Sunday, June 19, 2011

The Man I Married, Who Married Me Back

It didn't take long after meeting Tim to realize he would be an ideal mate. He is careful and kind with his words, respectful, smart, and hard-working. He is humble enough not to recognize these things as his special skills and talents, so he works to improve them every day. He is unselfish, and meets even the least pleasant obligations without complaining, procrastinating, or just waiting around until someone else does it.

I knew some of those things about Tim before I married him, and have discovered the rest over the last (almost) five years. He anchors our family in the goodness of the Gospel of Jesus Christ, and keeps us praying and seeking help from scripture, doctrine, and revelation. He loves and cares for me and his children the way only the best fathers do. He reads to our son, plays games with him, and helps him learn new things each day. He cares for the health of our daughter and does his best to keep her safe. He shares with me the grief that only parents share at an absent child.

He pays attention to our boy's smallest needs and milestones and cheers him on as he makes progress. He worries about the little challenges and illnesses and health scares, and takes good care to treat them. There is no question that Finley loves his father. On days when Tim is home, there's nobody else Finley really wants to be with. Tim, your infant son thinks you are the very best thing in the world—is there any praise I can give you better than that?

Probably not. I'll just tell you that I love you, and the father you've become, and the man you have always been. Your commitment to provide for us and protect us and lead us toward good things and happiness has brought us the things we most need in this life.

And besides all of the things you dutifully do because you know that's what a great father would do, there are the things that only you can do, like your special talent for bringing us laughter. Like writing amazing stories that have meaning and have the charm of your unique voice. Like your spectacular dancing skills. Like your 99th percentile ability to forgive. Like your desire to be a husband and father as the most important jobs in your life, and how you make us feel like important people because of it.

There is no other father quite like you in the world, Tim, and I couldn't be happier than to have you as the father of my family. We need your special skills and your love and everything you are, because we simply couldn't live without you and only you.

You have put in the years and the emotion and the exhausting efforts that a true father does, and you've done so much more. You've earned the title, the love, and the reverence we should have for your position: father.

Happy Fathers' Day

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Permission to Pop

I had my 35 week OB appointment today! It really wasn't exciting enough to merit an exclamation point, except that I graduated from 17P! No more expensive Makena for me! That's not to say I'm done trying to find a way for Colorado women to get the compounded generic (because even though the FDA changed its ruling, a CO law is still preventing compounding here), but it does mean that in about a week when this last shot wears off, there's nothing but my own body to stop me from going into labor! WAH!

And Dr. S. kept telling me how happy she is that I made it to term. "Not for two more weeks!" I kept reminding her, but she seemed to think 35 was close enough! Babies born at that age do very well, they wouldn't need to stop labor, blah, blah, blah. Certainly it is close compared to 25 weeks, but I really want to hit that 37 week mark for the sake of not having another preemie by technicality, even if it's just by a few days. 12 days would get me to term, and 13 would get me to a business day when one of my two OBs would actually be performing the delivery, so I'm hoping for at least that much longer!

She kept telling me that I'm basically fine to start laboring whenever, and while I see the logic, I'm definitely not ready to go! I have curtains to sew and cleaning to do! I'm looking forward to seeing this baby, and hoping she'll come out ready to fit the collection of adorable newborn-size clothes we have for her, but geez, gimme a minute to meet with the hospital birth plan people (a week from tomorrow) and pack my bag. And maybe get that growth ultrasound I've been wanting to make sure I'm not carrying a Hummer instead of a baby before I decide to forgo that repeat C-section.

I'm hoping she's a procrastinator like me. It would probably not be nice to also wish her a tiny, pointy head.

Friday, June 3, 2011

Feelings You Shouldn't Have

I'll be the first to admit that I have inappropriate feelings. I get pissed off at girls who went to cosmetology school, married rich, and have no guilt for not making any intellectual pursuits whatsoever. Why? Because I totally should have done that. Let's face it: my liberal arts degree is almost worthless now, but people still want haircuts and highlights. I want a haircut and highlights. And I get frustrated with this fetus on occasion for break dancing in my womb while I'd like to be sleeping.

But you know what? Getting frustrated at a fetus is ridiculous. It's not a valuable feeling, and feeling it is really a waste of time and energy and has a negative impact on my mood, outlook, and brain chemistry. It is not healthy to be frustrated with a fetus. Expressing that feeling, as I did for example here, isn't really healthy either. And certainly wishing I'd gone to cosmetology school because I think it might make me as cute as this girl I know who did is a waste of my time, and hating her is a waste of even more than that. So I try not to.

But I keep seeing all this BS in pop culture about how our feelings are (a) out of our own control, (b) all equally worthy of feeling and expressing, and (c) unhealthy to try to control.

