Monday, September 22, 2014


We attended a wedding when William was only two weeks old. People seem impressed that we did this, but going to this wedding was muy importante for Ben and I. We finally got dressed, got out of the house, and socialized with people other than ourselves.

We felt like members of society again.

During the reception, William relaxed in his stroller while Ben and I talked with two older men who had grown children. The men pointed to William and asked Ben how everything was going.

Ben's eyes lit up and he enthusiastically explained how we pumped and stored breast milk for the first time that morning. He said it went well, and we hoped to continue.

I turned bright red. Our new friends stood frozen with their beers paused midway to their mouths. Apparently, me pumping break milk was not the response they expected.

I stopped Ben before he continued and said, "I don't think they want to know about pumping. I think they just want to know, in general, how everything is going."

We laughed, awkwardly, and one of the older men took a swig of his drink and said, "Yeah, TMI (too much information)!"

William at the wedding

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

He's Here!

Our baby arrived! He's here. He's perfect. He's safe and sound.

But, boy oh boy, has he turned everything upside down and changed our lives. For the better, of course! At least, that's what I repeat to myself when running on no sleep and freaking out every time he coughs or sneezes.

I never knew someone so tiny could make such a big, no, HUGE, impact on our lives.

Baby William is now four weeks old. I remember the first two weeks as one sleepless, stressful blur. Ben and I don't have other children and neither of us babysat much, so nothing really prepared us for parenthood.

The third week was a little better.

The fourth week gives me hope that we will survive. Our son will survive. Our family will make it!

Most people with children empathize. They remember how tough the first few weeks are. I've met a few people, though, that obviously suffer from amnesia and remember the first few weeks with fondness. They make comments like, "It's the best!" and "Don't you love this stage?"

Don't misunderstand me. I love Baby William. I love him with all of my heart. But, in the beginning and even now, that love is coupled with a lot stress, anxiety, and feeling completely overwhelmed.

I'm just trying to keep him alive! That's my goal.  One girl asked me how much I loved being a new mom, and I only nodded because answering her with words would have involved a lot of tears.

It's okay, though. Every day gets a little better. Right now, I cling to the sentence that all parents have shared... it gets easier.

Friday, August 15, 2014

Bigger Is Better...

I'm six days past my due date with my first baby. Something, I'm told, that is not uncommon. That makes me feel good.

Except, I must look as though I'm six weeks past my due date. That's the impression I get from strangers.

The other day, Ben and I walked down the street. A woman paused her phone conversation and yelled from her front porch, "Wow, girl! You're ready to pop!"

Several hours later, a teenage boy at the Dairy Queen drive-thru asked, "When are you due? It must be soon!"

Yesterday, after church, the priest asked me when I was due. Before I could answer, a very old man crept by with his walker and responded, "Every week I think she's popped, but she's still here!"

We'd never met before.

People ask when I'm due, and I expect responses like, "Wow, so soon!" or "Congratulations!" I never anticipated ones like, "Man, you're huge!" or "I figured it was weeks ago!" or "Are there twins in there?"

Oh, well. I can handle it. This big belly just means we've got one healthy boy who's (almost) ready to meet the world.

Monday, July 28, 2014

Unexpected Guests

I'm still getting used to random people knocking on the front door of our house. Random people... like the FedEx guy, the UPS guy, the propane tank filler guy, the neighbor, etc.

In New York, people couldn't knock on our door because we lived in an apartment building that required outsiders to buzz in via an intercom. Sometimes, I answered when they buzzed. Sometimes, I didn't. If I did answer, I had at least seven minutes to get presentable before they made it up the five flights of stairs to our apartment.

Yesterday, I relaxed in the recliner with the cats. I hadn't gotten dressed for the day yet. My hair hung in a side ponytail. I wore old glasses. I hadn't washed my face or brushed my teeth. My robe hung open because of my big, pregnant belly.

Basically, I looked good. Really, really good.

But, it didn't matter because I was at home, inside, where no one would see me.

Then, unexpectedly, the doorbell rang. The cats and I bolted upright. We panicked. I tiptoed down the hall to hide around the corner. Who was it? I didn't expect company.

Then, a loud knock. Geez, Louise! It must be important.

I opened the door to a man who wanted to do something to our something to fix something that needed something. It didn't matter what he wanted. His face said it all.

He looked horrified. He wondered who would ever marry, even impregnate, such a rough looking woman. I tried to straighten my ponytail and cover the baby bump while he talked, but it was too late.

