Friday, March 23, 2012

Oh Babies!

Three days old
Claire – 3 days old
Kyle – 2 days old
My sister, Suzy, is set to have her first baby tomorrow morning. A boy! My first nephew on the Hunt side---and my brother’s wife is due with another little guy in June. I can’t wait! I was talking with Kyle about Suzy’s baby tonight. He wondered what its name would be. I told him they still weren’t sure. He said that he might not like the name they choose, but, “I guess that’s okay because it is their baby, and they get to choose.” As we’ve turned down his many made-up name suggestions for our baby, he’s starting to realize some things!

As she’s having her first, I can’t help but think back to expecting Claire. I was barely 24. Na├»ve, scared, excited, and had no idea what I was getting myself into. I had planned and wished and waited and timed things for a year before getting pregnant with Claire, so a year and 9 months had passed since I was bitten by that baby bug. Suzy got a bit of a surprise with this little guy, so we’re a little different in that aspect, but I doubt I was any better prepared---how can anyone really be prepared for your heart to suddenly go walking around outside your body for the rest of your life?

It’s also been funny to compare how I felt back then with how I feel being pregnant now. One thing that is nice is that this baby is due within days of when Claire was; so I know that I’ll be almost recovered from morning sickness by my birthday, that there is no way I can sit through the rodeo in June while 7 months pregnant, and that there will be just enough of summer left over for some good stroller walks before autumn becomes too cold for a newborn.

Yet it’s so very different. When I was 23 and wanted a baby I wanted what I read about, what I saw around me, and what everyone else had: a baby. I couldn’t know to want anything else. This time around, two kids and 7 years later, I want another child of my own. I want to do what God wants me to do, and if that’s means having another baby, that’s what I’m doing. I always say that the scary thing about having your first baby is not knowing what you’re getting into---the scariest thing about having another baby IS knowing what you’re getting into! Today at the park I giggled at the moms chasing toddlers and changing diapers. Kind of giggling at them and at me, because that stuff is really hard---and for some reason I’m going stepping back into that soon!

I’ve started to show lately. I haven’t felt the baby move for sure yet (I felt Claire and 17 and Kyle at 14 weeks, so this is new to wait this long). But my tummy is certainly changing shape, and as of last night normal jeans are hurting me. It feels different to be showing now. I was so thrilled with Claire, but this just feels different. More private, maybe? Maybe it’s because of all the loss we experienced in trying to get this baby. Showing is kind of an announcement that we’re committed and have our hopes up.

On Tuesday we’ll have another peek at this little one. With any luck we’ll get a look at it’s gender. It will be fun to see what we get. We have absolutely no preference as we already have one of each, and we like both of them pretty much Smile   It would be fun to round out the year with three little boy cousins born to our family, but wouldn’t a little girl look so cute in pictures surrounded by her little boy cousins? Either way will be great. But I really can’t wait until tomorrow when we get a chance to hold (and smell!) this cute new little baby cousin!  (Did you notice that I wrote "little" about a hundred times this post?)

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Sticks and Stones

stacy franciswhitney houston
A lot has been in the media lately about Whitney Houston and Stacy Francis. I’ve given their “fight” or whatever you call it a lot of thought since Whitney passed away. The thing that keeps coming to mind is that Stacy Francis is a NOBODY, and yet Whitney allowed whatever was said to really bug her. It would seem like Whitney should have brushed her aside, ignoring whatever this random lady (who is at about the 13.5 mark in her 15 minutes of fame) had to say. Yet she didn’t. We don’t know if the fight actually is what finally drove her over the edge, or really what happened in that hotel room at all, but one thing is for sure: Stacy Francis got to her.

I’ve come to two conclusions about this. First of all: Words can hurt. It doesn’t matter if it comes from friend or foe or stranger, words can hurt. Whitney Houston had every right to be super secure and superior feeling when compared to Stacy Francis, yet for whatever reason, she cared about what Stacy had to say and do. She should have brushed her off, laughed even. But it sounds like she took her pretty seriously---after all, everyone wants to be liked by everyone.

Going along with this, we always need to consider who is doing the talking when we are offended. Someone who is jealous of you or who feels that they must compete against you will not always have the truest advice or best of intentions with whatever communication they have with you. I saw this a few times in pageants, only a few times though.  (I have to qualify this by saying that 98% of my interactions with other pageant girls were extremely positive. Those 2% just really stand out!) Right before I went on stage to win my second local title, another contestant made a statement to me (definitely not in question tone), “This is probably your last pageant, huh?” I also heard her asking another girl if she could borrow her swimsuit to wear at Miss Utah the next year----implying that obviously that contestant wouldn’t be making a return trip. I was the (admittedly surprising) winner that night, and the swimsuit owner finished well ahead of the competitive girl. Isn’t it funny how people act when they feel inferior? Some will be super kind, some will be super rude. And even when we know their intentions, even when we know they are acting badly out of inferiority, whatever is said stays with us and hurts long past the day of the conversation.

Secondly, we need to watch what we say. One quote I’ve liked lately (that I’m sure I saw on Pinterest) was the idea that we shouldn’t judge someone in a situation we’ve never been in. I bite my tongue (or in effect, hold back my hands when viewing social media) a lot, and could do it a lot more I’m sure. So often I want to comment on Facebook “You’re wasting your life and you know it.” Or in real life I have so many great solutions to so many people’s parenting skills, obviously flawed financial skills, and so many other things. Yet my friends don’t want my unsolicited advice, and neither do I want their advice (But don’t you wish there was a way to get advice on your life from others and not get offended?) I think especially when messages are delivered electronically we feel less inhibited and say things we’d never say to someone’s face.

