“Push” Presents and Why I’m Not a Fan

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Recently I’ve heard a lot of talk about these so called “push” presents. In case you’re not aware (because I sure wasn’t), this is when your husband/boyfriend/significant other gets you a gift for pushing out a baby. From the articles I’ve read so far, these gifts range anywhere from a $30 Pandora charm to a vacation in Jamaica when your baby is 6 months old so you can take advantage of their babysitting services. Oh, and don’t forget the $1000 rocker that EVERY home in America needs. Or hire a night nurse. Because no new mom has irrational fears of some stranger taking her baby while she sleeps. In fact, the only gift I saw on there that was even remotely practical was a bouquet of flowers.

That’s right, ladies. Know that thing your body was made to do? Now you get a reward for that. To me it fits into that “everybody gets a trophy” mentality. I’m sorry. I’m not saying that we shouldn’t be appreciated for what our bodies go through. I’m not saying you shouldn’t have a husband/boyfriend/significant other that absolutely adores the ground you walk on and would do anything for you. You should. It is an absolute miracle that the exact right chain of events takes place in order for procreation to happen. However, this is the exact chain of events your body was made for. I don’t understand the mentality of expecting a prize for that.

You get your child. Hopefully healthy, with ten fingers and ten toes, and enough hair to justify the 8 containers of antacids you’ve gone through in the past 9 months. You get that little miracle who is his/her own unique compilation of you and your significant other. Isn’t that enough?

On top of the sheer greed of the gift itself, babies are expensive. Diapers and formula, clothes and breast pumps… This stuff adds up. Do I really want my husband spending $1000 on a rocker instead of stocking up on diapers and formula? Hell no! Stock up! Let’s be prepared and ride out the next few months not worrying about being on the last pack of diapers or not having enough Dreft in the laundry room. I’ll take my Boy Scout over the gift-giving husband any day.

Honestly, at this point in my pregnancy, I think I owe my husband a gift for putting up with me. That poor man had no idea what he was getting himself into. To be honest, neither did I. I was no where near this emotional when I was pregnant with my peanut. Not even close. T has dealt with my emotional breakdowns once a week for the past few months. He’s been understanding on the days that I just want to sleep all day long and do nothing. He’s taken over cooking responsibilities when I just couldn’t be bothered to do it. Not to say that he didn’t cook before or that “as the man of the house he’s above these things” because he’s not. One of the many reasons that I married him is because he is 100% my partner in life. We share chores around the house. There really aren’t any specifically T jobs and C jobs. If something needs to be done and either one of us notices it, we do it. Except the cat litter. I’ve gotta admit I’m okay with that being his job for the past 7 1/2 months. It will be a sad day when I’m expected to take that on again.

In short, I honestly feel like the baby is enough of a gift. You now have a family. Or, if this isn’t your first child, your family is that much closer to being complete. How does a piece of jewelry compare to that? How can you expect some random material object to overshadow that? And to the ladies out there that do expect these gifts and their husbands that are more than willing to buy them, good for you. It’s just not my cup of tea. I’m looking forward to seeing my husband hold our baby for the first time, to see the sparkle in my daughter’s eyes as she meets her new brother or sister. I sincerely hope someone is there to capture our first few moments as a complete family. There isn’t anything in the world you could give me that’s better than that.

Taking Back My Blog

Some of you may have noticed that I haven’t been posting as frequently lately. Some of you may not care. This post is for the first group. LOL.

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I was so excited when I initially left the interview last month with the professional blogger. I was so eager to become successful at this and to follow her plan to get there. I was also very overwhelmed. Trying to get over 1000 followers on Pinterest is no small task. Especially when you can only follow about 300 people per day and only about 5-10% of those people will follow you back. That was her first step. The KEY step in me being successful. And it was taking forever.

Between that and the pressure to refine my blog, talk about one specific topic, and not veer off course, I got really stressed out. What the hell was I going to talk about? I changed my site, my focus, all of it. But then I hit a block. I completely psyched myself out of this whole blog thing. Of course that happened AFTER I signed up for the $50/month course on professional blogging. Because why would I start doubting myself before that?

