The stroller arrived! But…

Only I got it in navy.

After much deliberation and minor breakdowns trying to research strollers I decided on the UPPAbaby Vista! I added it to my registry and in a fit of “finally getting to buy something” my mom picked it up and sent it to us! Ohmygosh. It’s so beautiful.

I had a quick trip to Chicago and the night I got back at 9:20pm it had arrived just hours prior. Visions of quickly putting it together and wheeling my dog around in it were spinning through my head.

I guess it’s a lesson everyone has to learn this lesson at least once with anything to do with baby assembly: it will take 5 times as long and it will never go right.

We take out the bassinet, figure that out right away, easy peasy. It’s freaking adorable. I’m imagining putting my cat in it immediately upon sitting it on the frame (can you sense a pattern here?). We get the frame out, put the wheels on…and then try to snap the bassinet on. One side works, one doesn’t.

Hm.

Then we take the normal seat out and same thing…the right side clip on the frame is just….defunct. You can clip anything into the left easy peasy, but the right? Nope. Nada. No dice.

Again, it’s a piece of advice I knew but I’ll say it again:

Never try to put anything together to do with the baby unless you have a leisurely 2 hours and it is within the working customer service hours of any manufacturer. Because then, and only then, will it take 20 minutes. 

I called UPPAbaby Customer Service the next day…and the woman was nice enough, said that they would immediately send a new frame and I would have to send the old frame back, once she registered the stroller with UPPAbaby for the warranty. So after sending her a proof of purchase (that I had to request from my mom), all the serial numbers, and my address/phone number…a new frame is on its way. Hopefully this one will work and I can continue my dream of strolling around my animals before the human puppy baby arrives.

While not anywhere near panic mode, it’s still a little disappointing. However, seeing as I’m going to get a new frame within a few days hopefully this is a rare glitch and not indicative of what’s to come.

Signs I wish I could wear while pregnant

Have you ever seen those scrolling message things? The ones that you can program a message and it will scroll in LED lights? Anyhow, I never really wanted one until I thought about all the stuff I wish I could just blast from it if I hung one around my neck.

Here are a few of the messages I wish I could blast and/or real feelings I wish I could say at any given point. I haven’t gotten to the point where people are touching my belly, but I think I would want that tattooed on my chest instead of a sign around my neck.

So here we go, in no particular order…

1. I’m not fat, I’m pregnant.

I always knew that I would wait to announce my pregnancy until I was past the 1st trimester, just like everyone in the entire world tells you to do. What these people who tell you this graciously leave out, however, is that once you’re in the “safe zone” of telling people you’re pregnant you magically land in the “you look fat and not particularly pregnant” zone. This zone lasts…apparently…for.ev.er. Once the news is out, though, I don’t want to just go around telling random people I’m pregnant, because that would be weird, but I also don’t particularly want people to think that I just flat out don’t care anymore, either.

Actually looking pregnant instead of “ooh, you must really enjoy pie.” is basically the ideal, but takes forever. (Of course I do really enjoy pie, it’s just that I’m enjoying it for two now, okay?!…except…I’m not. See below.) The actual “look adorable in maternity clothes” stage is frighteningly short, for everyone who actually is keeping track.

 

2. Yes, you can still drink around me.

If you don’t, I’ll be sad. Wine is delicious. Please don’t stop on account of me.

 

3. Even if you qualify your advice as unsolicited, it is still unsolicited advice.

I feel like a few years ago, people just gave unsolicited advice. Now they still do that, only they seem to want to qualify it with, “I know this is unsolicited advice but…and then go on telling you whatever advice they feel like giving as if the qualifier and recognition suddenly make them on the inside. I appreciate your recognition that the advice you are giving is unsolicited and potentially controversial as recognition is, in fact, the first step to recovery, but, alas, the next step is honestly to stop.

Do I know everything? Um, have you read anything I’ve ever written? Obviously I know approximately nothing. However, I do ask a lot of people a lot of questions and do a lot of reading on my own. If I want advice I can promise you I will pester you with questions until your ears bleed.

 

4. My doctor said it was okay to drink coffee and it is quite possibly one of the only things in my life that makes me truly and undeniably happy consistently.

