Saturday, January 10, 2009

And we call ourselves college graduates......

OK. So here's what happened.

My best friend, Michelle ... more commonly referred to as "Shipley" ... and I have been friends for over 20 years. We met in college during rush week at our sorority (Delta Gamma, in case anyone was wondering). Our personalities clicked immediately, and thus began a wonderful friendship, accented by the occasional adventure. And frequent hilarity. I could try and entertain you with stories, but a majority of them were "you-had-to-be-there" moments, that one really needed to be present for to fully appreciate. Example: Once during college, she drove me through a fast-food drive-thru backwards. As in actually throwing her powder blue Dodge station wagon into reverse and, literally, driving backwards in the drive-thru. The expression on the drive-thru attendant's face was priceless. Shipley was giggling that maniacal laugh that was (and still is) soooooooooo her own, and all I could do was apologize to the drive-thru person through my own hysterics.

See what I mean? Verbally, it loses its "oomph." In real life, it was one of those "pee-in-your-pants" moments. But I digress.....

Getting back to what happened last night. Shipley and I were chatting on the phone, and we both happened to be near our computers. We've had problems for months on end sending and receiving email to each other. They kept getting bounced back to the original sender. Very frustrating. We started talking about it, and she mentioned the problem starting after I had changed email servers. So I asked, "Tell me the email address you're using for me." She told me, and we discovered she had still been putting in my middle initial, as I had used in my former email address. Then I got into my address book and read off the address I had for her. Seems I had somehow combined part of her work email address with part of her personal email address -- resulting in an undeliverable address.

We immediately sent test messages to each other while still on the phone. Lo and behold, the email messages went through without a hitch. And we felt like complete dumb-asses. Naturally, as we do in most situations like this, we burst into laughter. Eventually, I managed to point out the fact that here we were,... two intelligent, college-educated women, and we can't even figure out we had each others' email addresses wrong.

Did I mention this was after several months of failed emails?

Our college professors would be sooooooooooo proud......

Friday, January 9, 2009

Buddha's got nothin' on me

I believe I have officially arrived at the point of pregnancy where people want to touch my stomach. I know many moms who have strong feelings either for or against letting people rub their tummies much like asking Buddha for a bit of good luck. Many are very protective of their personal space and do not take kindly to the practice. Still, others don't seem to mind a bit, and even shamelessly shove their protruding waistlines into others' business and announce, "The baby's moving!"

I tend to fall into both categories, depending on where I am and whose company I'm in. If I'm, say, at the mall and a store clerk or random shopper were to approach me asking to feel my stomach, I'd have to bow out as gracefully as possible, no matter how kindly and innocent their request may seem. On the other hand, if we're at home and I'm feeling him kick, poke and roll around, I'm very likely to grab the hand of the closest person, plaster it to my belly and ask, "Did you feel THAT one?" I will admit here and now, that I've caught myself staring at my own swollen abdomen as the little guy rolls back and forth. I realize this is my final pregnancy, and I guess I just want to register and remember every little detail.

The other day, when I realized I was approaching week #30 it hit me -- we are going to have a newborn in 10 weeks or less! And, for once, it wasn't the lack of preparation that stopped me in my tracks. It was the realization that this, my final pregnancy, will be over in a short time. It kind of made me sad ... despite the two solid months of non-stop queasiness, breathlessness, the lone varicose vein with a personality all its own, itchy skin and various aches & pains. Granted, we'll have this wonderful blessing of a child, live and in person in exchange for the pregnancy -- but it's still bittersweet to give up that one-of-a-kind experience of carrying a baby...

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

But there's barely any ice!!

