Monday, July 28, 2008

Middle of the Night Madness

I've officially entered the stage where my sleeping comfort level has been compromised. I can't stay comfortable. Sleeping on my side--not my method of choice--has made my hips feel like they've aged 40 years in 2 weeks. When I get up to go to the bathroom INCESSANTLY, I move like I need a walker.

A couple of weeks ago, I began having leg cramps in my calf every third night or so. Patrick has gotten used to me crying out deliriously in my sleep, "MY LEG! MY LEG!" Very patiently, he goes to the end of the bed and pushes my foot back--relieving me of the strange sensation. I tell you, he's a trooper. He doesn't even flinch anymore...

Until one night last week. This story I am now going to recount is not one that I remember, but one that Patrick assures me I participated in ever-so-emphatically and wholeheartedly... So, it's the middle of the night, and I cry out, "My BUTT! MY BUTT!" Patrick, as usual, goes to the end of the bed, and thinking that what I really mean is, "MY LEG!", he begins pushing back my foot. I then cry out, "NO! MY BUTT! IT'S CRAMPING! GRAB IT! GRAB IT!" I'm sure at this point he's thinking I'm crazy, but not wanting to mess with his deliriously pregnant wife, he obliges my request, and I start moaning, "ahhh, thank you...thank YOU!" Like a light switch, I am back to sleep, and he lies there dumbfounded about what just happened...

The next morning, with a smirk on his face, he asks me how I slept. I said something about feeling really weird and remembering having tension in my lower back/rear end, and he busted out with the story through fits of laughter...

This is crazy... No more Vicky dreams, but man... There is no telling what I will do/say next...

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Neigborhood Gestapo and Pregnancy Progress

Well, we thought our biggest concern in our new neck of the woods would be the "Blue Light Special"; however, we are learning about our new adversary, the "Neighborhood Gestapo." Don't get me wrong--as referenced in my original post, we love living in our planned community; we love most of our neighbors; we love the well-manicured lawns and respectable families that we are surrounded by. In many ways we are proud of where we live and can envision ourselves living here for many years--walking our family to the neighborhood pool and biking the trail to the neighborhood elementary school, but recent events have made us wonder if "Big Brother" really exists.

A couple of weeks after we moved in last year, we went out of town and, in being away from home, inadvertently left our garbage can out over the weekend. Shortly after, we received a "friendly reminder" about keeping garbage cans out of sight from the road. Our initial reaction was, "GAH--Seriously!?! Welcome to the neighborhood..." but we also appreciated the dedication to maintaining an aesthetically pleasing neighborhood. This Spring we received another "friendly reminder" about vehicles being parked on the street overnight--after a weekend of hosting out-of-town guests. This one ticked us off a little bit. Meanwhile, we are discussing such events with some of our neighbor friends, and they brought to our attention that an HOA board member lives just a couple of houses down from us and frequently goes on walks with her dog {more to come on that momentarily} looking for violations to cite. Our neighbors had several similar experiences with privacy fences, basketball goals, pool codes that had been deactivated due to said violations...

Our blood began boiling, and we began keeping closer tabs on this "Big Sister." Patrick began noticing that she frequently walked her dog and allowed her to "do her business" in other people's yards including our own. Major violation. You have to have some variation of a pooper scooper when taking dog walks. Next, Maggie gets sick. She becomes lethargic, begins vomiting, and having trouble using the bathroom. In the vet's office as they freak me out with all of the serious implications of her symptoms, they conclude that her intestines are being severely attacked by a bacteria likely caused from her eating grass contaminated with another animal's fecal matter. Our visit{S} cost over $100 and we are NOT happy--concluding that the culprit is "Big Sister's dog."

Fast forward to this week. We receive a notice of a fine for $50 due to a repeat violation of a vehicle parked on the street. Patrick, fed up, calls the HOA pres and boldly demands and explanation. He supplies Patrick the date of the violation--a day that Patrick cleaned and organized our garage and parked our vehicles on the street for 2 hours. He then tells Patrick that it was reported by a board member who lives on our street, and Patrick let him in on the "pooping incident." Our friendly neighbors are irate as well, and we've decided this woman must be an extremely unhappy person. Nevertheless, our "fine" was waived... I think our cul-de-sac may take over the HOA in next year's election. If you can't beat them, join them-- right!?!

In other news, I'm closing in on being 31 weeks pregnant {picture above}, and I cannot believe that the summer is almost over. I'm still feeling pretty good--just having a little more difficulty getting comfortable as I sleep and tiring out a little more quickly than I am used to. We have chosen our pediatrician and begun our "Childbirth Education" classes at the hospital. I was a bit nervous about how I'd react to all of the information. Surprisingly, it reassured me rather than freaked me out--although I know there's probably more scary information to come... After our class last night, I had the first pleasant dream I've had in months... Have I mentioned that I'm having CRAZY dreams...? Giving birth to animals rather than people; I'm lost in an indecipherable hospital maze and can't find Patrick or Addy; horrible birthing experiences... etc. The latest disturbing nightmare was that Patrick was cheating on me with a woman named Vicky who looked like a younger version of Samantha from Sex and the City. In my dream, I am soooo pregnant, am wearing a moo moo {sp?} type of gown, am throwing things, and am cussing them a major blue streak as he shrugs his shoulders at me and she laughs. When Patrick woke me up the following morning for church, I rolled over, bawling, deliriously saying, "Why are you cheating on me?" I don't remember this moment, but I do know it took me about half the day to get over it--not being able to differentiate my dream from reality. Poor Patrick! What a trooper! We've had many laughs over this one--he's praying he doesn't meet anyone named Vicky, and we keep dropping her name at random times...