For example: "The heart wants what the heart wants." Every time I hear that phrase my heart wants to stab out the eyeballs of the speaker. Can we accept that certain desires and feelings are actually wrong, and act accordingly? So you no longer love your wife and your heart wants to bone the secretary—how about you admit that your heart is a total douchebag, get some marriage counseling, and maybe spend less time at reception?

"I can't help the way I feel." This one's true sometimes in the short run, especially during a personal rage spiral or when your hormones have taken over. But when you get some sleep and your period is over, it's time for some feeling accountability. Just like I'm over my irrational irritation toward my beloved baby girl now that I've actually had a nap, there comes a time to sort out our feelings by which are legitimate and which are illogical or useless or unhealthy, and throw out the latter group.

Therapists call on this kind of sorting in Cognitive Therapy. Usually it's applied to negative feelings, but sometimes it needs to be applied to what seem like neutral or positive feelings, like when Charlie Sheen thinks he's winning, or when I think I'm better than other people because I close the toilet lid before flushing. In reality, Charlie Sheen is in a manic state, and I am just wrong (nobody escapes the patina of fecal bacteria that covers our world).

I think to some extent, over time, we all sort out these feelings. Sometimes not before we do something stupid, and occasionally (and more often with all of this BS about all feelings being important) we just never sort them out, and instead every time we feel irritated at our spouse, we tell him all about it until his heart starts wanting to get the heck away from us. More likely, however, before we sort anything, we put our feelings on Facebook, and then complain when they're not validated, when in reality, we shouldn't be considering them valid ourselves, let alone expecting others to find them valid.

So here's to feelings, and admitting that some of them are dumb. Sometimes your feelings don't matter. Sometimes they're wrong, stupid, harmful, and/or useless. And instead of feeling them for the sake of feelings, you should throw them out and try to feel the way you want to feel (which I hope means feeling like a nice person, a good mom, and, say, someone capable of cleaning the living room now and then). I'm talking to you, self. But I'm also talking to the "feelings" crowd out there who always defends others for feeling the way they feel, even if it's wrong. You wouldn't defend me for feeling hate toward a specific race of people, and you shouldn't defend me (or anyone else) for our other douchey feelings. Because when we're stupid enough to post them on Facebook, we deserve the everlasting flames of the internet to burn the idiot feelings out of us.

Thursday, June 2, 2011

3 Hilarious Products Nobody Should Buy—Except Maybe Me

EasyFeet: For those no longer willing or able to bend down and reach their own feet.

The best part is at about 1:15 when she talks about the high arch for "pudgy" feet, though I suppose that is a more common condition among those who can't be bothered to wash their feet unless there's a product that will do it for them with little to no effort. Seriously HSN ladies, is it that hard to either lift your feet up to the side of the shower or bend down and give a little scrub? Why not buy one of those little shower foot rests that makes it easier?

I am like 8 months pregnant, and I am still capable of washing my own feet. That is not to say I haven't been tempted to outsource my foot washing to a sad little scrubber with "9 suction cups!" but I certainly am not spending $25.00 on such a thing until the day I get my free Rascal.

The Slobstopper: For adult babies.

I saw this on Hulu and didn't think it was real, but if you go to the website, it's totally there. Can you imagine a level of shamelessness where you're willing to put this thing on, even if you're just in your car? And by the time you get to that point, are the clothes you'll be wearing really worth saving from a coffee stain? I get the feeling you might be wearing a Stadium Pal underneath them anyway (also shockingly real).

And while such accessories are abandoned in childhood because the very definition of adulthood denotes the ability to eat and drink without soaking your clothing in leftovers, I have become acutely aware of the difficulty adulthood poses in this particular area. Pregnant women are notoriously clumsy, and I'm no exception. I drop everything. Since I, like most pregnant women, also have a large protruding belly, my shirts have recently become repositories for all kinds of food and drink particles that miss my mouth.

A stranger actually pointed and laughed at me when Tim had to tell me I'd decorated myself with frozen yogurt. I've been going through Spray'n'Wash at ten times normal speed. "Rewear," that invaluable part of any limited maternity wardrobe/lexicon, is disappearing, and I am feeling the pain. Still, at $15 a pop, I think I'll stick to the public embarrassment of a yogurt stain instead of switching to the humiliation of wearing a giant bib.

Pajama Jeans: For those sitting on the last ledge before rock bottom.

I think people have already said what needs to be said about these things. But as horrifying as it is to think of wearing sweats with a stretch waist and "mock fly," I can't help but think, "Yes, it IS hard to fit into regular jeans . . . and I HATE when they leave marks in my belly pooch!" I fantasize about slipping into stretchy pajama jeans, tucking my postpartum jellybelly into the waistband, and hiding the entire mess under that sexy gray T-shirt (a whole outfit!). Forget losing the weight, toning my tummy, working down the sizes until I'm back to my ideal weight—I could just live in pajama jeans. I wouldn't even have to change clothes when I get in and out of bed.

I'm starting to see a whole new lifestyle forming for me.