I think we need to install an intercom like we had in New York.


Sunday, July 13, 2014

Sympathy Pangs

I'd heard that partners sometimes experienced pregnancy symptoms along with the actual pregnant person. I'd sorta believed that statement, having seen a few partners gain a pound or two during the 40 weeks, but didn't really think it to be true.

Only now, while going through pregnancy, do I see how true it is.

I woke up one morning, not too long ago, and rolled to my side. I pushed myself, big belly included, up from the bed and rubbed my calf muscle to ease the ache left over from the hundredth charley horse I got while sleeping. I looked at Ben, who also lay awake.

"Man, I didn't sleep that well last night," I said.

"Ugh," he replied. "Me either." He then rolled over and fell fast asleep.

A little later, I walked up and down the stairs several times while cleaning. "Whew," I said. "I am out of breath! The baby must be getting bigger or I must be gaining weight."

Ben looked at me from the couch and replied, "I hear ya! I need to start working out. My gut is getting huge."

Not long thereafter, we sat on the back porch to enjoy the nice weather. I twisted my torso back and forth. "Chairs kill my back after while."

Ben stretched and replied, "Gosh, I know. My back hurts, too. Sometimes, my shoulders do, too."

No way, buddy.

I finally let loose.

"Ben, you CANNOT have every pregnancy symptom that I have. Maybe one, maybe two, but not all. It's like you're more pregnant than me."

Ben looked surprised and then we both died laughing. No words needed.

Sunday, June 22, 2014

It Just Needs Some..

The other day, Ben and I laughed about the first time my brother visited us in NYC about four years ago. We wanted to make his visit special since he rarely ventured north of the Mason Dixon Line. So, we did what we usually do with visitors... took him to a great restaurant to experience the food.

The only problem was that my brother, Philip, lived on hamburgers, hot dogs, pizza, and chicken fingers. Luckily, there were plenty of pizza places and hot dog vendors near our apartment. But, who wanted to live on street meat alone? Yuck.

Ben suggested Peter Luger's Steakhouse in Brooklyn, one of the top rated steakhouses in the county. Philip loved the idea, so we booked a reservation.

We ordered the steak for two or three to share. The waiter placed a huge platter of "USDA prime beef, family selected and dry aged in our own aging box"on the table in front of us. Our mouths and eyes watered.

Ben and I took our first bites. My taste buds exploded. The steak exceeded every expectation.

Philip looked at my steak. He looked at his steak. He looked at the waiter, and then asked, "Can I have some ketchup?"

Sunday, May 18, 2014

Big News

I apologize for the lack of posts since January. Four months passed quickly. Time flies when having fun and staying busy.

A friend/former coworker and I started our on business. We thought of the idea when working together and went for it. So far, so good. Look for us in next month's Businessweek and Entrepreneur magazine. Kidding (kind of).

We focus on our business when not working full time at our other jobs (or taking care of our kids or unborn babies or husbands). We stay busy, but very excited for our venture. We have gained much respect and appreciation for small business owners since beginning our journey.

Perhaps, even bigger news...

Ben and I are having a baby! Our little guy should arrive at the beginning of August. Everything is going well.

The baby and I are growing at a rapid rate. My waistline surpassed Ben's several months ago. This, of course, makes Ben feel svelte and very in shape.

I'd continue to type, but it's dinnertime. Something I don't mess around with anymore. I promise to post soon (fingers crossed behind my back).

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Cold Weather

It's already been quite a winter, and it's only mid-January. This morning, it warmed to about -2 degrees. Quite chilly.

Two weeks ago, the temperatures got down to -4 degrees. That's when the pipe behind our fridge connected to the water dispenser froze and busted. We, new homeowners, had several heart attacks!

Luckily, we caught the break and stopped the flooding before any major damage occurred. Thankfully, Ben knew where and how to turn off the water. Knowing the location of those handy little valves had never crossed my mind before...

Ben and our neighbor fixed the busted the pipe. Ben's handy man self-confidence shot through the roof and I now confuse him with Tim "The Tool Man" Taylor, which he, of course, loves.

Ben left this very cold morning for a business trip until Friday. I woke up this morning a little nervous. What will the girls and I do without Tim if another pipe busts? I just learned where the water shut-off valve is and the girls' only skills involve eating and catnapping.

Ben's return or warmer weather could not come soon enough.