on it right before the flood started. Little did I know that what I really felt was the bag bursting. Water went everywhere, immediately I was soaked and so was the floor, a pair of pants and a couple towels. I changed clothes and laughed with Dustin about how unprepared the planners were. We didn't even pack a bag, who knew what we were going to need? The baby was premature and wasn't going to fit in anything anyway, so why bother right now while I was gushing anyway?

Off we went, scared, excited and clueless. We ran some tests and found out she was breech, my worst nightmare. Why oh why does God do this? Premature and breech, 2 of my biggest concerns were happening and happening so fast that I didn't have time to process it. Immediately my room filled with people, lab techs, nurses doctors, everyone from everywhere and before I knew it Dustin was dressed and we were wheeling down to surgery. And I was terrified.

For those of you who know me, you know Dustin is my rock. He is my calm in a storm and I needed him right then, and do you know they make the dads stay in a room alone while the mom gets an epidural. I didn't and the whole time I was shaking and crying and so scared because I couldn't find him. It was horrifying! Thank goodness for Charlotte, our nurse, she was unbelieveable.

Our doctor was okay, you know the one from earlier who disagreed on the mucus plug, but when he asked me if my tears were tears of joy I would've just as soon slapped him than look at him, did he not realize how scared I was? But the surgery went well, Dustin and I both got pretty queasy but we made it. Reese did well too and didn't need oxygen right away so off she went to the NICU while I recovered in another room.

It was all so scary that I can't even put it all in words. One of my worst nightmares had come true, we lived and did just fine but I promise I will never ignore my body like that again. I will never let the matter of feeling silly come before what I think is best for my baby. God doesn't give us anything we can't handle, I know this, but there were a lot of curve balls at once and I don't want to do that again!

Monday, November 2, 2009

Orange Shoes

Today during library lesson we heard a book called Orange Shoes. Nova is gonna kill me because I can't site any important information about it just that it was a wonderful book. Basically the book was about a little girl from long ago who had to carry her lunch in a pail and walk to school on dirt roads with no shoes. It's like the famous, "And we walked to school, in the snow, uphill both ways..." saga. Her family had to choose between shoes and tires and when they found out the school was having a fundraiser using shoe boxes and that the kids needed shoes to participate the family decided to buy 2 tires instead of 4 and some new shoes for their daughter.

The kids in my class were just in awe of this story; they even clapped at the end. They couldn't believe that someone could go to school with no shoes on. And it really made me appreciate how far we have come as a society in some ways.

I get so discouraged with manners of others; people don't open doors for one another. I get on my soap box a lot about the way people treat others and often forget to find the good in what other people do for each other. When was the last time you saw a student head out to school walking, uphill, without shoes (in the snow)? I bet it's been awhile, and honestly I bet most of us have never seen it.

So, our society is doing some good. We make sure these kids are clothed and fed each day. They are offered 2 free meals a day. Some kids get backpacks full of food for the weekend or are given the opportunity to go to a place to pick out new clothes so they don't have to wear ratty stuff or things that are too big or small. Kids are provided coats, hats, gloves, even Christmas presents if they are really in need. And although we don't meet the needs of every kid all the time, we do try. We work to make the world a little bit better one kid at a time.

As a teacher, I've never accepted the "you can't change society" excuse. In my opinion, we do. Each day we make a kid smile, we teach one more thing than the day before, and little by little we shape and mold tomorrow. Taking the time to look at our school, I am proud to be part of the fact that each kid wears shoes each day, no one walks cold and alone to school, kids are fed and sent home with food for the weekend. And don't you think they will remember that? Don't you think society is a little better because 1 child gets to eat? I do and that's why I do what I do.

Monday, October 26, 2009

Couple's Shower

This weekend was our first full-blown baby shower. I wanted to do a couple's shower because the traditional all eyes on Mommy sounded like torture to the gigantic prenant woman with huge boobs. So we went with the couple's shower. It was a great night with a good turnout and it reminded me how precious friendship is. My girlfriends really are the best and there isn't anything on earth I wouldn't do for them. Thanks, Ladies for being the kind of friends that make a person want to be a better person, I'm so lucky to have you!