What it comes down to is this: I don’t know enough about any one topic to be consistently interesting about that topic. I know varying degrees of information on tons of random topics. That’s what made me a great bartender. All the useless information just floating around up in my head. If you know me, you know how randomly my mind works. I can make the weirdest associations for people and situations out of the blue.

I can talk to you about what I know about finances and savings. I can research on the internet and on Pinterest to find articles to back up my claims and even suggest new things for you to try. But all that amounts to is me spitting out someone else’s words. That’s not creativity. That’s fraud. I can tell you my cleaning strategy for keeping a clean house. It’s not that exciting, and frankly, there are days when I say, Screw it! and don’t do anything around the house. I’m human. I can tell you all about my pregnancy and every fun and gross thing that’s happening with my body right at this moment, but do you honestly care? Only if you know me. And even then, not really.

So, I decided to take the professional’s advice, but to take it with a grain of salt. I will follow her strategy for getting followers and gaining a fan base. That seems pretty legit. But I’m also going to stay true to me and talk about whatever the hell I want to on any given day because that’s who I am. I’m all over the place. And I’m okay with that. I got into this to have fun with it, to see where it could take me, and to reach out to people… And I’m going to do it my way. I really hope you take the journey with me.

That Feeling of Utter Uselessness While Pregnant

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So, here I am… 7 1/2 months pregnant, out of breath at every turn I take, and getting only 3-4 consecutive hours of sleep at a pop. I honestly don’t know how I’m going to make it through the next 7 weeks. My skin feels like it’s been stretched to the max, I’m not waddling yet, but I can see it in my not too distant future, and I’m exhausted and cranky all the time.

My sleep cycle has been off for months, but never has it been as bad as it has been lately. Last weekend was a mess of running around and not sleeping. Friday we drove to meet Peanut’s dad at our halfway point so she could spend the weekend in NJ with him. That consists of me getting a whopping 4.5 hours of sleep before I get up, pick her up from school, load up the car, and drive 6 hours, only to head straight to work and work my 10 hour shift. Saturday we had a friend’s birthday party to go to, and I desperately wanted to see my new nephew, so that was another 4 hours of sleep day. Sunday I was supposed to go to a baby shower, but I couldn’t bring myself to get out of bed early for the life of me. So I slept until the last possible second and then drove the 6 hours again to get my little girl back.

Also, T has been working midnights, which gives me no incentive to go to bed at a reasonable hour. It’s been a joyous week of falling asleep on the couch, waking up around 2-3am, and then being up until right before it’s time to get Peanut up and off to school – which results in both of us being cranky and arguing. Then I try to fall back asleep after she gets on the bus – except yesterday I worked my extra shift and today I helped out in the school cafeteria. Last night and this morning I finally made myself useful. With a somewhat empty house and a child that would sleep through a tornado in her room, I got the dishes done and started on the laundry. I was up from about 3am until well after she got on the bus, so I also swept and vacuumed the whole house and straightened up a little. Then I napped for a little while before volunteering at school.

It felt good to be productive. But at the same time, it was exhausting. I’ve always been one to have a clean house. Even with pets, even with a child, people could stop by unannounced and my house was never really in a terrible condition. Lately, I just don’t care. Let the dishes pile up. Let the laundry pile up. Oh, look at that dust bunny of animal fur glide across the living room floor. I’m equally disgusted and indifferent of it all. I just want to sleep. I just want to sit in the corner of the couch (which I’m pretty sure at this point has my butt imprinted into it) and either watch Netflix or play some mindless game on my phone. I run downstairs to get meat out of the freezer or to let the dog out and by the time I come back up I am completely winded. I can barely tie my own shoes anymore, but haven’t had a pedicure since our wedding so I refuse to wear flip flops. I’m just over this whole pregnancy thing.