Stop asking if it’s decaf. It’s probably not. I have asked my doctor, read research articles about coffee and caffeine limits during pregnancy. In the mornings I don’t care if it’s a drug that more addicting than crack chemically. The bottom line is this: coffee. makes. me. happy. Is too much caffeine bad for you while pregnant? Yes, just like too much caffeine is bad for you when you aren’t pregnant. Is too much anything bad for you while pregnant? See above re: caffeine and non-pregnancy.

I will continue to drink coffee unless the doctor finds something wrong and tells me I can’t. And in that case, I shall replace coffee with my tears.

 

5. I’m not really eating for two, but I appreciate the kind thought.

No, I really shouldn’t be eating the equivalent of two peoples’ food, though I have probably eaten the equivalent of 100 peoples’ Funfetti cake. Unless I have suddenly turned into a person the size of an apple, I only need to eat a little bit more, as that is the size of the extra person on board. But I shall take your comment instead as, “you don’t look unhealthy!” which I am striving for daily.

However, this comment leads me to…

 

6. Yes, I know your [aunt/sister/cousin/coworker/boss/female person you saw on the street that one time 2 years ago] carried the pregnancy in her rear. No, of course I don’t want that to happen to me.

I think this comment has shocked me most of all. I am already terrified of carrying the child entirely on my hindside (as it appears) but you know what? I exercise, I try to eat well (if you mention Wendy’s Frosties to me right now we will not speak again), but you know what? Sometimes people have, gasp, different genes. If that happens, well, so be it! If it doesn’t, good! But at this point the only thing I can do is what I’m already doing. So those comments really just baffle me as there is nothing that can be done if that baby and your genes tell you that your ass is to be the size of Wisconsin, then by god…it will be. And life will go on.

This comment leads me to my final baffling comment I still have no answer for…

 

7. Have you seen [celebrity/friend with the metabolism of a hummingbird] 2 weeks after she had her baby? She looks AMAZING!

Good for her? I am truly happy for these people who manage to look like they didn’t have a baby the second the baby has arrived, but for the rest of us, that’s just not probably going to happen. Did I look like that person before pregnancy? No, probably not. I just don’t have that body type, and so while I will try to “bounce back” as soon as possible, I also realize that if I’m not a celebrity whose literal full time job is to look amazing or someone you know who can eat 2 large pizzas, lose a pound and still forever be the skinniest person you know…I probably won’t look like them post-baby. Life changes and goes on. I assume I’ll be exhausted, tired, and frustrated. Knowing that I will be compared to celebrities and friends with ridiculous metabolisms is not only unfair but just plain scary. It’s pretty much like comparing apples and skyscrapers…it just doesn’t work, nor is it a good use of time.

Videos make me cry now.

I had glossed over this video that I had seen a lot of friends/colleagues/etc. post, thinking it was some sort of “Millenials are the WORST! Ha!” article, or career tips, or just another video that’s mediocre at best. When I actually watched it, I guess I understand why it took the Internet by storm.

The basics: a company posted a fake job listing in newspapers, ads, etc.: Director of Operations. Only 24 people applied, probably because in the job description were some key red flags, such as no vacation, 24-hour-a-day shift, understanding of finance, medicine, and culinary arts, constant crisis management, and the list went on.

The company then made this video of the applicant interviews (embedded below).

The pregnancy hormones kicked into overdrive and before I knew it, I was crying. Did you guess the end result? It took me about halfway through. (Article on Time Magazine as well.)

Disclaimer: please do not read that if you choose to not have children I think you are not hardworking or that your career is unrewarding, or anything like that. Let’s not start a war here. In my opinion, it should never be moms vs. non-moms, working moms vs. stay-at-home moms, or any iteration thereafter. It should be more along the lines of, “Hey, cool, you’re making your way in the world, and so am I! What can I learn from you?” instead of invective against life choices on the other “side.” But enough about world peace. There is more Internet to explore! If you don’t like this video, or feel that I have made an inadvertent political statement or started a war, I give you also this video of a dog magnificently missing its leap onto the couch. Enjoy.

15 minutes of energy = a giveaway

Tomorrow I hit 14 weeks of pregnancy. And while that means by every measure possible I am out of the first trimester it also means a few things I need to do now that I actually have more energy than a coma patient, including, but not limited to:

  • Learning about pregnancy
  • Learning about babies and children
  • Actually cleaning my apartment and learning to actually do things like a functioning adult again

Of those, the third seems like the most reasonable/possible to accomplish, and just my luck the ladies at The Color Coded Life and My Mommy Madness gave me the motivation and jumpstart I needed. FINE, adulthood, I WILL TRY.