Sometimes even when we think we’re being helpful it’s hurtful---like the other day when my 4-year-old son (fortunately) told me of his plans to suggest exercise as a means of weight loss to a friend of ours. Certainly he had the best of intentions, he knows that it’s healthy to exercise and to be thinner, but no matter how he planned on saying it (even as a 4-year-old) the message would hurt.

Certainly Stacy Francis didn’t know that Whitney was teetering on the edge (if indeed she was). I’m sure had she known she would have done everything possible to build Whitney up and encourage her and only be positive in every interaction. In any situation we just don’t know the whole story, and kindness is always the best policy.

I’m not writing this to say I’m great at either of these things. I am not great at letting hurtful words bounce off me---I’m one to glue them to me and review them and review them until I’m sick about it. I am not great at not saying hurtful words---sometimes it seems they just flow right out of my mouth without checking with my brain first (but trust me, I also glue those to me and review them until I’m sick about them too!) Our interactions with others are something for all of us to consider. It was just so shocking to me that THE WHITNEY HOUSTON would care about what Little Stacy Francis had to say, that I really have thought a lot about it.

I love Whitney’s music. They played “I’ll Always Love You” when I danced with my 6th grade crush at the valentine’s dance that year. I recorded the song onto a tape (yes, a tape) over and over again and listened to it every night for the rest of the school year. Later my sister and I learned to play a fancy duet of “One Moment in Time,” and it became an anthem for a lot of my life’s moments. This is a good reminder that fame and infamy are different things, and Whitney will always be famous while Stacy Francis (who might actually be a really nice person) will be infamous for only this fight and a small mascara-smeared run on the X-factor. While most of us won’t be publically famous in any regard, we do stand the chance of being famous---for good things---in the lives of those around us.

Thursday, March 8, 2012

That was rough

Baby at 11 weeks

Baby at 11 Weeks

I don’t really want to use this as a forum to complain about morning sickness. I know a lot of people who would love to have a baby and can’t for whatever reason. They would be happy to endure months of nausea for a baby. I am happy to endure months of nausea for a baby. But boy it was a rough couple months.

I found out I was pregnant on December 11. I started to get nauseous the week of Christmas. The vomiting started before New Years. This is typical for me with pregnancy. With both Kyle and Claire I was sick until about 20-22 weeks. It was worse with Claire where I got so sick I was on IV’s. My doctor gave me Zofran the first week in January. It kind of helped, at least I was worse if I didn’t take it, but even with the meds it was bad. There were days that I could do nothing more than breathe. I had brief respites in the mornings where I could eat breakfast, do Claire’s hair, and help her practice the piano. But as soon as she was off to school it was back and got progressively worse throughout the day. For two months I sat in a chair or in bed. That was about it. I learned what I could eat, and only ate small amounts. I lost 4 or 5 pounds. The Zofran stopped a lot of the spontaneous vomiting that I had while pregnant with Claire, but most evenings were spent with my head in the toilet. Kyle got the flu during the peak of my sickness. I threw up when he threw up all day. Then when he got better he couldn’t figure out why I wasn’t better. But his small bout with the flu gave him great sympathy. He often rubs my arm and whispers “Poor Mommy” over and over.

That was all of January and all of February. I don’t really remember much from those months. Taylor’s mom was great to bring dinner and help the kids clean their rooms and bathroom and other chores in the house. Taylor was pretty good to step up and do the laundry and dishes when needed. The interesting part of our day was from about 12-1:30 pm. I had to take progesterone to prevent miscarriage. After I took it I had to lay down for an hour or so---without getting up. That meant the kids had free-reign of the house. Some days were good. Some days were really bad! Their unsupervised messes did not help in our household upkeep. I happily finished that medicine at week 12, but I really miss that nap every day!

Last week I was 15 weeks and started to feel hopeful. At 16 weeks now I’m having moments of being fine. Nights are still hard though, as well as a couple hours after lunch and dinner. But I think I might make it, folks! I’ve had two major realizations through all of this. First, I used to think I did NOTHING around the house. Then when I actually did ABSOLTELY NOTHING around the house and saw it pile up around me, I realized that I actually do quite a bit. It made me a little proud of myself. My second realization is that it really was that bad. While I sat in my chair and watched my family move around me, I kept wondering if I was just being a wimp and should have been able to do more. I wasn’t. Now that I’m still sick, but able to function more, I have realized that I was really that bad. And I don’t feel so bad for neglecting everything for a while. I still can’t eat meat (90% of the time when I try it I regret it), and I am SO TIRED---so much more than I remember ever being with the other two. Maybe it’s because I’m no longer a spring chicken though.

Anyways, that explains my absence from blogging and from life in general. Baby is due mid to late-August. Claire is holding out to have a three-way birthday on the 24th, a birthday she already shares with her dad. She is hoping for a sister. Kyle is hoping for a brother, but he sees “all that blonde hair” in the ultrasound as is certain it’s a girl because of that. It’s good to know he won’t be disappointed either way. Taylor and I have absolutely no preference. Our next ultrasound is March 27th. Hopefully the baby will cooperate then!