Monday, July 14, 2008

Addy's on her way!

Yesterday, Addy had her first official party hosted my Patrick's and my new church, 4th Avenue. I was incredibly nervous because we are such new members and are still meeting people, but my sweet friends who hosted it made me feel very special. And I got to have a combined party with my friend Jaclyn which made both of us feel more comfortable. Addy got a great new start for her life, and I'm so grateful and humbled. Here are a couple of pictures!

Saturday, July 05, 2008

Happy 4th {1 day late} and Summer Project #2

I'm going in reverse order of my blog title, but these two pictures are of our Summer Project #2--before and after, respectively. {Project #1 is Addy's nursery--pictures to come, #3 is a kitchen counter project, #4 is outdoor landscaping, and #5 is revamping our patio...} So, this area has plagued me since we moved in a year ago... It's technically called a plant ledge, but it's more like a little room above our powder room. These pictures were taken from our stairs, and it is the first thing you see once you walk in the front door {The dining room is to the left; the hallway wraps around to the right and leads to the living room; and the powder room is directly below}. You can see my first feeble attempt was the blue jars that I got from my mom. They *seemed* huge, but once we got them up there, the space just swallowed them. So, our new idea began to take shape, and we are pretty pleased--although we'll probably still tweak it a bit. The door was a flawed door that Patrick was able to confiscate from one of his job sites for free. The window is from the Artisan period and is over 90 years old; I found it at the Nashville flea market for $15. The trunks and plants were 50% off at Hobby Lobby.

Hope everyone had a happy Independence Day! This picture of us is from yesterday, and I was exactly 28 weeks pregnant when it was taken. The heat is picking up and it is starting to take its toll on me swelling-wise, and I have the hottest part of the summer to go! I'm going to have to be creative in my fun. The other picture is from my new bunting that I got for this year's holiday. I'm a sucker for holiday decorations! Patrick and I enjoyed our 4th celebrations. We spent the afternoon at Mom and Dad's with Linds, Daniel, and Savannah, and 2 of my grandparents. We spent the evening at a party with 4 couples of our builder friends. And we ended the evening enjoying fireworks celebrations with our fun neighbors. We've enjoyed this holiday weekend so far!

Wednesday, July 02, 2008

Little bit of lately...

Picture 1: Pregnant Bellies at Kristen's baby shower--Jenny Beth at ~20 weeks, Kristen at 30, me at 27. Picture 2: My girls at the shower--Jenny, Andrea, Lia, me, Kristen, Tara, Kelly. Picture 3: How-to's for Maryland Crab eating. The most delicious crab I've ever tasted in my life {even including the Red Bar}!
Picture 4: market shopping in Annapolis. Picture 5: the Inner Harbor in Baltimore.

I spent this past week in the Virginia, Maryland, DC area at a conference for the AP Language and Composition course I am teaching next year. I traveled with my friend and colleague Kris G-C and greatly benefitted from her native experience to the area.

The conference was so enlightening--we read and analyzed Lincoln's second innagural address, letters between 8 Birmingham clergymen and Martin Luther King, Jr. while he was in jail, political cartoons from The New Yorker and The Washington Post, satirical pieces from The Onion, and various essays, speeches, and letters. We analyzed sample essays, learned how to grade them according to AP College Board standards, and brushed up on the Rogerian and Touliman arguments. All these things, of course, are supposed to prepare us to help our students become sharper thinkers and writers. I have to say--it was fascinating, and I left the conference feeling smarter, inspired, and motivated. That's always a good thing. {There were some interesting characters in our conference, though, those who thought their brilliance was unparalleled, those with serious delusions of grandeur, but I have their character sketches all mapped out, and I hope they show up in some book someday.} Now that I'm back, I have my work cut out for me for the rest of the summer though--that's for sure!

We stayed with Kris's sister's family in Virginia, and we took evening escapades to surrounding areas. The new places I got to visit were Annapolis, Maryland, and Baltimore, Maryland. I enjoyed perusing the shops at the market in Annapolis, driving through the US Naval Academy, and eating delicious Maryland Crab at Cantler's on the water by the yachts. In Baltimore, we spent time eating a delicious dinner in Little Italy at Sabatino's, watching a bocce tournament at an actual bocce court, meandering through the Inner Harbor, and finishing it off with canoli and cream at Vaccaro's. We worked hard during the day, but we had many nice distractions at night.

Kris had just gotten back from Bonnaroo, and from listening to the artists on our road trip, I discovered some new-to-me music that I'm loving. If you haven't heard all of Jason Mraz's songs, I strongly encourage you to download We Sing We Dance We Steal Things.