The challenge is simple: set a timer for 15 minutes and tackle a project or cleaning project you’ve wanted to get to for a while. See how much you can accomplish. When I realized that 15 minutes is Pitbull and Ke$ha’s “Timber” almost exactly 4 times on repeat, the challenge was not only feasible, it was ON.

Recently my spare closet had gotten a little cluttered and while eventually this will be the baby closet, I figured that getting it back into shape would make that transition go from “overwhelming holycrapamIreallyhavingababywhatamIdoing” to just plain old “holycrapamIreallyhavingababywhatamIdoing”. It’s the little things that we call progress.

shelves_before

It turns out that I had amassed a ton of folders into which I had randomly stuffed a ton of my files or documents before I had a file folder labeled and organized. I kept moving them from apartment to apartment and 15 minutes was the perfect amount of time to empty those binders, throw away any useless papers, and generally give it some peace of mind. For example, some of the items I found were:

  • A booklet of Chicago Zone 74 parking day parking permits, expired June 31, 2013. I moved out of Chicago May 28, 2013.
  • My pet permit from my building in Chicago
  • “How to read food labels” from my food allergy doctor
  • A binder of recipes I had collected that universally turned out horribly and can be found on this newfangled thing called “The Internet”
  • A binder of work notes I had abandoned 2 years ago that served 0 purpose even when I had them and they were up to date

Clearly, this needed to get sorted.

Here is a picture of the papers that ended up getting recycled. Yikes. Ew. I’m a mess.

2014-04-09 14.57.07

2014-04-09 14.26.422014-04-09 14.55.40

 

Second, a big ole pile of sheets and spare linens for guests had gotten a little annoying and so I decided to pretty them up, put up all my tableware/linens in my “entertaining” bucket and get rid of the sheets that were disgusting, old, and had a big rip in them.

Is it perfect? No. Is it better? Sure, why not? However, finally taking the time to realize that 15 minutes could sort through a billion stray papers was a big eye-opener.

So what does this all mean? If you do the same 15-minute challenge you can not only do something with the 15 minutes it takes to listen to Timber 4 times, you can win cleaning things.

cleaning thing

Here’s what you do. It’s easy. You can enter one of two ways.

  1. Enter here.
  2. Tweet/Facebook/Instagram with the hashtag #15toclean and get additional entries

The winner will get a basket filled with cleaning supplies and a $20 gift certificate to Target. The drawing is on April 17th.

Good luck, and good cleaning. I can feel adulthood calling…but then there’s always more Funfetti cake, too…

Pregnancy has turned me into a 9-year-old

Supposedly every pregnancy is different with what you crave, how you feel, and what you do, but I would like to go on record as saying that this pregnancy has officially turned my appetite back into my 9-year-old self.

These are the types of things nobody tells you about. Sure, people spout the whole “pickles and ice cream” and think it’s adorable, but when you get into the actual details of what you crave people look at you with disgust.

Here, so far, is my list of cravings.


funfetti1. Funfetti Cake

There is not enough Pillsbury Funfetti Cake on God’s green earth to satisfy me. I don’t want homemade cake. I don’t want chocolate cake. I want Funfetti Cake out of the box with the “premiere” frosting with the sprinkles on it. Try and make a replica and I’ll know it.

I will eat an entire sheet cake’s worth of this crap, and have started to come to terms with it, especially since I have a hunch that most people actually really like the taste of Funfetti cake, they just are too ashamed to admit it. Well here I am, ready and willing to finally say: yes, I’ll have 5 more slices. For lunch. Thanks.


2. Kraft Macaroni and Cheese – the shaped kind…specifically…Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles shapes

Call it pregnancy brain, call it “grew up in the 90s”, call it plain old gullible…but after I saw the newest Kraft Macaroni & Cheese ad featuring Vanilla Ice bringing back “Go Ninja, go ninja, go!” there was nothing else in the universe I could think of. I literally went out at the next opportunity that very day and made some.