*The beautiful pink, rhinestoned BB gun we received will be unloaded and for show only until 15.

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Happy Anniversary

One year ago today, I was on Cloud Nine. I was dancing the night away with my husband and 300 of my closest friends. It was by far the happiest day of my life. And here I am a year later. Who knew I'd be where I am now? Certainly not me. But even though today is not the best day of my life, it's been one really great year.
When Dustin and I got married we really wanted to wait a year before having kids. We talked about it a lot and decided that was a pretty good plan. We began trying to get ourselves ready to conceive and before we knew it BAM! I was pregnant. Even though it was a little ahead of schedule, we couldn't be happier.
It's funny how everyone says the first year is the hardest, because that hasn't been true for us at all. We've been happy and content and each day is a new beginning. That isn't to say that we haven't had our share of hard stuff, but the truth is, we both would rather deal with the hard stuff as a united front than to ever have a happy day alone.
So, here's to a year, a year of evenings spent together on the couch, a year of sitting on our patio listening to old country music, a year of enjoying our friends and family, a year of excited plans for the future of our family, a year of waking up next to my best friend. Here's to a great start of a great life. Happy Anniversary!

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Hunting and Gathering

Well today is the first day of October and it feels like fall is officially here. Someone even told me today to (gasp) put away the flip flops -maybe she didn't realize that none of my other shoes fit right now. Fall is in the air and of course that means....bow season.

Bow season is my arch enemy. I lose my husband from the middle of September until about Thanksgiving and I don't love it. He grows his beard and starts talking on the phone with all his hunting buddies constantly. It's always a conversation of inches, points, salt licks, and game cameras. As I go through my nesting transition, he is going through his own transitions to get ready for baby; hunting and gathering. I suppose this is okay, it is his greatest passion. He loves it so much and I really do love that he is happy. I just hope a deer ends up in my freezer this year....

Wednesday, September 30, 2009


I've read all the books and heard all the stories but I wasn't quite prepared for the obsession of nesting. Last week we found a few fleas on Miller, even after we had applied Frontline on both dogs. Dustin simply said, "we need to pull out the couch cushions and vacuum," and the wheels started turning. I began obsessing about the poor quality of vacuum we had and then our washer wasn't quite up to par and before I knew it we had the furniture in the kitchen, a rug doctor and every soft surface of our home was at the laundromat being cleaned. Bug bombs were let off and we bought a new door and window to keep our house sealed up tight. I have never been so sore and so exhausted in my life, but how could I not be? 7 months pregnant and I'm on my hands and knees scrubbing base boards!
Our house is nearly as clean as a house can get, every crack and crevice is vacuumed, scrubbed and polished to a shine. But that doesn't mean the obsession of nesting has ended. In my mind all I can think about is getting my front door painted, buying under the bed containers for sheets, and making sure my ceiling fans are clean. Why? Because the powers of motherhood are smart, that's why. What mother has time to make sure the space under the bookshelf is clutter-free when attending to the needs of a newborn? It's all part of this beautiful phenomenon called nesting.

Sunday, September 20, 2009


When I was a kid, I had a placemat that was all mine. It was a picture of a Peanuts character, I can't remember his name, but he always carried a blanket. The quote said, "Happiness is a thumb and a blanket." At the time I thought so too. I don't agree as much anymore but I do think happiness can be as simple and concrete as a thumb and a blanket. Two things that make you feel comforted can make all the difference. All people need different things at different times in their lives, happiness is different as a kid than it is as an adult. It is different before you become a parent than it is after. As a teacher some things can make your day that others would find hilarious. But what is the answer to the question of what makes a person happy? It's almost as broad as the secret of life quest. So, what makes me happy....
A cold beer and a bonfire, falling asleep in the car during a long trip, forgiving an old grudge, the cold side of a pillow, seeing the face of someone I love when they are as excited to see me as I am to see them, a visit with a girlfriend, catching my husband checking me out (bonus points that I'm pregnant and fat), a great book, diet pepsi and chocolate chip cookies, and feeling my baby kick in my womb. These feelings are simple but each make me smile. So even though I've outgrown my thumb and blanket, it still only takes a simple pleasure to find the happiness I need in my life.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Baby Steps