We have just suffered through... uh, I mean enjoyed two weeks off from school for Christmas break. The high school kids went back Monday. The three in elementary were off for "Records Day,"which I think is school administration code for having a "Let's See Which Mom Snaps First" contest.
Tuesday was a great day at school, reconnecting with friends, getting back into the groove. My first grader was elated because they had their classroom holiday party, which everyone missed due to school being canceled the last day before break because of the ice storm.
We had a Winter Weather Advisory last night, with a smattering of freezing rain and some flurries. I peeked through the blinds this morning, and even in the pitch-darkness of 5:40am, I could tell there was nothing new on the ground. A little voice in my head told me to turn on the TV and check for any slick road-related delay. "Nah... couldn't be," I thought, and headed to the shower. Shortly thereafter, when I did happen to turn on the news, I was greeted by the ever-familiar banner across the bottom of the screen, listing school after school on a 2-hour delay. OK, with the kids on a delay, granted I start the work day later, but can salvage some time and be productive. Plus, I get to sleep another hour-and-a-half. Bonus!
As Jeff left for work at 6:30, I snuggled back into the toasty flannel sheets with my alarm set for 7:50. Funny how a lot can happen in barely 90 minutes. I woke from my bonus nap to see school had been canceled.
Of course, the kids were thrilled and celebrated with a variety of shimmies and jigs.
I regrouped the day's plan, figuring out how to make the most of the day off, as well as trying to conjure up some fun diversions.
When Sam (6/almost-7) and I left the house for the office, I noticed only the thinnest veil of ice on the van windows.
"What?! You've got to be kidding me! They canceled school for THIS MUCH ICE?!?!" I said to no one but the bare tree next to the driveway -- Sam was already in the car playing his GameBoy.
So, here we are. The afternoon is still a wee pup, but I've already made it to work, accomplished some things and brought work home and made grilled cheese and tomato soup for the kids' lunch.
Once kitchen clean-up is done, I'm sure someone will whine that there's "nothing to do," even though the Christmas gifts are barely two weeks old. Maybe we'll bake brownies ... or chocolate chip cookies. Either will be a crowd-pleaser, I'm sure.
As I noticed on one of my favorite blogger's posts today ( she mentioned being asked by her 4-year-old to read him a book, even though she had her own things to do. She sighed and agreed, probably knowing full well it was one of those moments I have quite often. The ones where you focus so much on your own "To Do" list, that it's easy to forget the kids often just want a few minutes of your time. Yes, I have an article to finish up and an editorial meeting tomorrow to plan for ... but I know if I get all cranky and pass up an hour or so to hang out with the kids and bake some cookies, I'll regret it someday. Maybe even sooner than later -- I mean, there's a baby coming in 10 weeks or less. Talk about our lives being turned upside down! The time I give to them today won't necessarily make up for shuffling things around in the coming months, but they'll know for sure their mom will give them the time she has whenever possible.

Monday, January 5, 2009

Funny,... I don't feel a day over 39

I'm not sure why people lament, whine, carry on and fuss about turning 40. I did it last Tuesday and it didn't hurt a bit. In fact, I was pleasantly surprised to discover I felt just as normal as I had the day before. When I woke up, there was no black storm cloud hovering above my head. I wasn't struck with any major/minor medical concern -- except for excessive peeing, which goes with the territory these days anyway. Nope. Nothing. Not even an extra gray hair.

I was treated to a fabulous homemade breakfast at the hands of WH (that's "wonderful husband") which consisted of french toast stuffed with a truly decadent cream cheese filling and a nice cup of Starbuck's coffee. (Which isn't out of the ordinary, being that's all we buy,... but it felt extra special paired with the french toast.) I went to work and found a balloon bouquet on my desk from co-workers, and not one of the balloons mentioned "40." How thoughtful. I enjoyed the group card and a fruit tort from Fresh Market. This little number is worth waiting all year for. The graham cracker-ish crust is filled with lots of thick, sweet cream and topped with mammoth berries: strawberries, blueberries, black raspberries, kiwi, etc. Oh, and between the crust and cream is an ever-so-slight layer of chocolate sauce. Because, as we all know, most everything is better with even a hint of chocolate. :)

That afternoon when I came home, Jeff had baked a cake, and was scurrying about finishing up last-minute details for dinner and such. At one point, I was banished to the bedroom while he attended to things in the kitchen. I usually never seize an opportunity to lay down for a while, but that's exactly what I did. I could've gathered the never-ending supply of dirty laundry from everyone's rooms of stopped by the bathroom to tidy up -- but I didn't. I took a whole hour and watched something mindless on television ("Bridezillas," one of the current guilty pleasures...) and just did nothing. That was probably the best gift I could have given myself. Ever. However, as lovely as that gift was, it paled in comparison to what Jeff gave me: an 8x10 black and white photo of all the kids. It nearly brought me to tears -- partially because of how wonderful it was, and how great everyone looked... and because I know how difficult it must've been to take umpteen-million photos before getting just one where everyone was smiling, no one's eyes were closed and no one was given bunny ears.

The rest of the evening was just as wonderful as the entire day. And for that kind of day, I'd turn 40 all over again next year. But I won't. I won't be one of those people who keep celebrating a "39th" birthday so they don't have to admit getting another year older. I am perfectly OK with being 40, because it feels great. For years, my mom has never seemed to give a second thought to the actual number of her age. "It's just a number," she says, "and I certainly don't feel that old."

Thankfully, this apple didn't fall far from the tree. Come on, 41,... bring it on.