There is a strong internal conflict between the Candice I’ve been my entire life, and giant pregnant Candice. Giant pregnant Candice is winning, btw. I work 4 days per week right now, approximately 32 hours, and it’s all customer service. I clock in, I put on the smile, and I’m good to go until I clock out again. I’m warm and engaging, I try to be as quick as I can, and I can still carry a tray so full that it would make you cringe. I do my job and I do it pretty well because my income depends upon it. But once I clock out, there goes my motivation to be warm and bubbly, productive, etc. I just want to sit around and do nothing. Part of me just wants to play the pregnancy card for all it’s worth, the other part is too lazy to even make an excuse.

In the end, I’m almost there. The past 33 weeks have flown by and the next 7 will too – if I even make it until the end. I’m lucky that I have an incredibly understanding husband who has not harassed me on a daily basis about everything that’s not getting done around the house lately. He’s picked up some more of the cooking because he knows at a glance whether I’m just over it for the day or not. He rubs my calves and ankles when they get swollen and he makes just the right amount of jokes about my belly. My daughter has been understanding for the most part of my terrible mood swings and she’s still just as excited for the baby to get here as she was 6 months or so ago when we told her we were pregnant. Things could definitely be worse.

So, for now, I keep going back and forth between “get this baby out of me” and “please stay in until your due date, little one, so I can have my first summer off of work in 20 years.” It’s a strong internal debate, but ultimately one I have no control over. He/she will get here when they get here. Until then, I’ll try to have the house presentable in case someone stops by, but I’m not promising anything.

 

Crunch Time

We are officially under the two month mark in the wait for Baby #2. While it’s very exciting a) to finally meet him/her and b) to get my body back to myself, there’s also a ton of things we need to do in order to prepare. T had a 4-day weekend from work, which never happens, and decided to strip apart the shower doors and re-caulk the tub. Is that the male form of nesting? Either way, it’s a beautiful thing and I’m glad it’s done. We’ve also completed our registry, which means baby shower invites can go out, and we’ve FINALLY agreed on both a boy and a girl name!!!! That’s the most exciting part because it literally took 7 months for us to agree on anything. I was partially convinced we would still be arguing over names in the delivery room.

I also went through the closet and got rid of a TON of clothes that I will never wear again. I’m not even sure why I held onto them for this long. Especially since most of them were dressy blouses and things of that nature. Let’s face it, I’m not a corporate girl. I tried my hand at real estate. While it was very intriguing, that life is not for me. And it won’t be for me after the baby comes either. I’m too paranoid about those demented people that lure you to an empty house for a showing and then knock you out and harvest your kidneys. Or worse yet, steal your baby right out of the womb. No thanks.

Last night I planted all of my seeds in that $6 pod thing that I bought a few weeks ago. They are hopefully germinating and growing as we speak. I also kept extra seeds in case I have a problem transplanting them into the actual garden this year. It’s been hard for me to do in the past. Hence trying out the pods this year. 73 pods planted. Roughly 30 different types of veggies, herbs, and flowers. We should have a nice variety. Plus, I’ll save a ton of money on plants if this actually works. Keep your fingers crossed for me, folks.

Today I bought a bassinet for $30, which I thought was an amazing price. And I’m officially on the hunt for a rocking chair and an affordable dresser/changing table. One of my coworkers found a rocking chair at the local flea market. I just hope I get there before they sell it. It needs to be reupholstered, but hey! That’s just another thing I’ll get to learn how to do before the baby gets here, right?

All of that on top of the usual cleaning and cooking, plus, my nephew arrived 3 weeks early!!!! Little Connor is here!! He’s such a cute little munchkin and my brother is absolutely in love. It’s amazing to watch the transformation that he’s made over the past year and a half. It’s even more adorable to watch the man that swore he’d never have kids, would never change a poopy diaper, and would never hold a newborn take complete joy in all of the above. Maybe not joy about the poop, but you know what I mean. He’s going to be an incredible father and I feel lucky that we live close enough that I get to witness it all. It actually makes me want our baby to be a boy even more so that the two of them can grow up and get into mischief together. I say that now… Please don’t quote me on that later in life.

As you can see, we’re only a little over a week into March and things have already been hectic. I can’t wait to see what the next 2 months have in store for us.