My husband gave me a B+ for coming home with Raphael despite my insistence that it was all they had at the store. He didn’t believe me. Life lesson, husband: you can’t always get Michaelangelo. Learn to deal with disappointment. At the end of the day you (hypothetically, since I keep eating all the mac & cheese) still have Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Kraft Mac & Cheese in your bowl. Learn to take the joys in life.

If you haven’t seen the commercial yet and are ready to experience a full-on 90s kid explosion to your brain, I suggest you watch it immediately.


tropicana3. Orange Juice

I think I might be keeping Tropicana in business with the amount of orange juice I have been consuming lately. Fun fact: I grew up in the town where Tropicana is made (Bradenton, FL, FOR THE WIN), and drinking orange juice was as much a part of my childhood as watching TGIF on Friday nights.

Please note: for me, the only acceptable brand of orange juice is Tropicana. If you try to hand me a from-concentrate orange juice I will throw that heresy back in your face. I have, in the spirit of compromise to my husband, agreed to try and get “some pulp” (aka, Homestyle), but personally my preference is for the “lots of pulp” (Grovestand) iteration. Apparently, I like my orange juice chewable. However, I drink the orange juice so fast that I’ve slipped in a few Grovestand bottles and the husband is none the wiser.


frosty4. Wendy’s Frosties

I still refuse to believe these aren’t delicious in real non-pregnancy life. It’s just that people are ashamed to admit it, much like the Funfetti cake that also helped comprise my childhood.

I had no idea until this pregnancy that Frosties even were available in a vanilla flavor. To me, here is how you order a Wendy’s Frosty:

Me: “One Wendy’s Frosty, please.”
Order-Taker: “Next window, please.”

But apparently now there are sizes to choose from. And flavors. This is all confusing and unacceptable. Wendy’s Frosties are a thing of simplicity, and that simplicity is the only thing I’ve ever wanted RIGHT THIS VERY MOMENT.


Like I said, my tastes this pregnancy don’t even break middle school, but at this point, I’ll sit down with a big ole bowl of Raphael Mac & Cheese and Funfetti Cake. Game of Thrones is back on. Judge me if you want, but my dinner is delicious.

Spring has sprung with pollen and symbolism

It was around this time six months ago my husband and I lost our first, accidental pregnancy to anencephaly. While the pregnancy was not planned, our outlook had essentially become, “well, the kid’s coming, so let’s get excited!” And so we did. That’s why at week 13 losing the baby was devastating, despite our initial reaction filled with tears and cursewords and no fewer than 4 home pregnancy tests. We had come full circle to the idea of life with kids and gotten to the point where we were pumped.

Our friends could not have been more supportive and wonderful when we lost the baby, and one of the thoughtful gifts we received as a beautiful magnolia-type tree. We dutifully planted the tree in a pot we had open and watered it to specific instructions and put it in the corner of our balcony where it would have the optimal amount of sunlight, according to the card that came attached to the tree.

And then it died.

I kept looking at it out the window, baffled, wondering what I had done wrong in the planting, if I should be more adult and own a yard where trees might have more room or something, and maybe next time I should try to grow something easier, like a cactus. Or a wax plant.

Winter came soon thereafter, and honestly, I sort of forgot about the tree. No, I completely forgot about the tree. I traveled some, it snowed a few times, and honestly I just bundled up and hunkered down (are those competing analogies? Either way, it’s what happened. Go with it.). We found out about this pregnancy very early February, and were immensely nervous considering what happened last time, and then found out it was twins, only to find out it wasn’t twins after all. Needless to say, on the list of “things Taylor is thinking about”, the tree was pretty down at the bottom with the type of sodding my apartment complex does to maintain the green grass through the spring. That is to say, it occupied almost exactly 0% of my brainspace.

Finally, one day, after another successful ultrasound and learning that this baby was for really-truly-real this time…I looked out…and there was a flower blooming on the assumed-dead magnolia.

symbology

It’s the circle of life and symbolism

Six months later, a dead tree decided that in fact it was alive and well…and sprouting a beautiful flower to commemorate this new passage in our life when we finally realized we are, in fact, in the clear.

I couldn’t talk to anyone about the flower other than my husband for a long time, thinking that it was too eerie and too symbolic to say it out loud. But here we are, over 13 weeks in, and finally I can’t help it anymore.

The damn flowers are blooming, and spring has sprung abounding with symbolism.