Archive for the ‘Oopsie's Grab Bag’ Category

Pregnancy allows me to recognize yet another thing we have in common as humans. We ask really inappropriate questions during inopportune times. During my pregnancy (I kid you not), I’ve heard all of the following:

  • “So, how much weight have you gained?”
  • “You’re getting Bi-Ig!” (for some reason people feel the need to sing the last word)
  • From a co-worker (not friend): “Are you coming back to work?”
  • Again, from a co-worker screaming across a cubicle: “Did you pass your glucose exam?”
  • More than one complete stranger on the elevator ride to work: “So, when are you due?”

Aside from the occassional verbal assault I’ve also taken note of non-verbal behaviors such as co-workers passing me and saying hello all the while staring straight at my rotund baby belly (eh-hem, mountain). I imagine they’re thinking one of the following phrases: “Wow she’s getting bi-Ig” or “Getting close” or worse, “Is her water going to break at work? Would I have to clean that up?”

Other non-verbal observations include the anxiety a round belly causes some folks. They have a case of Butterfly McQueen’s sentiment in Gone with the Wind–“I ain’t never birthed no babies!”

I get it, I get it, in your eyes I’m a ticking time bomb. When my water breaks, I’ll try to keep myself from aiming at your shoes.


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I’m not sure when or why it began. From the start, my aversion to all things sports seems to be a defining part of my personality. My parents, doing their parental due diligence, put me in soccer when I was knee high to something. As expected, I was that kid playing on the side line, distracted by flowers and such. I’m pretty sure I lack the inherent competitive streak required of all true athletes.

To give a complete picture of my athletic prowess, I’ll tell the story where I asked the question “Are the Celtics in the World Cup?” ending in thunderous laughter. Oh. Wait. I pretty much blew the punch line. Regardless, you get the idea. I’m not exactly the “sporty” type.

As a result, it’s funny to hear family and friends interject their speculations of who our little Reed (33 weeks tomorrow) will be. Will he be athletic? Will he be creative? Intelligent or average? Sweet or naughty? Just as we possess little understanding of God’s character or why Sonic ice cream doesn’t melt it’s difficult to forecast who your child will be. He could have any, all or none of the aforementioned characteristics. Maybe he’ll be an off-the-wall nut forging his own path. There’s no way to be certain and this brings me pleasure. As a future parent I’m excited to nurture his strengths, shepherd his weaknesses and take oh-so-much joy in discovering who God created our little one to be.  

But, if he is athletic by some random act of God, I’ll know he doesn’t get that from his mother. Of that, I’m certain.

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I just polished off an insane amount of Dreyer’s Nestle Drumstick ice cream. That’s right. A delicious combination of vanilla ice cream, caramel swirl, peanuts and chocolate covered cone chunks passed happily through my belly, telling baby “hello” on its sojourn through my tummy. Yum. I love food.

As previously confessed, I’ve always loved food. But there are certain things, as a pregnant gal, I find especially appealing. This list includes and is not limited to: All things vitamin Cish including lemons, oranges, lemonade/limeade, etc. Multiple lemons in ice water is a nice treat or orange juice with breakfast (or dinner).

My cousin turned me on to Carnation Instant Breakfast where I discovered a healthier, more baby friendly version of the milk shake. In a blender, you place the chocolate powder (I use two packets), 1/2 cup of ice, 3/4 cup of milk and half a frozen banana. Ever since I began drinking these, at approximately 2 in the afternoon, I begin to crave one. Last night, I passed on the salmon Austin was cooking for a big, fat shake. They are delicious (and nutritious).

Other cravings are pretty regular for me. Sweets remain a staple. Right now, with all the delectable Easter goods I find myself gourging on Reese’s pieces eggs or Cadbury creme eggs. The creme eggs have always been a favorite of mine.

So, for all the friends out there reading my blog, please know you haven’t been permanently replaced. Currently, food is my best friend. However, I predict a fair weather romance. After the baby makes an appearance and the realization that food left me with a wider behind and bigger thighs, I’ll renew my vows to all the homegirls who satisfy my craving for friendship, sans calories.

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Searching for Gumption

Initiative, aggressiveness, resourcefulness, courage, spunk, guts, common sense and shrewdness. All of these words describe “gumption”. I wish I had more. I need more.

Tomorrow, I will attend yet another continuing education writing course. I have no idea what to expect. The only requirement is to bring your favorite novel with you. Unfortunately, though I would very much like to write fiction, I rarely read it. My favorite novel, which will accompany me to class tomorrow, is simply the latest novel I’ve read: The Help. It was a cute book but having taken a course at Rice University before, I know the intellectual types inevitably attending the class. While I bring a recent best seller they will bring classic novels. Books I haven’t read. Authors I’ve never heard of. Writing I may not understand or even like.

So, now what? Should I hide and run? Part of me would really like to. But, the course is paid for. Instead of true gumption I have frugality, a pragmatic nature and just a tiny bit of pride.