Pregnancy can sometimes go at a snail's pace. As you go through the agony of morning sickness and breast tenderness you think it will never end. Then the weight gain begins and the debate of PINK or BLUE????!! It seems to take forever before you finally get to a point when you are just done being patient. And then little by little you come to realize that you only have a few weeks left! That little baby begins using you as a punching bag and all you can do is stop and smile and hold your belly hoping to feel it again. Reality begins to set in as you realize that belly is actually a baby and she is going to be your's soon and you love her so much already that you can't help but love it.
I have by no means loved being pregnant. I hate being a sober driver (drunk passenger is more my style), I hate gaining weight, cutting back on diet pop, and feeling left out of everything. But when I feel that little kick I just want to smile because I know a little secret that no one else knows. This doesn't mean I've changed my mind, I still would rather hold her in my arms than my belly but if I'm going to be stuck in this limbo at least I have this small piece of happiness to hang on to. She is going to grow so fast, right before my very eyes, so taking this one baby step at a time is okay for now.

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Weekend at the Lake

My cousin turned 50 this week so our family got together to, as we do, party. Well, I can promise you, our family is a lot more fun when I'm drunk! It started out harmless enough, Labor Day weekend at the Lake of the Ozarks with a few of my favorite people and some good outlet shopping. Those needs could've been met in one day but we were scheduled for 3 and I had to toughen up or be forever remembered the grouchy pregnant lady. (If you don't believe me, ask my God Mother, Marcia. She was pregnant 30 years ago and my mom still comments on how bitchy she was....)

Friday night was a blast, it was just a small group and we hung out at a small bar. We danced and sang old country songs. Marla smoked her pipe and we told stories. Saturday morning we got up early and hit the outlets, I found tons of baby clothes and Dustin got some deals on clothes that were much needed. We got back to our hotel and the large group started to arrive. Lesson #1: A small, intimate group is always best.

I let everyone shower ahead of me to show my generous nature, and do you know what that got me? Left is what it got me. I got out of the shower and everyone but Lulu was gone! My own husband didn't even come say "see ya in a bit." I knew right then that the feeling of being left behind because I was sober wasn't going to let up. After getting ready I headed down to the pool to meet up with everyone who left me and immediately the pregnant molesting began. Lesson #2: People love a fat belly, pregnant or not, people just love to rub all over a big, round stomach.

We sat at the pool and enjoyed the weather and good company, everyone took shots and I was beginning to think that this was going to be a breeze, I mean, I love these people, so what if they drink a few beers, it's not like anyone was being belligerent. That's when the auctioneering started, not only do people love a pregnant belly but they love talking to it too or auctioneering in the case of some. If my child comes out screaming, "5, 10 now 15, 15, who will give me 15" I may cry! But it was all in good fun and I know little Baby Neal loved the attention.

We spent the rest of the weekend at Dog Days, a bar right on the water. I drove the herd a lot and surprisingly Dustin was very patient with my driving; we were a good team getting out of tough parking spots. Marcie completed her scavenger hunt and we took tons of party pictures. There was a lot of laughing, singing, and dancing and everyone had a great time. Surprisingly, enough I learned Lesson #3: It is possible to have sober fun.

All in all it was a great weekend. We had some hilarious moments and even funnier comments. I hung with the crowd and even outlasted a few. My nickname for the weekend was "Trooper" because I really was. I have a great family, how many others can get 25 people together and actually enjoy each other's company? Not many, and that makes me feel pretty lucky to bring a little girl into this world, she's already got quite a fan club. I'll just start praying now that she doesn't start smoking a pipe, telling dirty jokes, or negotiating in her auctioneer voice on the playground! And if she does, it will just add to the charm of this family I am lucky enough to call my friends.
Here are a few hilarious moments from the weekend, being sober does have it's advantages, I wrote down some of the finer moments....

  • Marcie before getting up to hear her birthday poem says; "I'm not going to cry!" And then immediately cries before the introduction is over!!

  • Marla: "Okay, I'm going to give my disclaimer...I'm going down early tonight, I'm wasted."

  • Dale Blue, the singer, "Wow did you bring a rod to go with those curtains you call a shirt?"

  • Dale Blue: "Is that your boyfriend?" (pointing to a 40 year old Shaun) Diane: "No, he's back there in the orange shirt." Dale Blue: "That old dude? I thought that was your dad!" (Marla and I proceeded to deem that "a classic")

  • Dale Blue to Marla (paraphrasing): Is that old guy your dad? Marla: Yep, that's my Pa. Dale: And he dates her? Marla: Yep, that's my sis. Dale: Your family is f!@#-ed up! (Family joke, Diane is NOT Marla's sister, but they were mistaken as that once and it never died)

  • Shaun: "Nobody has H1N1 do they?" Walt: "No but I put it in one last night!"

  • Dustin (to Bill): "So, she'd give you her viriginity if she still had it?" Bill: "Yeah, we talked about that but she said I was too late, I did ask if I could check though. I told her that if you don't have enough for everone then you shouldn't give it out."

  • Lindsay: "Hey!" Bill: "That's the first stage of bullshit." (good point)

Lesson #4: Being a good sport is sometimes hard work, but those bitches will eventually drive your drunk ass around someday; or at least babysit for you because if you can't count on family, who can you count on?

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

It's A Girl!!

We had a sonogram on Monday to check for the growth and development, and let's be honest, find out the sex! We were so excited to find out that we were ready to puke by the time we got in the door. My hands were shaking and Dustin was 3 shades of white; we are the type of people that NEED to know what that little baby is! After waiting for about 25 minutes we were finally asked to head back. I guess the technician didn't know us very well because she took her time looking around, we saw all the vital organs, including the kidney and bladder before we finally made it to the grand finale, the reproductive zone! But lo and behold, she cooperated (thanks to the extra caffeine and chocolate donuts) and we found out we will be having a girl!
Everything is progressing along well, no major birth defects. We could see 4 out of 5 fingers because the thumbs are hard to catch and 10 cute little toes. She is a big girl though, measuring around 19 weeks which os a week ahead of schedule and in the 89th %tile at that! So she's a little large for her age but time has a way of working out those little kinks. Dustin really hopes she's built like a linebacker so that she won't attract any male attention. But the important thing is she's healthy and we finally know what color to buy for the nursery!!

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Christmas Baby

We are so excited to announce that Baby Neal #1 is on the way!! We were very surprised and pleased to read the positive test strip and have been filled with thoughts of tiny cargo shorts and pink dresses ever since. It's been an on-going battle of the sexes since Day 1; but I know we both are just hoping for a happy and healthy baby. Everything has been wonderful so far, we were able to both see and hear the heart beat at the last couple of appointments. No one can really describe what a moving moment it is to hear that little whooshing sound inside yourself, but it is a great way to start bonding with that little baby. I am due on December 18th, which is the last day before Christmas Break at school. We realize that due dates are pretty iffy, but be that as it may, it's still a great time for a planner like me! So our little Christmas baby will be a gift of itself and we can't wait to share all the big milestones in the next coming months!

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Lulu and Jason's Wedding!

My little sister got married on March 2 in Jamaica. Her wedding picture's turned out absolutely beautiful. Here they are on during their ceremony. They had a great time, and despite a little rain, they had many great days on the beach. More pictures to come after their March 28th reception day. Congratulations to the Delaney's!!

Monday, February 23, 2009

The MU KU Game

We had a blast at the MU game in Columbia against KU. We went with Marsha and Eric as a

Valentine's gift for the guys. It started out pretty slow and we were losing for all of the game. But with about 5 minutes left in the game, MIZZOU made a comeback! The game was so energetic and at the very end MIZZOU pulled out the win! It was so much fun and we can't wait to go back!!!

Monday, January 5, 2009

Dustin's Birthday

This weekend was full of fun! We had people over for Dustin's 26th birthday and had a blast. Daniel, Andrea and Rilyn, Keith and Andrea, Brad, and Mary and Eric all were in attendance. We broke out the Rock Band and found out we have very talented friends! Although, I'd recommend asking Brad to play an instrument, he's not much of a singer. There's nothing better than having some good food while having good friends over and this weekend was one of the best we've had. Thanks for a good time and Happy Birthday Dustin!