I’ll go to the course and hope for the best. Wish me luck.

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Today, I turn thirty.

Thirty years ago today my parents rushed to a hospital in Amory, Mississippi. I’m told it was snowing. This was their first child and I can imagine their great anxiety during their forty or so minute drive. Being told they were to have a boy, they came prepared with a boy name (Barentine, called “Barry”) and blue baby stuff. That was their first parental lesson. Always be prepared. A little girl, named Eleanor on a whim after her maternal grandmother, was born.

Turning thirty, or any momentous age, requires you have a reflective moment. So, here’s mine: I think back and the best thing I can say is that I like myself better today than ten or twenty years ago. If perfection is bowling a 300 then I’m a 100, with lots of room to grow. However, compared to the person I was in college or soon after, I’m much more secure, thankful and peaceful. Much of this is attributed to God and my faith in Him. He’s brought me through some tough stuff. Much of this is also thanks to a few people, like my family and husband and close friends, who really love me. What an awesome birthday gift, just right for any age.

Much like “the great Tim McGraw”, I’ve considered some things I want to do in my next thirty years. Learn an instrument (hopefully the mouth harp), become a country western group dancer like those older couples who tour around to festivals, continue to travel and get involved in some kind of service are all on the list. Somehow I know the next thirty years will be even better than the last and I’m really looking forward to them.

“In my next thirty years” by Tim McGraw:

My next thirty years will be the best of my life

Raise a little family and hang out with my wife

Spend precious moments with the ones that I hold dear

Make up for lost time here, in my next thirty years

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Book Burn

Lord of the Rings: Fellowship of the Ring, Lenin, Stalin and Hitler: The Age of Social Catastrophe and Team of Rivals: The Political Genius of Abraham Lincoln. What do all of these book titles have in common? Aside from making me sound way smarter than I actually am, they are all titles which gave me book burn. Book burn is the term I’ve coined for situations when I pick up a book, begin to read and lose interest/get bored/get distracted/ETC.

Here’s how it works: You find a book which entices you. Looking at the description you think “I’ve always wanted to know this” or “this sounds really entertaining”. Your pulse kicks it up a notch and hands sweat as you punch the “BUY” button on Amazon or Kindle or hand a sweaty wad of cash to the register guy at Barnes and Nobles or Half Price. Taking the book home, you delve in to it. And, rather than hanging on to every word as you imagined previously, you begin to stall. Things happen like a Law and Order marathon comes on TV and even though you’ve seen every episode you think “what they hey” and get sucked in. Outside your window, birds begin to have personalities, talking in thick New York, Jewish accents, and you imagine their conversations: “Larry, I told you to get the juicy worm this time. How many times do we have to go through this?” What’s happened here is book burn.

Book burn is the psychological state of losing interest in your previously beloved book. I’ve spoken with friends who are avid readers and noticed we all deal differently with this. My friend, Janice, gives the book 100 pages to redeem itself. After that, she gives up, believing life’s too short. Oopsiehubby, Austin, tries to make it through the book come hell or high water. He has principles. And, me? Well, I have no principles. I allow myself to be carried away by bird conversations and TV marathons until the guilt of leaving yet another book to the dust subsides. Then, I pick up my next victim.

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Sweethearts: You've lost that love and feeling.

For me, Valentine’s Day will never be the same. The day after New Year’s I look forward to the sugary goodness of Valentine’s most timeless candy, Necco’s Sweethearts. Realizing it was a long way off from Valentine’s Day, or even the month of Valentine’s, I tried to fight the temptation to run to CVS and buy a bag of the small and big hearts (I love both since they each have their merits). I’m proud to say my will of steel, disciplined personality fought for six hard days. Today, after work, I caved.

 Leaving the store with a bag of small and big hearts along with a bag of red and white gummy bears, I popped the candy in my mouth on the way home. As the heart dissolved in my mouth, rather than recognizing the nebulous flavor of hardened sugar I tasted something else, something bitter. Continuing to eat the hearts I noticed how easily they dissolved, without their typical tooth-breaking crunch. And there it was again. An unknown flavor rattling around between tongue and tooth.

Getting home and observing the bag label led to even more bad news. Some not-so-bright exec type decided to not only change the flavor of these candies but to also remove the white candy for a medical tasting blue. Nice move. Seriously though, Necco’s has been around since 1847 and conversation hearts or sweethearts have been around since 1902. Why in the world, after more than 100 years, would you change a good thing?

In order for you not to suffer the same Valentine’s disappointment, I’ve provided you a thorough sweetheart taste scale, 1-5 (5 being the best).

New- Blue: Wow, this flavor redefines disgusting. Complete with medicinal after taste. 1

Pink: Supposedly “strawberry”. It was one of the least offensive in the bag. 4

Yellow: Used to be banana. Now, it’s closer to wannabe lemon. 3

Orange: Unsurprisingly orange is orange. Yuck. 2

Green: Tastes like apple mixed with licorice. 2

Purple: Still delicious. 5

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